The Best Skin Lightening Products for Black Skin without Hydroquinone

The Best 9 Skin Lightening Products for Black Skin without Hydroquinone (products below)

Skin lightening trends are very common among the darker skinned communities across the Africa, America and Asia. The statistics have confirmed the fact with up to 70% of darker skinned and black women applying skin lightening products in various parts of the world. Africa alone has approximate 2/3rd of world's dark-skinned population.


The World Health Organisation recorded that by the late 60's over 60% of urban women in Africa reported using skin lightener formulas and it was fourth most commonly used product in an average African household. In African countries, there also tends to be a bigger market for unregulated products which cater to the middle class and low-income segments of the country.

Such products lead to harmful side effects and cause allergic reactions from toxic components such as Hydroquinone and other chemicals present in the products. In this article, we will talk about some of the best skin lightening products for black skin without Hydroquinone.

However, before that let's understand the skin lightening trends among African women so far to highlight the underlying serious concern of using highly chemical based skin lightening products on black skin.

The Trend

Although it is an uncommon practice in America, African-Americans use different varieties of skin bleaching products that are easily available in the market. Unfortunately, in some regions, lighter skin means better job opportunities and lesser prejudice in the white-dominated countries. This is a true scenario for South African countries where even the government was white dominated which lead to the skin lightening practice for many decades.

Due to lack of research in production, manufacturing, and use of sub-standard components to meet the market requirements, the companies have been selling out highly chemical-based skin whitening creams to keep up with the demands of the consumers.

The most commonly used products are skin bleaching and skin lightening creams. Olay, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, Fair & Lovely, and Lotus are some of the international brands that have been made available in the African market. In the US, these brands are off-the-shelf products that are not expensive and thus more easily available to the middle and low-income households.

So, which are the Best 9 Skin Lighteners?

#1 - Zeta White Cream

Zeta White is one of the latecomers to this already saturated market with its 24/7 formula what guarantees to work or they will refund you the purchase!

With its unique 3-in-1 formula, this cream keeps working on your skin 24/7 and we believe this is what is making it one of the most effective natural skin whitening creams out there. Whether it's skin hyperpigmentation issues or sun damage, Zeta White suits all skin types.

• 100% vegan, natural, not tested on animals and does not contain any harsh chemicals
• Unprecedented 100% Money back guarantee if you aren't satisfied with the results.

The product works by decreasing the melanin content of your skin and has three different products in it's range. 

To read an in-depth review and see some absolutely amazing Zeta White "Before and After" photos, please click on the link below:

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

#2 - Amaira Skin Lightening Serum

Amaira Natural Lightening Serum has some very potent ingredients in it to be effective enough to be compared with chemical based skin bleaching products. But if you can have all natural product, why take the risk of chemicals?

It's FREE shipping and great multi-buy offers also make it very affordable for anyone who struggle with dark spots, acne spots, hyperpigmentation or just want their intimate areas look better. 

Our rating: 4.6 out of 5

#3 - Meladerm

The safest bet when it comes to skin lightening creams is definitely one without any of these harsh chemicals that are dermatologically tested on the black skin. A good example of this would be "Meladerm by Civant Skin Care". This product contains no hydroquinone and has herbal active ingredients such as licorice and mulberry.

The product is engineered to work by evening out the skin tone leading to a brighter complexion altogether. This is achieved by minimizing the appearance of sun damage and hyperpigmentation issues that might have covered up certain areas on the skin.

The process takes around 2-3 months for you to start witnessing the desired results. The skin tones get gradually even and lighter.

Meladerm rating: 4.3 out of 5

#4 - Revitol Skin Brightening Cream

Revitol cream is a herbal based cream that is specifically developed to make dark skin look lighter. The ingredients used in the creams are not just the plant-based but also safe to minimise the pigmentation, freckles, and liver spots

  • Revitol lightening cream provides a great way of lightening the dark appearance of black skin with the regular usage
  • This non-hydroquinone cream contains Arbutin, Shea Butter Lumiskin, and Allantoin which combines to provide you with an excellent skin whitening, moisturising cream.

#5 - Obagi Nu-Derm Clear FX Skin Lightening System

Obagi Nu-Derm Clear FX is another skin whitening product which includes the active ingredients such as Water, Arbutin, Vitamin E & Glycerin. The Nu-Derm System enters underneath the skin and makes changes to the functioning of the skin cells by reducing the high melanocyte production.

