Nowadays, you can find many skin-whitening products on the market. The problem is that more than half of them are made with chemicals that also damage your skin. But if you want to achieve a paler tone, you can do so using natural skin-lightening products. And you can achieve a few shades lighter without the harsh side effects of chemical treatments.

What Is So Wrong With Commercial Skin-Whitening Treatments?

The main active ingredient in most chemically produced skin-whitening treatments is hydroquinone. Now, this ingredient is not harmful initially. It can inhibit melanin production, the chemical that gives your skin colour. However, this ingredient can darken your skin when used for a long period. Even worse, it can cause premature ageing and other skin damage symptoms.

The good news is that nature has many other ingredients you can use for whitening the skin. They work in the same way by inhibiting melanin production, the chemical that causes dark pigmentation and absorbing the sun’s harmful UV rays. Here are some of the best natural ingredients.

Citrus Extracts:

Lemon juice and orange peels are the best natural bleaching agents you can find. Rich in vitamin C, both ingredients help keep your skin firm and support its health. Vitamin C plays a role in producing the collagen fibers that support your skin. When applied topically, lemon and orange can slow down hyperactive melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin.

Fair notice: if you have sensitive skin, dilute the lemon juice, as it can irritate your skin.

Koji Acid:

Look at almost any skin-lightening cream label, and you’ll find kojic acid on the ingredients list. This white crystalline powder is derived from a fungus in Asia and has been used as a natural alternative to hydroquinone for many years. It can help reduce skin discolouration, hyperpigmentation, and much more like hydroquinone. Kojic acid works by inhibiting the function of tyrosinase, a protein responsible for melanin production. At the same time, it provides antioxidant benefits to the skin and protects it from the sun.

Bearberry Extract:

Some natural lighting ingredients are easy to find, while some are harder to source. This one falls into the latter category. The bearberry extract comes from the leaves of the plant. In many cosmetic products, bearberry extract is used as an astringent. The extract also contains Alpha arbutin, a chemical that can help you lighten the skin fast. This ingredient can also help with freckles, dark spots, and other types and forms of skin discolouration.

Bonus points: bearberry extract contains sun protection filters that will reduce the amount of tanning you experience after exposure to the sun.

Read More: Face Packs for Oily Skin

Licorice Extract:

The juice extracted from licorice root has been stapled in Chinese medicine for many years. But in terms of skin lightening, it wasn’t until the early 1990s. Back then, Japanese scientists identified a compound in licorice called glabridin, which can absorb UVA and UVB rays and be an effective skin-whitening element.

This compound works by inhibiting melanin-producing enzymes by as much as 50%. And it does that without any damage to the skin cells.

Vitamin B3:

When applied topically, vitamin B can help your skin retain moisture. Your skin will feel softer and smoother. In addition, vitamin B3 helps with reducing fine lines. And for skin whitening benefits, the vitamin can reduce melanin production. That is why B3 is often added to skin creams.

Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry):

We said previously that some exotic and hard-to-find ingredients are on the list. Indian Gooseberry is another example. The extract from this plant has antioxidant properties and anti-microbial properties and delivers a ton of vitamin C.

Combine all three, and the ingredient can protect your skin from damage by the sun and reduce hyperpigmentation.

White Mulberry Extract:

This tree is native to China. The extract from the white mulberry tree contains many health benefits, like preventing heart disease, reducing cholesterol, and preventing diabetes. But it can also help with your skin whitening problem.

Like other natural ingredients on this list, it inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which we know is responsible for melanin production. Just a drop of this extract can reduce melanin production by 50%.


Gigawhite is a skin brightener that is formulated from 7 Alpine plants. The skin lightener has been used as a primary active ingredient in skin products that can help whiten the skin. It also helps with the appearance of age spots.

The lightener was made thanks to a specific selection. More than 100 Alpine plants were originally selected. All of them could inhibit tyrosinase, the enzyme that triggers melanin production. Out of those, seven were used. Those seven exhibited the highest inhibiting activity. The result is a natural skin-whitening agent now used as an alternative to hydroquinone.

How To Choose A Commercial Natural Product?

While you cannot find many natural ingredients here raw, you can look for them in commercial products. If you want to buy a good whitening cream, check if it contains any ingredients listed here.


About Suvarna

Suvarna is a freelance content writer with over 8 years of professional writing experience. She specialized in developing research-based content on Beauty, Skin, and Hair Care. Suvarna believes that beauty is one of the key factors for every personality. She always strives to bring more authenticity and credibility to her articles.