15 Best Skin Lightening Creams, As Per A Skincare Specialist In 2024

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The best skin-lightening creams can go a long way in giving you healthy, bright, and radiant skin. These tried-and-tested lotions 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 some expert-recommended skin-lightening creams that may work best for you and give visible results.

In This Article

Do Skin Lightening Creams Have Side-effects?

Globally, skin lightening creams are 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 you read and understand the ingredients and do a patch test before using any cream.

15 Best Safe Skin Lightening Creams In 2024

1. Best For All Skin Types:EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector Remover

EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector and Remover is formulated with advanced ingredients, such as 4-butylesorcinol, kojic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. This lightening serum provides comprehensive skin tone correction and contains an anti-irritant compound and advanced anti-spot ingredients. This dark spot removing cream 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 skin tone evening cream.

Hair Type: Fine

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • May cause bleaching and burning effect for some skin types
  • May cause skin redness

2. Best For Uneven Skin Tone:Divine Derriere Intimate Skin Lightening Gel

3.6

All plant-based ingredients of this skin gel naturally brighten the skin tone and create a more luminous complexion. This product is scientifically formulated to interact with sensitive and intimate areas to solve the problem of uneven skin tone and discoloration and make the skin lighter. It contains an advanced B-White whitening peptide along with natural constituents to provide a soothing effect to the skin.

Item Weight: 1 Ounces| Product Dimensions:2.91 x 2.28 x 2.28 inches

Pros

  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Paraben and cruelty-free
  • Safe to use in intimate areas as well as elbow and underarms
  • Corrects skin hyperpigmentation caused due to tanning, hormonal imbalance, or hair removal

Cons

  • Quantity may be insufficient
  • May be less effective on colored skin

Our Reviewer's Experience

"After using this gel for a few weeks, I've noticed a gradual improvement in skin discoloration. Its smooth texture makes it easy to glide onto the skin, and the scent is also nice. It does take some time to absorb, but the overall results have been impressive."


protip_icon Caution
Avoid sun exposure after applying the whitening cream, and apply sunscreen or wear a hat when you step out in the sun to reduce sun exposure.

3. Best For Age-Spot Lightener:Medix 5.5 Vitamin C Cream

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product boasts 28,547 reviews on Amazon, and many buyers have said they would purchase the product again.

This clinically tested cream is a perfect combination of anti-aging ingredients and natural antioxidants. The age-spot lightener helps promote even skin tone. Natural ferulic acid and turmeric act as antioxidants, which target sun-damaged skin and moisturize dehydrated skin. The scientifically-formulated skin lightener 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 review video to learn more about this skin-lightening moisturizer.

Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.2 x 7.2 inches | Weight: 15 Ounces

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

My Personal Experience

"My skin’s texture and tone have improved in just a few applications of this cream. I also love its creamy texture and the lack of greasy residue. Its packaging could benefit from some improvements, but I am pretty satisfied with the quality and quantity of the cream."


EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector Remover
Divine Derriere Intimate Skin Lightening Gel
Medix 5.5 Vitamin C Cream
Hair Type Fine--
Weight- 1 Ounces-
Dimensions-2.91 x 2.28 x 2.28 inches 2.8 x 2.2 x 7.2 inches
Weight-- 15 Ounces
Rating
Reviews24,2279,22228,547
Price$35.99$23.99$15.99

4. Best For Skin-Smoothing:Obagi Skin Brightening Cream

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Over 1,415 satisfied customers on Amazon have said good things about the product.

Obagi Skin Brightening Cream is scientifically formulated with Arbutin to brighten skin. This complexion-enhancing cream contains water and glycerin, in addition to ascorbic acid, lactic acid, and other ingredients that can reduce dark spots and enhance skin radiance. The skin lightener clarifies the dull skin over a period of application twice a day. Use it as part of your skin routine to make your skin smooth and supple so that you look good on any occasion.

Number of Items: 1 | Product Dimensions: 5.13 x 1.97 x 5 inches | Weight: 3.2 Ounces

Pros

  • Radiant, healthy complexion
  • Cures the enlarged pores
  • Suits both oily and dry skin
  • Reduces the signs of aging
  • Presence of antioxidants in the cream

Cons

  • May contain sodium metabisulfite, which may cause allergic reactions

My Personal Experience

"Besides moisturizing my skin, this cream has faded dark spots and made my skin look glowing and plump. While its scent isn't the best, it has worked well on signs of sun damage and aging. Plus, the lack of heavy chemicals is a big bonus."


