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Top 10 Safe Skin Lightening Ingredients: Here's What You Should Know

Medically reviewed by Kristina Campos, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Elaine Felicitas · Updated Jun 22, 2022

Top 10 Safe Skin Lightening Ingredients: Here's What You Should Know

Most Filipinos are born with darker skin. However, some people want their skin color to be a few shades lighter. Following this, it is important to know which skin products work to make your skin lighter. Here are the top 10 safe skin lightening ingredients.

Top 10 Safe Skin Lightening Ingredients

There are a lot of skin lightening ingredients found in different face creams and lotions.

Kojic acid

A product made from different fungi which reduces hyperpigmentation and results in lighter skin.


This is a type of hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant which prevents the formation of melanin.

Vitamin C

Aside from being an antioxidant that protects skin from damage, it also lightens brown spots and evens skin tone.

Glycolic acid

This is one of the alpha-hydroxy acids used for derm peels which not only lightens the skin but also minimizes wrinkles.

Azelaic acid

This is found in grains such as wheat and barley and are known to have a better effect compared to hydroquinone.

Linoleic acid

This is a fatty acid that can be found in sunflower, corn, and canola oil, and is used for skin brightening products.


This is a form of vitamin B3 used for skin lightening.


This helps skin to lighten but it should not be used through injections or IV drips.

Licorice extract

Licorice extract disperses melanin and inhibits melanin creation in the body. However more studies are needed to prove its whitening effects.

Mulberry extract

Tests using mulberry extract revealed no significant skin irritation. However, more studies regarding its skin lightening effects are still needed.

Top 10 Safe Skin Lightening Ingredients: Factors That Affect Skin Lightening

While these ingredients are expected to make your skin lighter, this depends on a lot of factors. People’s skin are different from each other. This can affect the efficacy of the skin lightening product. Whether your skin responds properly or becomes irritated when using the product depends on your body.

The formulation and quality of the products can also affect how fast your skin will lighten. There are products that are formulated for different types of skin and even for specific races. What might work for Caucasian skin might not work for Filipino or Asian skin. Also, there are certain ingredients to look out for like mercury and unnecessary fragrances which may harm the user.

Proper use of skincare products can also be a factor. The top 10 safe skin lightening ingredients can help you but if you are using the wrong amount or application methods, these might not serve their purpose. Mixing and matching skin products can also make skin lightening faster or can ruin your skin if not done correctly.

Top 10 Safe Skin Lightening Ingredients: What Next?

As consumers, it is best to be conscious of the products that we use. Skin is the biggest and most exposed part of the body, which gives a lasting impression to other people. Read about potential skin lightening products first before buying or using them. Consulting a doctor or an expert is also a good option as they’ll be able to give advice that fits your condition.

Light skin is nice to have but what is better is to have a healthy and strong body. Lighter skin appearance does not necessarily equate to health. Learning to appreciate what you have also boosts your mental health.

Key Takeaway

Knowing the top 10 safe skin lightening ingredients helps consumers know which products may really help with skin lightening. Aside from the ingredients, people should also know the formulation of the product, and how to properly use, and mix and match it. These factors affect how fast your skin lightens apart and how your body reacts to these products. Always consult with your doctor if you need advice on what to do with your skin to be on the safe side.

Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Kristina Campos, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Elaine Felicitas · Updated Jun 22, 2022

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