Top 5 Skin Whitening Ingredients Dermatologists’ Recommend


The most effective way to get a brighter skin tone is to tamper with the synthesis of melanin, a pigment that gives skin its color. The more melanin a skin has the darker the color is; so to get a lighter skin you need to decrease melanin levels.

However, if you plan to do this the first thing you need to know is that melanin is responsible for protecting you from the harmful effects of the UV radiation thus decreasing the risk of skin cancer. The synthesis of melanin is a complex process that includes 14 steps and thus offers many opportunities for human intervention that aims to prevent the successful production of melanin.

To decrease the level of melanin dermatologists rely on these 5 most successful substances.

1. Hydroquinone

Love it or hate it, but hydroquinone has been used to lighten the dark patches of skin for over 50 years and is still one of the most effective product on the market (if used wisely).

It treats freckles, chloasma (melasma), acne scars and age spots by decreasing the production and breaking down the melanin in the affected area.

This is achieved by an inhibition of enzyme tyrosinase which is essential for melanin production. It is an aggressive substance so the recommended concentrations are no more than 2-4% and it needs to be used only on undamaged skin to avoid serious consequences. Skin redness is considered a normal reaction.

It needs to be used regularly for around four weeks for the effects to be visible and it should not be used for more than two months at a time.

2. Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is growing more popular among dermatologists as it is great for treatment of many skin related issues.

It is most frequently used by people who suffer from rosacea, or persistent skin redness, but it has shown great results in treating acne and dark spots on skin.

The azelaic acid selectively targets cells that hyper actively produce melanin which is great as it will not affect normal melanin producing cells thus evening out your skin color. This fact makes dermatologists prefer azelaic acid to hydroquinone as hydroquinone makes no such differentiations.

3. Melanozyme

Melanozyme differs from other skin brightening product because it uses a more direct approach that gets you the results faster.

Essentially, while all other products work to break the melanin production chain, melanozyme works by dissolving melanin directly from your skin.

As you might suppose stopping the production of melanin, no matter how aggressively, will take more time to give visible results while dissolving of melanin represents a more direct and faster approach. This is the reason melanozyme products achieve the desired results within four weeks while others take at least a month or two.

Once melanozyme dissolves the excess melanin from your dark spots you get an evenly pigmented skin.

4. Kojic Acid

Kojic acid is a natural compound derived from a type of fungi, native to Japan, that is gaining popularity in skin cosmetics due to its effectiveness, long shelf life and lack of negative side effects.

Kojic acid works by inhibiting the synthesis of melanin and it affects all areas of skin, unlike some other products, so it is perfect for gaining an overall lighter skin tone.

It has to be used for several months to get clearly visible results so that long shelf life comes in handy. Great for people who are not necessarily concerned with dark spots but would like to have a brighter skin color.

5. Arbutin

Arbutin is a gentle skin brightening agent extracted from bear berry plant. It uses a well-tested method of inhibiting melanin formation by blocking tyrosinase, but unlike hydroquinone it is far less aggressive and much less likely to damage skin or cause unwanted side effects.

It is great for regular, long term use as it lightens acne scars and dark spots. There are even reports claiming that arbutin has skin cancer prevention benefits.

It has a superior shelf life, better than all the other ingredients, even kojic acid, and shows good stability when exposed to heat and air.


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