Safe Skin Lightening Cream

i am trying to find a perfect skin lightening cream but i am woried about safety. i want a cream that fades and bleaches skin but with out givin me cancer! what do you recomend to your pateints for skin fading??

Doctor Answers 5

Non HQ skin lightening creams

The market for non-hydroquinone skin lightening topicals has expanded since the recent controversy over the safety of hydroquinone.  Options include C-Bright 10% Vitamin C Serum (ZO Skin Health), BrightAlive Non-Retinol Skin Brightener, Brightamax, a full-body treatment, SkinMedica’s Lytera Skin Brightening Complex, Eminence Organics’ Bright Skin line, Neocutis’ Nouvelle + Retinol correction cream, and Jan Marini’s Age Intervention line, including Enlighten MD and Enlighten Plus. 

In addition to the addition of a topical, patients should absolutely avoid sun exposure as this will worsen the problem of dyschromia.  Finally, patients should be aware that estrogen (pregnancy, oral birth control, and as hormone replacement therapy) can worsen the problem.


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Hydroquinone for facial lightening

Hydroquinone is an effective tyrosinase inhibitor that works at the melanocyte level. It is effective in reducing uneven skin tone and restoring a normal, balanced complexion to the skin.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Bleaching cream

Although hydroquinone is very effective for bleaching the skin, it recently was a subject of controversy amongst dermatologists because the FDA issued a warning regarding it's safety. Many hydroquinone products as a result are either off the market or prescribed off label. The safety issues regarding hydroquinone for skin bleaching are controversial but as a patient you should be informed of this issue before taking. There are still some bleaching products on the market that the FDA has not "banned" such as Triluma. I would suggest you discuss these issues with your dermatologist to see his feelings toward this issue.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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Safety of Hydroquinone

There has NEVER been a documented case of cancer caused by hydroquinone.  Even the most rudimentary research on this subject is deeply flawed.  Hydroquinone is in a class by itself when it comes to "bleaching" agents. Its important to understand that HQ doesn't 

actually bleach your skin color like Chlorox in your washing machine does on your favorite pair of jeans.  It simply reduces the ability of the color producing cells (the melanocytes) from producing the chemical color of your skin (melanin).  Over 3-4 weeks the outer layer of the skin will be lighter due to reduced color formation.  It won't change the color of the pigment UNDER THE SKIN.  That will require some form of gentle, controlled skin "injury".

Many other chemicals are available OTC which can reduce the color slightly, and I mean by this, NOT VERY MUCH.  If your problem is VERY MILD, then maybe.  Consult with a qualified Dermatologist who treats a lot of patients with pigment problems.  Good luck with your skin.

Bruce Saal, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Non hydroquinone lightning cream.

Finding the perfect skin brightener can be a challenge. Every individual has a different level of depth of melasma  that can cause noticeable pigment.  Continued use of hydroquinone is not recommended. There is a product that has been proven effective without the use of hydroquinone called Lytera by Skin Medica. This product can be used continually with no harsh side effects and has effective results on lightning melasma. It is aways recommended to see a professional to determine the correct skin care regime for your specific skin concerns.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.