What Is Skin Whitening?

Before And AfterWhat is a skin whitening cream? This is a product that is normally used to bleach or lighten the skin hence it can also be known as a skin lightener or brightener. Skin whitening products are also used to treat various skin problems such as acne scars, stretch marks, birthmarks, freckles, and uneven skin tone caused by many other skin problems.

How skin whitening creams work

The level of melanin normally determines your skin color. Skins with higher levels of melanin are always darker than skins with low levels of melanin. Melanin can also be more concentrated in some areas of the skin making you have dark spots or patches on the skin.

The skin whitening creams usually reduce melanin to give you a brighter skin. Skin whitening is a gradual process that takes about 2 to 4 weeks if done safely, thus you should avoid those products that claim to work miracles overnight.

Ingredients to look for

Most certified skin whitening creams contain natural ingredients. The following are some of the ingredients that you should look for.


This is also known as Alpha Arbutin, and is an extract from a plant that produces edible berries known as bearberry.

In fact, there are claims that the berries produced by this plant are a bear’s favorite food. Arbutin is known to be very effective in reducing melanin levels. Most cheap skin lightening creams do not contain this ingredient since it is quite costly to produce it.

Kojic Acid

This comes from a fungus, and it is usually used to make a Japanese rice wine known as Sake. Kojic Acid has no side effects thus it mostly used instead of more dangerous chemicals llke hydroquinone.


This is known as Vitamin B3. It has proven to be very useful in solving all sorts of skin problems which includes the treatment of dark patches and scars on the skin.

Other Helpful Chemicals

The other essential ingredients include Licorice Extract, Glycolic Acid, Emblica Extract and Mulberry. There are many other “active” ingredients included in various creams which claim to be effective, although lemon juice and other fruit extracts containing vitamin C are only very slightly effective, and not worth mentioning.

Ingredients to avoid

The skin whitening creams on the market contain many different ingredients, with some of which being quite dangerous, or containing bad side effects. The following are some of the harmful ingredients that you should avoid.


This is a very popular chemical that was commonly used in many skin lightening creams for years. Unfortunately, it raised many health issues such as causing adverse skin conditions like ochronosis, and even certain types of cancer. Products containing this ingredient have been banned in some countries such as France and the UK although it is still found in some prescription products in the USA, so watch out.


This is another skin whitening ingredient that was common in skin whitening products made in Asia and Africa, as they had very loose manufacturing standards. It is also accused of causing serious problems in the long term, which has long been known about mercury.

Recommended products

To avoid the risk associated with the use of harmful products you should use products that meet all the safety requirements. Some products such as those sold by American-based company Tonique Skin Care are known to be safe since they meet FDA requirements. The products should also have a clean history record, as verified by multiple customer reviews.

Some companies like Tonique have been in existence for more than 20 years and have a good reputation.

 Have you ever heard that cheap can be expensive? This is very true, as you get what you pay for with products like this. Try and avoid cheap products since they might damage your skin thus making you spend more trying to restore its condition.

Tonique have a customer service department who can give you the right advice on which products to use, and how to apply them to get the results you’re looking for. Send an email to sales@toniqueskincare.com or use the contact page of their site, and explain what type of skin you have and what you want it to look like. Include a photo if you have one.