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Bihaku — Japanese Skin Whitening Products

japanese whitening products
Bihaku is a Japanese word that refers to skin whitening or brightening function in beauty products. It literally means “beautiful white”.

Most probably know that whitening beauty products are HUGE in Japan (as well as other Asian countries). It is sort of like the Asian-equivalent of anti-wrinkle products.

For clarity’s sake, I’m using bihaku here to clearly differentiate Japanese products from other Asian countries.

What bihaku products do NOT do:

  • They do not give skin a whitened appearance!
  • They will not permanently or temporarily alter the natural skin colour you were born with. They cannot lighten your natural light brown skin to an alabaster shade!
  • They do not contain hydroquinone, mercury, or lead! These ingredients are illegal in beauty products in Japan!

Function and purpose of bihaku products:

There’re slight variations depending on the active(s) used but they all help prevent and fade hyperpigmentation. Pretty much everyone, no matter the age, sex, skin type, or skin tone can greatly benefit from these products.

  • Treat (and sometimes also help prevent) localised hyperpigmentation like melasma, acne marks, freckles, age spots, and dark spots.
  • Help fade and prevent a tan.
  • Brighten and even overall skin tone.

It is automatically assumed (since it is rarely written on the packaging) that users also practice sun avoidance and use proper sun protection daily in addition to using these products. Not doing so can cause an adverse effect!

Bihaku Quasi-Drugs

Quasi-drug is considered a medication and it has a restricted purpose of use. Most bihaku products are categorised as quasi-drugs in Japan so standard laws and import (personal and business) restrictions do apply just like any other medications!

For bihaku quasi-drugs, they contain active ingredient(s) that are approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to be effective (and safe) for preventing or improving on hyperpigmentation.

These products have stricter ingredient labelling regulations than regular products. For example, if a product contains regular zinc oxide, micronised zinc oxide, and silicone-coated zinc oxide, each has to be clearly identified on the ingredient list in order of quantity instead of simply grouping them together on the labelling as ‘zinc oxide’.

Bihaku actives approved by MHLW that are developed in Japan

They all reduce hyperpigmentation but the process differs. As you can see the chart below, it’s best to pick active(s) that will best treat the type of hyperpigmentation you have.

My sources of info are linked if you are interested in scientific studies and journals which explain each in details. Hover your cursor over the links for more info.

These are all the actives approved for treating hyperpigmentation:

  • 4-(4-Hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanol (4-HPB) → It inhibits melanin production.

Developed by Kanebo in 2007 and it is a has been shown to be effective for treating UV-induced hyperpigmentation and brightening and evening overall skin tone. source

  • 4-n-Butylresorcinol (Rucinol) → It inhibits melanin production.

Developed by Pola in 1998 and it has been shown to be particularly effective for treating melasma. source, source 2, source 3

E.g. of a product with this as main active: POLA White Shot W

  • 5,5-Dipropyl-biphenyl-2,2-diol (Magnolignan) → It decreases melanin production to treat UV-induced and hormone/medication-induced hyperpigmentation.

Developed by Kanebo in 2005 and it is a type of polyphenol with a similar structure as Japanese whitebark magnolia. source, source 2, source 3

E.g. of a product with this as main active: Kanebo Impress IC White Returnery

  • Adenosine Monophosphate Disodium Salt (AMP) → It prevents accumulation of melanin in the skin.

Developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical in 2004 and it speeds up cellular renewal rate to help in skin rejuvenation. source

E.g. of product with this as main active: InnerSignal Rejuvenate Clear-up Mask

  • Arbutin → It inhibits melanin production.

Developed by Shiseido in the late 1980s and it is a natural derivative of hydroquinone but it is non-cytotoxic. Source, Source 2

See products that contain this as an active ingredient: HERE

  • Chamomilla Extract → anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits UV-induced hyperpigmentation.

Developed by Kao in the late 1990s and it is the only whitening active from botanical extracts approved in Japan. It inhibits melanin synthesis in melanocytes. Source

E.g. of a product with this as main active: Curél Whitening Moisture Essence

  • Ellagic Acid → It inhibits melanin production to treat UV-induced hyperpigmentation.

Developed by Lion Corporation in the mid-1990s and it is a naturally occurring polyphenols found in certain plants. Its mechanism is similar to kojic acid. Source

E.g. of a product with this as main active: Helena Rubinstein Age White Reverser Superior Serum (a.k.a. AG White Reverser Concentrate).

