Best Skin Lightening Creams That Work – Ultimate Guide

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There is no ideal skin color but often when we talk about perfect skin we describe it as clear, bright and glowy, in other words – flawless.

As we grow older, factors such as everyday exposure to the sun, medicinal side effects and hormonal changes strip the skin off its natural brightness and health which results in some of the most common skin problems like hyperpigmentation, age spots and acne scars.

Whether you are looking to have fairer skin, minimize age spots, or get rid of acne scars, skin lightening creams may prove to be a practical option you may have to take.

Also referred to as skin brighteners or bleaching creams, these products reduce melanin pigments in your skin. Therefore, you can use this type of cream for treating a wide range of skin issues including discoloration caused by hormones, acne scars, and basically to lighten your naturally dark skin.

I have compiled a list of top rated skin bleaching creams on the market today and have reviewed each product with their pros and cons.

There are some amazing creams that many have found to be effective in lightening the skin and making it appear more bright and beautiful.

Best Skin Lightening Creams Reviewed

1. Meladerm Skin Lightening Cream by Civant

Meladerm skin lightening cream was developed by Civant Skin Care as a powerful skin brightening solution, backed by medical research. The team at Civant used years of research and testing to develop a high quality product with the most advanced formula on the market. By making safety a priority and testing the product extensively, Civant has ensured that Meladerm cream provides excellent results without including the harsh ingredients that many other treatments use.

Meladerm contains no harmful agents, in fact it contains only natural ingredients that have gone through natural processing to increase their effectiveness.

It works by targeting the dark spots, caused by melatonin that is more active in those areas. What sets this product apart is the research and testing that went into the product development. High quality ingredients were researched and limits were tested to be sure that the product is safe, as well as extremely effective. There is no hydroquinone, mercury, steroids, or parabens present in Meladerm skin lightening cream.

The main active ingredients include:

  • Alpha Arbutin – an active skin whitening ingredient that prevents the production of melanin, it is in the form of water soluble powder.
  • Tego Cosmo C – an amino acid that is able to improve skin tone by reducing signs of melasma.
  • Kojic Acid – used traditionally in Asia, recent research found that it is helpful in the treatment of age spots and bad skin pigmentation.
  • Gigawhite – a plant extract considered to be the natural and safe alternative to hydroquinone, is made up from organically grown plants found in the Swiss Alps.

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While some differences in skin color may be noticed within the first couple of weeks, it may also take months for the product to create a significant change. When used properly, Meladerm can work to correct hyper-pigmentation, freckles, age spots, acne marks, birthmarks, old scars, and other discolorations.

With continued use you will notice a radiant and positive change in your skin with the skin not only looking clearer and younger but also evened out and visibly lighter.

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Treats acnes scars, age spots and most kind of blemishes alongside hyperpigmentation
  • Natural ingredients
  • Fast results (for most)
  • Can be pricey for some
  • Time required for results to show may vary from person to person so fast results are not really guaranteed.


2. Scobuty Skin Bleaching Cream

This bleaching cream not only works for the face but can also be applied on other parts of the body such as the neck, arms and sensitive areas.

Often it is not only the face that shows signs of hyper pigmentation and in such cases a cream intended only for the face may not be effective on other parts of your body but with the Scobuty Skin Bleaching Cream you can have beautiful and light skin all over.

Every women dreams of having a smooth bikini line, even more so when it is time to hit the beach in summer but problems like darkening of the skin in such sensitive areas is a common problem suffered by many.

Scobuty targets such problematic skin and works to lightening it in order to improve its appearance.

Another great thing about this cream is that no matter what type of skin you have you can expect to enjoy the same desired results. As it is more of a dark spot corrector, it will work on any skin to visibly lighten and brighten it.

One thing to keep in mind is that the treated skin must always be protected against exposure to the sun and used alongside a sun screen lotion to increase its effect.

Application is simple, it is recommended that you apply the cream twice daily on a regular basis and massage it until it is fully absorbed.

It is normal for the skin to turn a bit red after application but if it gets any worse you are advised to stop using the cream after which your skin should get back to its normal state within a few days.

If used correctly this cream will moisturize your skin and remove all imperfections such as discoloration, freckles, liver scars and age spots.

  • Anti aging effects
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Treats all skin types
  • Lightens the skin
  • Some users reported tingling feeling after application
  • May not suit people with skin that is highly sensitive.


