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.
  • @LuisJavier ;
    I have very success on lighting cream when I combine: vitamin b3, alpha arbutin, vitamin c together. But , be attention on pH . 
  • What type of vitamin C?
  • Ethyl ascorbic 
  • Hydroquinone on black skin causes ochronosis on the long term, I've heard a few formulators here adding benzene and mequinol crystals plus fermented kojic dipalmitate to make a "cocktail " that's added to base cream at a ph of 5, but I've been reading on benzene and found it controversial but really most lightening agents are controversial. 

    I recently found out some bleaching creams contains actual bleach for washing clothes, hair relaxer, fungicide for killing weed and many shocking things 
  • Benzene is a recognised carcinogen. Strange that some people would add it to skin-lightening applications.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Majman - which formulators on here have advocated using benzene?  That is not a good idea but I don't think I've ever read that here before.
  • I am against any ingredients that are not healthy to us 
  • By "here " I mean in my country, I've seen some add it and claim it's healthier than using bleach and other toxic material or hydrogen peroxide. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Ah, that makes more sense.  Text is sometimes an inefficient way to communicate.
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