Ambi Fade Cream Review

Ambi Fade Cream is one of the oldest hydroquinone-based skin lightening creams. The brand was introduced in 1966 and more than 50 years and several awards later, this fade cream has gained popularity, especially among women of colour. So, what is there to know about this product? Here is a detailed Ambi Fade Cream review.

How Ambi Fade Cream Works

The cream is made from powerful and potent formulation which helps in fading dark spots and lightening the skin. The cream works by inhibiting melanin production. This it does by;

  • Decreasing the production of melanosomes; the cells responsible for melanin synthesis 
  • Breaking down melanosomes and
  • Inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme needed for melanin synthesis

The ingredient which makes all this possible is hydroquinone. Its handy in reducing the high levels of pigmentation common in dark and brown skin types.  

Additionally, Ambi contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) which helps in exfoliating the skin and revealing lighter skins cells. It also contains Vitamin E which softens the skin and protects it from further damage.


The main active ingredient in the cream is Hydroquinone, which is a crude oil derivative with skin bleaching properties. Ambi cream is infused with 2% hydroquinone which is the highest concentration allowable over the counter.

The other active ingredient is Padimate O, which is an organic compound derived from aminobenzoic acid. The compound is used in skin care products as an active sunscreen agent. It absorbs ultraviolet rays, which essentially prevents sunburn and photoaging in skin.

Other inactive ingredients include:

  • Betaine
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Glycerin
  • Fragrance
  • Stearic Acid
  • Water  

How to Use Ambi Fade Cream

Like with many skin lighteners, best results are achieved by following the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. The makers of Ambi Cream have the following ‘how to use’ instructions.  

  • Remove dirt and makeup by washing and cleansing your face using Ambi foaming cleanser.
  • Hydrate your skin by applying a moisturizer on the affected areas
  • Apply a thin layer of the cream; caution is given not to apply the product on areas that you do not want to lighten.

The manufacturers recommend use of a regimen for fast and best results. The products to use include Ambi fade cream, exfoliating wash, Ambi foaming cleanser, moisturizer, and Ambi Minimizer.    

Side Effects

  • Swelling and peeling of the skin
  • Mild skin irritation, burning and stinging- especially during first time use.
  • Localized contact dermatitis- it’s worsened after long sunlight exposure of treated skin.
  • In rare case, exogenous ochronosis has been reported. This is a blue-black skin pigmentation that results due to long term use of topical creams that contain hydroquinone.  


  • The product is readily available in most local cosmetic shops.
  • Fast acting- can deliver results in two weeks.
  • Reduces appearance of acne spots, dark spots and wrinkles.
  • Softens and smoothens the skin.
  • Reasonably priced
  • Has been used for over 50 years


  • Does not work on all skin types  
  • It can result in skin irritations among other side effects
  • Contains hydroquinone, a potentially dangerous ingredient.
  • Too many ingredients in one product

Customer Reviews 

There are a lot of Ambi Fade Cream reviews online which the product has gained over the years - with a lot of them being very positive. That said, some users have reported negative results not included in list of possible side effects. Such include:

  • Breakout of skin lumps and scarring
  • Oilier skin and clogged pores
  • Reactivation of acne
  • Bad smell

Cost and Where to Buy

You can buy Ambi Fade Cream O.T.C from beauty shops and online stores at a price ranging from $5.72 to $7.61. You can also get Ambi Fade Cream from Amazon for a price starting at $4.73 and above for 1 pack of 2 oz. (56g). There is also provision for buying several packs at once.

Is Ambi Fade Cream Good for You?

Ambi Fade Cream is as good as any 2% hydroquinone cream can be. That said, it is safe to use as long as you:

  • DON'T use alongside products containing resorcinol - when combined with hydroquinone, the two increase your risk of ochronosis
  • DON'T combine with peroxides- their interaction with hydroquinone causes temporary staining of the skin
  • DON'T use for more than 4 months without alternating with other milder agents
  • DON'T apply around the eye area


Ambi Fade Cream is effective in fading most forms of hyperpigmentation. It has also been around longer compared to most other product. However, the fact that it contains hydroquinone, a skin lightening compound that has attracted a global uproar due to its connection to various health risks cannot be ignored.

Note that the cream is meant for the dark skinned population; the very people among which ochronosis is prevalent. Having weighed your options, the decision on whether to use the product lies solely on you. On the other hand, feel free to check out how the cream compares to the best skin lightening creams for black skin without hydroquinone.

  • Neha says:

    Can I use this cream for underarms?

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