Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021

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#1

Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021 1

BEST OVERALL

Northern Crown Cosmetics Intimate Whitening Cream

#2

Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021 2

Maday Formula Lightening Gel

#3

Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021 3

Radiance Cream Anti Aging Moisturizing Cream

#4

Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021 4

StBotanica Pure Skin Brightening Cream

#5

Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021 5

HealthMarketNewcos Energizing Day Cream

Your skincare routine isn’t something that you can just pick up and put down like a Netflix show.

You have to be consistent with it, and skin lightening cream is one of those spot-treatment fixes in between that helps you during lapses in routine.

Having a quality lightening cream is like having a secret weapon stored in the back of your makeup and skincare arsenal. It’s important, and nobody should be without it (looking at you too, gents).

We not only have the best skin lightening cream for hyperpigmentation, but the best all-around lightening creams to help with multiple skin tones, types, and more.

Best Overall: Northern Crown Cosmetics Intimate Whitening Cream

Northern Crown Cosmetics Intimate Whitening Cream
  • Size: 1.7 oz
  • Scent: Unscented
  • Ingredients: Purified water, isopropyl myristate, simmondsia chinensis seed oil, fruit oil, glycerin, and more

The best skin bleaching cream on the market, hands down, has to go to Northern Crown Cosmetics. They simply hit the nail on the head with this cream, which is why you’ll find one of their parent company products in the second place spot on this list.

Plain and simple, they were able to make a safe-to-use 25% active bleaching concentrate, which is some pretty powerful stuff. With ingredients like mulberry, licorice, and arbutin, it works to naturally go beneath the skin and remove dark pigmentation in dark spots.

This whitening cream goes deeper, and does far more than whatever it is you’re currently using. You have to be careful with this concentrate and how you use it, because you can seriously bleach parts of your skin. It will return to its normal color in time, but it takes a while.

As we find out later on in the guide, you can’t permanently remove dark spots, but Northern Crown Cosmetics found a way to make them go away for as long as possible with this cream.

Available as a solution for oily, normal, dry, and combination skin types, this intimate whitening cream can be used just about anywhere. Underarms, bikini lines, and wherever else you can think of that isn’t on your face

While you are paying a hefty sum per ounce, you do not have to use a lot of this for it to be effective. Use a very small amount when you first try this, and you’ll see just how far a little drop can go.

One other excellent feature here is that this comes completely unscented, so no matter how much you end up using, there won’t be that thick aromatic hanging around in the air after you’re done.

Everything made by Northern Crown Cosmetics is handmade in the United States.

With this whitening cream, you support American jobs, and support a company that has a 100% vegan, animal cruelty-free policy on all of their products. No matter how you look at it, Northern Crown Cosmetics just does it better.

Runner Up: Maday Formula Lightening Gel

Maday Formula Lightening Gel
  • Size: 1.7 oz
  • Scent: Unscented
  • Ingredients: Purified water, isopropyl myristate, simmondsia chinensis seed oil, fruit oil, glycerin, and more

Your skin is normally flawless, but some spots are appearing darker than normal and toying with the even-toned beauty you’ve been enjoying for so long. As the best skin lightening cream for black skin, Maday’s top-notch formula is here to help.

Just like with Northern Crown Cosmetics, you get a similar 25% active bleaching concentrate with this formula.

That includes licorice, mulberry, and arbutin, but with additives like vitamins A and E. These vitamins need to be applied fairly regularly to remain in your skin, and this formula lets you make that happen.

With a total of 1.7 oz in the container, this completely unscented cream lasts you for far longer than you’d think. You should be able to get about two to three months out of this depending on your skincare regimen and what you deem acceptable for daily application.

Even out your skin tone without being too harsh on your natural tone.

With dark skin, you have to be careful with how you apply any bleaching product since its effects will show up sharper than on porcelain skin. Use this as a spot treatment and monitor the time during application, and you’ll see near instant results.

Last but not least, it’s important to know that this is completely FDA certified, and passes GMP regulation as well.