  • Kojic Acid → antibacterial agent. It inhibits melanin production with very mild antioxidative effect.

Developed in the late 1980s and it is a by-product of Japanese sake’s fermentation process. In 2003, MHLW briefly warned against using kojic acid due to the possible carcinogenic effects but after further revaluation in 2005, it has been deemed safe as a cosmetic ingredient and continues to be widely used.

E.g. of a product with this as main active: Albion IGNIS Whitening Concentrate Energist

  • Linoleic Acid → It suppresses melanin production and accelerates skin cell turnover to treat UV-induced pigmentation.

Developed by Sunstar Inc in 2001 and it is an unsaturated fatty acid derived from hydrolyzed plant oils. Source, Source 2

  • m-Tranexamic Acid → It targets spots to suppress melanin production to treat UV-induced hyperpigmentation and it improves skin roughness caused by environmental factors.

Developed by Shiseido in 2002 and it is also used orally to treat melasma. Source

See products that contain this as an active ingredient: HERE

  • Placental Extract/Protein → It accelerates skin cellular renewal rate to remove pigmentation.

It is equally as popular and has been used as an active for as long as Vitamin C in Japan. It used to be bovine-derived but due to concern over Mad Cow Disease, it is now derived from pig or plant when used in beauty products.

E.g. of a product with this as main active: SOLANOVEIL Medicated Bihaku Milk

  • Potassium Methoxy Salicylate (4MSK) → It reduces melanin production.

Developed by Shiseido in 2003 and its mechanism is similar to arbutin.

E.g. of a product with this as main active: Shiseido HAKU Melanofocus W

  • Vitamin C → It prevents UV-induced hyperpigmentation by its antioxidative nature.

Ascorbic acid and its derivatives are the most popular actives in Japan and they have been used since the late 1980s. Many Japanese companies have developed their own ascorbic acid derivatives. E.g. magnesium sodium L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, L-ascorbic acid 2-glucoside (AA2G), L-ascorbic acid ethyl ester

See products that contain this as an active ingredient: HERE

What about the other actives?

Some of you probably noticed that there’re quite of a lot of common actives used for fading hyperpigmentation not listed (banned ingredients aside).

Popular actives like dipotassium glycyrrhizate, liquorice, and all other plant extracts, AHA, retinoids, etc. are all not (yet) approved by the MHLW for skin lightening.

What does that mean? Those ingredients can still be used BUT… without adding at least one of the approved actives, those products are not allowed to be labeled/classified as a medication for treating hyperpigmentation. Which implies to the Japanese consumers that they’re not as effective for treating hyperpigmentation (regular cosmetics VS quasi-drugs).

There’re generally 2 reasons why an active is not approved:

1. The active is deemed not effective enough.
2. An approval request for the active has not been submitted to the MHLW.

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72 Comments on Bihaku — Japanese Skin Whitening Products

  1. Hi, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on how to practice sun avoidance in a way that’s healthy and reasonable? (I’ve tried gauging opinions online and I always see crazies who recommend avoiding every photon of light if not wearing sunscreen).

    I have difficulty finding sunscreens for my very sensitivity-prone rosacean skin, and I was hoping for input on sun avoidance while still looking good fashion-wise and not limiting my ability to live my life normally (not interested in anything like outdoor sports or camping, for clarification) but still protecting my skin.

    • I’m not an outdoorsy person and I personally really hate the feeling of the sun on my skin (I get so hot and uncomfortable) so sun avoidance just comes naturally for me. I don’t wear proper sunscreen daily and I’m not concerned about skin cancer but I try to avoid the sun.

      I always seek shades! I would actually take a slightly longer route if it means I can walk in the nice cool shade the entire way. A wide brim bucket hat (dark colour is better than light) is both fashionable and practical. Also, cover up. I personally find UPF clothes ugly AF and the outdoorsy aesthetic that sun-protective clothes usually have don’t suit my taste. Certain fabrics are more UV-protective than others but I don’t think it needs to be all or nothing. A loose long-sleeve linen shirt worn as a jacket over a slightly cropped tank top works for me in the summer, especially since I’m not out in the sun.

      • Thank you! I was going to ask if you dress differently in Canada vs. Japan for summer because it can look quite weird to cover up in the heat outside of Asia, but I think the outfit you described would look good and normal anywhere.

        Do you still wear some type of SPF if not proper sunscreen? I’m tempted to skip SPF products for normal daily use entirely, even low SPF moisturizers, because it’s just not worth irritating my sensitivity-prone skin to test new products.

