If you are unable to escape melasma or age spots, we’re here to help. In this series, we will guide you through the ways these problems develop and what you can use to reduce their visibility. We’ll also give you a list of the most popular and latest of the skin lightening creams, in the order of how much we preferred them.
Table of Contents
- 1 How We Rate The Best Products and Our Recommendations
- 2 What are the main causes of age spots and melasma?
- 3 So the big question – How can products help you in resolving these problems?
- 4 How about Hydroquinone?
- 5 How To Find The Best Cream
- 6 What Should a Cream NOT Do?
- 7 What’s Our Conclusion
- 8 Click here to read our Meladerm MD review
How We Rate The Best Products and Our Recommendations
Levels of effectiveness: Tells how effective a cream is in reducing your hyperpigmentation.
Speed of their effectiveness: How quickly was a cream able to show results?
Side effects: Can any of the ingredients cause harmful side effects?
The price point: Does the price outweigh the benefits?
What are the main causes of age spots and melasma?
Before we can sort out the importance of different skin lightening creams, we’ll help you in understanding the problems each product helps in reducing, like age spots and melasma, and how they come to be found on your skin.
Here are some skin problem types that are commonly associated with darkening of the skin. We’ll discuss them in more depth below:
- Liver spots (also known as age spots)
- Other areas of hyperpigmentation, which can have various causes
First, we’d like to explain the differences between whitening the skin and brightening skin. Whitening relates to changes in pigmentation, in turning dark skin white. This is popular among some Eastern cultures. Brightening skin is working to revolve the problems that cause the skin to have dark spots.
Age spots or liver spots normally occur in people over 40 years of age. It was once believed that they were caused by unhealthy liver function, but that isn’t actually true. We now know that age spots often result from your skin being unable to recover fully from sun damage. You’ll note that many liver spots are found on your hands, since those are exposed to sun more than any other part of your body, throughout your lifetime.
Melasma occurs most generally in women, particularly in women who are pregnant. It usually occurs when you have received too much sun. Hyperpigmentation is caused by melanin, which is the natural body chemical that is responsible for producing skin color.
Melasma occurs more frequently in women, since estrogen may increase your melanin production. It occurs often in women who are pregnant, since estrogen levels are high during that period. Melasma is usually seen as small-sized brown spots. They are somewhat similar to moles on the skin, except that they are larger, and their shape is more abstract.
Hyperpigmentation is darkening of the skin that may come from various causes, including acne, sun damage and scarring, and also from certain diseases including Celiac disease, Addison’s disease and others. When melanin is overproduced, that can bring on hyperpigmentation.
So the big question – How can products help you in resolving these problems?
A skin lightening cream is helpful in reducing the appearance of the skin problems we’ve been talking about. How much a product helps is determined by what ingredients it uses, but skin care research has been helpful in discovering various compounds that are helpful in reducing melanin production in the skin.
How about Hydroquinone?
Hydroquinone was once the main ingredient in treatments design to lighten skin. It was felt that it was effective and also safe to use in treating hyperpigmentation. But recently, the FDA has reported that hydroquinone may have dangerous side effects, and even the potential of causing cancer.
The products of today that still use hydroquinone are usually prescription treatments, and there are very few over the counter treatments that still use it in small quantities. Since the FDA’s findings, many other ingredients have been experimented with, to develop replacement products that are as effective as hydroquinone, but also safe to use.
Some of the most common ingredients found in these creams now include:
- Vitamin C
- Licorice Extract
- Mulberry Extract
After hydroquinone was discovered to be so dangerous, and other bleaching agents caused side effects, researchers recognized a need to develop natural ingredients for lightening skin that were safer. These have become popular, since they do work and are still safe.
Licorice extract has proven to be a safe and effective skin lightener that is quite popular today. The effective compound in licorice is called glabridin, and it helps to prevent the activation of the natural pigment producer, tyrosinase. When a product prevents the production of tyrosinase, it prevents melanin in the skin, so it will return to a more natural color.
This process is used by most natural skin lighteners to get the best results. You can also bleach your skin, but this is now known to be dangerous, also having the potential to bring on cancer. So we know what to look for – and what to avoid – when looking for these creams.
How To Find The Best Cream
We’ll tell you straight out what you need to look for in skin lightening creams. They should offer you:
- A natural formula to lighten skin
- Fast results, seen within a week of the application
- At least five shades’ reduction in your overall skin pigmentation
What Should a Cream NOT Do?
- Cause irritation or redness
- Focus solely on bleaching the skin
- Have a high price tag
Going by these guidelines, we developed a way to rank the more popular skin lightening products. We will bring you the best skin lightening solutions compared side by side in this list at the top of the page.
What’s Our Conclusion
When you’re checking out skin lightening cream products, be sure to keep safety as your top concern. Many creams in use today utilize dangerous and potent bleaching agents, including hydroquinone, in their formulas.
The most important thing is to be sure that the amount of any potentially harmful ingredient – or others that may be considered harmful – is lower than 5%. But you can also opt for the same types of results in using a natural skin lightening product such as Meladerm, which has no ingredients that are considered harmful.
If you have had past experience with any skin lightener on our list, or even one that didn’t make our list, please let us know what it was and how well it worked for you.