Everything is made in the United States, so similarly to our top pick, you will be supporting American jobs with this lightening cream. With a 100% vegan-friendly and animal cruelty-free production process, this is something you can feel good about six ways ‘til Sunday.

Alternative: Radiance Cream Anti Aging Moisturizing Cream

Radiance Cream Anti Aging Moisturizing Cream
  • Size: 4 oz
  • Scent: Light floral scent
  • Ingredients: Deionized water, actinidia chinensis fruit water, olea europaea oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis, and more

Aging brings wisdom, but it also brings alterations to your skin that you never asked for. Active Bamboo (brand name, not the active ingredient) brings you an anti aging moisturizing cream that’s the best skin lightening cream for dark spots associated with aging.

Utilizing olea europaea oil, deionized water, and prunus amygdalus dulcis, this mostly natural blend is extremely sensitive on your skin, but it’s also sensitive on your wallet. Active Bamboo prices this at about 20% the standard cost of other creams you’ll find on this list, and for more.

What’s the catch?

It’s not as long-lasting due to the lack of vitamin B12 and vitamin C that you’ll find nestled in the ingredients of other lightening creams. Those vitamins don’t sit around in your skin, so you need to constantly replenish them in order to keep dark spots at bay.

That being said, this works beautifully for the cost, and includes popular ingredients such as licorice and kojic acid, similarly to some higher-priced creams on the market.

Active Bamboo’s radiance cream is designed to work well with combination skin, oily skin, and dry skin on a range of tones from medium to dark.

It was a hard toss-up between this and the Maday Formula in our second spot for the best lightening cream for black skin. In fact, Radiance Cream is recommended in darker skin, and helps with knees, arms, underarms, and sensitive areas on black men and women, as well as the face.

The reason this didn’t take that title is because of the expectant result window. This takes six to eight weeks to really become effective, while others can have near-immediate effects and have long-term effects that kick in weeks earlier.

Alternative: StBotanica Pure Skin Brightening Cream

StBotanica Pure Skin Brightening Cream
  • Size: 50 grams
  • Scent: Earthy and calming
  • Ingredients: Purified water, glycerin, isopropyl myristate, Vitamin B3, organic moroccan argan cold pressed oil, beeswax, green tea, and more

The best skin lightening cream for you may not be the best skin lightening cream for me, and vice versa. While that’s true, we’re willing to bet that StBotanica is as close to an all-in-one universal solution as we’ll ever get.

This is by no means a cheap whitening cream. You have high-end ingredients such as B3, moroccan argan oil, glycerin and exotic green tea, among many others, which all make up a powerful formula that no other company has been able to properly replicate.

StBotanica helps to alleviate dark spots on your skin in as little as one week, although these results depend on a variety of factors, so give it about two weeks to begin. If you have sensitive skin, you may notice a slight tingling upon first application: this happens with everybody.

Unlike many other lightening creams, this one works with acne prone skin, mature skin, and dry skin, as well as combination skin types. That’s the difference between sourcing natural ingredients versus a ton of chemical additives like you’ll find in most lightening creams.

Utilize the powerful combination of vitamins C, E, A, B3 and B5 to begin correcting dark spots in record time. With the inclusion of amino acids and minerals, StBotanica really did make an all-in-one solution.

The only problem is the price: either you can afford it, or you have to choose a lower-end cream that will take longer to work. There’s no middle ground in terms of quality.

Alternative: HealthMarketNewcos Energizing Day Cream

HealthMarketNewsCo
  • Size: 50 grams
  • Scent: Light floral scent
  • Ingredients: Not disclosed; proprietary blend

As one of the most sought-after day creams online, people continuously flock for one reason: this simple cream works, and it doesn’t take two months before you can expect to start seeing effects.

With Himalaya Herbals by HealthMarketNewsCo, you get fast-acting dark spot removal that seeps into your skin quickly and effectively.

