Skin Lightening Creams, Lotions And Peels
If you suffer from hyperpigmentation or simply want to lighten and brighten your skin, there’s a bewildering number of creams or lotions to choose from. The most popular sellers and ones I’ve personally used successfully are compiled here in this skin lightening product tips post, to at least get you looking at proven and tested products.
Some creams still have bleaching chemicals as the active ingredient, other and the ones I’ve used and favour use a variety of plant extracts like Indian Gooseberry and Bearberry to lighten skin and simultaneously inhibit melanin production.
Do they work? Yes, on the whole though results depend on so many things that the outcome is always going to vary person to person.
Skin Preparation Is Key
Preparing your skin is a key to success, as is being persistent and understanding changes to dermal layers takes time, give the treatment two months though you should see improvements after one when they will begin to even out more minor flaws and improve your complexion overall, another month and real changes in tone should be apparent – if not at that point consider changing and trying another brand.
My best advice is to use skin lightening cream in conjunction with a facial brush system to cleanse and exfoliate thoroughly before applying the treatment – it really does make a difference and will help the cream achieve maximum benefits for your skin.
If the hyperpigmentation is deep, skin peels are probably your next option, either DIY at home or salon applied if it worries you.
Every home skin lightening product works in pretty much the same way, not necessarily using the same formula. Firstly they contain an ingredient to inhibit and reduce the amount of Melanin your skin is producing, and secondly they often include an exfoliating ingredient which works to remove old dead cells and improve your skin by stimulating new fresh cell production.
Look for a cream which includes added titanium dioxide protection from UVB and UVA rays as well. There’s little point in lightening skin, then going out unprotected into the sun!
Starting with the most popular chemical free creams, the overall opinions below have been gathered from busy skin care forums where thousands of customers chat about which skin lightening product they use – what works and what doesn’t.
Keep in mind there are literally hundreds of skin lightening creams on the market to choose from, many very good. However those discussed below are safe, chemical free (except the Ambi Fade at the bottom) and for the majority of people, they work.
If I haven’t personally tried one of these and neither has my daughter then the recommendation has come directly from a friend or colleague who has.
Meladerm Skin Lightener (Only Available Directly From Civant)
This is probably the most best skin lightening product on the market – and when used regularly according to the instructions, it provides a real chemical free skin whitening remedy that leaves skin permanently lighter. I’d guess this is the most popular too, judging from the skincare forums.
A word of caution here – results will depend on how much time is subsequently spent in the sun and the level of sun protection used. Make no mistake, Melanin is encouraged by the sun to produce more – and it will turn skin brown again when exposed to the sun, if it didn’t you would burn.
Aimed at all skin types and depending entirely on plant extracts, Meladerm was a show stopping four years in the developmental stage and has been extensively tested. Winner of the “2005 Beauty with Science” award, it was dubbed one of the best over-the-counter skin whitening products available and can be used safely for several months without a break.
Containing lemon juice, kojic acid, Gigawhite, emblica, niacinamide, alpha-arbutin, mulberry, bearberry, and liquorice, there are no harmful ingredients to be found and the cream can be safely applied anywhere. However, as always, do a patch test first and avoiding getting into your eyes.
Reading comments in skin care forums will always give a fairly reliable feel for how well a product work and this one gets rave reviews from many and good reviews from many more. Probably the first choice for a large group of people who never try anything else, or if they do, they go back to Meladerm again.
This cream uses Arbutin as the skin-lightening agent. Arbutin is found in concentrated amounts in Bearberry, pear skins and also in wheat, but in smaller amounts. Bearberry extract is more expensive than chemical lighteners like hydroquinone, but probably had less side effects.
Bearberry extract is used in skin lightening treatments where the cream or lotion has been designed for long term rather than short term use.
Is it more efficient than Hydroquinone?
This is an almost impossible question to answer because each person’s skin is unique and will respond differently. Comments and reviews say people like it overall and report that it does work, but not as fast as the manufacturer claims. There are however tests and reports to show that in some cases Hydroquinone has caused a darkening of skin – not what we’re looking for at all!
Launched late in 2009 by Dermagevity, LumnaSkin Skin Brightener can help you deal with red acne spots, dark skin blotches, freckles and other mild hypermigmentation problems. This cream is marketed as a revolutionary skin lightening cream that is totally safe, effective and natural
The active ingredient is Biowhite which itself is made up from grape extract, scutellaria root, mulberry extract, and saxifrage, all ingredients which help prevent further hiperpigmentation. The effectiveness of all topical creams is dependent on the other ingredients with it, to help penetration into the dermis and LumnaSkin succeeds well in this.
This product also uses Gigawhite which is another skin brightening complex that comes directly from plants. Developed in Switzerland Gigawhite comprises seven organically grown Swiss alpine plants and at 5% concentration, this formula has been shown to brighten and even skin tone. Further data comes from a 12 week study, when additionally shown to reduce the color intensity of age spots.
So what do people on the forums say?
They like this cream a lot. Gentle and effective with few, if any complaining of side effects. There are a few who say this product hasn’t worked for them at all.
Unashamedly popular and repeatedly recommended in skin care forums, this skin whitening cream is aimed first and foremost at giving your skin what it needs and removing what it doesn’t, like dead cells and bacteria. Uneven dark skin spots, freckles, hypepigmentation and acne scarring are evened out by a complex formula of herbal extracts that aims to naturally lighten skin.
Evening primrose oil, vitamin A, grapefruit and shea butter combine to lighten and brighten skin whilst moisturizing and protecting against further sun damage. This is a very popular skin lightening product, particularly with people who want to even out skin tone and those who have areas of dry flaky skin to deal with as well.
You should always do a patch test before using a new cream or lotion, the inside of your wrist or behind your ear are best. That said, there are no reported side effects found either on the forums or highlighted by the manufacturer with Revitol Skin Brightener.
Makari De Suisse Caviar Face Lightening Cream is a range of skin whitening remedies aimed at darker tones to black skin. Very popular and established in the market, Makari works on all skin types but doesn’t go well with other skin care products, and you are always advised to use Makari in isolation, so don’t mix and match with this.
Aimed at evening out skin tone and reducing dark skin spots, this skin lightening product is very effective in reducing hyperpigmentation.
The company have continued to research, develop and improve the plant extract inclusion in their skin lightening product range and many say it’s the best skin lightening cream for black skin on the market.
The ingredients are natural and include mulberry extract, lemon leaf extract, vegeclarine corn, and wheat germ. It also uses caviar extracts to evenly distribute the melanin in your skin, giving an overall more radiant complexion. Please do a skin patch test – always.
Forum activity is clear, but not helpful for the Makari range! However, it certainly has many fans and those who like this skin lightening product, like it a lot, rarely trying or using anything else. Others take an opposite view, they don’t like Makari and wish they hadn’t bothered. Take from that what you will, but at $45 it won’t break the bank to give it a try.
A real budget option I just found on Amazon is this Original Likas Papaya Skin Whitening Herbal Soap
Likas relies on Papaya enzymes mixed with 100% organic tropical herbs to lighten skin. There is nothing in the ingredients to be anything other than gentle and this brand gets some really good reviews.
I have no personal experience of Likas, but a little research has turned up some very happy customers and a few who say the soap doesn’t work. One or two say it drys the skin a little, which may not be a bad thing.
Ambi Fade Cream
Ambi Skin Care Fade Cream is a chemical cream option in that it doesn’t rely on plant extracts for its active ingredients. Aimed at aiming out uneven tones in black skin Ambi Fade is okay for normal and oily skin, though restricted for use to pregnant women and children over 12.
This is a triple-action formula product and includes Hydroquinone, Alpha Hydroxy and Octinoxate plus Vitamin E. Being the gold standard Rolls Royce of skin lightening cream ingredients, Hydroquinone can’t be used by everyone, but where it can, it’s a very powerful skin lightening ingredient.
The cream ingredients break down as follows: Hydroquinone slows down the production of Melanin, Alpha Hydroxy acts to improve texture and skin color, vitamin A softens skin externally whilst Octinoxate is a sun filter adding SPF 30 to this cream’s sun protecting qualities.
There are some pretty mixed reviews about this cream and not all favorable either. Complaints include a lack of improvement through to skin reactions and minor allergies. If you do choose this one, please do a patch test first and make sure you’re going to be okay with it.