Are the labels good for your skin or just good for business?

Read the Labels carefully before using Skin Brightening Cream

Estimated reading Time- 8 minutes 


Why would it not be? For centuries, fair skin has been understood as the ideal beauty. And this idea has carried on to the day we live today. Skin whitening cream for women have a root in harmful stereotypes and unrealistic beauty standards. Thankfully, new awakenings in the skincare world and the call for making beauty products more accommodating and inclusive have led to good changes.

But did you know that that’s not all the problem with skin brightening cream? Think about it, if a strongly formulated face brightness cream is claiming to change your natural skin tone, is there really nothing that could go wrong? Before getting into the “dark” side of these skin “whitening” creams, let us understand the concept of skin brightening cream for women.

What is Skin whitening cream for women?

Traditionally, skin whitening simply meant trying to get skin that is more “white” or “lighter” in skin tone. With a fair skin ideal, many beauty products aimed to do whatever it takes to appeal to this market.

However, today the concept of skin whitening or lightening creams for women is much different. These face brightness creams are not intended to make your skin something it's not. They are intended to get you the sort of glow and brightness that makes your skin look good. This involves getting rid of dead skin cells and oil-build up on your skin to get back the complexion you naturally have. It also involves removing blemishes and hyperpigmented spots to get smooth and clear skin.

But that is pretty much all. It does not encourage changing your complexion but helps you restore the beautiful one you already have. 

Lady is looking at her skin as there are lot of blemishes, pigmentations that is adding the cause of concern

The Dark Side of Skin Whitening Cream for Women

There are numerous Skin Whitening products available from reputable brands that promise fair, radiant skin. What they don't tell you is that these products have long-term side effects ranging from mild skin irritation to more serious issues such as skin cancer! Would you still want to try these fairness creams and take the risk?

Continue reading to learn more about the various chemicals found in most Whitening Products that are affecting our general well-being without our knowledge!

Lady is looking into the mirror as she is worried due to acne on her face


You may know mercury as the metal used in thermometers. You may also remember from your science classes in school that mercury is poisonous. But did you know several face brightness creams or skin whitening creams are filled with mercury in harmful proportions?

Indeed, reports have found that neurotoxin mercury is one of the most common ingredients used in face brightness cream. This is because mercury is effective in causing skin discoloration by settling into skin cells and stripping natural skin pigment. Overuse of it can eventually lead to a greyish-blue cast on your skin. Overuse of it, because it is poisonous, can also lead to the failure of essential organs such as your kidneys and livers.

Now, you never heard of that in the “Fair skin in 21 days” advertisements you’re fed, did you? High levels of mercury in fact were discovered in about 14 well-known Indian brands!


Hydroquinone is often known as the biological equivalent of a paint stripper. Therefore, it is essentially a bleaching agent. However, when used regularly, hydroquinone can have alarming effects on your skin.

Since it strips your skin off of its pigment, in the process, it can often cause skin thinning in the long run. This would in turn mean that your skin is much more sensitive, irritable, and sensitive to the sun. When your skin is more sensitive to the sun, it is highly vulnerable to serious skin diseases. A common condition associated with hydroquinone is Exogenous Ochronosis, which is an irreversible condition that causes your skin to appear bluish-black.

Additionally, it is known to thicken collagen in one’s tissues, causing ligaments on the skin. Hydroquinone is also associated with liver and kidney diseases!

To beware of hydroquinone, you’d also have to look out for an ingredient called “arbutin” in skin whitening cream for women. 


Corticosteroids are medical ingredients that are used to reduce inflammation or pain in the body. They are added to your skin whitening cream to make the ingredients work faster. This means that even if a high amount of bleaching ingredients are added to such a cream, it won’t hurt you… or give you the impression that it's hurting you.

Not only do steroids often make you underestimate the strength of the chemicals in your skin whitening cream but it also suppresses the production of natural steroids in your body: leaving it defenseless upon withdrawal. The result? Allergies, skin darkening, and scarring.

Safe Ingredients in skin whitening cream for women

Alright. Enough of the gloominess and the jump scares! Skincare should be about feeling good about yourself and refreshing your skin with the ingredients that suit your unique skin the best.

While many skin whitening creams for women have harmful ingredients, there is nothing wrong with wanting a brighter complexion and clear skin. And for these purposes, there exist multiple ingredients that can help you a lot without harming you in a long run. The key is to choose things that experts trust, do your research, and stick to natural ingredients for your skin’s optimal health. Once you do that, you will see the glow of your natural complexion and feel like yourself.

Here are some ingredients that are trusted by dermatologists and can easily be extracted naturally, so they are unlikely to harm you. Note that it is always important to do a patch test before trying any of these in a full-fledged manner.


Typically prescribed to those with acne problems, retinol or Vitamin A is one of those ingredients that are simply irreplaceable. Here’s how it works: it fastens and strengthens your skin's regenerative process. Retinol and other Vitamin A derivatives sink into your skin immediately and increase cell turnover. This helps you get rid of the top dead layers of your skin faster while new smooth skin arrives on the surface.

Because of this, retinol is excellent at healing acne scars, getting rid of fine lines, slowing the aging process, and ultimately giving you skin that always looks as smooth as new skin generally is. Therefore, retinol can give you a brightened skin devoid of all the built-up pollution, oil, and dark spots. This renews your beautiful natural complexion.

Because retinol is a strong ingredient, it is generally not recommended unless you have a lot of scars and spots to get rid of. It is also to be used with great caution if you have dry and sensitive skin.

Vitamin C

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of Vitamin C is its versatility - it works for practically any skin type and is generally safe. It can also be paired with other skincare ingredients with no side effects. It is derived from lovely-smelling fruits such as lemons, green apples, and oranges.

If we were to start speaking of the benefits of Vitamin C, it would be difficult to stop. But from an big perspective, Vitamin C can help you balance your Pitta (fire) dosha by quenching the thirst your skin experiences. The hydration that Vitamin C provides helps you slow aging, boost collagen production, and even lighten hyperpigmentation. In fact, studies have found that Vitamin C application reduces the production of tyrosinase, which is responsible for melanin production on your skin.

Thus, by adding water and nutrients to your skin while preventing pigmentation, Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients you could find in a skin whitening cream for women.


AHAs stand for alpha-hydroxy acids and generally signify a range of acids found in organic things such as yogurt and sugarcane. Among the range of acids that come under AHAs, lactic acid and glycolic acid are skincare favorites.

These acids work by dissolving the upper dead skin layer on your skin and subsequently adding water and nutrients to it. This helps you increase your cell turnover and ultimately heal/get rid of existing blemishes on your radiant skin much faster.

AHAs are generally not as strong as retinol in causing rapid cell turnover, which is why they are pretty comfortable to use for all skin types.


Don’t get startled by its fancy name! Niacinamide is nothing but Vitamin B3, an ingredient you’re likely to see in many skin-whitening products. It is an essential nutrient that is present in our foods. For the skin, it is important for cell repair.

Think about any problems of the skin: be it breakouts, scars, dark spots, or dark circles - all of these problems are essentially fixed by repairing the skin cells they have affected. This is what Vitamin B3 does for your skin.

Quite like Vitamin C, niacinamide is also a skincare favorite because of its versatility and reliability. It generally does not harm any skin type. It is used for a plethora of skincare issues ranging from rosacea to managing acne to removing pigmented spots.

Thus, it is common to see niacinamide in natural skin whitening creams for women. It is often with other ingredients we have mentioned in this blog.

Lady looking at the back and smiling as she is happy with natural skin of her's

The Bottom Line

The key to having perfect, radiant skin is not to change your complexion or attempt to make it as white or fair as possible. Instead, it is to make conscious choices in your skincare that take care of your skin rather than trying to change it. The beauty you may look for externally already exists in your skin - you just have to rejuvenate it!

Skin whitening is an issue that shares roots with fair skin beauty ideals, which is why it can be tempting to go for products that offer you fairer skin by any medium possible. However, not only do these chemically loaded skin whitening creams for women deceive and harm you, but they also don’t have effects that last. Any forced bleaching of your skin remains temporary because your natural skin will still produce the melanin it normally does.

Choosing natural ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and AHAs are the way to go if you want to brighten up your skin safely. Unlike chemicals, these ingredients help you restore the goodness and natural glow of your radiant skin beneath the skin problems, pollution, and oil build-up. The product like Kumkumadi Tailam effects last and rejuvenate your skin with regular use and care.


Recommended Products by Blue Nectar: 

Brightening Sandalwood Cream 15g

Shubhr Brightening & Radiance Sandalwood face cream for Dark Spot & Pigmentation (Women)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.