3. Ldreamam Face and Body Whitening Cream

If you are craving smooth and bright skin that is well moisturized, firm and supple to touch then check out the Ldreamam Face and Body Whitening Cream.

With continued use you will notice a visible change in your skin as it becomes lighter and younger looking. There are a number of whitening factors in the cream that promise to remove the dullness from all skin types-resulting in the flawless skin that you have always dreamed of.

While this cream is mainly intended for whitening effects as it removes excess melanin from the skin, it also does a wonderful job in shrinking pores after successfully removing keratin and dirt from them.

You are recommended to apply this cream after hair removal treatment on hands and legs to see better results.

If applied on the skin regularly and especially after laser hair removal you will notice a vast improvement in the condition of your skin.

In addition to help whitening, this cream also repairs damaged skin that appears to be dull or uneven in tone.

The ingredients are safe for all skin types so you don’t have to worry about any harmful substances. From the ingredients list you will come to know that quite a few extraction essence are present which are all natural and beneficial to the skin.

  • Can be applied on the face and all parts of the body
  • Great for lightening the underarms, inner thighs, bikini line and other sensitive areas
  • Promotes better health of the skin
  • Brightens and whitens
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Takes about a month or more of continued use for results to show.


4. Buoceans Freckle Brightening Cream

The sun does more damage to our skin than we realize and before we know it we are walking around with the type of skin that we would rather hide than flaunt.

Skin problems like age spots (brown spots), hyper pigmentation, dullness and uneven tone are mostly caused by exposure to the harmful rays of the sun but also triggered by other under lying health conditions.

Whatever the cause may be, the truth is that the skin on the face is most sensitive and any damage or harm that comes to it not only leaves us stressed but also becomes visible to others around us.

But thanks to the Buoceans Freckle Brightening Cream you can now recover from the misery of blemished or darkened skin.

The cream contains some great ingredients such as Arbutin, Hemamelis Virginiana Water and Vitamin C which along with highly effective factors do a marvelous job in fading dark spots and other skin discoloration conditions.

Age spots, sun spots, acne scars and even freckles are visibly reduced when used as recommended.

The cream is made of strong active ingredients so you are likely to notice a bit of dryness and irritation when you first start using it but this can be handled by using a high quality moisturizer soon after the application.

You are also advised to spot test first in order to ensure that your skin will not react badly to the serum.

Results should be visibly within 6 weeks of continued use, provided you apply sunscreen whenever you step out with this cream on as the skin becomes sensitive and prone to damage while being treated.

  • Fades dark spots
  • Reduces freckles
  • Can be applied on the face, hand, chest area, knees, elbows and all other areas that need lightening
  • Natural ingredients
  • Fast results
  • Precautions must be taken while using this cream or else the skin may be prone to irritation.


5. Pureauty Naturals Natural Skin Lightening Serum

Are you tired of spending money on skin products that boast on improving your skin condition, but only leave holes in your wallet? Then maybe it is time you give Pureauty Naturals Natural Skin Lightening Serum a try.

This serum contains natural ingredients that claim to effectively whiten, brighten and improve the over-all appearance of your skin.

You can use this serum no matter what skin type you have and can apply it all over your body.

Kojic Acid is a popular ingredient in skin brightening serums and creams and it is one of the main factors that make this serum so effective. Along with Kojic Acid, you will notice that a variety of enzymes, herbal essence and strong anti-oxidants are present in the production of this serum.

With multiple active components you can look forward to the kind of skin you always desired.

Beautiful skin is achieved by restraining the production of melanin, which when found in an excess amount causes extra darkening of complexion.

Green tea extract and Jojoba oil do an excellent job in lightening the skin- both which can be found in this serum.

You are recommended to use this serum twice daily along with a strict skin care routine and prevention of sun exposure for the best results. You are also advised to use a high quality sunscreen every time you step out of the house but only after the serum has been completely absorbed into the skin.

Thanks to the non greasy effect, the serum can be used by people with oily skin too.

  • Most of the items listed in the ingredient section of this product are organic and natural
  • Promotes youthful skin all over the body
  • Lightens hyper-pigmentation
  • Helps to prevent skin discoloration
  • Rejuvenates aging skin
  • Result of serum usage may not be the same for all users
  • Requires a long period of regular usage before a difference in the skin can be noticed.


