Top 9 Lightening Creams For Black Skin Without Hydroquinone In 2023

These brightening creams can give you the even-toned skin you always wanted.

By Shiboli ChakrabortiShiboli Chakraborti, Certified Skin Care Coach  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Find the best lightening cream for black skin without hydroquinone is not easy. Luckily, you have come to the right place! Have you recently noticed any unusual changes in your skin color? Has your complexion become uneven? Do not be alarmed. Sun exposure, pigmentation, breakouts, and rashes are common skin problems that can make your skin tone look uneven. While it is always best to visit a doctor if you notice any changes in your skin color, you could also use lightening cream as a preventative measure.

These lightening creams lighten dark patches, hyperpigmentation, and spots, revealing the natural skin tone and brightening it. However, most of them incorporate hydroquinone, a common skin irritant and bleaching ingredient. If you are seeking a hydroquinone-free alternative, we have got you covered. Scroll down to check out the best 9 lightening creams that don’t contain hydroquinone!

Top Picks
Check Price
Best Gentle Formula: Advanced Clinicals Dark Spot Therapeutic Cream
Price on Amazon
Best Natural Formula: Mabox Vitamin C MoisturizerPrice on Amazon
Best Fragrance-Free Formula: Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream
Price on Amazon
Best Lightweight Formula: Medik8 C-Tetra Cream
Price on Amazon
Best Quick-Absorbing Formula: ANTIPODES Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream
Price on Amazon
Best Affordable Option: Divine Derriere Dark Spot Corrector
Price on Amazon
Best For All Skin Types: EnaSkin Dark Spot CorrectorPrice on Amazon
Best Mild Fragrance: Mesoestetic Energy C Intensive Cream
Price on Amazon
Best For Dull Skin: Obagi Nu-Derm Skin Brightening Cream
Price on Amazon

Top 9 Lightening Creams Without Hydroquinone

1. Best Gentle Formula: Advanced Clinicals Dark Spot Therapeutic Cream

4
Advanced Clinicals Dark Spot Therapeutic Cream Image: Advanced Clinicals
“]

If you have dark spots on your face, try this cream. The Dark Spot Therapeutic Cream by Advanced Clinicals is enriched with vitamin C, an ingredient known for skin brightening properties. It helps to fade dark spots, marks, redness, and sun damage to brighten your skin. You can apply the cream on your face, neck, arms, and legs. This therapeutic cream also contains jojoba oil and licorice extract that keeps the skin moisturized and prevent the early signs of aging like fine lines. It is safe for pregnant women, but ensure you consult a doctor before using it. Here’s a personal review video to help you get a better understanding of the product.

Key Ingredients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Licorice
  • Jojoba oil

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Not tested on animals
  • Can be used on body and face

Cons

  • Results take time
Price at the time of publication: $17.99

2. Best Natural Formula: Mabox Vitamin C Moisturizer

The Mabox Vitamin C Moisturizer help fade dark spots, sun spots, signs of aging, and pigmentation. It is enriched with vitamin C, which fights free radicals and protects your skin from harmful environmental aggressors. This cream contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, aloe vera, and jojoba oil that hydrate your skin. It boosts collagen production and imparts a youthful glow to your skin.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • 100% natural
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Non-greasy
  • No artificial fragrances
  • No colorants

Cons

None

Pro Tip
Vitamin C as an ingredient works best when paired with sunscreen. Therefore, top this cream with your regular sunscreen in the morning for the best results.
Price at the time of publication: $13.99

3. Best Fragrance-Free Formula: Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream

4.2
Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream Image: Intraceuticals
“]

The Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream protects your skin from environmental aggressors. It helps minimize signs of premature aging, such as dark spots, dry and flaky skin, and uneven skin tone. It contains peptides, powerful antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E that have skin healing properties and helps make the skin more resilient. This cream also includes yellow dock root extract and cocoa butter that lock in moisture, deliver antioxidants to your skin, and brighten it.

