Skin Lightening Lotions – What You Need To Know

Beauty products work in many different ways. Some are used to reduce the appearance of the early signs of aging while some are to eliminate acne and pimples. Many powders and creams are also used to provide skin lightening effects. However, the effects of these products, especially powders and foundations, are only temporary. In order to provide for long lasting skin whitening effects, skin lightening lotions have been manufactured. But are these products really effective? Are they safe for use by all individuals? Do they increase the risk of developing health conditions? These questions must be answered before you decide on trying skin lightening lotions.

Skin lightening lotions

There are so many skin lightening lotions of different brands sold in the market these days. Confusion among users begins when one product claims to be the best while others claim to be number one. No matter what they claim to be, these products provide almost the same results―whitening of the skin. Skin whitening lotions are able to provide benefits through their active components. Different brands make use of different ingredients. These components or chemicals are carefully formulated by experts and scientists to provide benefits without risking the health of the skin. The following are the most common chemicals found in majority of skin lightening lotions in the US.


Tretinoin is the acid derivative of Vitamin A. It is manufactured synthetically by experts. Tretinoin has been used for the treatment of skin conditions such as acne. After certain studies, experts have discovered that the chemical can effectively reduce skin discolorations from certain causes. With this, they have included the chemical in different skin lightening lotions to aid in skin whitening effects.

-Kojic dipalmitate

Kojic acid is another major component of several cosmetic products. The chemical is taken as a by-product from the production of sake, a popular Japanese wine. Since Kojic acid is not stable when added to other chemicals, experts have taken a derivative chemical from Kojic Acid known as Kojic dipalmitate. Kojick dipalmitate is very effective in promoting skin lightening effects so it has been used in several cosmetic products such as lotions.

-Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a well-known vitamin which enhances a person’s immunity. According to studies, Vitamin C is also effective in enhancing the lightening effects of many cosmetic products that’s why it was added in skin lightening lotions. Vitamin C can be taken from many different sources in the natural environment.

-Lactic acid and glycolic acid

Lactic acid and glycolic acid are commonly termed as Alpha Hydroxy acids or AHA. These types of chemicals are responsible for the skin exfoliation effects of many lightening products. They provide superficial skin lightening effects and can be effective in skin discolorations of different causes.

How skin lightening lotions work

Skin lightening effects happen gradually when you use skin lightening lotions regularly. This is because the chemicals found in these products slowly penetrate the skin leading to its benefits. Skin lightening lotions are formulated using special chemicals primarily to decrease melanin production. Melanin is a type of pigment found in the skin. When the production of this pigment is enhanced, the skin will become darker. Melanin production is enhanced with increased exposure to the sun. This is why you should avoid being exposed to the sun when using skin lightening products. In some pathologic disorders, melanin production may also increase, leading to skin discoloration.

Decreasing the synthesis of melanin is done in many ways. One is through the inhibition of the production of tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is an enzyme which plays a role in the synthesis and inhibition of melanin in the body. By decreasing the production of tyrosinase, melanin synthesis is decreased, leading to whitening effects.

Another way to decrease melanin synthesis is through sunscreen effects. Enhanced synthesis of melanin usually occurs when ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrates the skin. In order to prevent the ultraviolet rays from penetrating skin pores, chemicals with sun screen effects are added in skin lightening lotions. Ultraviolet rays are now blocked and melanin synthesis slows down.

In order to aid in skin lightening effects, exfoliation is also essential. With exfoliation, dark-colored skin in the surface will be removed, leading to new skin cell resurfacing. New skin cells appear lighter in color since they are not yet exposed to the sun and melanin synthesis did not yet take place.

Skin lightening lotions also maintain healthy moisture of the skin to prevent microorganisms from increasing in number and destroying skin pores.

Controversies on skin lightening products

When they were initially introduced, skin lightening products became very controversial. This is because some chemicals added in their formulations are said to be dangerous to human health. Experts have then emphasized that they have added the chemicals in diluted forms to avoid risks to human health. Chemicals included in skin lightening lotions are regulated in their normal levels by experts.

Another controversy regarding skin lightening products is the inclusion of mercury, a toxic chemical. Although mercury can effectively lead to skin lightening effects, it has been removed as a component in major brands of skin lightening lotions because it has been proven to destroy other cells and tissues.

Skin whitening lotions, lasers and cryosurgery

It is highly recommended to opt for skin lightening lotions than to choose surgery and lasers. Although the effects of lasers and surgery can be immediate, complications from them can be severe. With the use of skin lightening lotions, you may observe slow onset of effects but side effects are very less.

Side effects

The use of skin lightening lotions may lead to side effects if they are not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most common side effects are associated with allergic reactions from its active ingredients. It is best to check if you allergy on some of the product’s active ingredients before you use it. Hyperpigmentation and irritation is also possible when you are exposed to the sun while using the product. You must avoid sun exposure while using skin lightening lotions.

Skin lightening lotions in the US

The following are some of the most common brands of skin lightening lotions available in the US.

-Illuminatural 6i






When choosing a skin lightening lotion, make sure to choose those with trusted brand names. This is to make sure that the product you are using is free from toxic chemicals such as mercury. Remember that you can achieve whiter skin without risking your health.