6. Emma Cardinelli Dark Spot Lightening Cream

This lightening cream has gained a lot of recognition not only for its effectiveness in treating discolored skin, but also for its high quality feel on the skin from the very first application.

If you want to avoid a heavy feeling on your skin and are on the lookout for a cream that leaves your skin feeling supple and youthful, then the Emma Cardinelli Dark Spot Lightening Cream could be exactly what you are looking for.

With 2% Hydroquinone and 6% Glycolic Acid working as the main components of the cream, you can expect a formula that effectively reduces age spots, freckles and scars giving you bright and radiant looking skin.

Glycolic Acid along with Vitamin E and other anti-oxidants enter below your skin surface targets damaged areas from within.

This amazing cream is not designed only for the face, applying it all over your body can result in youthful looking skin that also feels soft to touch.

  • Results can be seen in just a few weeks if used correctly
  • Non irritating formula
  • Creates even skin tone
  • Effectively lightens the skin
  • Light texture
  • Has a fresh fruity fragrance
  • The fruity smell may be too strong for some.


7. Clinicians Complex 6% Skin Bleaching Cream

With three key ingredients like Hydroquinone, Bearberry extract and Kojic Acid Dipalmitate, the Clinicians Complex Skin Bleaching Cream is one of the most effective creams in tackling skin conditions such as pigmented scars, sun spots, freckles and melasma.

The three mentioned ingredients combine for a total of 6% which is just about enough to make it safe even for sensitive skin.

Skin discoloration and darkening caused by excess production of melanin results in uneven skin tone which can make the skin appear unhealthy and less attractive.

This cream targets such common but unwanted skin issues. Some of the other ingredients are De-ionized water, Mineral oil, and extracts of various fruits such as grape, pineapple and lemon- all that have skin beneficial properties.

When using this cream, you are advised to apply it twice a day on skin that has been cleaned thoroughly and later protected with a layer of sunscreen of SPF 30 or more.

Please note that this is a bleaching cream with no medicinal properties to treat sunburns, it only works on aging skin and lightens skin that has dark spots caused by exposure to the harmful rays of the sun.

It is not the most affordable cream on the market, but one look at the  list of components used in the manufacturing of this product should give you an idea of how desirable the results can be.

  • Contains a blend of Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate and Bearberry extract
  • Effective in removing sun spots and age spots
  • Works on melasma and highly pigmented scars
  • Lightens skin
  • The cream may cause irritation to over sensitive skin
  • The key ingredients may not suit all skin types so you are advised to consult to your dermatologist before use.


8. Genuine Black and White Bleaching Cream

This is a bleaching cream that comes in a form of a greaseless ointment that is designed to improve over all skin tone of the face and other areas such as your hands, arms and other areas of the body, although it is more effective when used on the face.

You can easily get rid of or visibly reduce the appearance of your freckles and also lighten areas of the skin that has been affected by hyper-pigmentation.

With continued use of the Genuine Black and White Bleaching Cream, you will soon notice an even complexion and much lighter skin tone.

Hydroquinone is one such active ingredient that can be found in this cream which is popular for its whitening and lightening effect.

The ointment comes in a convenient tube which can be carried anywhere and applied whenever required.

Other ingredients include Mineral oil, Ascorbic Acid, Cetric Acid and a subtle fragrance among other components.

Most people can also use this on sensitive areas as they are no negative side effects to the cream but in case of irritation, you are advised to discontinue using the product to get the skin back to its normal state.

  • Convenient packaging
  • Can be applied on every part of the body alongside the face
  • The active ingredient Hydroquinone has skin lightening properties
  • Works to even out the skin tone
  • May irritate sensitive skin
  • There have been reports of the cream having negative impact on hyper-pigmented skin, where the skin became a shade darker after use.


9. Mediderm WhiteDerm Potent Skin Fading Cream

The WhiteDerm Potent Skin Fading Cream claims to make the skin tone visibly lighter giving you a brighter complexion within a short period of six to eight weeks.

With a new and improved formula, this cream solves more than just one skin problem. It is effective on vanishing blemishes, reducing freckles, age spots and treating melasma and hyper-pigmented skin.

As skin turn over takes around 4 to 6 weeks approximately, you are recommended to keep using this product on a daily basis to see results.

