We all experience hyperpigmentation in some form or the other. It is one of the most common skin issues in men and women across the world that may not be harmful but annoying enough. Hyperpigmentation, be it in the form of dark spots or brown patches, can linger on the skin, thereby making us feel self-conscious. If left untreated for a long time, it can even trigger frustration. However, you can try good lightening products to resolve your problem and probably never get disappointed. Check out the 10 best skin lightening creams for hyperpigmentation and dark spots available in the market.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which the skin develops darker spots or patches. It can appear in any part of the body, but you may find it mainly on the face, hands, and chest. There are various factors that can cause certain parts of our skin to go darker than the rest of it. These include genetics, hormonal imbalance, prolonged sun exposure, acne scars, underlying ailments, reaction to certain medications (antimalarial medicines and tricyclic antidepressants), use of skin irritants (certain cosmetics, soaps, perfumes), etc. (1)
The most common types of hyperpigmentation are melasma, solar lentigines (also known as sunspots or liver spots), and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH (acne, pimples, scar discoloration, etc.)
What are Skin Lightening Creams?
While there are multiple therapies and cosmetic surgeries to treat skin discoloration caused by hyperpigmentation, they are usually expensive and have several adverse effects. On the other hand, skin-lightening creams can treat your concerns more safely without burning a hole in your wallet. They are known to work in any of the following three ways:
- By inhibiting the production of tyrosinase enzyme that, otherwise, accelerates the synthesis of skin pigment (melanogenesis)
- By diminishing the number of pigment cells (melanocytes) which lowers the secretion of pigment in the skin cells
- By exfoliating the dead cells from the pigmented surface layer of the skin, thereby speeding up the growth of fresh cells underneath
Studies have found that the appearance of hyperpigmentation can be faded with some simple natural remedies too (2). Aloe vera, green tea extract, licorice root extract, etc. are some of them with great efficacies.
10 Best Skin Lightening Creams for Hyperpigmentation
Given below are the 10 best skin lightening creams that will treat a broad spectrum of skin discoloration symptoms successfully:
1. Meladerm Pigment Correction
Meladerm Pigment Correction is formulated with more than 10 advanced all-natural ingredients. As a result, skin care professionals highly recommend it as one of the safest and most effective choices for reducing pigmentation and blemishes.
- Powered by bearberry extract or arbutin that works as a natural lightening agent
- Contains other potent actives like mulberry extract, licorice root extract, kojic acid, vitamin C, etc.
- Has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties
- Best for dark patches, black spots, discolorations, suntans, melasma, old scars, acne marks, birthmarks, etc.
- Shows quick results in as little as 2-4 weeks to 2-3 months
- Free from hydroquinone, parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sulfates, and artificial fragrance
- Vacuum-sealed airless dispenser for zero contamination
Price: $54 for 1.7 fl oz.
2. Alpha Skin Care Dual Action Skin Lightener
Get clinically-proven results with essential, natural ingredients of the unique Dual Action Skin Lightener by Alpha Skin Care. It visibly evens out the skin tone by diminishing dark spots and blemishes while making the skin plump, youthful, and radiant.
- An optimal formula combining 2% hydroquinone, 10% Glycolic AHA, and vitamin E
- Fades out dark spots, age spots, and hyperpigmentation
- Exfoliates dead cells and stimulates cell renewal for lighter and brighter skin
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping up the skin
- Improves skin tone and texture
- Suitable for all types of skin
- Does not contain parabens
Price: $11.99 for 0.85 fl oz.
3. InstaNatural Skin Lightening Cream
The Skin Lightening Cream by InstaNatural is a true all-rounder that eliminates hyperpigmentation and improves the overall clarity of the skin. Moreover, it provides adequate moisture and nourishment to the skin for natural anti-aging effects.
- Combines glycolic acid AHA, vitamin C, green tea extract, and glutathione to minimize sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and scarring effectively
- Features the revolutionary NASA Stem Cell Technology that supports healthy collagen production to diminish fine lines and wrinkles
- Smoothens, brightens, and tightens skin by removing dead cells and boosting cell turnover
- Balances and refines the skin by providing hydration and nourishment to it
- Ideal for all skin types
Price: $24 for 1.7 fl oz.
4. Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector
As the ‘first and only topical cysteamine cream’, the Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector has been tested widely to decrease stubborn blemishes, pigmentation, and discoloration. In addition, it is well-tolerated, even by darker skin types, for long-term use.
- Empowered by the patented Cysteamine Hydrochloride (HCI) that works by reducing the amino acid cystine in the body
- Significantly minimizes all pigmentation and persistent discoloration, including brown patches, dark spots, freckles, melasma, etc.
- Dermatologist-tested product with clinically proven results
- Non-photosensitive and non-comedogenic
- A safer alternative with zero hydroquinone or paraben
- Suitable for all types and tones of skin
Price: $170 for 1.75 fl oz.
5. VI Derm Beauty Skin Lightening Complex 4% Hydroquinone
This Skin Lightening Complex should be your solution if you want confident skin with no frustrating pigmentation and blemishes. Its proven botanical formula with therapeutic efficacy offers fast results in as little as a couple of weeks.