        I don’t like hot weather at all or care about skin cancer either, just about keeping my skin in good shape and avoiding sun damage long-term. I’m actually pretty sure sunlight isn’t even a trigger for my relatively mild rosacea but sun safety is broadly recommended to rosacea patients so I try to keep on top of it.

        • Dark clothes that cover the most skin would obviously the most protective but that can look quite strange and out of place in the heat (even in Japan!). For me, covering up with clothing in the summer is all about achieving the right balance in terms of skin exposure and fabric.

          If I’m spending most of my day indoors, a moisturiser or primer with SPF is good enough for me.

    • Taking any sort of supplements regularly without seeking consultation from your family doctor first isn’t a good idea. There is actually very little convincing evidence in favor of taking glutathione orally for hyperpigmentation. Most of the trials and studies available to date on glutathione for skin lightening are administered through different methods.

  2. What would you suggest for a good body lotion? I’ve searched to NO avail for “sake” containing body lotion, but no luck. Other than “the face shop” had a line, but it ezpired in 2016. Kojie san soap just didn’t work very well for me. I used it daily for about 6 months to fade a stubborn arm perma tan Anyways…any suggestions perhaps?

    • Body lotion as in a moisturiser? Kiku-Masamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Emulsion comes to mind. Realistically though, sake isn’t going make much visible difference in fading hyperpigmentation.

      • I chose sake because of the kojic acid/sake similar effects on skin supposedly. I just haven’t had much luck yet…Do you have any recommendations for a body lotion for fading a tan?

        • People (and beauty companies) like to play up kojic acid in sake. There’s only a trace amount of it in sake, it’s insignificant and will not do much for the skin. It’s incomparable to the actual kojic acid ingredient. A little like expecting blueberries to act as a preservative because they naturally contain parabens.

  3. Hi, I am 25 years old and I had a lot acne when I was a teenager, I took a treatment with issotretinoin but at the end I have dark spots in my cheeks, I guess I got them because the hormone and the sun, I am using a hydro quinine cream many times but it is not working so I would like to try a Japanese product.

  4. Hi there! I love your site, its so helpful! I had a few questions though! First, what products would you recommend for someone who is looking to lighten/even/brighten skin tone (both face and body)? I’m mainly interested in a product that would fade any tan/color I might accidentally get from the sun and help fade any minor hyperpigmentation/freckling that might develop from it. I have very fair, porcelain skin that burns easily, normal to combination (I wouldn’t want anything too moisturizing but ideally would prefer to avoid alcohol if possible- if thats not possible though, I’ll tolerate some alcohol in my products), somewhat acne prone. I scar very easily too.

    Also, I’m looking for a new facial and body sunscreen. Which would you recommend for this type of skin (to be worn daily but in summertime, when its hot and humid and very sunny). I also sweat very easily and heavily, so I think I’d probably require a more “heavy duty” sunscreen for daily use all year round (for my face at least). Anyways, any info/advice would be much appreciated!

    Oh, BTW, I currently use the Shiseido Urban Environment Oil Free UV Protector (sold in US) on my face and love it but it can be pricey. Would you happen to know what would be the closest Japanese version of this product? At least just in texture/feel? Its such a lovely product with an amazing finish! Thanks!

  5. Since you mentioned these are quasi-drugs are they allowed to be purchased from sites like Ichibankao to be shipped to US? I see them sold all over the internet and mentioned as normal skincare (OTC stuff, so not sure where the distinction is). Is there anywhere I can read up on the Japan-US purchase laws? Thanks for all your information as always!

    • Unless you’re planning on importing cosmetics/skincare products into Japan (to sell), it’s not something that you need to worry about.

      • Gotcha, yeah I would just be purchasing as a customer so didn’t know where the rules were for that. I have not purchased any products labeled bihaku yet so…Anyways thank you again for your quick response!

  6. Which actives would you recommend to a black female with old chickenpox and acne scars?

    • Are you talking about actual scars (change in skin texture) or dark marks (pigmentation issue)?

      If they’re pitted (or raised) scars, I’d recommend seeing a derm about TSA Cross or laser treatment — skincare products wouldn’t do much for them. Vitamin C, niacinamide, AHAs, and retinoids can all help fade dark marks (not all together!) and they’re safe for all skintones. Daily sunscreen is vital (even for naturally dark skin!) to prevent those marks from darkening!

