Skin lighteners have been around for decades, but it’s only recently that people have started using them for common skin conditions like age spots and acne scars. In the past, high-quality products were hard to find, with most manufacturers using hydroquinone in their products. While hydroquinone does reduce pigmentation, research has shown that there are negative side effects.
Fortunately, natural alternatives have grown more and more common, containing ingredients like bearberry leaf extracts and kojic acid. Here are some useful products which brighten your skin without negatively affecting your health.
This cream consists of mostly natural extracts, and is suitable for many skin types. While it might feel a little heavy when you first apply it, it is quickly absorbed into the skin and provides an almost soothing effect. It also acts as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen, protecting the skin from further damage by UV rays.
Civant Skin Care’s Meladerm is manufactured using safe and natural ingredients, namely kojic acid and mulberry root extracts.
Kojic acid is a by-product of malting rice, but it is often used in cosmetics to treat skin diseases like melasma. This is one of the strongest (hydroquinone-free) skin lightening products that you can get over-the-counter, though it is only available in small amounts, and doesn’t possess protectants against UV rays.
Sloane Inc Instant Pigment Corrector S6.3
This product is arguably the quickest working skin lightener on this list, though it does require a doctor’s prescription, so it isn’t available online. Not only does it lighten skin, this Vitamin C-infused cream revitalises skin for a healthy glow, preventing pastiness.
Bearberry extracts help to inhibit melanin production by reducing biosynthesis, creating longer lasting results and improving skin quality. Instead of hydroquinone, mequinol is used as an alternative. It’s safer than hydroquinone, but works just as well.
The results of a trial with a case series of male patients with melasma has shown that four out of five patients achieved complete clearance at 12 weeks.