- Features dermatologist-grade, prescription-only 4% hydroquinone to limit pigment production at the cellular level
- Light retinol blend (vitamin A) lifts existing pigment cells to speed cell turnover as well as surface renewal
- Kojic acid, licorice extract, and alpha-arbutin work together to boost the skin lightening effects
- Soothing arnica and mallow flower extracts induce anti-inflammatory effects while stimulating blood circulation and enhancing skin health
- Helps get rid of freckles, age spots, and melasma in as little as two weeks
Price: $116 for 1.7 fl oz.
6. Admire My Skin Ultra Potent Brightening Serum
This concentrated Brightening Serum by Admire My Skin has all in its name. The gold standard clinical ingredient 1% Synovea makes it ‘ultra potent’ in targeting and treating hyperpigmentation and blemishes.
- Enriched with 1% synovea, kojic acid, azelaic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin C
- Visibly fades out dark spots, melasma, sun damage, and pigmentation marks in 4 weeks
- Makes the skin tone even, clearer, and brighter
- Does not contain parabens or fragrance
- Suits all types of skin, including acne-prone and aging skin
Price: $46 for 1 fl oz.
7. SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector
When aging, hormonal imbalance, or frequent sun exposure gives your skin stubborn discoloration, this Advanced Pigment Corrector can come up as a strong fighter. It not only reduces pigmentation but also boosts skin radiance.
- A lightweight daily-use lotion with a multi-action mechanism
- Combines 1% hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid, 0.5% ellagic acid, and 0.3% salicylic acid
- Makes the skin tone even by addressing hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and blemishes
- Exfoliates thoroughly to improve the health and luminosity of the skin
- Does not contain parabens, fragrance, or dye
- Suitable for all types of skin
Price: $92 for 1 fl oz.
8. Skinmedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum
The Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum by Skinmedica is an extensively researched and tested product with advanced technology. It takes only 2 weeks to show visible improvements in the appearance of overall skin pigmentation.
- Formulated with tranexamic acid, phenylethyl resorcinol, niacinamide & tetrapeptide-30, phytic acid, and marine extract blend
- Balances pigment production to reduce the existing marks of hyperpigmentation and prevent the formation of new ones as well
- Supports healthy skin barrier for even tone and smooth texture
- Free from hydroquinone, retinol, paraben, and fragrance
- Suits everyone irrespective of skin types and tones
Price: $154 for 2 fl oz.
9. Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum
You can achieve healthy, blemish-free, naturally glowing skin by choosing the Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum from Allies of Skin. The highly concentrated and powerful serum corrects hyperpigmentation while combating multiple signs of aging.
- Packed with 11% mandelic acid, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acid along with peptides, vitamins, and herbal extracts
- Lightens blemishes, sun damage, and dark spots by inhibiting pigment production
- Keeps acne and breakouts at bay by refining large pores and reducing inflammation
- Strengthens skin’s barrier through intense moisturization
- Slows down aging by increasing collagen production and vetting collagen degradation
- Makes the skin brighter, firmer, and more elastic
- Contains zero mineral oil, phthalate, and fragrance
- Ideal for all skin types
Price: $92 for 1 fl oz.
10. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector
If you use the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector by Kiehl’s consistently, you will be relieved from a whole lot of pigmentation issues. It is incredibly effective in evening out the skin tone and boosting the overall radiance.
- Rich in activated C (stabilized vitamin C), buffered salicylic acid, and peony extract
- Makes the skin tone even by visibly reducing hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and post-acne marks
- Brightens up the skin and boosts its clarity
- Prevents oxidative damage of the skin
- Does not contain mineral oil, parabens, and dye
- Gentle, safe, and dermatologist-tested
- Suits all skin types
Price: $84 for 1.7 fl oz.
How to Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
Finally, a little care and commitment can help you avoid hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Make sure that you follow these simple tips to get a blemish-free, even skin:
- Exfoliate your skin twice weekly
- Limit your sun exposure
- Use a high-SPF sunscreen daily
- Stop popping pimples
- Choose your cosmetics wisely
- Be regular with vitamin C serum
- Add retinol to your night regime
Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which certain parts of the skin develop darker spots or patches. Melasma, sun spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, etc. are the most common types of hyperpigmentation, which are mostly caused due to hormonal imbalance, sun exposure, certain ailments, or medications. Best skin lightening creams can reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots effectively by inhibiting pigment production and exfoliating pigmented cells. Natural remedies like aloe vera, green tea extract, licorice root extract, etc. can also be used as natural remedies for hyperpigmentation. Also, make sure that you take proper care of your skin by exfoliating it regularly and following adequate sun protection measures to keep it blemish-free and even-toned.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Why Do I Get Hyperpigmentation So Easily?
Sun exposure and inflammation are two significant risk factors that boost pigment production in our bodies. Hence, if you stay in the sun for a long time or get inflamed easily, the chances are high that your skin will get pigmented quickly too.
How Can I Lighten My Hyperpigmentation Fast?
While skin-lightening creams take some time to show noticeable results for hyperpigmentation, other methods, such as dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, chemical peels, etc., will give you fast results.
Does Hydroquinone Lighten Skin Permanently?
No, hydroquinone does not lighten the skin permanently. Hyperpigmentation can come back if you stop using hydroquinone and encounter the risk factors again.
Can I Use Hydroquinone Every Day?
4% hydroquinone has been known to be safe for daily use. However, anything more concentrated than this should be avoided.
- “What to Know About Hyperpigmentation”, MedicalNewsToday.com
- “Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review”, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov