What are some good skin-lightening materials I can use in a face cream while avoiding hydroquinone? I've come across undecylenoyl phenylalanine but I wonder if it is very effective at all.


  • Retinol at 0.5-1%. In my opinion, it's more effective than 2% Hydroquinone (I tried both). 
    But it causes a lot of issues such as peeling, redness, irritation and many consumers wouldn't like it. It is also very hard to stabilise and it's very very prone to oxidation.
    If you are looking for something that wouldn't cause a lot of problems AHAs is your best bet.
  • AHAs. Makes sense. Glycolic, lactic, mandelic etc
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    The only thing proven save and effective to the satisfaction of the FDA is hydroquinone.
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