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Best Whitening Cream

Based on our testing and research, learn all of the pros and cons to decide which whitening cream is best for you in 2023.

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2023
Best Whitening Cream

Our skin can go through many changes, especially as we age, expose it to the sun, or make dietary changes. Having a clear, bright complexion can boost self-confidence and help us feel vibrant and youthful. But when your skin has age spots, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, melasma, or other discoloration, you might find it hard to feel confident.

Skin whitening creams are designed to lighten and brighten your skin, reducing the look of highly pigmented areas. Using these products can help rejuvenate your skin’s healthy glow.

But do these products really work? Are they safe? How long do you need to use them to see real results? We’ll take a look at the best whitening creams available on the market and show you how they stack up against one another.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick look at our recommendations.

Summary of recommendations

Our Top Choice


Meladerm is effective for treating hyperpigmentation and does so without common ingredients that can irritate skin.

Vegan and cruelty-free, Meladerm isn’t the cheapest product of its kind, though there are certainly ways you can stretch the product to add value. For those with melasma, age spots, acne scarring, and other types of uneven pigmentation, it’s effective and recommendable.

Best whitening cream: top considerations

We considered several factors when choosing our top picks. These criteria include cost, ingredients, efficacy, safety, and return policy. All of our top picks perform relatively well in each category, but keep reading to see which ones stand out.


Winners: Illuminatural 6i and Neutrogena

All of the products in this guide are around the same price for one bottle, between $35-$55. And one bottle of product lasts around one month but can be stretched to 6 weeks if you use less product each day.

Illuminatural 6i by Skinception is one of the winners in this category because it offers a bulk discount that lets you order up to 6 months worth of products. If you fall in love with this formulation, you can order a lot at once with a discounted price. Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream also excels in this category because it is the most inexpensive on our list, retailing for $35.49/bottle.


Winners: Zeta White and Meladerm

None of the whitening creams in this article include harsh chemicals or bleaching agents. Hydroquinone, a heavily regulated ingredient in some whitening creams, does not appear in any of these formulations. Most of our top picks are made from all-natural ingredients.

Zeta White’s formulation wins here because it contains the most recognizable ingredients — elements that you might even see on your own grocery list — like coconut oil, vitamin C, cranberries, and strawberries. It’s also important to see proof that components are effective. For example, in clinical trials, Meladerm’s components proved to effectively correct hyperpigmentation.


Winner: Meladerm

How long it takes whitening creams to work depends on many factors, including their ingredients, your skin condition, and the consistency of use. In general, you might start seeing results of whitening creams in a short time — just a week or two. More substantial results come the more you use the product, usually after a couple of months.

Those who use Meladerm may start seeing some improvement after the first week, with long-lasting results showing between 1-3 months of consistent use. This is a quick efficacy rate, especially for seeing substantial returns.


Winner: XYZ Smart Collagen

All of our top recommendations are generally safe to use because they don’t include bleach or other harsh chemicals. Many of them are made with natural ingredients, like fruit extracts or other naturally occurring components. It’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor or do a patch test before using any new skin care product.

XYZ Smart Collagen’s ingredients are all-natural, certified organic, and vegan-friendly. It is certified through NATRUE, the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association. And the main active ingredient in the formulation is a plant extract that has been used in traditional medicines to treat burns and wounds.

Return policy

Winner: Zeta White

When you buy a new skin care product without trying it first, there is always a chance that it won’t be what you expected. Knowing you can return the product might make you feel more comfortable purchasing it. Most of the companies in our top picks offer a money-back guarantee (with the exception of XYZ Smart Collagen).

Zeta White is our winner in this category because they offer a 100-day money-back guarantee, a generous offer. They provide it for purchases of their 3-step Lightening System or at least two individual products. Try them out for at least 30 days, and return any unused products for a full refund.

What is whitening cream?

Skin whitening cream — also sometimes referred to as brightening or lightening cream — works to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of discoloration. In general, these products achieve the following results:

  • Moisturize and hydrate skin
  • Improve the look of scars, freckles, birthmarks, and sun or age spots
  • Reduce melasma or hyperpigmentation — dark patches of skin
  • Balance out skin tone and complexion
  • Reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Some whitening creams require a prescription, but many are available over-the-counter or online. While many use natural ingredients (including all of the products we review in this guide), some may include harmful ingredients like bleach or mercury. Hydroquinone, for example, is an ingredient found in many skin lighteners that is regulated by the FDA because of its potential danger.

Most whitening creams are designed to be used on the face, but some can also be used on the neck, armpits, elbows, knees, or other areas. Apply them once or twice per day, depending on the usage instructions.

How whitening cream works

Most lightening creams work by limiting the amount of melanin produced by the skin. Melanin is the pigment in your hair and skin that’s responsible for giving it color. Reducing melanin production makes skin lighter and brighter.

How each cream specifically works depends on its ingredients. For example, Meladerm uses alpha arbutin, a plant extract that stops melanin production. Meladerm, Zeta White, and Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream all include vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that lowers melanin production.

Many of the websites for the products discussed in this guide include full lists of ingredients that explain how each ingredient functions to make the product effective. None of the products discussed here use harsh chemicals, bleaches, hydroquinone, or other known skin irritants.

How to apply whitening cream

We reached out to clinical dermatologist and researcher for MyVitiligoTeam, Dr. Enrizza P. Factor, to find out the best way to apply whitening cream. She suggests washing your skin and then drying it properly “with a dry and soft towel to get the best results.” Next, “apply the cream gently on your face. Avoid rubbing your skin to prevent damage.”

Dr. Factor also emphasizes the importance of consistency. She says, “Regular use of these creams will give you flawless skin with even skin tone.”

Is whitening cream safe?

The safety of a whitening cream depends on its ingredients and your skin type. Pay attention to what’s in the cream and choose a product that doesn’t include harsh chemicals in its formulation. If you have sensitive skin or are concerned at all about using a product, consult your dermatologist.

We asked Dr. Factor about the potential dangers of skin whitening. She tells us, “Results aren’t guaranteed and there’s evidence that skin lightening can result in serious side effects and complications. From a medical standpoint, there’s no need to lighten the skin. But if you’re considering skin bleaching, it’s important to understand the risks.”

Here are some potential risks to keep in mind about using skin whiteners:

  • Skin whitening cream can make skin more vulnerable to the sun. Always wear sunscreen after applying.
  • Consider a patch test first. Try the product on a small part of your skin before applying to a larger area to gauge your skin’s reaction.
  • Check the ingredients. Make sure that the product does not contain hydroquinone, mercury, steroids, or other bleaching agents. These can cause irritation and negative long-term effects.
  • Most require consistent use. To see the results you want, you’ll have to use the products for a long period.

Can you use whitening cream on your face and body?

Most whitening cream is designed to be used only on your face. The products brighten your complexion and reduce the appearance of skin discoloration like acne scars or melasma. However, some whitening creams are also made for use on the body.

You may experience skin darkening on your elbows, knees, armpits, or other areas. If so, try to find a lightening cream designed to help brighten these areas. Putting cream designed for your face on these areas won’t necessarily work — the skin on your elbows is denser than the skin on your face, for example. So hunting down a product designed to lighten body areas is your best bet.

In this guide, Meladerm and Zeta White can be used on both the face and body. Through our research and testing, we chose Zeta White as the best whitening cream for the face and body because it includes an entire whitening system (face wash, moisturizer, and night cream). But there are plenty of other products designed for use on other body parts, including sensitive areas. If this is the type of skin brightening you’re looking for, check out these products:

  • Saisze Whitening Cream
  • Nivea Natural Glow Body Lotion
  • Divine Derriere Intimate Skin Lightening Gel
  • Clinic Clear Whitening Body Cream

As with any lightening cream, it’s best to patch test the area first before liberally applying just to make sure your skin reacts well to the product.

