Top 9 Lightening Creams For Black Skin Without Hydroquinone In 2020

by Harini Natarajan
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Have you noticed abnormal changes in your skin color recently? Has it turned darker? Does it look dull? Do not panic because you are not alone. Common skin issues like sunburn, hyperpigmentation, acne, rashes can turn your skin dark and dull. While it is always better to consult the doctor whenever you see any skin color changes, you can also use lightening creams as a preventive measure.

These lightening creams reduce dark spots, pigmentation, and patches to reveal the natural skin tone and make it brighter. However, most of them contain hydroquinone, a common bleaching agent and skin irritant. If you are looking for a safer alternative minus hydroquinone, we have got you covered. Scroll down to check our list of the top 9 lightening creams that do not contain hydroquinone.

Products
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Advanced Clinicals Dark Spot Therapeutic Cream
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Meladerm Pigmentation Correction
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Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream
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Medik8 C-Tetra Cream
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ANTIPODES Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream
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Revitol Skin Brightener Cream
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Skinception Illuminatural 6i Advanced Skin Lightener
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Mesoestetic Energy C Intensive Cream
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SK-II Cellumination Deep Surge EX
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Top 9 Lightening Creams Without Hydroquinone

1. Advanced Clinicals Dark Spot Therapeutic Cream

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.

Key Ingredients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Licorice
  • Jojoba oil

Pros

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

Cons

  • Results take time

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2. Meladerm Pigmentation Correction

Meladerm Pigmentation Correction is a solution for hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne marks, uneven skin tone, suntans, age spots, freckles, and any discoloration that makes the skin look dark and dull. It is formulated with over 10 active ingredients like bearberry, lemon, licorice, mulberry, and Indian gooseberry extracts. It also contains alpha-arbutin, gigawhite (a preservative-free skin brightener), kojic acid, and niacinamide.

All these ingredients have skin brightening properties and help to keep the skin moisturized and healthy. They are micronized and are packaged in an airless dispenser to maintain their efficiency. You may notice improvements in just 2-4 weeks, depending on your skin type.

Key Ingredients:

  • Bearberry extract
  • Indian gooseberry extract
  • Alpha arbutin
  • Gigawhite

Pros

  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Paraben-free
  • Airless dispenser
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Petrolatum-free
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Expensive for the quantity

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3. Intraceuticals Opulence Moisture Brightening Cream

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

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4. Medik8 C-Tetra Cream

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

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5. 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

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6. Revitol Skin Brightener Cream

The Revitol Skin Brightener Cream claims to fade age spots and improve dull skin and uneven skin tone. This skin brightening cream contains arbutin, a natural skin brightener, shea butter, allantoin, and evening primrose oil. Shea butter keeps the skin hydrated and prevents fine lines and wrinkles while evening primrose oil soothes the skin and reduces redness and irritation. The plant-based formula rejuvenates the skin without irritating it.

Key Ingredients:

  • Arbutin
  • Allantoin
  • Shea butter
  • Evening primrose oil

Pros

  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Visible results
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Results take time

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7. Skinception Illuminatural 6i Advanced Skin Lightener

The Skinception Illuminatural 6i Advanced Skin Lightener claims to lighten blemishes, birthmarks, acne scars, freckles, and melasma. This cream contains six clinically proven ingredients – sodium lactate, whitonyl, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C derivative), ronaflair softshade, alpha arbutin, and niacinamide. All these ingredients help control sun-induced pigmentation, block enzymatic oxidation, and interrupt melanin formation to make the skin appear bright. This cream shows results after three cycles of skin regeneration, which is about 90 days.

Note: If you are pregnant or a nursing mother, avoid this product.

Key Ingredients:

  • Sodium lactate
  • Whitonyl
  • Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
  • Ronaflair softshade
  • Alpha arbutin
  • Niacinamide

Pros

  • Mercury-free
  • Bleach-free
  • Steroid-free
  • Suitable for all skin types

Cons

  • Contains mica
  • Contains phenoxyethanol

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8. Mesoestetic Energy C Intensive Cream

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

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9. SK-II Cellumination Deep Surge EX

This is a lightweight skin brightening moisturizer. The SK II Cellumination Deep Surge Ex contains Aura Bright Cocktail EX – a brightening complex with pixel white, talape white, demelano P3C to even out your skin tone and make it bright. It also contains PITERA, a bio-ingredient, a blend of over 50 micro-nutrients and vitamins to keep the skin healthy and glowing. This cream addresses issues like large pores, dark spots, and dullness and improves skin texture.

Key Ingredients:

  • Aura Bright Cocktail EX
  • PITERA

Pros

  • SLS-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Lightweight
  • Visible results

Cons

  • Contains parabens
  • Contains artificial fragrance

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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.

Be more careful if you have sensitive skin. Avoid any ingredient that might irritate your skin. If you are battling uneven skin tone, acne marks, dark patches, you can grab any of these creams from the list. However, if you notice any abnormal lightening or similar changes in your skin color, consult a doctor immediately.

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.

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Harini Natarajan

As Chief Editor, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She has over 14 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of Beauty, Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.
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