The best skin-lightening creams can go a long way in giving you healthy, bright, and radiant skin. They help fight dark spots and tanning, giving you glowing and attractive skin. Also, they work by reducing the melanin in the skin, thereby fighting skin blemishes such as age spots, acne, scars, and dark skin. So whether you want to target your problem areas or have a brighter tone skin, these creams can be your best bet. However, with so many skin-lightening products easily available in the market, you might get confused about finding the best suitable for your skin. So to make things easier for you, we bring you a list of skin-lightening creams that may work best for you.
Our Top Picks
Do Skin Lightening Creams Have Side-effects?
Globally, skin lightening creams are the most popular products in the skincare market. However, overuse of skin lightening creams can cause photosensitivity and/or darkening of the skin. If the ingredients of the cream have any specific chemical substance that the user is allergic to, then the allergic reaction is an obvious side effect.
Certain creams intended for one skin type may have adverse effects on another skin type, causing rash or acne. Therefore, it is recommended to use creams with light natural ingredients or after consulting a dermatologist. Also, it is recommended to read and understand the ingredients before using any cream.
15 Best Skin Lightening Creams To Buy
EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector and Remover is formulated with advanced ingredients, such as 4-butylesorcinol, kojic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. This serum provides comprehensive skin tone correction and contains an anti-irritant compound and advanced anti-spot ingredients. The product has been developed for multiple skin types, including both men and women, and is suitable for day and night use. Daily application could minimize dark spots and acne pigmentation and help brighten skin tone, according to the manufacturer. Click on the video to know more about this product.
- Improves skin barrier health and reduces future dark spots
- Targets different types of spots ranging from dark and pronounced to scattered and light
- It is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free
- Suits all types of skin from oily to dry
- May cause bleaching and burning effect for some skin types
- May cause skin redness
All plant-based ingredients of this skin gel naturally brighten the skin tone and create a more luminous complexion. This product is specifically designed to interact with sensitive and intimate areas to solve the problem of uneven skin tone and discoloration. It contains an advanced B-White whitening peptide along with natural constituents to provide a soothing effect to the skin. Both men and women can use this skin gel.
- Plant-based ingredients
- Paraben and cruelty-free
- Safe to use in intimate areas as well as elbow and underarms
- Corrects hyperpigmentation caused due to tanning, hormonal imbalance, or hair removal
- Quantity may be insufficient
- May be less effective on colored skin
This cream is a perfect combination of anti-aging ingredients and natural antioxidants. The product helps promote even skin tone. Natural ferulic acid and turmeric act as antioxidants, which target sun-damaged skin and moisturize dehydrated skin. The product also contains skin-plumping moisturizers. This cream is suitable for all skin types, be it oily or dry. It is at a balanced pH of 5.5, which ensures an ideal environment for skin revitalization. Check out this video to know more about this cream.
- Turmeric as an active ingredient ensures smooth skin tone
- pH balanced cream at a pH of 5.5
- Comes in a jumbo size 15oz bottle
- Suitable for acne-prone skin also
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Free from paraben, alcohol, mineral oil, talc, and other dangerous chemicals
- May not be suitable for sensitive skin, may cause breakout and dry skin
- Contains yellow 5 color which may not be suitable for all skins
Obagi Skin Brightening Cream is formulated with Arbutin and is known to create bright skin. This product contains water and glycerin, in addition to ascorbic acid, lactic acid, and other ingredients that can reduce dark spots and enhance skin radiance. It clarifies the dull skin over a period of application twice a day. As a part of a skin routine, it can make the skin smooth and supple so that you look good on any occasion.
- Radiant, healthy complexion
- Cures the enlarged pores
- Suits both oily and dry skin
- Reduces the signs of aging
- Presence of antioxidants in the cream
- May contain sodium metabisulfite, which may cause allergic reactions
An anti-wrinkle moisturizer for the face and neck, this cream has 10 SPF to support healthy skin cells. The cream has natural moisturizing elements like sunflower seed oil, lemon oil, carrot oil, and avocado oil. This source of vitamin E reduces skin inflammation, tanning, aging, and dark spots. The hydrating cream, rich in antioxidants and nutrients, also prevents discoloration and hyper-pigmentation. It is also known to reduce the fine lines and irritation on the skin.
- Contains beta carotene, and doses of vitamin A, D, and E
- Minimizes clogged pores and blackheads
- Increases collagen metabolism, an important skin tissue
- Penetrates and spreads well on the skin
- Effective against sunspots and redness
- Makes skin soft and firm
- Paraben-free and vegan friendly
- Has a good fragrance
- The cream may not have mineral oil
This cream is made of plant-made extracts, such as mulberry and licorice, to moisturize and refresh the skin. It works well on the discolored areas such as armpits, legs, and other intimate areas. It is known to improve dull and uneven skin tone over a period of time. The natural pigments in the cream are further complemented by olive oil and hyaluronic acid. The product can enhance the overall appearance of the skin and safe for all skin types.
- Gentle on the skin
- Removes excessive pigmentation
- Light and transparent in look to spread well across the skin
- Corrects pigmentation caused by the hormones too
- Works against tanning as well
- 100% vegan
- Can be applied by oily, dry, and normal skin toned people
- Passes FDA safety regulation
- May result in increased hair growth for some people
This cream is made from a natural formula to whiten the knees, elbows, thighs, genitals, and underarms. The cream has extracts of coconut oil to create a soft and soothing effect on the skin. The cream contains Kojic acid, arbutin, niacinamide to lighten dark spots and create a blemish-free natural look. The cream comes with an easy-to-squeeze tube for easy use. It also has a moisturizing effect on the skin.
- Free of paraben and sulfates
- Suits sensitive skin types too
- Just a dime-sized amount is sufficient
- Consists of tremuloides bark extract
- Lightens the dark spots on any part of the skin
- May take weeks to enjoy the results
This cream claims to whiten different parts of the body, including inner thighs, underarm, face, and intimate areas. The cream contains kojic acid, glycolic acid, bearberry, and mulberry extracts to create an even skin tone. It consists of a mild scent with skin hydrating properties.
- Works safely in intimate areas
- Tightens the skin
- Reduces discoloration, scars, hyperpigmentation
- Balances the uneven skin tone and sunspots
- May cause skin irritation if instructions are not followed properly
Filorga’s cream works effectively against aging by fighting the thin lines, scars, pigmentation, and dark spots. It consists of aqua, glycerin, mineral oils, and other essential ingredients to work for both oily and dry skin types. The cream-based form restores the suppleness and softness by improving the skin tone. It is formulated with collagen and elastin to boost the skin radiance. Also, it improves skin conditions such as dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.
- Has a concentration of C vitamin in the cream
- Pro-youth formula with polysaccharides
- Tightens the features of the face
- Skin lifting effect
- Soft and moisturized skin
- May cause skin reddening
The cream contains natural ingredients to recreate soft and supple skin. It combats dark spots, pigmentation, sunburn, and acne, providing a refreshing and soothing effect. The cream is useful to apply on intimate areas, inner thighs, and back. Whether you aim to attain the beach-side look or wear short dresses without feeling uncomfortable about your uneven skin tone, this cream will be useful.
- Ingredients of the cream are mild on the skin
- Added coconut oil base for extra softness
- Comes in a tube form, which is easy to apply
- Does not contain hydroquinone and other harsh chemicals
- May create skin rashes when applied on the face
Active Bamboo’s skin corrector is most suitable for pigmentation and uneven skin tone. It is a natural glow cream for different skin types and tones. No matter where you are in the country, the cream will work fine regardless of the climatic conditions. You can apply it on the body, face, arms, neck, knees, underarms, armpits, and private parts to make the skin glow. Besides, the cream can also nourish and hydrate the skin. This video demonstrates how to use the product, making it easier to pick the right one for your needs.
- Contains bamboo extracts
- Conditions the skin in an effective way
- Acts as a dark spot corrector
- Creamy, rich moisturizer
- The cream may not contain sunscreen
- May not be evaluated by FDA
A skin bleaching cream with kojic acid, alpha arbutin, salicylic acid, niacinamide, azelaic acid, this cream works to cure multiple skin problems such as dark spots, sun spots, age spots, liver spots. Besides, it works against freckles, uneven pigment, discoloration, acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. This cream can be used as a base make-up cream. The product works by reducing the melanin, which darkens the skin tone. This hydroquinone solution helps lessen dark spots and enhance the skin glow.
- Infused with tea tree oil as a natural ingredient
- Can also be applied to the face and neck
- cGMP certified
- May cause redness of the skin for some people
With a dark spot corrector and a scar remover, this cream is useful if you have sunburns or age spots. The cream whitens the applied area by controlling hyperpigmentation. Rich in vitamin C, the cream is gentle on the skin. It has a mild, flavorful smell with extracts of white Shiitake mushroom. The cream leverages stem cell technology to combine the best of the elements and act well on the target signs of lines and wrinkles. The product claims safety on all skin types. For best results, it should be applied in a circular motion.