      • Pigmentation issues. I use to see a dermatologist but he was more into old fashioned stuff and doesn’t do stuff he considers cosmetic treatments. I use sunscreen, did the C20 serum for a while. So I thought I would look to Japan for help in fading my scars.

        • Ah, gotcha!

          For vitamin C, I really like the Melano CC Essence for budget buys. Do read my review of it if you haven’t. HABA Medicated White Lady is quite excellent as it uses SAP, a vitamin C derivative that is shown to treat and prevent acne. In the US, it’s called “Fair Lady” but it’s the same thing.

          • Those sound good. It’s too bad I can’t show you my profile pictures I take as a way of monitoring any progress in scar lightening. I wish I could afford to try the HABA Medicated White Lady. I was wondering what do you think of tranexamic? I was thinking about buying a box of Kose tranexamic daily sheet masks.

            • Everything that I’ve read on Tranexamic Acid seems to indicate it being primarily effective on hyperpigmentation caused by UV only.

            • Oh ok. Are there any other recommendations or product suggestions (I’m ordering daily mask from Rakuten and wanted to make sure I get the right masks with the right actives)?

            • Old acne marks are very hard to shift without more aggressive approach, especially if you have resilient skin. I find the combination of retinoid at night + a potent vit C serum during day makes more difference.

  7. i lived here in dubai uae,,where i can purchase your skin whitening pills and skin whitening cream??is there any shop here in dubai??

  8. I am so sorry, this is so in-depth and informative but I still had a question. I looked at your chart and through your list of actives and what they do, but I was confused as to which actives help fade a tan. Would that be any of the ones that say “reduces melanin production” next to them? Thanks in advance and sorry again.

    • Yes, although the majority of them are intended to treat localised discolouration like dark spots. For fading a tan, vitamin C (and its derivatives) is a good choice. A good sunscreen everyday is essential regardless of the active(s) you use.

  9. Would you be able to recommend bihaku products for the body? Soap, cream, lotion etc does not matter to me. I browsed your page that lists the hyperpigmentation products on your site and the ones I looked at seemed to be for the face. The only other thing I have been able to find that looks remotely legit is Tokyo Love body whitening soap, but lots of the reviewers said that it dries out their skin and makes them peel. If that’s the only thing out there I’m game to try it since I have hyperpigmentation similar to: , as well as just uneven tan from a while ago that I would like to fade so I can just be all one color. Also, do Japanese (or atleast those concerned with hyperpigmentation and/or using whitening products on body) wear sunscreen under their clothes? I read normal clothes generally only have a upf of about 8, or is that just American clothes and Japanese clothes are made with higher spf/upf?

    • Whitening products for the body aren’t common. The most effective thing is to treat the skin on your body the same way as you do for the face. I personally use face products on the body.

      • Oh wow, is that also done everyday? Although I’m assuming once a day or is it twice a day like face also? May I ask what products you personally use on your body(if you don’t mind my asking)? Also, sorry for all the questions, hyperpigmention is such a confidence killer so this is really helpful to me and I really appreciate it.

        • I use whatever products I don’t like for my face on my body, so the specifics change all the time. I use lotions, serums, moisturisers (depends on what I’m trying to get rid of) on areas that constantly get exposed to the environment.

          The only “special” thing I do is I apply diluted Retin-A cream (mixed with hand cream) on the back of my hands.

      • I tried out that Tonymoly whitening serum you wrote a best pick review of on my body, and went through it so fast haha. I knew I would of course, even though I didn’t use it on my whole body, but was wondering if you could recommend some options that are a bit more economical? I really like the Medicated Sekkisei lotion, does mixing that in with some body moisturizer then applying that to the body sound like it would be ineffective or a bad idea for any reason? And are there any lip whitening products out there? When I was younger I was quite bad about lip sun protection, or any sun protection, and I’ve been covering my lips when I do my lotion mask, but after a while my lips get really cold (not just because of something wet on it, but really really cold) and I’m starting to wonder if I’m not supposed to do that. It doesn’t hurt, but I just want to make sure it’s not bad for me or anything. Also I’ve been looking for lip protection on Rakuten, and a bunch of them say “uv cut” but give no spf number or pa rating. What exactly does just “uv cut” and nothing else mean?

        • I don’t see the benefit in mixing the Medicated Sekkisei lotion. You’re just diluting it.

          Lips dont have melanin; they don’t tan, so applying whitening agents that work by inhibiting melanin production (i.e. most whitening actives in Japan) is pointless.

          • Oh ok I see thanks :] I’ve never applied just a liquid to my body before maybe I’ll try using a cotton square to try putting it on. That’s so interesting about the lips I have something that looks like sun spots on them but I must have been mistaken. Thank you very much.

  10. Hello, I just stumbled upon your website and I am literally blown away. Wooaa great info!!! Thank you so much for doing this. I am too battling some melasma spots (probably from hormones and/or BC). I have not used HQ and the idea just sounds terrible. I am trying retinoids but I peel like hell. Is there anything from the Japanese market that I should give it a try? I noticed you mentioned AHA and mandelic acid to a prev. question. How about the Neostrata level 2. Do you think that would do it? I got here because I was researching sunscreen. I can’t wait to try your recommendations Allie and Biore. I just recently got Anessa and my combo skin seems to be OK with it.

    • Thanks Simo — retinoids are geat if you can get pass the initial adjustment stage. If you’re skin is peeling like crazy, it’s best to either cut back or try a lower strength (if you’re already using it every other day).

      Neostrata Level 2 has 8% glycolic acid and 2% BHA, but no mandelic acid (a type of AHA). Mandelic acid is said to be one of the most effective treatments for melasma (more so than retinoids) so I would suggest try giving that a try.

      Also according a clinical trial study, many people have success fading melasma with Pycnogenol supplements. Here is a study if you want to read more about it

  11. Hello, I recently visited Japan and purchased some cosmetics. The shopping assistant recommended me Kanebo impress and Shiseido elixir white. I bought it not knowing that it is whitening products. I do not have a big problem with skin pigmentation, even though past year I started noticing tiny freckles after being in the sun (I use sun screen). I don’t know should I use these products or not, as word “medicated” and “quasi drug” is a bit off putting. Can it do any harm? Any advise would be very welcome. Thank you.

    • I would suggest reading this post again, as everything you asked has been addressed already.

      If you find them “off-putting” as you said, then perhaps just use something else? There’re countless non-medicated, non-quasi-drug, non-whitening skin care products available in Japan.

      • There are not much information on side effects of these products. To me it is also not completely clear whether people without pigmentation problem should use it if its used for treatment. On the actual kanebo website it doesn’t say much at all. I have over 500$ worth of cosmetics so its not a matter of one bottle of lotion.

        • Side effects of the active ingredient(s) or the products? These are beauty products not drugs. Just like any other skin care products, results (and adverse effects) will vary.

          You can always do your own research on the ingredients used in whatever products you’re using.

          Quasi-drug is a classification used in Japan only. In another countries, these drug-drug produst are just regular cosmetics.

  12. hello there, I’m right now in Japan and just like the others here, i’m wondering what creams or facial wash would be best for me. I’m prone to having pimples. Visiting the stores here just frustrates me since almost all products are in Japanese characters. So what can you recommend me? I want to have a supple, bright, smooth face.. haha, And I hope the product is just cheap. Looking forward to your reply. thank you.. You’ve been a huge help to those people here.. 🙂

  13. hello there, I’m right now in Japan and just like the others here, i’m wondering what creams or facial wash would be best for me. I’m prone to having pimples. Visiting the stores here just frustrates me since almost all products are in Japanese characters. So what can you recommend me? I want to have a supple, bright, smooth face.. haha, And I hope the product is just cheap. Looking forward to your reply. thank you.. You’ve been a huge help to those people here.. 🙂

    • Unfortunately, no one would be able to tell you what be best for your skin — other than yourself.

      My reviews can tell you what products I personally like (and why I like them), and you can use them as a starting point if it would help. Also, browsing through the cleanser section here will give you lots of options to consider.

  14. Hi,
    im in Japan now
    I want to get rid these dark spots because of UV lights
    what product will you recommend me?

    im not using sunscreen now, i do my daily regimen with Orbis (wash-lotion-serum), only for moisturizing, since I work daily, indoor. I also do not wear make up.

    • Unless you work in a windowless environment and you don’t step foot outside during the day, you’re exposed to plenty of UV rays, especially the dark spot-causing kind (UVA). Using a sunscreen daily is a must to prevent existing dark spots from worsening and also prevent new ones. Some treatments also make the skin more sensitive to the sun. There is no point in using dark spot treatments if you’re not using good sun protection daily. It’s one step forward, two steps back. There’s a myriad of sunscreens formulated especially for daily use in Japan. I would strongly recommend getting yourself a high protection sunscreen that you can use daily first.

  15. Hello! I use Kanebo Blanchir regularly, and I noticed that the latest version (Blanchir Superior) have no parabens in the written ingredients. Although some sites stated parabens are save, I prefer to stay away from it as much as possible because of hyperestrogen possibility. Parabens are everywhere (tooth paste, shampoo, body lotion), and the more containing-daily products we use the more our body absorb it. I only need to fade tan on my face, so I used to apply half pump of Blanchir Conclusion in the morning only (instead of two pumps twice a day as recommended), and it works. But I can’t find the Conclusion Superior (without paraben) nearby, and there was Hada Labo (still with paraben). Is it wise to use Blanchir regiments (magnolignan) combined with Hada Labo Whitening Essence (arbutin)? Can you inform me about parabens regulations in Japan? I use SPF 50+++ everyday, very very very hot here. Thank you. Your site is so informative to me.

  16. I have dark skin and want to lighten and even my skin tone. What would you recommend as a gradual lightening skin treatment?

    • You want to fade a tan or lighten your natural skin colour? Japanese whitening products cannot do the latter. Using a highly protective sunscreen (not SPF in makeup) daily is a must no matter what treatment you use.

    • Hydroquinone itself is legal (and has been for years) but only as a topical medication from the pharmacies. It’s not permitted for use in cosmetics (including ‘quasi-drug’ skincare products) so you’ll not find it in Japanese whitening products.

  17. Hi! im currently residing in japan and i really want to get lighter whiter skin! what is the best whitening lotion/ pill/ soap i could use cause i really want fast effects. THANK YOU! and your blog is the best that ive seen when it comes to japanese cosmetics! 🙂

    • There is no “best” as results will always vary in the end. Also, it depends on why you want “lighter whiter skin”. Are you trying to fade acne marks, freckles, melasma, etc.? Are you trying to fade a tan? If so, what is your current skincare routine and do you wear a highly protective sunscreen daily? Even the most potent products will take time (few weeks minimum) to work and they will not prevent your skin from developing more if you’re not taking preventative measures.

      Or you have none of these problems and just want lighter skin? You will not be able to lighten your skin beyond the natural skin colour that you are born with using Japanese whitening skincare products. There are no products that can safely do that.

  18. Thanks for the answer. I’m already using hidroquinone 4% to sleep with, in Brazil it is legal, my idea with the allie whitening is only to help the effects of hidroquinone, my brazilian sunscreens are so oily and even the oil control types are greasy, and they don’t help me to keep the whitening effect. After allie whitening I will try Biore UV perfect or Biore bright milk, to get de matte effect. thank you very much. Daniela

  19. Hy, could you recomend me a whitening sunscreen with matte finish? I bought Kanebo Allie Whitening and I am wating for, I am from Brazil and ordered on Ichibankao. Did I choose well? thanks. daniela

    • In my opinion, whitening active ingredients in sunscreens will not do very much as they are too far away from the skin. Between your bare skin and the sunscreen, you most likely have on serum and moisturizer. These products will act as buffers. Active ingredients need be as close to the skin as possible to be the most effective. Kanebo Allie sunscreens are excellent but I highly doubt the Whitening version will make a difference on the skin (compared to Allie’s other non-Whitening sunscreens).

  20. Thanks forthe feedback
    I do not speak English well, I’ll try google translator
    I’m using during the day classis
    Sofina sunscreen and white 50+++
    The night use day in and day hidroquinona 4% solaquin
    And alternate whit retinóic acid
    And alternate dermelan
    My problem is due to contraceptive use since 1997, I have polycystic ovaries, if I stop using the pimples pop up on the head.
    I do not know what to do whit these horrible spots, thanks you very much

    • Unfortunately, melasma is a documented side effect of all birth control pills. I would recommend retinoid, AHA, etc. and a good sunscreen… but you’re already using them.

      I cannot speak from experience but I have read from others suffering from melasma that mandelic acid can be quite helpful. It also seems that using a physical-only sunscreen with high zinc oxide content (instead of a chemical sunscreen) can make a big difference. Perhaps give them a try if you haven’t yet?

  21. Boa tarde, sou brasileira e tenho problemas com melasmas na face. Trato há mais de 6 anos e não consigo ter uma melhora.
    Já fiz peelings, lazers luz pulsada LIP, CO2 e uso clareadores e hidroquinona a anos.
    Gostaria de encontrar a cura dessa doença de pele.
    No Brasil é tudo muito caro e sem resultados.

    • Meu português é pobre,,,, espero que você possa me entender em inglês.
      Melasma is hard to treat. What are you using on your skin now? