If you’re looking for a way to make red acne scars fade away, you need skin bleaching cream. Not everyone wants, or is able, to visit a dermatologist for expensive laser treatments, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels. Although it takes longer to make blemishes disappear, a good bleaching cream is a painless treatment you can do at home.
Bleaching creams also help if you have age spots or other discolorations. Before we reveal the top five creams, let’s look at what makes them work.
Table of Contents
- 1 Active ingredients in skin bleaching creams
- 2 Risky ingredients to avoid
- 3 Too much is a bad thing
- 4 Besides using sunscreen, exfoliate your skin during treatment
- 5 The 5 Best Skin Bleaching Creams
- 5.1 Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector for Unisex, All Skin Types, 1.7 Ounce
- 5.2 Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream 1.7 oz
- 5.3 Obagi Nu Derm Clear FX Skin Brightening Cream, 2 Ounce
- 5.4 Paula’s Choice Resist Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion with Glycolic Acid and Hydroquinone – 1 oz
- 5.5 Skin Revitalizing Cream – Glycolic Acid Moisturizer 10%
- 6 While you wait for your new skin bleaching cream to arrive
Active ingredients in skin bleaching creams
Many skin lightening products depend on hydroquinone. Over the counter formulas are allowed up to 2% hydroquinone. Prescription creams can have 4 to 6%.
Other skin bleaching creams have derivatives of Vitamin A like retinol and retinoic acid. Or they may contain kojic acid or arbutin.
Gentle, but still effective, skin brightening ingredients are Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (aka niacinamide), and licorice.
Risky ingredients to avoid
Be very careful if you choose a skin lightening cream that is manufactured outside the US. Some contain mercury, and that’s very toxic. Watch for it under other names like “mercurio,” “mercurous”, and “mercuric”.
Other creams may have steroids which can cause acne breakouts, or slow down healing.
Too much is a bad thing
Overusing skin bleaching creams can cause the opposite effect of what you want. Too much hydroquinone can make your skin look older and discolor it permanently. You do not want ochronosis.
While you’re using skin lighteners, be sure to use sunscreen when you go outdoors.
Besides using sunscreen, exfoliate your skin during treatment
Skin bleaching creams need to penetrate your skin. Once or twice a week, exfoliate gently by physical or chemical means—use either a loofah, or a scrub with glycolic or lactic acid.
The 5 Best Skin Bleaching Creams
Most of these products will take a few weeks of use before you see results. Please follow their directions carefully.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector for Unisex, All Skin Types, 1.7 Ounce
Clinique is a trusted name in skin care products. Their Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector does not contain hydroquinone. It’s based on exfoliants like glycolic and salicylic acid, and antioxidants from turmeric and rice bran. The formula is fragrance-free, tested to be hypoallergenic, and works on all skin tones.
They say it’s possible to see darks spots lighten by one or two shades in just four weeks, and then by more than half after 12 weeks of use.
Clinique says to use it twice a day, morning and night. It’s safe to use over your whole face.
Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream 1.7 oz
Mederma’s PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream works while you sleep. They say you’ll see improvements in just two weeks. It contains their formula called Tripeptol which contains peptides, collagen, and antioxidants. One of the major ingredients is dimethicone, a silicone derivative that reduces redness and seals in moisture. Technically, this is not a skin whitener, but it has that effect. It removes the redness from surgical scars and other injuries just as well as acne scarring.
Mederma recommends massaging the cream into the scarred area each night for 8 weeks up to 6 months, depending on the age of the scar. Do not apply it to broken skin or open wounds.
Obagi Nu Derm Clear FX Skin Brightening Cream, 2 Ounce
Obagi Medical Products says that their Nu Derm Clear Fx Skin Brightening Cream uses a 7% arbutus formula to make dark spots disappear. Arbutus (or arbutin) is an extract from the bearberry plant. It’s similar to hydroquinone, but it is all-natural, not a man-made chemical.
Obagi doesn’t make any promises about how long their product takes before you’ll see the effects, but their cream is recommended by several beauty sites. They say you may want to invest in their entire lineup for best results.
Apply a pea-size amount of cream to your entire face, or just to the affected area, once or twice a day.
Paula’s Choice Resist Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 7% AHA Lotion with Glycolic Acid and Hydroquinone – 1 oz
Paula’s Choice Resist Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser contains 2% hydroquinone as well as glycolic acid and Vitamin E. It lightens dark spots by bleaching and exfoliation, and nourishes skin. This cream works for all skin tones and is best suited for normal to dry skin.
They recommend applying it once or twice a day to clean skin after you’ve put on toner. Please avoid using benzoyl peroxide at the same time. Results should appear after 8 to 12 weeks of use.
Skin Revitalizing Cream – Glycolic Acid Moisturizer 10%
The Pure Body Naturals Skin Revitalizing Cream bleaches skin by exfoliation. It contains a 10% solution of glycolic acid to peel away old skin. Allantoin and hydrolyzed collagen stimulate new skin growth, while Vitamin E and Aloe heal inflamed areas. Glucosamine HCl increases your skin’s moisture, and witch hazel tones skin by shrinking pores.
Pure Body Naturals says they offer a money-back guarantee on this product. Apply it once every other day and be sure to use a sunscreen when you go outside.
While you wait for your new skin bleaching cream to arrive
There are a few natural remedies that you can use to lighten acne scars and dark spots. Be careful to test them on a small area of skin first.
Lemon juice has alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate old skin. Apply fresh lemon juice with a cotton ball and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off and moisturize as usual. Remember to use sunscreen because lemon juice will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Raw honey and baking soda
Honey has antibacterial properties and helps heal skin. Combine it with baking soda to make an exfoliating scrub. Mix equal parts of raw honey and baking soda. Massage the mixture into your skin for three minutes. Put a hot washcloth over the area until it cools, wipe off the paste, then rinse your skin.