15 Best Skin Lightening Creams, Gels and Serums – One should never be judged based on his/her skin tone, but having glowing, radiant skin surely adds to one’s beauty and confidence. Increased pollution and other environmental factors do cause our skin to get dull, dark and also lifeless. Here we present you a list of 15 Best Skin Lightening Creams, Gels and Serums that will help you to get back your original complexion. We are not promoting any fairness creams, but these skin lightening creams help to brighten up complexion, minimize age spots, get rid of sun tan. So whether you need to lighten your pigmentation, get rid of acne marks or want to remove that bad tan, here is a list of 15 Best Skin Lightening Creams, Gels and Serums for you to choose from.
Check – How to Make Skin Brightening Serum Using Cucumber
Before we move on to the list of best skin lightening creams, lets first check out some important facts about them, and how to choose skin lightening creams based on your skin type.
What Determines Our Skin Color
Why do the skin tone varies in individuals? It’s because of the presence of melanin. Melanin is a pigment that is produced by a type of cells known as melanocytes. The amount of melanin present in the skin is again determined by our genes. The more the melanin, the darker the complexion. However, there are a few factors that triggers more melanin production, such as exposure to sun light, hormonal imbalance, damaged skin, exposure to certain chemicals etc.
Check – Basic Skin Care Tips for Healthy, Clear and Beautiful Skin
How Skin Lightening Creams Work
Skin lightening creams or skin whitening creams or fairness creams (as we call them) contain an active ingredient or a combination of few ingredients that helps to cut down the amount of melanin in the skin where it is applied. The main ingredients of most of the skin lightening creams can be sorted into 3 categories. Check them below –
Melanin Inhibitors : They actually work to inhibit tyrosinase enzyme and control the production of melanin. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that controls the production of melanin in our skin. Regular use leads to less melanin production and the result is lighter skin tone. Skin lightening creams with melanin inhibitors actually work better than the rest.
Exfoliants : We all know what are exfoliants. They essentially remove the dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin. Dead skin layer not only make our skin dull and dark, but they also prevent the fairness ingredients or skin lightening creams to penetrate deep into the skin and do the job. Exfoliants do not lighten your skin tone, but they support the melanin inhibitors. The melanin inhibitors block the melanin production over time and the exfoliants encourage new cell turnover which result in fresh, new and brighter complexion.
Melanin Killer : These guys work even better than the melanin inhibitors. They are the only skin lightening ingredients that kill the melanocyte cells altogether. One such ingredient is ‘monobenzone’, but these ingredients are absolutely not recommended since they can potentially disfigure our skin!
How to Choose Skin Lightening Creams depending on Skin Tone
To get the best out of the skin lightening creams, one must choose them according to the skin type. Otherwise, like most of the skin care products, these skin lightening creams can also cause acne, rashes and other issues. So, lets find out how to choose fairness cream for dry skin and fairness cream for oily skin.
Fairness cream for dry skin – In case your skin is dry, then go for something that offers enough moisturization and hydration. Best fairness cream for dry skin should not only lighten the complexion, but will also moisturize the skin to make it supple and healthy.
Fairness cream for oily skin – Those with oily skin know the pain of applying cream to the skin. The same goes for fairness cream for oily skin as well. So, best fairness cream for oily skin should actually have light, gel like texture and make sure its a non-comedogenic formula, which means it should not block pores, because that can lead to acne, whiteheads and blackheads.
15 Best Skin Lightening Creams, Gels and Serums
Now that we have learnt some interesting facts about skin lightening creams, here is a round up of 15 best skin lightening creams, gels and serums.
1. Pond’s Flawless White Visible Lightening Day Cream
Price : Rs.599/- for 50 gm
The first on our list of skin lightening creams is this one from Pond’s. One of the best skin whitening cream, this one claims to protect, nourish and treat your skin from deep within. This fairness cream comes with VAO-B3 complex that helps protect your skin against harmful sun rays including various UV rays.
Its active ingredients such as Stearic Acid brings long lasting improvement to your skin tone by working at the deepest levels and give you lighter and brighter skin. It helps mitigate the damage caused by harsh elements including you face every day. This skin light cream also contains niacinamide that is known to reduce skin darkness.
This face whitening cream is readily absorbed and does not leave any greasy effects. This is one of the best fairness cream for oily skin, thanks to its non-oily formula. It also works on dark circles which is another good thing.
Check – Ponds White Beauty Naturals Spotless Lightening Cream Review
2. Kaya Pigmentation Reducing Complex
Price : Rs.1190/- for 90 ml
Next on our list of 15 best skin lightening creams, gels and serums is this Kaya serum. Kaya Pigmentation Reducing Complex is a unique formula which combats skin troubles and helps you achieve the flawless skin you always dreamt of! This skin lightening serum contains Azelaic acid that helps to correct dark spots and phytic acid which is a proven ‘melanin inhibitor’. The hygienic pump packaging surely adds to its appeal. It claims to be one of the best skin lightening creams for all skin types.
3. Lakme Absolute Perfect Radiance Skin Lightening Day Creme
Price : Rs.120/- for 15 gm
This is one of the best skin lightening creams from the house of Lakme. This fairness cream comes with precious micro-crystals and skin lightening vitamins to give you a fair, illuminated look. Moisture-rich yet so ultra light this face whitening cream melts into your skin with a silky feel. This formulation gently polishes your skin to reveal that illuminated look.
One of the best fairness cream for oily skin, it replenishes and moisturizes your skin giving it an instant fairer glow. Its advanced skin lightening formula is infused with vitamins, to give you a radiant, flawless skin. This is one of the best skin whitening cream with smooth, rich texture and is perfect to add to your cosmetic kit.
Its sunscreens with SPF 30 protect your skin from sun damage. Along with luminous, glowing skin, the day cream gives you an even skin surface. It prevents dark spots, blemishes, and breakouts giving you the perfect, radiant look.
Check – Lakme Absolute Perfect Radiance Skin Lightening Day Creme Review
4. Garnier Skin Naturals Light Complete White Speed Fairness Serum Cream SPF 19
Price : Rs.85/- for 18 gm
Next on our list of best skin lightening creams is this new launch from the house of Garnier. You must have seen Alia Bhatt promoting this fairness cream on TV. It comes with ‘Active White Molecule’ which is one of the best whitening ingredients with 10X power of Vitamin C to give instant whitening and flawless skin. This face whitening cream with SPF 19 and PA+++ protects skin from further darkening by harmful UVA and UVB sun rays. It also claims to make you two tone fairer in 2 weeks.
Check – Garnier White Complete Fairness Cream and Face Wash Review
5. Biotique Bio Coconut Whitening and Brightening Cream
Price : Rs.199/- for 50 gm
This is one of the best herbal skin lightening creams available in Indian market. This skin light cream is infused with pure coconut and other natural extracts, like manjistha, badam tail etc which together help lighten dark spots and blemishes. This Biotique Bio Coconut cream, one of the best skin whitening cream, has intense moisturizer which keep the skin hydrated making it look and feel soft, supple and healthy. Made up of 100% botanical extracts, it also claims to remove sun tan. This is one of the best fairness cream for dry skin as well as normal skin. This skin light cream is preservative free and cruelty free as well.
Check – Biotique Bio Saffron Dew Youthful Nourishing Day Cream Review
6. Himalaya Herbals Natural Glow Fairness Cream
Price : Rs.47/- for 25 gm
This is one of the most affordable as well as herbal skin lightening creams in Indian market. Himalaya Herbals Natural Glow fairness cream is one of the best skin whitening cream for all skin types. Its unique formulation ensures five visible actions: lightens and evens skin tone, reduces blemishes and dark spots, helps reduce under-eye dark circles, nourishes skin and moisturizes skin without making it greasy.
The unique ‘Phyto Vitamin Complex’ in this face lightening cream comes from a complex of Alfalfa, Saffron, Vitamins B3, and Vitamin E. Vitamin B3 is an effective skin lightening compound while Vitamin E helps protect the skin against oxidative damage. Alfalfa is source of natural Vitamins A, K and D, polyphenols and flavonoids. It is also high in calcium and phosphorus, iron, potassium and essential enzymes.
Saffron has been used in skin care for centuries for a fairer, brighter complexion. Saffron keeps the skin moisturized and smooth. Crocin and Crocetin present in Saffron help to enhance the complexion and lighten skin. This skin light cream is dermatologically tested, noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic.
Check – Himalaya Herbals Natural Glow Fairness Cream
7. Lotus Herbals Whiteglow Skin Whitening & Brightening Nourishing Night Cream
Price : Rs.410/- for 60 gm
Here is another affordable skin lightening creams which is available in Indian market. This is one of the best skin whitening cream for oily skin beauties, because of its non-greasy and lightweight texture. The skin light cream is a breakthrough advanced formula containing fruit and herbal extracts that reduces pigmentation and nourishes your skin overnight. Enriched with Grape, Mulberry, Saxifraga extracts, green tea extract and milk enzymes it claims to lighten, whiten and brighten your skin, overnight. It unveils visibly fairer skin by reducing the dark spots while enhances your skin’s radiance naturally.
