I am a dark skinned women also and have lightened my skin. There is something out there and it's permanent and healthy for your body, it is called Gluthathione. Funkymommy has good products that actually work!!!!! I've been using the pills for about 6 weeks now and I think I'm about 3 shades lighter. The gluta-c pills are about $50 but worth every penny and they have the soap it is about $11. They even sent me a free sample of the cream and I love it but I only use it on my elbows and around my dark eyes. Also you can buy some papaya skin whitening soap and lotion from amazon they work well with the pills.