  • It is free from hydroquinone and is proven to reduce dark spots and blotchy skin for African and African-American skin.
  • The brand claims that it is more effective and brightening alternative as compared to the hydroquinone based brightening creams.

Thought the cream takes little longer to deliver the results, it works for all skin types and regular use of the cream will provide you gradual lightening effect on your skin

#6 - Whitening Labs Anti Aging Whitening Cream 

This is a product of Whitening Labs. The brand’s greatest selling point is the use of “safest, best quality and most effective ingredients” that lighten your skin and give it a great youthful glow. That said, the cream is said to be 72% organic. The main ingredients include hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, green tea, organic aloe vera, and kojic acid.

The active ingredients lighten the skin by inhibiting melanin production in various stages and also come with added benefits such as boosting collagen production, improving skin healing, and fighting skin damage. Green tea is especially effective in fighting premature ageing.

Going by user reviews, the cream is loved and loathed in equal measure; some customers report great results while others claim to see no improvement. Whitening labs cream is recommended for use day and night and for all skin types.

#7 - SecretKey Snow White Cream  

This is a strong niacinamide-based formulation which moisturizes and lightens your dark skin. The active ingredient, niacinamide, is a vitamin B3 derivative. It's one of the most beneficial nutrients for your body and whose deficiency can lead to several skin disorders. 

The ingredient helps to treat hyperpigmentation and lighten your skin by interfering with the functions of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. Additionally, it increases collagen production and minimizes the signs of sun damage that contribute to ageing. At the right concentration, niacinamide will also help your skin fight against oxidative stress from environmental toxins.

The cream is sold as a 3 in 1 product, which combines the properties of a BB cream, makeup base and skin lightening cream. This Korean brand comes with good reviews among dark-skinned users. There are however complains of the treatment being too heavy on the skin.

#8 - Pink Madison Whitening Cream 

This is a gentle natural cream that is effective at treating dark spots, melasma, and uneven skin tone. The main ingredients in the formulation include liquorice, bearberry, kojic acid and vitamin C, all of which are powerful natural skin lighteners. Others include coenzyme Q10 and hyaluronic acid.

Besides lightening the skin, the ingredients also come with additional benefits. Liquorice helps in regulating oil production making it great for acne-prone skin while vitamin C helps in collagen formation and protection from free radicals. Bearberry, on the other hand, increases skin cell turnover.

The cream is said to be light on the skin with a subtle scent. Like many other natural products, its results are not rapid. When you use it consistently, you should expect results in several weeks. Be sure to use with sunscreen as your skin is bound to get sensitive.

#9 - Protege Luminate Skin Lightening Cream  

Luminate skin lightening cream by Protege comes with a confident offer of 365 days money-back guarantee, no questions asked! The brand promises to lighten hyperpigmentation due to melasma, acne scars, and other discolourations and to diminish fine lines and wrinkles. Men and women of all skin types can use Luminate on all parts of the body, including intimate areas.

The cream does this with the help of the powerful blend of arbutin, kojic acid and niacinamide in its formulation. These work naturally by preventing excess melanin production, reversing environmental damage and encouraging the formation of new skin cells to leave your skin lighter, more evenly toned, and youthful.

Besides the actives, no other ingredients have been named but the manufacturers claim that the product is packed with emollients, vitamins and moisturizers. For significant results, you may have to use the cream for up to 3 months.


A little research definitely goes a long way in skin care because once you are aware of what works and what does not, you can make a wise decision in choosing the right product.

Checking the components of your skin lightening cream is very important especially since there is no set standard for ensuring and execution of the ban on toxic chemical components used in skin lightening and whitening products.

Let us know in the comment box if you have used any of the above-mentioned products and what has been your experience so far. We would love to hear from you!

Better safe than sorry is the best policy when it comes to self-care, always!

  • Teeja says:

    How to buy from out usa

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Teeja
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      I believe most of the products we’ve recommended are available with international delivery so you should be able to purchase them from their respective websites.
      I hope this helps.

      • fortune says:

        hw do i get these lotion in zimbabwe

        • Sonia Knight says:

          Hi Fortune
          Thanks for getting in touch.
          Which product are you interested in and maybe I can dig out more info.

          • deborah says:

            is gluta c good for a dark skin

  • abed ghandour says:

    hello how i can get the obagi cream and serum and what the price

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Abed.

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      To help you a bit better I’d like to know where abouts do you live?


      • Marlon Samuels says:

        I want a free sample on one of the product

        • Sonia Knight says:

          Hi Marlon

          Unfortunately, we can’t help with your request as we do not own any of the brands here…


  • Pris says:

    Hello comment enlever le grain de beauté naturellement

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Pris

      Sorry, I don’t speak French, could you ask your questions in English, please?


  • David says:

    My wife of Afro/ decent ,she has very black elbow. Can you help please.

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi David

      Absolutely! Any of the products listed here can help her with getting lighter-toned elbows.

      I hope this helps


  • Grace says:

    Where can I get some to buy

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Grace
      Thanks for your questions.
      I think we should have links to all the products official sites in this article so if you check those buttons what say either “Buy from Official site” or “check price on Amazon”.
      I hope this helps.

    • General says:

      i am in Spain malaga i want buy it

      • Sonia Knight says:

        Hi there

        Thanks for getting in touch.
        I believe all the products we have reviewed here can be purchased from their respective online shops and delivered to Spain.

        I hope this helps,

  • Sibyl Webster says:

    How do I get these products in Nigeria?

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Sibyl

      I hope you are well.
      As far as I know, all of the products we have reviewed here have worldwide delivery so you should be able to have them delivered to your doorsteps.

      • Ophelia ofori atta says:

        I would like to get one

        • Sonia Knight says:

          Hi Ophelia
          Thanks for getting in touch.
          We do not sell anything on Be:Skinformed, only review products, so you would need to follow links on our website and purchase from those companies yourself.
          Alternatively, we are running a Giveaway at the moment, so to have a chance of winning it, please check it out:

      • Mamy clarisse gbamou says:

        Hi how can get the product in malaysia

        • Sonia Knight says:

          Hi Mamy
          Thanks for your question.
          I’m pretty sure most of the products we have reviewed here are delivered worldwide but please check their official websites for more info.

  • Caro says:

    I’m in Uganda where can I buy these from??

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Caro
      You should be able to buy all the different products we have reviewed here on their official websites.

      I hope this helps,

  • Pamela says:

    My foot my knees & my hands are so bad that’s the reason why I want something healthy to help me I was going to take the Glutathione 💉 it expensive & it not guaranteed even 95% it going to work 🤦 so I started with the 💊 I’m on 6 bottle ain’t no effects at all so I do not want to spend a 1000 on the 💉

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Pamela

      Thanks for your message.
      Have you tried any creams at all as they are topical?

  • Mary says:

    How much is zeta white?

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Mary
      According to Zeta White official website, their single products start from $47.85
      I hope this helps.

  • Maliya says:

    Am Malia from Ghana were can I get some pls

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Maliya

      I believe all the products we have reviewed here can be purchased on their respective websites and delivered to your door.

      I hope this helps,

  • Erika says:

    Hola solo quiero aclarar la piel de mis brazos pero no encuentro alguna crema o priducto en México, ojala puedieras orientarme, mi piel es blanca pero la exposicion al sol la han quemado y quiero solo emparejar mis brazos.

  • Muni says:

    Which cream will work best as electrolysis has damaged my upper lip and has left dark looking marks

  • Akua says:

    Please which lightening creams work well with hard water

  • Opeyemi says:

    which cream can I use that can white me and as no chemical please I don’t av much for organic now

  • Evans says:

    Good Morning, am Evans by name do it being a while when i started using this precious perfect product which I never knew it has this hydrocodone stuff on it. So my question is that what can I do do to prevent this blue-black spot on face so is there any need to stop that product and what with the once you recommended according to the reviews on your page please

  • Regina Vanderpiye says:

    How can I get any of your product

  • Regina Vanderpiye says:

    Do these products have cleansers?

  • Chantelle says:

    Hy how can I get one of these products , I am in Zimbabwe

  • Shanti says:

    My skin is black which product is good for me to ake my skin white

  • Mary Miller says:

    I like to order the pills and how much it costs?

  • Rihanah Remy says:

    Am in turky pliz where can i get any of these

  • Faby Mboko says:

    These products contained hydroquinone?

    • Sonia Knight says:

      Hi Faby

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      No, none of the products on this page contain hydroquinone.

      I hope this helps, Sonia

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