By fading out dark spots, you will be presented a complexion that is youthful and clear of unattractive spots.

People with sensitive skin will be glad to know that this cream has no Paraben or Hydroquinone in the ingredients list which means that you will be treating your skin in the healthiest and safest way.

  • Paraben and Hydroquinone free
  • Lightens blemishes
  • Helps to get rid of liver spots and skin discoloration
  • Promotes a radiant glow for all skin types
  • Although the product claims to show results in six to eight weeks, many users have reported only minor improvements within the time mentioned.


10. Paula’s Choice RESIST Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion

This product will appeal to animal lovers who wish to steer clear of products that are tested on animals.

None of the products by Paula’s Choice are tested on animals and this Dark Spot Eraser Lotion is no different.

The 7% AHA formula does an incredible job in gradually peeling away the surface of the damaged skin to help with the production of new skin cells and the revelation of a new layer of skin that is evenly pigmented and youthful looking.

By using this Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser along with other essential skin care products and a high quality sunscreen lotion, you will notice a pleasant improvement on your skin.

With anti-oxidants, Hydroquinone and Glycolic Acid to exfoliate and minimize aging properties in the skin, your face will appear smoother, softer and lighter within a few weeks.

  • Easily absorbs into the skin
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Effective in exfoliating and treating the skin from within
  • Softens the skins texture
  • Fragrance free
  • Not tested on animals
  • Can be expensive for some
  • The product may cause break-outs or skin irritations on over sensitive skin.


11. Revitol Skin Brightener

revitol skin brightener creamRevitol skin brightener cream refers to a herbal-based product that was developed specifically to make the skin have a younger and a lighter look.

This cream uses ingredients that are not only plant-based but also very safe to minimize the appearance of freckles, pigmentation areas and liver-spots. At the same time, it uses natural emollients, skin-nourishing vitamins and moisturizers to keep your skin both soft and supple. Containing nature’s finest ingredients, Revitol skin brightener cream provides a very good way of lightening the appearance of troubled spots safely.

Key ingredients include:

  • Arbutin – This is derived from the leaves of bearberry plant. It is also found in pear skins and wheat. The purpose of arbutin is to help in minimizing appearance of dark areas.
  • Lumiskin – Also called Diacetyl Boldine, this substance inhibits Tryosinase and lightens the skin appearance and also promotes a skin tone that is more even looking.
  • Shea Butter – It has long been used by African women to cook and also for its healing properties. It is extracted from Karite Nut tree. Shea butter consists of natural emollients and sun protectants, which makes it suitable for use in many soaps, moisturizers and also skin creams for firming and tightening the skin.
  • Allantoin – This botanical extract from the comfrey plant is non-toxic and natural-identical moisturizer that encourages outer dermal layer health.

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Given that this product is made only from natural ingredients, it is very safe for use on any part of your body. By using Revitol you will gain a vibrant as well as a glowing complexion.


12. Illuminatural 6i

illuminatural6i creamThis skin lightener is regarded as one of the finest products in this range. As you apply the cream regularly, you can also notice an airbrushed appeal to your skin, and this diminishes the appearance of other concerns such as moles, acne scars, age pots, birthmarks, melasma and freckles.

Illuminatural 6i is known for its cutting-edge formula including ingredients regarded for their skin whitening capabilities. Its active ingredient is niacinamide, a component that aims to minimize hyperpigmentation. Another key component of this product is sodium lactate, an ingredient that promotes whitening in a safe and gentle way. Other ingredients include alpha-arbutin and whitonyl, with the latter decreasing the amount of melanin by as much as 52 percent. In as little as 90 days, you can expect to observe a more naturally white and radiant glow on your skin.

Key details about the product include the following:

  • Comes with clinically-proven and gentle formulation of active skin lighteners
  • Heals skin inflammation
  • Contains plant-based sun filters
  • Has natural exfoliants to get rid of dark skin cells
  • Made up of deep skin brightening moisturizers
  • Has a good amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals

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This product is known for its ability to block melanin production in your skin. With daily use, you can achieve lighter and healthier cells that rise to the skin’s surface. It also works effectively in blocking UV rays with the help of organic sun filters. After 28 days, pigmented cells are sloughed off your skin, which helps reveal new skin cells for that amazing glow.


13. Obagi Nu-Derm Clear

It is only natural for people to undergo signs of aging. However, premature skin aging usually occurs due to daily exposure from the sun. When this happens, the turnover of your skin cells slows down, and there are more old and damaged cells than healthy ones.

The Obagi Nu-Derm Clear is designed to penetrate deep into your skin’s surface to enhance the skin’s overall quality and appearance while correcting any damages within. Thus, it helps to reveal a much younger-looking and healthier skin. This product is ideal to use for those who have the following skin issues:

  • Rough skin
  • Erythema or redness of skin
  • Yellowish complexion
  • Age spots
  • Hyperpigmentation

Nu-Derm Clear by Obagi offers a convenient and complete skin treatment protocol for home use. However, there are routines that you need to follow, which will maximize your benefits from this product. For instance, it is advisable to start your day by using a gentle cleanser and followed by a toner (also applied after cleaning in the evening). Then, apply a pea-size drop of Nu-Derm clear on your face, and may also be extended over the ears and to the hairline. Afterwards, use moisturizer and sunscreen to keep the skin moisturized and well-protected from the sun each time you stay outdoors.

Keep in mind that this product is not to be applied on areas such as the mouth, lips, nose and eyes. It is also not advisable to be used by pregnant women. Lastly, sunscreen use is very important while using this product since sunlight exposure promotes melanocytic activity and slows down the effects of this lightening cream.


14. Clarins White Plus Intensive Brightening Serum

Everyone dreams of having fairer and younger-looking skin. With the use of the right skin whitening cream, these are all possible. Hence, it makes perfect sense to try Clarins Bright Plus HP skin brightening and hydrating day lotion This product offers excellent benefits to your skin by making it lighter and more flawless in a matter of weeks.

Among the key features of this product are:

  • Protects skin from sun damage due to exposure to sun
  • Moisturizes skin and helps brighten dark areas
  • Contains Sea Lily extract to reduce signs of aging including discoloration, dark spots, and freckles
  • Complexion slowly becomes brighter as health skin cells are produced

To apply this product correctly, you should put it on in the morning regularly. Be sure to apply with a light pressing and circular motion to your face and neck. With this lightening cream, you will not only have whiter skin, but you can also prevent further skin issues from forming since you get total protection from the sun.


How Skin Lightening Creams Work

best lightening creamsPrimarily, whitening creams contain several ingredients that aim to minimize the amount of melanin in your skin, specifically in the area where you apply it. For instance, there are some lighteners that have retinoic acid and steroids as main ingredients. Other products use kojic acid and arbutin, which are natural components found in plants.

In the United States, skin lighteners usually contain hydroquinone as an active ingredient. However, FDA regulations limit the amount of this ingredient in OTC skin lighteners. So, you are only likely to find bleaching creams with 2 percent hydroquinone.

If you want to buy skin brighteners with a higher amount of hydroquinone, then it is better to consult your dermatologist. You may request for a prescription to purchase lighteners with as much as 4% hydroquinone content, which works quickly and effectively in giving your skin a whiter and more radiant glow. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations when you use skin bleaching creams to avoid adverse side effects and undesirable results.

Important Considerations

Before you decide to use any of these skin lighteners, you need to check the package for specific instructions. Read directions carefully, and be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any nasty side effects to your skin.

As you read the package, make it a point to check carefully if the product does not contain mercury. In most instances, this ingredient is listed under other names including mercurio, mercurous and calomel. Additionally, there should be no more than the maximum 2% hydroquinone if you buy an over-the-counter skin lightener. In case you have some questions or concerns about the product that you are planning to use, you may always consult a dermatologist to clarify any thoughts you may have about it.

Some people tend to use skin brightening products incorrectly, and this results to blisters and further skin damages. However, these can be prevented, as long as you know how to use lightening creams properly. Initially, you need to choose the right cream that works on your skin type. Make it a point that the product you are intending to use does not have harsh components such as lead or bleach. Generally, skin whiteners have all-natural ingredients that are safe and gentle to your skin.

It is also important to go for bleaching creams that are ideal for your unique skin tone and type. Be aware that some products may contain chemicals that might not be safe for your skin type and may cause severe side effects. Before using the products, it may help to make a patch test to check for allergies. This may be done by applying a very small amount under your chin or behind your ear. Wait for 48 hours, then check for signs of irritation such as inflammation and redness. Simply discontinue use if you think these effects are due to the lightening product.