Grape extract works as an exfoliator which helps active ingredients to penetrate into the skin. Mulberry extract acts as a melanin inhibitor. Milk enzyme in this face whitening cream helps to block the melanin pathways. Saxifraga extract is an antioxidant as well as acts as a melanin inhibitor. This skin light cream promises to lightens your skin tone by reducing uneven pigmentation.
Check – Lotus Herbals Papayablem Papaya N Saffron Anti Blemish Creme Review
8. Fair & Lovely Advanced Multi Vitamin Expert Fairness Solution
Price : Rs.130/-
Here comes one of the most popular and pocket friendly skin lightening creams in Indian market. This Fair & Lovely fairness cream is best suited for normal to dry skin types. Enriched with Vitamin B3, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, this skin light cream gives an instant fairness and glow and is very safe to use on daily basis. This skin whitening cream comes with advanced sun protection formula which shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB radiations. With regular use, dark patches and spots on the skin start getting lighter.
One of the best skin whitening cream, this Fair & Lovely Advanced Multi Vitamin Expert Fairness Solution fights against the five skin problems effectively. Firstly, it provides an advanced fairness to your skin by reducing dark spots just like a laser treatment. Secondly, it polishes the skin and gradually cures skin darkness and tan. Just like a face peel, the cream removes the dullness and adds a certain glow, making you look fresh and younger. Fourthly, the Advanced Multivitamin Cream also works as an anti-oxidant and lightens the dark circles. Finally, this face whitening cream even works as a vitamin mask, adding health to your tired skin.
This dermatologically tested skin light cream is recommended to use twice daily – once in the morning and once in evening after clearing the face.
Check – Fair & Lovely BB Cream Review
9. Olay Natural White 7-in-one Night Nourishing Repair Cream
Price : Rs. 350/- for 50 gm
Next on our list of best skin lightening creams is this beauty from the house of Olay. This is a night cream which help recharge your skin while you sleep. One of the best skin lightening creams for normal to combination skin, this Olay Natural White Night Cream provides deep nourishment to your skin overnight and provides 7 fairness benefits –
- Lightens Skin Tone
- Brightens Dull Skin
- Reduces Dark Spots
- Evens Skin Tone
- Smoothens Skin
- Sun Protection
One of the best skin whitening cream, this Olay Natural White Night Cream contains Vitamin B3 or Niacinamide that increases the rate of skin renewal, pro vitamin B5 to provide intense hydration and Vitamin E which protects the skin with its powerful antioxidant properties.
10. Neutrogena Fine Fairness Brightening Serum
Price : Rs.799/- for 30 ml
If you prefer fairness serums over skin lightening creams, then this one is for you. The product contains retinol – which contains vitamin A and is a potent anti-oxidant, niacinamide – which contains vitamin B and has the ability to retain moisture and it is anti-inflammatory as well. It has ascorbic glucoside, which is an anti-oxidant and helps in providing a whitening effect.
This Neutrogena Fine Fairness Brightening Serum also contains ascorbic acid, which contains vitamin C and it acts as an anti-oxidant, reduces skin discoloration, enhances the repair process of the skin, and acts as a whitening agent by helping the skin withstand exposure to the sun.
The product is specially formulated using an upgraded version of the Neutrogena Healthy White Complex and Intelli-Whitening Technology, which makes the product work harder on the darker areas of the skin, helping in reducing the stubborn dark spots, chicken pox marks, and patches of dark skin formed due to pigmentation and exposure to sun.
Neutrogena Fine Fairness Brightening Serum can be used both, by men and women. The serum can be used on all skin types as well. The product has a lightweight water texture with no alcohol or any kind of oil. It is also non-comedogenic. It is almost unscented and does not cause any kind of skin breakouts.
11. VLCC Snigdha Skin Whitening Night Cream
Price : Rs.450/- for 50 gm
Here is another skin lightening creams to get glowing, fair and clear complexion. This face whitening cream is an unique hydrating and non-greasy formula to reduce the appearance of dark spots and dullness. It gives a healthy-looking natural fairness that glows from within. Rich in natural actives and ideal for night care application, it reduces blemishes and dark spots.
One of the best skin lightening creams for dry and mature skin, this VLCC Snigdha night cream deeply hydrates the skin and rejuvenates the skin cells, giving fairer and radiant complexion along with prevention from early aging. It helps in reduction of pigmentation, dark circles and fine lines plus smoothens your skin, which leads to fine texture and even skin tone.