- Supports healthy collagen production
- Contains safe ingredients such as purified water, glycolic acid, aloe vera, and green tea leaf culture
- Leverages NASA stem cell technology
- Has vitamin C formulants
- Devoid of synthetic dyes and petroleum products
- Easy to apply and spread
- Removes the dark spots effectively
- Complements all the beauty and wellness routines
- May cause tiny pimples for dew skin types
This whitening cream mixes natural and synthetic ingredients helps to make the skin healthy and plump. The cream transforms the skin by creating a fast formula to act upon. It consists of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extracts to brighten and correct dark spots. Also, this cream can retain moisture for up to 24 hours.
- Contains papaya enzymes
- Creates non-irritation effect on the skin
- Paraben and sulfate-free
- Doesn’t create a greasy feeling
- Claims working well on sensitive skin types too
- Smells great
- May not suit all skin types
Olay cream is known to create an even skin tone by eliminating the darker shades. It claims to show results in two weeks. Cleanse the area of application before applying the moisturizing cream for better results. It has a mild smell, strong absorption, and is naturally non-greasy. Therefore, you can apply it to any part of your body after consulting a dermatologist.
- Corrects the discoloration
- Contains antioxidant-infused formula
- Can be applied at both night and morning
- A simple massage with cream produces good results
- Useful on various skin tones
- Consists of key tone-correcting ingredients
- Also works as a make-up primer
- Might cause itching for some people
How To Choose The Right Skin Lightening Creams?
Consider these factors before buying the best skin lightening cream.
- Ingredients: Your cream may contain ingredients like hydroquinone, vitamin C, lemon juice extracts, or almonds that help brighten your skin. Look for creams with minimal hydroquinone in the product, as too much is dangerous. You can also switch to skin-lightening creams with no synthetic ingredients as they are considered safe.
- Purpose: Some creams are designed to brighten the complexion, while some are to lighten blemishes or scars. Some are composed to lighten the dark spots. So choose the cream that serves your requirement.
- Sun protection: Consider a skin-lightening cream that offers sun protection for dual benefits. You can use one cream to lighten the complexion or spots and get protection.
How And When To Apply Skin Lightening Cream?
Some lightening creams suggest using the cream daily once, some brands recommend thrice a week, and others once a week. So, follow the instructions from the brand to know when to apply your skin lightening cream. Follow the steps below to apply the cream accurately.
- Wash your hands before application.
- Thoroughly cleanse your face to remove dirt and dust particles.
- Take a peanut size amount of the cream on your fingertips.
- Dab the cream all over the face.
- Massage the cream in a circular motion.
- Allow the applied cream to dry thoroughly on your face.
Do Skin Lightening Creams Work?
Yes, they do work. Skin lightening creams, aka skin brightening creams, are mainly designed to lighten your skin tone. Often, these creams are used to treat scars, spots, and pigmentation. These creams are composed to reduce melanin amount in the skin. Melanin is made by Melanocytes cells.
These brightening creams mainly contain hydroquinone that decreases the melanocytes cells, making your skin appear brighter. Some brightening creams contain glycolic acid that removes the dead skin cells, while others are infused with Vitamin C, which helps lower melanin production.
What If You Stop Using Skin Lightening Creams?
The after-effects of stopping the skin lightening cream depend on the type of cream used. If the cream contains a high amount of bleaching agents and artificial moisturizers, then the effect of the cream is temporary. Once you stop using the cream, the effect will begin to disappear. However, if the cream contains natural ingredients that do not alter the chemistry of the skin, then the effects tend to stay longer. You may want to use these creams for a longer duration for radiant and supple skin.
Skin lightening creams can be beneficial in many ways if they are made with a safe combination of ingredients. The products mentioned in this post are safe for use and are listed after extensive research. However, before buying any skin lightening cream, you must do your own research to identify the ingredients used. You may also consult a dermatologist for expert opinion. Lastly, always choose a cream that’s apt for your skin type and will give you the best result.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Poulami Nag is a skincare and makeup enthusiast. In this post, she brings a well-researched list of the best skin lightening creams available online. She has selected these creams based on their ingredients, pros, and cons. These products have good user ratings and reviews on several e-commerce sites. This post will help you choose the perfect cream for you based on your skin type and requirements.
- Best Stretch Marks Removal Creams
- Best Cocoa Butter Lotions
- Best Korean Face Creams
- Best Body Polishing Kits For Whitening