The value here is what ends up driving people away. You get just 50 grams in total for the cost of many other full bottles of skin lightening cream, but with its potency, it does more with less. This isn’t something you lather on; you use it strictly for spot treatment.

After setting up that spot treatment, you can expect to see some results in about one week or so. Lightening of the dark spots in question will begin, and while they won’t stay at bay forever, continued application of this energizing day cream will help staunch those spots from returning.

With ingredients like licorice and dammer, you get spot fixes as well as UV protection.

It’s important to keep in mind that we’re not looking at whitening creams for sensitive skin, and you may experience a slightly tingling sensation on your first few applications. This is something that just about everyone has reported.

It’s potent and it goes deep into your skin, but if you have sensitive skin, you might have a slightly harder time getting used to this cream. While this is often compared to a BB cream, Himalaya Herbals works better and provides stronger, longer-lasting coverage.

Skin Lightening Cream Buying Guide and FAQ

Do Whitening Creams Really Work?

DO WHITENING CREAMS REALLY WORK?

Whitening creams do work, but it’s not just as simple as “Apply to skin, watch it work”. In fact, it works deep underneath your skin by inhibiting enzymes from producing melanin.

Good skin lightening cream will suppress these enzymes for a long period of time, but not all were meant to work the same way.

Whitening creams may target dark spots with known vitamins that lighten your skin – which we’ll be covering in this guide – as well as removing layers of skin to reveal new skin underneath.

Whitening creams to not provide permanent solutions. That sounds like a marketing ploy to get you to buy more whitening/lightening cream, but it’s true: many of the compounds found in these creams help because the body does not naturally produce them, so it absorbs them rapidly once introduced to your skin.

Whitening and lightening creams do work, and they can work long-term, but they are not permanent solutions. We’ll cover why they’re good and what trade-offs you need to know in this guide.

How Can I Lighten my Skin Fast?

Whether you use the best skin lightening cream without hydroquinone, or a non-approved method, lightening your skin requires a lot of work. Lightening creams do some of the heavy lifting, but there are other methods at your disposal that you should know about.

Exfoliating

When you exfoliate, you remove dead skin cells. Some of those skin cells contain melanin, and when you remove them, you allow sebum and other skin oils to come through.

This is a good idea for anyone to do at least once a week, but with exfoliating, you’re also removing skin (safely), so you’re removing melanin from your skin by doing so. The melanin will reproduce, as we mention later, but this works immediately for a lighter look.

Moisturizer

Moisturizing your skin gives an immediate aesthetic flair to your skin, and allows your epidermis to feed off of the nutrients in whatever moisturizer you are using.

It’s simple, and it requires long-term use for the best effects, but it’s something you could do right now to get immediately lighter looking skin.

Steam

Steam facials help open up your pores and remove excess dirt and sebum.

While this doesn’t remove melanin from your skin on its own, it does give a cleaner, more vibrant glow to your skin. Some recommend adding lemon peels or orange peels to the water to help lighten your skin.

Natural Bleach

This isn’t 100% medically backed on its own as a skin lightening technique, but individually, you can find the properties of each ingredient and put two and two together.

If you dry orange peels and powder them, add baking soda, honey, and lemon juice, you can apply this to your skin as a natural bleaching agent to help temporarily remove dark pigmentation in your skin.

What Vitamins Lighten Your Skin?

WHAT VITAMINS LIGHTEN YOUR SKIN?

You’ll notice that the best skin lightening cream for body contains certain vitamins that help fight dark spots. Those vitamins are C, B12, and E.

Their presence in the skin helps reduce visible dark spots, which can be caused by excess melanin production due to sun exposure and skin damage.

Dark spots tend to slowly increase in diameter and become darker over time, so these vitamins basically act as suppressants to the enzymes in your skin.

Keep in mind, your body doesn’t produce vitamin C and vitamin E naturally, so you’ll have to constantly apply this in order to see the results come through the way you want them to.

Thankfully, despite B12 not being made by the body either, it can be found in tons of foods. B12 has more health benefits than just those related to the skin.

