Fade creams are skin lightening products. They are also known as bleaching creams, skin lighteners, skin whiteners, or skin brighteners. They work by reducing a pigment called melanin in the skin. More on that later, but first here is our best fade creams comparison chart.
Why Use A Fade Cream?
Most people use fade creams to treat skin problems such as freckles, age spots, sun spots, liver spots, acne scars, melasma, or other discolorations. They are also used to lighten naturally dark skin.
Fade creams have been around for decades to help with common skin discoloration conditions. In the past, it was more difficult to find high quality products that were not dangerous to use.
Back then most manufacturers were using Hydroquinone and even Mercury in their formulas. Hydroquinone is known to reduce hyperpigmentation, but there are many concerns regarding its safety. This harsh chemical has since been banned in many countries.
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.
Mercury is a highly toxic chemical that should never be applied to your skin. Always remember what goes on your skin goes into your body.
Are Natural Ingredient Fade Creams Effective?
The skin cream industry has moved towards natural ingredients, so more natural alternatives are now on the market.
But which ingredients actually work and live up to their claims? Some of the best and safest ingredients are natural extracts including:
These ingredients are effective and generally tolerated by the majority of skin types. None of these have the same side effects of Hydroquinone or Mercury.
Skin lightening products can come with some risks. As with any new product, be sure to read the label and know the facts before you buy and apply any kind of topical cream.
HOW SKIN WHITENERS WORK
An excess of melanin production is what causes spots on your skin. Skin whitening creams inhibit the production of melanin. Less melanin means lighter skin. You can use this type of cream for treating a wide range of skin issues.
Skin lighteners contain an active ingredient or a combination of ingredients that reduces the amount of melanin in the skin where it is applied.
It’s present in all skin to varying degrees. People who have evolved from sunny regions have more melanin. People who have evolved from darker regions have less.
When melanocytes produce an overabundance of melanin in certain areas hyperpigmentation occurs. This causes typical skin issues including spots, dark or discolored skin patches, melasma, and overall uneven skin tone.
Carefully Read That Skin Cream Label
If a label lists hydroquinone but doesn’t say how much it contains, don’t assume it’s safe to use. Some foreign products contain more hydroquinone than is allowed in the U.S.
Make sure there is no mercury in the product. Mercury is sometimes listed under other names, such as calomel, mercuric, mercurous, or mercurio.
Make sure an over-the-counter skin lightener with hydroquinone has no more than 2% of that chemical. If a label lists hydroquinone but doesn’t say how much it contains, don’t assume it’s safe to use.
Better yet stay away from products containing this unsafe chemical. Some foreign products contain more hydroquinone than is allowed in the U.S. and some labels may not be accurate.
If you have any questions about a product you are considering, talk with your doctor or pharmacist to be certain it’s safe. Your dermatologist may also recommend other treatment options, such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments.