The reasons why people want to lighten skin fast varies. Reasons to seek a fairer complexion include hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne scars (or even scars in general), photo-aging, random dark areas on the body, and simply for aesthetic reasons.

Causes of skin darkening

  • Hyper-pigmentation

Hyper-pigmentation is darkening of the skin, usually in patches. Common forms of hyperpigmentation are liver spot aka age spots and melasma. Damaging exposure to the sun causes age spots. Whereas hormonal changes observed with birth control pills usage and in pregnancy cause melasma. Hyper-pigmentation can also be representative of systemic diseases and medications.

  • Acne Scars

Scars are often the result of rough, long, and continuous acne injuries. However, acne scars result from the darkening of the area around the pimples. There are many types of acne scars. But acne scar in the article refers to the discoloration of the skin after injury and inflammation.

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  • Photo-aging

Photo-aging is aging of the skin caused by light (photo). The skin age prematurely due to repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun and from artificial UV sources. This aging is thus provoked and is different from chronological aging. Photo-aging is characterized by the appearance of dark spots, freckles, wrinkles, and etc.

  • Random dark areas of the body

Many individuals experience darkening of body areas such as underarms, elbows, knees, toes, and fingers. Darkening of underarms is often associated with accumulation of dead skin cells, bacteria, and friction from tight closes. On the other hand, darkening of elbows, knees, toes, and fingers might be associated with skin dryness.

    • Aesthetic reasons

Some communities believe that a fairer completion is more attractive. Therefore, they pursue lighten the skin to be easily integrated into society, get a job, marry, etc. Similarly, some women and men believe they look better with a whither skin tone. Also, brighter skin tone commonly associated with being photogenic. Thus in the age of social media, lighten skin fast has become a tendency.

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Best ingredients used to lighten skin fast


Hydroquinone is usually the first line treatment used for skin whitening. Despite the many controversies around the compound, no definitive study ever showed hydroquinone harmful to human. Hydroquinone remains the number one ingredient dermatologists prescribe to lighten skin fast. Doctors also recommend it to treat hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne scars, photo-aging, or random dark areas on the body.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

AHA mildly exfoliate the skin, increase skin collagen and elastin. They are ideal to get rid of dead skin cells accumulation. Skincare brands add them in lotions, creams, peels, cleansers, and soaps. However, peels can be abrasive to the skin and dermatologists only recommend them for deep serious skin issues. Common AHA includes citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), and lactic acid (found in sour milk).

Kojic acid

Kojic acid is another ingredient that lightens skin fast. It mildly inhibits the formation of pigment in plant and animal tissues. So people commonly use kojic acid for skin brightening and to even skin tone. Moreover, people who only wish to maintain a bright complexion and even tone appreciate the mild skin lightening effects of kojic acid. This is one of my go-to ingredient in creams.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Studies showed that topical use of vitamin C dramatically brightens and even skin tone. In addition, this powerful antioxidant help protects and repair skin cells.


The whitening effects of glutathione only recently came to light. Glutathione is one of the few skin lightening ingredients with diverse routes of administration. Which route is best for optimal skin whitening results? Is it infusion, injection, sublingual, oral, or topical? is there a glutathione containing food? Read the answer


In order to protect your complexion and prevent skin darkening, it is imperative you use a sunscreen. I addition, the ingredients used to lighten skin fast make the skin weaker and more vulnerable to sun damage. You should also wear sunglasses, a hat, or carry an umbrella if you live in a region where it is constantly sunny.

How to quickly lighten the skin?

Use the following techniques to speed the whitening process

– Be consistent

– Use big amounts of product at each application

– Use combination of ingredients

Simply use a combination of hydroquinone + AHA or kojic acid or vitamin C. Never mix products instead, use them intermittently. An ideal weekly regimen will be as follow

Example: hydroquinone + kojic acid => 4 nights hydroquinone followed by 3 nights kojic acid

Always use sunscreen creams during the day and whitening creams during the night. Products that contain hydroquinone, AHA, kojic acid, and vitamin c, can be drying or not moisturizing enough. Therefore, it is best to use them during the night when you sleep.

Bonus Tip

In addition to all of the above, consider adding oral intake of vitamin C, Beta-carotene, and glutathione supplements for drastic results.