5. Best Hydrating:Noche Y Dia Vitamin C

4.4
Noche Y Dia Vitamin C Image: Noche Y Dia

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 682 positive customer reviews on Amazon attest to the product’s quality.

This expert-recommended whitening cream with SPF supports healthy skin cells. The cream has anti-aging and natural moisturizing ingredients such as sunflower seed oil, lemon oil, carrot oil, and avocado oil. The vitamin E content also reduces skin inflammation, tanning, aging, and dark spots and makes the skin lighter and brighter. The hydrating formula, rich in antioxidants and nutrients, also prevents hyper-pigmentation and may be used as a topical skin discoloration treatment. It is also known to reduce the fine lines and irritation on the skin.

Item Weight: 2.04 Ounces| Product Dimensions:3.03 x 3.03 x 2.64 inches

Pros

  • Contains beta carotene, and doses of vitamins 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
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • The cream may not have mineral oil
Our Reviewer's Experience

"The lightweight texture of this cream glides smoothly and has even worked well under makeup. Besides reducing pigmentation, it offers a refreshing feeling without irritating my eyes. Hence, I am happy with my purchase."

6. Best Natural Pigment:Maday Formula Intimate Area Whitening Gel

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 pigmentation reducing cream can enhance the overall appearance of the skin and safe for all skin types.

Pros

  • 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
  • Irritation-free
  • Passes FDA safety regulation

Cons

  • May result in increased hair growth for some people

7. Best Coconut Oil-Infused:Do Me Intimate Skin Lightening Cream

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 is trusted for its skin-lightening benefits and comes with an easy-to-squeeze tube for easy use. It also has a moisturizing effect on the skin.

Pros

  • Free of paraben and sulfates
  • Suits sensitive skin types too
  • Enhances natural skin tone
  • Just a dime-sized amount is sufficient
  • Consists of tremuloides bark extract
  • Lightens the dark spots on any part of the skin

Cons

  • May take weeks to enjoy the results

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I've been using this cream for a while and appreciate its non-sticky consistency. However, you may have to give it some time to get absorbed to prevent stains on clothes. Despite that minor hassle, the cream has become part of my everyday routine due to its effectiveness."


protip_icon Did you know?
The topical application of niacinamide improves skin appearance by reducing wrinkles, red blotches, acne scars, and skin sallowness (1).

8. Best Mildly Scented:Amaira Intimate Lightening Cream

3.6
Amaira Intimate Lightening Cream Image: Amaira Skin Care

This expert-recommended cream claims to whiten different parts of the body, including inner thighs, underarm, face, and intimate areas. The skin brightening product 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.

Skin Type: Sensitive

Pros

  • Hydroquinone-free
  • Works safely in intimate areas
  • Tightens the skin
  • Reduces discoloration, scars, and skin hyperpigmentation
  • Balances the uneven skin tone and sunspots

Cons

  • May cause skin irritation if instructions are not followed properly
Our Reviewer's Experience

"With consistent use, this skin-lightening serum has provided subtle yet visible results. Though the results are gradual, the light and non-irritating formula has kept irritation at bay and has also been a breeze to apply. On the whole, the product might require patience, but it does work."

9. Best Comprehensive Solution:Filorga Meso-Mask Radiance Cream

4.4
Filorga Meso-Mask Radiance Cream Image: Laboratoires Filorga Paris

Filorga’s expert-recommended cream works effectively against aging signs 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. This radiance-boosting cream is scientifically formulated with collagen and elastin to help improve skin conditions such as dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles and provide youthful skin.

Skin Type: Oily, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.76 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches | Weight: 2.82 Ounces

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • May cause skin reddening
My Personal Experience

"This hydrating cream/mask is my go-to during winter months. It has a luxurious texture and makes my skin look and feel soft and smooth. However, it does have a floral smell, which some may find overwhelming. Nevertheless, the product has offered a lot of hydration and radiance."