How Can I Reduce Melanin Permanently?

You simply can’t. Melanin production in your skin can be temporarily halted, but it can never completely stop.

Even if you use the best skin lightening cream for face use (exclusively), where it’s sensitive on your skin and absorbs well, you cannot reduce the production of melanin.

Melanin is predetermined by genetics more than anything else. However, there are a few things you can do to suppress its prominence in your skin if you wish.

Wear Sunscreen

Pigmentation in your skin or hyperpigmentation can be expedited by constant sun exposure.

Harmful UV rays do a number on your skin, so wearing sunscreen with an appropriate level of SPF will actually help. However, most people only apply it to about half of their exposed skin, so be sure you know what you’re doing

Use Lightening Cream Every Day

This isn’t really going to stop it forever, but because lightening cream temporarily delays enzymes in the skin that produce melanin, you can suppress growth for a short while if you habitually use lightening cream every day.

Keep in mind that the march of time will still carry on and your skin’s melanin production will continue, but that this can help suppress it temporarily.

Use Aloe Vera Gel

This treatment idea only works after sun exposure. Thankfully, this works whether or not you were wearing sunscreen, so you can use this as an extra layer of measure after coming indoors while wearing sunscreen.

Apply aloe vera in its purest form to your skin, and it will lighten it temporarily by preventing those enzymes from forming.

There is conflicting information but based on anecdotal information that supports the former claim, people still use aloe vera to lighten their skin and see results.

Drink and Apply Green Tea

EGCG. It’s a compound found in green tea, and it apparently helps to inhibit the melanin-building enzyme from being prominent in your skin.

This is not 100% perfectly proven and still has yet to provide as much anecdotal information, but studies have taken note of its apparent benefits.

Peer reviewing is still necessary, but it’s safe to assume that based on its widespread effects, green tea is good for your skin no matter what.

Lemon Juice Concoction

Applied to your skin, lemon juice can help prevent melanin from forming in the skin.

This works similarly to our next method, turmeric, by reducing tyrosinase activity. In short, it means your skin stops producing melanin at its current rate and slows down immensely.

Add Turmeric to Everything

This may sound crazy, but according to a 2012 study, turmeric’s main compound, curcumin, may actually help reduce the rate at which your body produces melanocytes, the melanin-building enzyme.

This is something you can’t really apply to your skin, but eating turmeric on more foods can help deliver this benefit through the body.

What to Avoid in Skin Lightening Creams

The biggest threat that you have to watch out for is mercury. Yes, in today’s day and age with all that we know, you can still run into products that contain mercury. If you see any lightening creams that contain this, do not buy them.

We researched this list to ensure none of the creams we reviewed contained mercury.

It’s known to cause neurological damage, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and even a heightened risk of heart attacks. Keep in mind that you have to encounter high levels of mercury for those issues to pop up.

That being said, you don’t want to go rubbing mercury into the pores of your skin. Your skin absorbs far more than you might think, and continued exposure to mercury could lead to seriously negative health issues.

Altering and De-Aging Your Skin

Smoothing your skin by reducing dark spots and lightening aging skin can seriously reduce the visual aging of your skin. You can shave time off the clock (visually) with the right lightening skin.

The thing is, there are some many dollar store “lightening creams” that are basically just cover-ups, and they don’t really do anything for you. We’ve found the cream of the crop (it was a corny joke, but we couldn’t help ourselves).

Brighten up your skin, get that glow back, and use this daily or in between other parts of your skincare routine. However you use it, you’ll be benefiting your skin.


Best Skin Lightening Cream for 2021 6

Aurora McKellen

Aurora McKellen is an Irish-born American with a keen understanding of skincare, and a specific interest in helping individuals with fair skin. With over twenty-one years of experience in cosmetics, cosmetic manufacturing, and a deep understanding of UV rays, skin biology, and various certificates in nutrition studies, Aurora is here to help you make your skin healthier, more beautiful, and above all else: protected.