VLCC Snigdha Skin Whitening Night Cream contains comfrey. Comfrey has a potent skin-healing agent called allantoin, which can be found widely in cosmetic preparations, especially those for sensitive skin. It helps in cell regeneration, aids wound repair, accelerates skin healing, and possesses anti-inflammatory activity.
Check – VLCC Diamond Single Facial Kit Review
12. Lotus Professional Phyto-Rx Whitening & Brightening Serum
Price : Rs.495/- for 30 ml
This serum protects the skin from exposure to sun and helps to recover from the loss of natural fairness. This revolutionary tri-action blend of Amla Berry, Lychee and Punarnava Root acts against UVA and UVB induced stress and pigmentation, resulting in a lightened skin tone. Enriched with anti-oxidants, this skin lightening serum moisturizes and promotes healthy skin.
Amla berry is also an effective skin lightening agent. Furthermore, Lychee is an antioxidant that boosts moisture and promotes healthy skin. Poonarnava root promotes lighter and even toned complexion. Instead of skin lightening creams, if you want to try any fairness serum, then this one should be your pick. In fact, it is a prservative free, potent organic formulation and free from artifical fragrance and colour.
13. Just Herbs Fair’E Mulethi-Khus Skin Lightening Gel
Price : Rs.725/- for 50 gm
Neither skin lightening creams, nor fairness serums, if you are looking for a fairness gel, then check out this one from the house of Just Herbs. It is free from petrochemicals, parabens, SLS/SLES PEG/PPG, Genetically modified ingredients(GMO) and other synthetic ingredients.
A blend of exotic natural extracts of wonder herbs, to be used at night, this Just Herb Skin Lightening Gel also helps to fade away dark patches and spots. Moreover, Indian herbs Fumittory and Manjishtha help detoxify the blood and boost circulation to fade freckles and skin discolorations, while liquorice and yellow zedoary help control the melanin producing mechanism triggered by inflammatory response of the skin to exposure of sun’s UV rays. Vetiver roots promote skin regeneration and rejuvenate the sun damaged skin cells for a visibly fairer and radiant skin.
It is a great option for oily skin beauties, since heavy skin lightening creams can block the pores and trigger breakouts, but this one is gel and also feels lightweight on the skin.
14. Avon Anew Fairness Night Cream
Price : Rs.1500/- for 50 gm
If you do not mind splurging on costly skin lightening creams, then here is one for you. This night cream is formulated with Yeast Extract that helps you accelerate the melanin discharge found in the skin surface cells to lighten your skin.
15. Innisfree Whitening Pore Cream
Price : Rs.2300/- for 50 ml
We are going to end this list of 15 best skin lightening creams with this beauty from Korean beauty brand ‘Innisfree’. Though quite pricey, but this is one of the best skin lightening creams for oily to combination skin. The moisture-filled cream that takes care of skin tone, dark spots, and skin texture for transparency and brightness. It has fresh tangerine peel juice made by squeezing fresh tangerine peel harvested in Jeju that contains six types of citrus flavonoid for brighter, clearer skin. One of the best skin lightening creams from the house of Innisfree, this one brightens dull and uneven skin tone and inhibits melanin generation in skin to brighten skin and smooth the texture for a flawless skin.
So this was a list of 15 best skin lightening creams, gels and serums for you to achieve brighter, glowing and flawless skin that you have always dreamt of! Like every other beauty product, its important to check ingredient list of the skin lightening creams as well. Below is a brief discussion on what you should look for and what you should avoid in the ingredient list of skin lightening creams.
Ingredients to look for in Skin Lightening Creams-
Arbutin : This is an extract from bearberry plant. Also known as Alpha Arbutin, this ingredient is very effective in reducing melanin production.
Kojic Acid : It comes from a fungus and been used to make famous Japanese drink ‘sake’. This is used these days in skin lightening creams in place of hydroquinone.
Niacinamide : Another name for Vitamin B3, this ingredient is very helpful to reduce darkness from the skin. It is anti inflammatory in nature and has the ability to retain moisture.
Vitamin C : This is one of the most important ingredients that you must check in the ingredient list of skin lightening creams. It can exfoliate the skin, remove the layer of dead skin cells and help to reveal fresh and brighter skin.
Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Lightening Creams
Mercury : It is a toxic ingredient that can cause serious neurological as well as kidney problems.
Hydroquinone : This used to be a very common ingredient in skin lightening creams, but now it has been banned in some countries.
Using skin lightening creams are not enough to get the skin of your dreams. You need to back it up with healthy diet and proper lifestyle. I hope you found this post on skin lightening creams helpful, do share your feedback below in the comment box 🙂