10. Best Natural Ingredient:Slip and Slide Skin Lightening Cream

The cream contains natural ingredients to recreate soft and supple skin. It has been clinically proven to reduce dark spots, pigmentation, sunburn, and acne, providing a refreshing and soothing effect. The cream is trusted for its skin-lightening benefits and can be applied on intimate areas, inner thighs, and back. Whether you aim to attain a celebrity-inspired look or the beach-side look or wear short dresses without feeling uncomfortable about your uneven skin tone, this cream will be useful.

Skin Type: Sensitive

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • May create skin rashes when applied on the face
Our Reviewer's Experience

"The lightening cream has been gentle on my skin and has reduced dark spots on my face and other body parts. While improvements in packaging would be nice, the overall cream has made my skin tone look more even and youthful."

11. Best In All-Weather:Active Bamboo Dark Skin Corrector

3.5

Active Bamboo’s skin corrector is most suitable for pigmentation and uneven skin tone. It is a natural and healthy 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 nourishing and hydrating cream doubles as spot fading treatment. This video demonstrates how to use the product, making it easier to pick the right one for your needs.

Number of Items: 1 | Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x 2 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros

  • Contains bamboo extracts
  • Conditions the skin in an effective way
  • Acts as a dark spot corrector
  • Creamy, rich moisturizer
  • Helps improve natural skin color

Cons

  • The cream may not contain sunscreen
  • May not be evaluated by FDA
Our Reviewer's Experience

"I've been exploring creams to tackle hyperpigmentation, and this one stands out due to its efficacy. It has gradually faded my dark spots and made my skin look smooth. While it isn't a quick fix, I am impressed with its results."

12. Best Hydroquinone Solution :Ebanel Store Dark Spot Corrector

A skin bleaching cream with kojic acid, alpha arbutin, salicylic acid, niacinamide, azelaic acid, this dermatologist-tested cream works on multiple skin problems such as dark spots, sun spots, age spots, and 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 skin lightener works by reducing the melanin, which darkens the skin tone. This hydroquinone solution helps lessen dark spots and enhance the skin glow, providing lighter skin tone.

Product Dimensions: 1.34 x 1.34 x 4.84 inches | Weight: 1.52 Ounces

Pros

  • Vegan-friendly
  • Paraben-free
  • Provides healthy glow
  • Provides visible results in four weeks
  • Infused with tea tree oil as a natural ingredient
  • Can also be applied to the face and neck
  • cGMP certified

Cons

  • May cause redness of the skin for some people

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Whether reducing redness, brightening the skin, or tackling dark spots, this retinol cream has been able to do it all. It has a slight exfoliating effect and requires sunscreen to prevent damage. But besides that, the results have been pretty satisfactory."


protip_icon Do remember
Your skin might be sensitive to the ingredients of the cream, so do a patch test first to test that it’s safe for regular application.

13. Best Vitamin C-Enriched :InstaNatural Store Skin Lightening Face Cream

With a dark spot corrector and a scar remover, this cream is useful if you have sunburns or age spots. The scientifically-formulated 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 vitamin C brightening cream leverages stem cell technology to combine the best of the elements and act well on the target signs of lines and wrinkles. The skin lightener claims safety on all skin types. For best results, this hyperpigmented skin cream should be applied in a circular motion.

Product Dimensions: 3.35 x 2.17 x 0.04 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces

Pros

  • Supports healthy collagen production
  • Safe ingredients in skin lightening cream such as purified water, glycolic acid, aloe vera, and green tea leaf culture
  • Leverages NASA stem cell technology
  • Has vitamin C formulants
  • Paraben-free
  • Devoid of synthetic dyes and petroleum products
  • Easy to apply and spread
  • Removes the dark spots effectively
  • Complements all the beauty and wellness routines

Cons

  • May cause tiny pimples for dew skin types
Our Reviewer's Experience

"Within a few weeks of using this hyperpigmentation cream, I saw a noticeable reduction in dark spots and acne scars. It even offered a moisturizing effect and has not caused any breakouts. Hence, I plan on sticking with it for the time being."