Key Ingredients:

  • Vitamins A, C, and E
  • Cocoa butter
  • Yellow dock root extract

Pros

  • No artificial fragrance
  • Sulfate-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • Contains phenoxyethanol
Stylecraze Trivia
Intraceuticals also offers spa treatments and skincare products solely based on innovations and cutting-edge technology.
Price at the time of publication: $65.99

4. Best Lightweight Formula: Medik8 C-Tetra Cream

4.3
“]

This is a vitamin C serum in cream form. The Medika C-Tetra Cream provides your skin with its daily dose of vitamins C and E to prevent damage caused by harmful free radicals. It protects the skin against environmental aggressors like pollution and UV exposure to prevent premature aging, spots, and dullness. This fast-absorbing formula is perfect for those who have uneven skin tone. The formula uses tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a lipid-soluble form of vitamin C that minimizes skin irritation and brightens it. This cream has a refreshing citrus fragrance.

Key Ingredient:

  • 100% Vitamin C

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Lightweight
  • No artificial fragrance
  • No synthetic colors
  • Paraben-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $63.74

5. Best Quick-Absorbing Formula: ANTIPODES Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream

This skin-brightening day cream contains vinanza grape and kiwi extracts that are clinically proven to brighten the skin. This day cream also contains bee venom and manuka honey. These ingredients moisturize your skin, improve its appearance, and remove dead skin cells to brighten it. This cream has anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce acne. It also contains over 20 active ingredients like peony flower extract that keep your skin blemish-free. This cream can be applied on the face, neck, and décolletage area and is suitable for oily skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Manuka honey
  • Bee venom
  • Vinanza grape extract

Pros

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Gets absorbed easily
  • Balances skin pH
  • No harmful chemicals

Cons

  • Strong fragrance
  • Expensive
  • No SPF
Stylecraze Says
You can also use this formula twice daily on dark elbows to lighten the color.
Price at the time of publication: $47.99

6. Best Affordable Option: Divine Derriere Dark Spot Corrector

3.6
Divine Derriere Dark Spot Corrector Image: Divine Derriere

The Divine Derriere Dark Spot Corrector contains arbutin, a powerful brightening combination of B-white skin peptide, and a particular blend of natural plant-based ingredients. Arbutin, kojic acid, niacinamide, and lactic acid help erase dark spots caused by sun exposure, aging, and pregnancy and prevent melanin development. This powerful combination of ingredients eliminates the appearance of acne, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots while offering a relaxing and calming sensation to your skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Arbutin
  • Kojic acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Lactic acid

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fast-absorbing formula
  • Cruelty-free
  • Natural ingredients
  • Paraben-free
  • Affordable

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $21.99

7. Best For All Skin Types: EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector

The EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector instantly removes dark spots and prevents their reoccurrence. The gentle formula contains 4-butylresorcinol, lactic acid, kojic acid, salicylic acid, and morinda citrifolia extract, which help soothe redness. This cream provides nutrition and repairs your skin. Click here to check out this YouTuber’s unbiased review of the product.

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Non-sticky
  • Non-greasy
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Absorbed quickly

Cons

  • Takes time to show results
Price at the time of publication: $35.99

8. Best Mild Fragrance: Mesoestetic Energy C Intensive Cream

4.2
Mesoestetic Energy C Intensive Cream Image: Mesoestetic
“]

This skin brightening skin is meant to fight the first signs of aging. The Mesoestetic Energy C Intensive Cream belongs to the Energy C cosmeceutical line by the brand. It contains a high concentration of vitamin C that fights photoaging and other damage caused by UV rays. It also contains hydrolyzed marine collagen and essential amino acids that promote collagen development and keep the skin healthy. This cream stimulates the fibroblasts to up the collagen levels and boosts the moisture level of the skin.