How to avoid skin discoloration on your face

Skin brightening creams can help reduce the appearance of skin discoloration, but you might wonder how to avoid dark spots altogether. There are a few easy steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing skin discoloration on your face.

  1. Limit sun exposure. Avoid direct sunlight as much as possible, especially when the sun is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To avoid the sun, you can stay indoors or in the shade or wear a wide-brimmed hat. You should wear at least SPF 15 daily to block out UV rays and increase the SPF during long stints under direct sunlight. Don’t forget to reapply, especially after sweating or being submerged in water.

  2. Avoid touching your face. If your hands aren’t clean, touching your face can leave behind bacteria that can turn into pimples or other spots. Scratching or picking your face can lead to scarring or discoloration. Always wash your hands before applying face cream or makeup.

  3. Take vitamin C. Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that can help eliminate free radicals and brighten skin. Vitamin C can also reverse skin aging, speed wound healing, and protect the skin from UV radiation.

Dr. Factor adds that it’s important to wear clothes designed to protect the skin from sun damage. She also suggests protecting your skin by “seeking professional advice before using creams to lighten dark patches” because whitening creams may cause adverse reactions.

How our top recommendations compare

In the chart below, you’ll see how our top five picks measure up against each other in a few categories, including price, money-back guarantee, and shopping location.

  Meladerm XYZ Smart Collagen Zeta White Illuminatural 6i Neutrogena
Price $58/bottle, $91/2-pack $50/bottle, $100/3-pack, $150/5-pack $100/3-step Lightening System; $50/each for night cream, face wash, and moisturizer $50/1 month, $130/3 months, $240/6 months $35/bottle
How long does it take to work? 1 week-3 months About 12 weeks 3 weeks-2 months 3 months 1-4 weeks
Hydroquinone? No No No No No
Money-back guarantee 30-day No 100-day (on most orders) 67-day 30-day
Where to buy? Online Online Online Online Online or in stores


Best for most people


  • Helps with dark spots, scarring, melasma, hyperpigmentation, and birthmarks
  • All-natural formulation — no hydroquinone or other harsh chemicals
  • Exfoliates, moisturizes, lightens, and brightens skin
  • Vegan-friendly and does not test on animals
  • See results in as little as a week
  • 30-day money-back return policy
  • Save $25 when you order the 2-pack


  • Higher price point than some comparable products
  • If you have sensitive skin, consult with your doctor

See our full review of Meladerm.

Meladerm is a whitening cream designed to lighten and smooth skin while establishing a more even skin tone. Typically, Meladerm is used on the face, but it can also be used on your armpits, knees, elbows, and almost any area where you’d like brighter, smoother skin.

Founded in 1999, Civant — the manufacturer of Meladerm — creates products that treat hyperpigmentation. As an addition to a comprehensive skincare regimen, Meladerm moisturizes and hydrates skin while helping your skin glow. The formulation is designed to help with:

  • Scarring
  • Melasma
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Birthmarks

To apply Meladerm, thoroughly cleanse your skin and then massage one pump of product into the area. Allow Meladerm to dry for 10 minutes before using any other products. Each bottle has about 50 pumps of product, and some customers use a half-pump to lengthen the duration of a bottle. You should apply Meladerm once in the morning and once before bed. The cream itself is white, and our testers stated that it has a clean, crisp scent.

Cost and ordering

Each bottle costs $58 for 1.7oz of product. Civant also offers a two-pack for $91, saving you $25. You can pay for your order using a credit/debit card or via PayPal.

Meladerm offers free shipping on orders over $100. If you don’t spend that much, you can choose from several shipping options. Our testers chose ground shipping for $5.99 and received the product within five days of placing the order. You’ll receive an email from customer support once you’ve placed the order and a follow-up email once the order ships. Our testers received the shipment email the following business day.

Your package includes a small box containing the pump-style bottle and a booklet with information about usage and other Civant products.

Ingredients and safety

Meladerm includes 12 active ingredients that are all-natural and generally safe. They include:

  • Alpha arbutin
  • Azelaic acid
  • Bearberry extract
  • Emblica fruit extract
  • Kojic acid
  • Lemon extract
  • Licorice root extract
  • Mulberry extract
  • Niacinamide
  • Sepiwhite (Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine)
  • Symwhite (Phenylethyl Resorcinol)
  • Vitamin C

Meladerm does not contain harsh chemicals, specifically hydroquinone. The FDA highly regulates this chemical because of its adverse effects on sensitive skin types.

We consulted a few dermatologists who emphasize the dangers and side effects of using hydroquinone. In particular, Dr. Factor tells us that this ingredient whitens the skin by eliminating pigment. “Hydroquinone bleaches your skin by decreasing the number of melanocytes present,” she says. “Melanocytes make melanin, which is what produces your skin tone. In cases of hyperpigmentation, more melanin is present due to an increase in melanocyte production.”

Even though it does not contain hydroquinone, it’s still a good idea to patch-test Meladerm before using it on a larger area. Make sure your skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction. If you’re concerned about the ingredients or their effects, consult your doctor.

How long does it take to work?

This is a tricky question to answer because everyone’s skin reacts differently to skincare products. The consensus is that repeated and consistent use of Meladerm yields the best results, even if efficacy rates vary.

In general, you’ll start to see results in about a month, with some users seeing results in as little as a week. Some customers will find that the product is most effective after being used for three months.

Privacy considerations

Civant won’t give or sell your information to third parties. Payments through the site are secure through SSL encryption. Civant does not keep credit card information on file. Meladerm arrives in plain packaging that does not reveal the sender.

XYZ Smart Collagen

Best anti-aging cream


  • Helps reduce the signs of aging while brightening complexion
  • All-natural, certified organic ingredients
  • Bulk order savings — the more you order, the more you save
  • Gentle formulation without harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients
  • Not tested on animals
  • See results in about 12 weeks


  • Only for use on face and neck
  • No 60-day money-back guarantee — despite what website says

XYZ Smart Collagen is not marketed as a whitening cream, but its collagen-boosting effects help to brighten and even out skin tone while reducing the signs of aging. Collagen has become a well-known term in skin care — improving skin’s elasticity and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The body naturally produces collagen, but collagen production slows down as we age. XYZ Smart Collagen is designed to replenish this protein.

Using XYZ Smart Collagen can lead to:

  • Reduced appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks
  • Tighter skin with more defined features
  • Smoother, younger-looking skin
  • A rejuvenated complexion

Apply XYZ Smart Collagen once in the morning and once at night after washing the skin. Spread it over the face and neck using upward strokes. Follow it up with sunscreen if you’re heading outside. The product is only designed to be used on the face and neck. Our testers report that the cream itself is white and slick with a clean, earthy scent. It feels light on the skin and absorbs quickly without residue.

Cost and ordering

All orders placed in the U.S. include free, next-day shipping. You can order using Google Pay or a debit or credit card, and the site uses the Norton Shopping Guarantee for safe transactions. The site states that your package should ship within 24-48 hours. However, our testers’ products shipped after four days and took about two weeks to arrive because the product ships from the UK. You’ll receive an email with tracking info once your order ships.

Purchase one container of XYZ Smart Collagen for $49.99. The company also offers a 3-pack for $99.98 (save about $50) and a 5-pack for $149.97 (save about $100). Be on the lookout for a coupon code. Our testers were offered a 20% discount code at checkout when placing their first orders.

The checkout screen has a “60-day money-back guarantee” badge, but there is no other information about this on the site. Our testers reached out to customer support about this and were informed that XYZ Smart Collagen does not offer a 60-day money-back guarantee at this time.

Your package arrives in a plain shipping box without identifying information. The product itself is smartly packaged in a small, white box containing a screw-top canister of cream.

Ingredients and safety

The ingredients in XYZ Smart Collagen are all-natural and certified organic. The product is vegan-friendly and does not contain harsh chemicals or artificial ingredients. It’s mainly made from plant extracts.

