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Skin Bleaching Creams and Products

Skin-bleaching products work by fading those oversized freckles known as “age” or “liver” spots, lightening brown patches, evening out splotchy skin tone, and depigmenting areas that are overly pigmented due to sun exposure, hormonal imbalance, or scarring.

“Some over-the-counter skin lighteners have glamorous names such as Porcelana and Esoterica, which make them sound like cosmetics. In truth,” according to The Prevention How-To Dictionary of Healing Remedies and Techniques, “these products are drugs containing the active ingredient hydroquinone in a 2 percent concentration, says Jerome Z. Litt, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

“Hydroquinone does not actually bleach the skin. Instead it works by inhibiting the skin’s pigment-producing cells, or melanocytes, which lie deep in the skin. Hydroquinone prevents the melanocytes en route to the surface from getting their full quota of pigment.

“It may take weeks, and often months, for the new, lightened skin cells to finally arrive at the surface. That means that you have to be diligent (and patient) in using your skin lightener, applying it twice a day, every day.

“By following this regimen, 80 percent of users will show some lightening effect after three to six months, studies show.”

Skin lighteners work best on people with lighter skin tone. Note that skin lighteners are not to be used on inflamed skin, bruises, birthmarks, moles, or blemishes that appear to be changing shape, color, or size. You could possibly disturb the skin’s melanin production and trigger a cancerous condition called melanoma.

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