Key Ingredient:

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Pros

  • Mild fragrance
  • Lightweight
  • Gets absorbed quickly

Cons

  • Greasy
  • Contains silicone
  • Contains PEG
Price at the time of publication: $99.99

9. Best For Dull Skin: Obagi Nu-Derm Skin Brightening Cream

4.4

The Obagi Nu Derm Skin Brightening Cream reduces dark spots, sun damage, hyperpigmentation and even tones the skin. This hydroquinone-free skin lightener helps brighten the skin by minimizing flaws caused by melasma, UV damage, and acne. It promotes healthy cell regeneration, resulting in a radiant look. This cream is formulated with vitamins, antioxidants, natural ingredients, and 7% arbutin that progressively improve the appearance of blotchy and discolored skin. Antioxidants protect your skin from potential damage, and vitamins boost collagen production and reduce inflammation.

Key Ingredient:

  • Arbutin
  • Lactic acid
  • Vitamin C

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Natural ingredients
  • Suitable for dry skin

Cons

  • Contains sodium metabisulfite
Price at the time of publication: $106.5

These are the 9 best skin brightening creams without hydroquinone available on the market. You must be wondering what the deal with hydroquinone is. Here’s why you should stay away from this ingredient.

What Is Hydroquinone? Is It Really Harmful To The Skin?

Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching agent. It is commonly used for treating hyperpigmentation, melasma, dark spots, and similar issues. The FDA allows 2% hydroquinone in OTC products and considers it safe. It is well-tolerated, but it may cause:

  • Stinging sensation
  • Itching
  • Redness (contact dermatitis)
  • Burning sensation
  • Swelling
  • Crusting
  • Unusual skin discoloration

Moreover, hydroquinone creams often contain sodium metabisulphite, and that may cause serious allergic reactions. hence, it is best to avoid hydroquinone unless suggested by the doctor. If you plan to buy skin brightening cream, here are a few tips to go about it.

How To Choose The Best Lightening Creams

  • Check The Ingredients: Avoid any cream that contains hydroquinone and mercury. Go for ingredients like kojic acid, vitamin C, licorice extract, and alpha arbutin.
  • Area Of Application: Check if the cream can be applied on the face or body. Some creams are suitable for the hand and body, while some are only for the face.
  • Results: Some creams promise visible results in just two weeks, while some may take three to four weeks to show any improvement. Pick a product depending on how fast you are expecting results.
  • Ease Of Use: A good skin cream should easily spread on the skin without making it feel greasy and sticky. Check the consistency before you buy it.

Exposure to the Sun, breakouts, and hyperpigmentation are some of the common skin concerns. To deal with them, many creams use hydroquinone. It’s a bleaching agent that helps to lighten your skin as well. Sometimes this ingredient may irritate your skin. So, instead, try the best lightening creams for black skin. The products listed in this article help to minimize the dark spots, redness, and sun damage while brightening your skin. These products also help to even out the skin tone. However, consider investing in products that are paraben-free and silicone-free.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skin care coach. She conducted extensive research and checked many user reviews online to compile this list of the best lightening creams without hydroquinone. She also went through the product websites to understand their formulations before shortlisting them. The listed skin lightening creams may help even out your skin without any damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I lighten my skin without using hydroquinone?

You can use any of the skin brightening creams from our list. None of these creams contain hydroquinone.

What is another name for hydroquinone?

1, 4-Benzenediol, Quinol, Benzene-1,4-Diol, p-Diphenol, p-Dihydroxyxylphenol, Hydrochinonium, Hydroquinol.

Can hydroquinone make dark spots worse?

Yes, it may cause skin allergy and worsen the dark spots.

Can you apply moisturizer over skin brightening creams without hydroquinone?

No. Skin brightening creams are meant to be applied gently to your skin. Most brightening creams have moisturizing and nourishing properties and you will not need to use a moisturizer on top of that.

How does it affect the skin, if you stop using lightening cream without hydroquinone on black skin?

Your dark skin will regain its original complexion if you stop using the lightening cream without hydroquinone.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
The following two tabs change content below.

LATEST ARTICLES