Skin lightening products ingredients

Kojic Acid

Kojic acid lightens the skin by inhibiting the production of melanin. Kojic acid is derived from Koji (a Japanese mushroom). Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. Kojic acid is one of the most popular natural ingredients found in skin lightening products.


This skin lightening ingredient is extracted from the roots of the paper mulberry plant. Mulberry is more effective than hydroquinone and kojic acid because lower concentrations are needed to have the same effect as higher concentrations of kojic acid and hydroquinone.

Alpha Arbutin

Alpha Arbutin is a biosynthetic ingredient that blocks melanin biosynthesis by inhibiting enzymatic oxidation of Tyrosine and Dopa, thereby reducing production of melanin or skin pigment. Alpha arbutin has a stronger effect than beta-arbutin and is also commonly found in skin lightening products as a safer alternative to hydroquinone

Beta Arbutin (Bearberry Extract)

Beta arbutin (commonly known as just arbutin) is derived from the leaves of bearberry, cranberry, mulberry and blueberry plants and is present in most types of pears. It can have melanin-inhibiting properties. It works in a similar way to kojic acid, in that it inhibits the production of tyrosinase to restrict the amount of pigment produced. Although naturally derived, it can cause skin irritation in some people with sensitive skin.


Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that has several health benefits including boosting the immune system and cleansing the liver. The only known side effect of glutathione is skin whitening. It is commonly found in skin lightening pills but can also be used topically when found in skin lightening soaps.

Licorice Root

Licorice is commonly used in the skin lightening industry. Licorice works to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase to limit the amount of pigment produced. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is especially effective at fading suntans.


The papain enzyme found in papaya works to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and reveal new, brighter skin cells beneath. Orange and green papaya are both effective but green papaya contains more of the papain enzyme. This ingredient is most often found in soaps but sometimes in skin lightening creams too.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A Acid, also known as retinol or tretinoin increases the rate at which skin cells are renewed. Increased skin cell turnover means that the brighter, fresh skin underneath can be revealed. Vitamin A is very important to healthy skin.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide or Vitamin B3 has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an effective topical skin lightener and works by inhibiting melanin production in the skin. It is found in some skin whitening products and sun screens but it is also possible to buy Niacinamide capsules that can be applied directly to the skin.

Vitamin C

At concentrations of about 10%, Vitamin C works to suppress the production of pigment in the skin. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a derivative of Vitamin C and this is the form of the ingredient that is commonly found in skin whitening products. Vitamin C can also protect the skin from ultraviolet rays and gives Vitamin A extra support.


Derived from botanicals, this all-natural complex has been shown to noticeably brighten skin with regular application. An in-vivo study also proved that using Gigawhite on a regular basis caused age spots to fade and shrink.


Like Gigawhite, Biowhite is made from botanical extracts specially chosen for their skin whitening effects. These non-damaging and non-toxic ingredients – which include extracts of mulberry, saxifraga, and grape – have been shown through in-vivo tests to reduce skin pigmentation and boost luminosity.


Sepiwhite is a molecule that works by “antagonizing” alpha-MSH and inhibiting tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is the essential enzyme in the formation of melanin by converting DOPA to DOPAquinone. Therefore, reducing its activity is a principal method of improving skin tone.

Hyaluronic acid

This potent moisturizer found in the body won’t lighten skin, but it’s plumping, toning, and smoothing effects make it an ingredient you should look for when you’re shopping for a skin lightening product. Hyaluronic acid will help keep lily-white skin looking youthful and flawless.


Also known as Diacetyl Boldine, inhibits Tryosinase to help lighten the appearance of the skin and promote more even looking skin tone.

Shea Butter

Derived from the nut of the Karite Nut tree (mangifolia), Shea butter has been used by African women for centuries for both cooking and for its healing properties in skin care. It contains natural sun protectants and emollients, and is used in many moisturizers, soaps and skin creams to firm and tighten skin.

Evening Primrose Oil

Used as a food and natural medicine throughout history, Primrose is effective in skin care to help alleviate dry skin.


A botanical extract of the comfrey plant, Allantoin is a natural-identical, non-toxic moisturizer that promotes the health of the outer dermal layer.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Used as a preservative, this extract is a natural antioxidant.

Extrapone Nutgrass

Naturally inhibits melanin to gently whiten your skin.

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