The FDA recognizes only hydroquinone as a bleaching ingredient. This means any other ingredient that exhibit the same results are referred to as lighteners, whiteners or brighteners. Because of this, many people believe that only skin cream with hydroquinone as the main ingredient can bleach/whiten/lighten your skin. This could not be farther from the truth.
Based on many reviews, expert reports and tips, the best skin whitening cream is one that contains not one but many of the different proven lightening ingredients. In fact, at this time, it’s almost impossible to find a whitening cream that has only one active ingredient. Most of the best-rated whitening creams have not one but 3 or more lightening ingredients.
Best Skin Whitening Cream Ingredients
Listed below are the most common ingredients in whitening creams. Don’t be surprised to see more than one of these ingredients in one cream.
- kojic acid
- Azelaic acid
- Vitamin c
Exfoliating Agents That Also Whiten The Skin
The ingredients below are not primarily used as a whitening product, they are used more as exfoliating agents. However, many studies and incidental use of creams with these exfoliating ingredients show that regular use of these creams have shown to lighten the skin as well.
- AHA – alpha glycolic acid
Note: If you want to know exactly what these ingredients do, Wikipedia explains it well.
Best whitening cream for face
As mentioned, many of the best whitening creams contain not one but a lot of active ingredients. Here are some of the best skin whitening products that get very good reviews.
Combination Of Hydroquinone + Natural Ingredients
- Clinicians Complex 6 Percent Skin Bleaching Cream – with hydroquinone, kojic acid and bearberry extract, lemon extract
- Scarguard Scarlight MD – hydroquinone 2%, arbutin, ascorbic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid.
- Meladerm Pigment Reducing Complex – Highly Recommended. Excellent user reviews. With Lactic acid, kojic acid, bearberry extract, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and more. Read Our Review about this product here.
- Makari – Formulated for african-american women. Contains arbutin, palmitic acid, mulberry root extract, retinyl, citric acid but with methylparaben
- Lumi Essence Organic Advanced Brightening Repair Treatment – Contains kojic acid, arbutin and vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, rose hip oil, carica papya, lemon essential oil and more…
How To Maximize The Use Of A Whitening Cream
If you use one of the best whitening creams mentioned above, the chances of it working for your skin is quite high (it may not work for a very little percentage of the population when their skin eacts adversely to these skin whitening ingredients).
Based on experience, you get faster results with skin whitening creams when you use it together with other beauty products. Here’s what my morning and daily routines are like when I’m using this treatment.
Evening Skin Whitening Routine
- Wash your face preferably with a soap or cleanser that has a whitening ingredient. There are many of these with lemon, lime, papaya, or kojic acid.
- Apply Tretinoin
- Use Your Whitening Cream, preferably Meladerm cream
- Wait for 15 minutes. I feel that this gives the whitening cream a chance to do it’s work and penetrate the skin before any other cream is applied
- Apply an Exfoliating cream
- Use a moisturizer if you use one, or if you find your skin to be very dry
Morning Skin Whitening Routine
Most whitening creams recommend using the cream twice daily. Do so for maximum results. However, if it specifically says to use it only once, then do so. Don’t use more in the hope that it will work faster. This might just make things worse.
- Wash your face with cold water.
- Apply whitening cream
- Wait 15 minutes
- Apply Sunscreen
Do a test before you apply any of the creams above. All these three ingredients, retinol, whitening products and AHA have allergic properties. So test it and make sure your skin does not have allergic reactions to any of these creams.
It is normal to experience a little reddening or itching. Also expect lots of peeling after the 3rd day (not the best of times, but you’ll get over it – use an exfoliating wash if you want it go off quicker) However, if this becomes a burning sensation, immediately stop use and go to your dermatologist if the problem persists.
Always use sun screen as this treatment can get you very sensitive to the sun. I use a 50-80 SPF for my face when I’m on this treatment.
When You See The Desired Effects
Stop the treatment as soon as you see the desired effects, but keep on using a high-SPF sunscreen and remember to keep away from the sun as much as possible. You can regularly use retinol afterwards with your usual daily creams as part of a maintenance regime.