A bleaching face cream is a topical ointment designed to fade age spots, reduce freckles and lighten the complexion. To choose the best bleaching face cream, select a cream that contains melanin-inhibiting ingredients. Creams containing exfoliating agents like alpha hydroxy acids can also help to lighten the skin. If these products fail to produce the intended results, consult a dermatologist to determine whether a prescription cream might be more beneficial.
Many skin bleaching creams lighten the skin by preventing the production of melanin. One of the most common bleaching agents used in facial care is hydroquinone. Over-the-counter hydroquinone is available in strengths of up to two percent. Stronger formulas containing up to four percent hydroquinone are available by prescription. While hydroquinone is an effective lightening agent, some experts have questioned the safety of using this ingredient over long periods of time.
Retinoid, arbutin, azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide and vitamin C are also effective in lightening the skin. Like hydroquinone, these substances work by slowing the production of melanin. When used on a regular basis, these ingredients should gradually make your skin appear lighter. If you would prefer not to use hydroquinone, look for a bleaching cream that contains one or more of these ingredients.
In addition to melanin-inhibiting ingredients, exfoliating agents can also lighten the complexion by removing pigmented cells from the surface of the skin. The most commonly used exfoliating agents are glycolic acid and lactic acid, both of which are alpha hydroxy acids. For the most dramatic results, look for a skin cream that contains alpha hydroxy acids and different lightening agents. If you have sensitive skin, be careful when using a skin cream that contains both alpha hydroxy acids and melanin inhibiters. To avoid irritation, test the face cream on a small patch of skin before applying it to a larger area.
In many cases, the regular use of a bleaching face cream will reduce the amount of pigmentation in the skin. If after using a bleaching face cream as directed you do not see satisfactory results, you might need to consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist might suggest trying another over-the-counter product or write you a prescription for a stronger bleaching face cream. Prescription bleaching creams contain potent lighteners like tretinoin, hydroquinone or a combination of the two ingredients. These ingredients are typically more effective in diminishing the appearance of drastically uneven skin and lightening the skin tone.