14. Best In Moisture Retention :Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Cream

This whitening cream mixes natural and synthetic ingredients to make the skin healthy and plump. The clinically tested and fast-acting cream consists of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extracts to brighten and correct dark spots. Also, this cream can retain moisture for up to 24 hours.

Number of Items: 1 | Product Dimensions: 1.75 x 1.75 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 0.5 Ounces

Pros

  • 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
  • Provides youthful skin

Cons

  • May not suit all skin types
Our Reviewer's Experience

"This moisturizer has been a refreshing addition to my routine for those warm summer days. It hydrates my skin thoroughly, reduces redness, and leaves no greasy residue. Plus, I find the subtle scent a nice touch."

15. Best Dermatologist-Recommended:Olay Dark Spot Corrector

*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Olay cream is known to create an even skin tone by eliminating the darker shades. The skin lightener claims to show results in two weeks. Cleanse the area of application before applying the clinically-proven moisturizing cream for better results. It has a mild smell, strong absorption, and is naturally non-greasy. Therefore, you can apply this skin-brightening product to any part of your body after consulting a dermatologist.

Product Dimensions: 2.47 x 3.35 x 5.12 inches | Weight: 3.5 Ounces

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Might cause itching for some people
Our Reviewer's Experience

"The moisturizer has become a staple in my routine as it keeps dark spots from becoming permanent. It's richer than the other creams and hydrates my skin without feeling heavy. I think the packaging could use improvement, but the cream has been an excellent find."

How To Choose The Right Skin Lightening Creams?

Consider these factors when buying a skin lightening cream.

  1. 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.

Ann Van de Langerijt, a skincare and makeup influencer, says, “Some of the best skin brightening ingredients to look for in your skincare products are vitamin C, glycolic acid, retinol, lactic acid, azelaic acid, and alpha arbutin.”

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. Wash your hands before application.
  2. Thoroughly cleanse your face to remove dirt and dust particles.
  3. Take a peanut size amount of the cream on your fingertips.
  4. Dab the cream all over the face.
  5. Massage the cream in a circular motion.
  6. Allow the applied cream to dry thoroughly on your face.

Do Skin Lightening Creams Work?

Yes, they do work. Skin lightening creams, also known as 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.

The Bottom Line

Skin lightening creams made with a safe combination of ingredients can be beneficial in many ways. The products listed here contain skin-friendly ingredients, and some offer sun protection too. The Obagi Skin Brightening Cream, for instance, has arbutin, which helps improve skin luminosity. Our top choices from the list include the Noche Y Dia Vitamin C, which helps maintain healthy skin cells, fights skin irritation, and offers SPF protection. Additionally, the Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Cream with hyaluronic acid and tamarind extracts makes a good pick for those with sensitive skin. Before buying any skin lightening cream, check the ingredient list or consult a dermatologist for their opinion. Lastly, always choose a cream that’s suitable for your skin type.

Infographic: How To Apply A Skin Brightening Cream?

Whether your face has tanning, dark spots, or other spots, a brightening cream can help you get a radiant complexion and brighten your face’s skin with its advanced formulations. However, to ensure you get the best results from using these creams, you must know how to apply them correctly. Check out the infographic below to know stepwise details.

Steps For Applying A Skin Brightening Cream For Best Results(infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I wear makeup along with skin lightening creams?

Makeup products devoid of harsh chemicals can be used along with skin-safe skin-lightening creams. Moreover, certain skin-lightening creams can also serve as a makeup primer or base.

2. Can I use skin lightening creams if I am breastfeeding?

Since skin-lightening creams can contain chemicals, it’s not advisable to apply them if you are a lactating mother. Always consult your gynecologist before buying a skin lightening cream.

3. Are skin lightening creams suitable for men?

It depends on the formulation since men’s skin is thicker than women’s. Certain creams work on both men and women. Read the product description given by the manufacturer to know if you can use a specific cream.

4. When can I expect to see results after applying a skin lightening cream?

It may vary from person to person. In general, you can expect some results after four to six weeks of consistent application.

5. Do I need to see a doctor before using skin-lightening creams?

Since face skin is delicate and a wide range of skin-lightening creams can contain chemical concoctions, it’s better to consult a dermatologist to narrow down on a cream that suits your skin type.

6. What If I 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.

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.

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.


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16029679/

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