Its main active ingredients come from Bulbine frutescens, a plant extract. This extract contains compounds that boost collagen production and slow its breakdown. In a clinical study, Bulbine frutescens significantly increased collagen production over 16 weeks.

Generally, the ingredients in XYZ Smart Collagen are safe to use and gentle on the skin. If you’re concerned about the ingredients, check with your doctor before purchasing the product.

How long does it take to work?

XYZ Smart Collagen takes about 12 weeks to see results.

The company completed their own dermatologist-approved experiment on 21 women to figure out efficacy rates. The patients used the product twice per day for 84 days. A licensed dermatologist reported improved results in all women at both the midpoint and end of the trial period.

Privacy considerations

Online orders are protected by a Norton Shopping Guarantee and are processed through a third-party company, LUUP. XYZ Smart Collagen won’t store your debit or credit card information. They may track your activity on the site, but this information is aggregated and can’t be used to identify you. Your info may be shared with a third party in some instances, such as marketing, payment processing, and customer service.

Zeta White

Most comprehensive system and best for face and body


  • Includes a 3-step skin lightening system – face wash, moisturizer, night cream
  • See results between 3 weeks and 2 months
  • Organic, vegan-friendly ingredients
  • Can be used on the face and body (armpits, elbows, knees, etc.)
  • Helps lighten and brighten complexion, including age spots, freckles, and sun damage
  • 100-day money-back guarantee on most orders


  • Must continue to apply product to maintain results
  • Most desirable effects seen when using all 3 products, not individually

Zeta White includes a 3-step lightening system, including a face wash, moisturizer, and night cream. You can purchase each of these products separately but use them in tandem for best results.

All three products are made with natural ingredients and help to:

  • Lighten and brighten skin
  • Balance complexion
  • Protect against discoloration and hyperpigmentation
  • Soften dark spots, freckles, and melasma
  • Even out skin tone, including age spots, acne, and sun damage

None of the products in the lightening system are made with harsh chemicals, including hydroquinone, steroids, mercury, or bleach. Instead, Zeta White includes organic, vegan-friendly ingredients like fruit extracts that are generally safe for any skin type.

Zeta White is our best whitening cream for the face and body because you can also use it on your armpits, elbows, knees, or anywhere else you want to lighten skin. The system and the individual products should be used daily. Use the face wash in the morning and apply moisturizer at any point during the day. Wash your face before bed and use the night cream.

Cost and ordering

The 3-step Lightening System costs $99.99 and includes a complimentary bottle of Lightening Body Lotion, normally a $77 value. The Lightening Night Cream, Lightening Face Wash, and Lightening Moisturizer each cost $49.99.

You can purchase products through the Zeta White site using a credit or debit card or Paypal. Zeta White offers free worldwide delivery on most orders. In the U.S., you’ll receive your product within 3-7 business days.

Zeta White also offers a 100-day money-back guarantee on the 3-step Lightening System or a purchase of at least two products. Try out the products for at least 30 days and return unused products for a full refund, minus shipping costs.

Ingredients and safety

Zeta White is mainly made from plant and fruit extracts. You’ll recognize many of these ingredients:

Because it’s made from all-natural ingredients, Zeta White is safe for most people to use. If you’re allergic to any of these ingredients, avoid the product. And, of course, consult with your doctor if you have reservations or concerns about starting a new skin care routine.

How long does it take to work?

In our experience and based on research, you can start to see results in three weeks with daily use, but you’ll see fuller results after a month. Most customers report that their best results showed after using the product for about two months.

Privacy considerations

Zeta White won’t store your payment information on their site, and most information about your activity on the site is stored as aggregated data that doesn’t identify you. In some cases, Zeta White may share your information with a third party — for payment, customer service, or marketing purposes. They hold information about your order on file for 90 days, after which it will be encrypted and then deleted after one year.

