Born in southern California, Jennifer Pena studied at Fresno State to earn her degree. There she met her now husband Rick. Now a mother of four, Jennifer works diligently for her daughter's PTA. Considered by many to be an expert in the field of anti-aging and anti-wrinkle products, Jennifer has combined her scientific knowledge and real world experience to help guide others in their decision making process.

How To Find The Right Skin Lightener?

There are many reasons why women fear of going out and showing off their skin to others. One such reason could be due to the result of hyperpigmentation on the face and other parts of the skin, age spots, acne scars, or discoloration related to hormones which are exposed to the eyes of others.

While foundations, tinted creams and concealers are an obvious choice to reach out to for help, these products don't necessarily offer the best results or a longer term solution.

Therefore lightening the skin is possibly the best treatment to even out the skins inconsistencies. Skin lightening products are also known as bleaching creams, whiteners, skin brighteners, or fade creams and they work by reducing a pigment called melanin in the skin.

There are a ton of lightening products in the marketplace but the trick is finding the right skin lightening treatment.

These are ingredients you want to search for when looking for a skin lightening product:

Natural Skin Lightening Ingredients

Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine

This amino acid chain naturally brightens skin and evens skin tones, without the downside risk of ingredients like hydroquinone that aggressively bleach the skin, potentially removing more pigment than desired.

Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate

This water-soluble, non-irritating, stable derivative of Vitamin C lightens skin by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme that triggers melanin production. It also delivers other Vitamin C benefits like boosting collagen synthesis and acting as a powerful antioxidant.

Ferulic acid

This potent, ubiquitous plant antioxidant becomes more stable and effective when combined with Vitamin C. Studies show that when used in concert with Vitamin C, ferulic acid doubles photo protection, from 4 fold to 8 fold, as measured by both erythema (redness) and sunburn cell formation.

Niacinamide and glucosamine

Niacinamide inhibits melanin production and has long been used to lighten skin. Better still, a study conducted in 2006 by Proctor and Gamble showed that the combination of glucosamine and niacinamide synergistically treat hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tones in UV damaged skin cells. Prior to this study, glucosamine was not even considered as a skin lightening ingredient in cosmetics.

l-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)

Vitamin C is crucial for maintaining tissue health, and because it is not synthesized by the body, our only source comes from our diet. Because it is integral to so many skin functions we believe topical supplementation ensures that the skin doesn't get neglected. This is because topical applications, as long as the antioxidants are in their fresh, non-oxidized form, will not be diverted but will target skin tissue so that collagen production and antioxidant activities can proceed normally.

Kojic acid

A natural byproduct of the sake fermentation process, this ingredient was first discovered by women working in sake plants who noticed their hands were becoming whiter as they were exposed to it. It works in a similar fashion as licorice root and Vitamin C, inhibiting the enzyme that stimulates melanin production.

Skin Lightening Ingredients to Avoid


Hydroquinone is known to produce serious side effects when used over a long period of time. The Story of Cosmetics highlights this ingredient as one of the most toxic ingredients on the market. It is reported to increase the risk of developing leukemia, liver cancer, skin irritation, irreversible hyperpigmentation (exogenous ochronosis) * and reproductive damage. Hydroquinone photosensitizes the skin, making it susceptible to skin cancer. The FDA regulates the use of hydroquinone in the U.S. Over-the-counter skin lighteners can contain up to 2% hydroquinone. Dermatologists can write prescriptions for lighteners that contain up to 4% hydroquinone.


Used to suppress inflammation associated with skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis, steroid creams contain powerful ingredients like Clobetasol Propionate, Fluocinolone Acetonide or Betamethasone Dipropionate. One of steroids side effects is skin lightening, but prolonged use can lead to skin problems such as steroid rosacea and thinning of the epidermis.


The Vitamin A derivative found in Retin A, Avita and Renova, tretinoin increases cellular turnover rate, thus eliminating pigment already pooled in the epidermis. Overuse can result in dry, thinner skin. Sensitive skin types can also experience redness, scaling, itching and burning. Thinner skin can increase susceptibility to deleterious effects of UV exposure.

Glycolic Acid

The Alpha hydroxy acid expedites cellular exfoliation, and serves the same purpose as tretinoin described above. Again, the long term side effect of greater UV susceptibility obviates the short term skin lightening effect.


The use of mercury as an ingredient in skin lighteners is banned in the U.S. However, some skin lighteners produced outside the U.S. may still contain mercury.


If your skin has a tendency to develop hyperpigmentation it is also a good idea to shun products containing alcohol, which can accelerate the problem.

Skin Lightening Treatments to look out for:

Difficult as the process goes, you have to know some factors that will help you with your purchase of the right skin lightening treatment. First, you have to consider how effective these products work. While you may hate doing a trial and error, it may help to discover the efficacy of the product. The thing you have to do when using several skin lightening products is that you have to give your skin some time to breathe. This just allows for you to be able to really figure out how effective it was for you. It may take a little trial and error but you will find one that you can commit to!

Reading feedback from previous customers is a great way to evaluate whether or not it's worth trialling a product. This can help you whittle down the better brands and also increase your confidence towards using the product. This also guarantees you are getting the right product to make use of.

Last but not the least - product guarantee matters. Why? Because firstly these companies back themselves and also they care enough about their customers to really get an opportunity to try the product with zero risk.

So since there are so many lightening creams and lotions on the market, finding the right one specific to you and your stretch marks that actually works does take some work. We've put together a list below of products we've tested and based our results on what we feel are the most important factors in determining what is absolute bottom line requirement for consumers.

These product results were determined by the inclusion of high quality, powerful natural ingredients, include clinical research and studies of ingredients, optimum amounts of ingredients with synergistic powers and properties, whether they are doctor formulated, made in the USA, no side effects and backed by a money back guarantee and priced fairly.


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