Illuminatural 6i by Skinception

Best for bulk savings


  • Doesn’t use harsh chemicals
  • Helps with brightening and revitalizing your complexion
  • Reduces the appearance of melasma, sunspots, birthmarks, and more
  • Bulk savings discounts — buy more, save more
  • 67-day money-back guarantee
  • Free shipping on orders over $150


  • A very long list of ingredients — make sure they are safe for you
  • Best results are seen in 3 months

Skinception’s Illuminatural 6i is a skin lightener that is a natural alternative to chemical peels and dermabrasion, processes that can harm the skin. The product is designed to give you brighter, younger-looking skin and can be used on your face and other body parts.

Illuminatural 6i can eliminate or soften the appearance of:

  • Freckles
  • Sunspots
  • Age spots
  • Birthmarks
  • Acne scars
  • Melasma

The product is made by Leading Edge Health, a well-respected and long-standing company that produces safe and natural health products. The ingredients of Illuminatural 6i are all-natural and plant-based, to help exfoliate your skin and boost collagen production without harsh chemicals.

Cost and ordering

Leading Edge Health offers free shipping on all orders over $150. They also provide a 67-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to try out the product for two months. If you decide it’s not the product for you, initiate a return for a full refund.

Skinception offers monthly packages with bulk savings, meaning the more you buy at once, the more you save:

  • One month: $49.95
  • Three months: $129.95 (save $49.90)
  • Six months: $239.95 (save $119.75)

These prices put Illuminatural 6i in the same price range as Meladerm and other products mentioned in this review. But, an added bonus is that you can buy multiple months at a time. So, if you decide you really love this product, we recommend that you buy 6-months worth instead of ordering every month.

Ingredients and safety

Illuminatural 6i contains quite a few ingredients. You’ll see some repeated ones that match the formulations of other products mentioned in this guide, but you’ll also see some unique ingredients. For a complete list of ingredients, visit the Skinception website.

Illuminatural’s active ingredients are:

The product also includes Hydrolite-5 and SymGlucan to help with delivery, meaning they moisturize and protect the skin. Illuminatural 6i also contains quite a few extracts and other ingredients, including:

Illuminatural 6i is generally safe to use unless you have a known allergy to any of the ingredients. It’s always a good idea to talk to a dermatologist before starting any new skin regimen, especially if you have sensitive skin. The product does not contain harsh ingredients like hydroquinone, mercury, steroids, or bleach, so it’s gentler on your skin than some other whitening products.

How long does it take to work?

Some users start to see results in as little as 4 weeks. Illuminatural 6i works with your skin’s natural renewal process, which is a monthly shedding and regeneration of skin cells. The longer you use the product, the more long-term benefits you’ll see. Skinception states that you’ll see the best results around 90 days of use.

Privacy considerations

Leading Edge Health uses many measures to preserve your privacy. For credit card purchases, you’ll see a charge from or Online payments are SSL Secured, meaning that your information is encrypted so you remain protected.

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream

Best drugstore option


  • 4,000+ customer reviews with average 4.4 stars
  • Starts to work in as little as one week
  • Fights aging in addition to brightening complexion
  • Available online and in your neighborhood drugstore
  • The most affordable of the products in this guide


  • Only for the face and neck
  • Be careful if you have sensitive skin — can cause irritation
  • Contains fragrance

Neutrogena is a well-known brand that offers a wide variety of skincare products at your local drugstore. They also provide a line of products for tone repair, including a moisturizer, spot corrector, and vitamin C capsules.

The Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream fades the look of:

  • Dark spots
  • Blotchiness
  • Discoloration

This formulation includes retinol and hyaluronic acid — two popular ingredients in skincare products, especially the anti-aging variety. These two elements assist with smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines, making skin appear younger.

This product is only designed to be used on the face and neck. To use, cleanse the skin and then massage the product over the desired area twice daily for best results.


This product is the least expensive of the ones mentioned in this review. One container costs $35.49 if you order directly from the Neutrogena website. They also offer free shipping on all orders and repeat delivery, where you can set the interval and they’ll ship you the product automatically.

If you aren’t satisfied with the product, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.

If you don’t want to wait for the product to ship, Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream is also available in stores, including Walmart, CVS, Target, and Walgreens. Prices in-store may vary depending on sales and availability. Of all of the products mentioned in this review, this one is the only product available in stores and not exclusively online.

Ingredients and safety

Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream contains a lot of inactive ingredients — you can check out the full list of ingredients on Neutrogena’s website. The active ingredients are:

These ingredients do most of the work to help improve your complexion. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps lighten dark spots. Glucose complex helps skin stay moisturized. And retinol and hyaluronic acid are two popular ingredients in anti-aging skincare products.

Unlike some of the products in this guide, Rapid Tone Repair Correcting Cream is not made with all-natural ingredients, but its formulation is generally safe to use. Check with your doctor if you’re concerned, especially if you have sensitive skin. A word of warning for those with sensitive skin: this Neutrogena product can cause irritation. Do a patch test of the product and stop using it if there’s ever any irritation.

How long does it take to work?

While it can be harsher on sensitive skin, Neutrogena’s product also works a bit faster than some competing products. This formula can brighten skin in one week with daily use, and dark spots can lighten after about four weeks. The speed of the product is one of its major selling points and a driver of the largely positive reviews Neutrogena garners.

Privacy considerations

Neutrogena is a product of Johnson & Johnson, and the company will only share your information with third parties at your request. You can opt out of sharing your information in your account or delete your personal information. Payments are accepted via credit or debit card and Paypal.

Frequently asked questions about whitening cream

What is whitening cream?

Skin whitening cream evens out skin tone and reduces the appearance of skin discoloration. You apply the cream to your face or any body area where you’d like brighter skin. Whitening cream can fade the look of hyperpigmentation, freckles, acne scars, age spots, and any other discoloration.

Many skin whitening creams also hydrate and moisturize your skin, offering anti-aging benefits that lead to a more youthful look. Some are made with all-natural ingredients, while others use harsh chemicals like bleach, mercury, or hydroquinone.

Do skin whitening creams work?

Yes, high-quality skin lightening products do work with consistent and long-term use. They reduce the amount of melanin produced by the skin, which, in turn, makes skin lighter. But the efficacy rates of skin whitening creams vary — some showing results in as little as a week and others requiring a few months for changes to appear.

Are the effects of skin whitening creams permanent?

No, the effects of skin whitening creams are not permanent. If you stop using the cream, eventually your results will fade, and you’ll start to see your skin issues return. This is because we shed the outer layer of our skin every 2-4 weeks.

Is whitening cream safe?

Whitening creams with all-natural ingredients are generally safe, as long as you aren’t allergic and don’t have sensitive skin. Make sure to read the ingredient list if you’re considering buying a whitening cream to make sure it won’t irritate your skin. The safest route is to talk to your doctor before starting any new skin regime.

Other skin whitening products and approaches

There are other possible ways to get skin lightening benefits and brighten your complexion without using a cream.

Home remedies

There are a few ingredients from your own kitchen that you can use in place of cream for a lighter complexion. Yogurt, oranges, honey, lemons, turmeric, cucumber, and oatmeal can all be used topically to hydrate and brighten skin tone.

Chemical peel

Talk to your dermatologist about a chemical peel, which uses acid to burn away your top layer of discolored skin. The peel reveals the lighter, younger-looking skin underneath.


In this procedure, your dermatologist applies a small vacuum to your skin to remove dead skin cells from the upper, darker layers of skin. This helps skin to look brighter through advanced exfoliation. Microdermabrasion is a good option for those with sensitive skin who can’t use whitening creams or chemical peels.

Dietary supplements

Some dietary supplements with hyaluronic acid or collagen are explicitly designed to improve the skin’s appearance. You can also look for supplements that contain vitamins C, B12, and E, which have all been shown to benefit skin health in various ways.

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Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

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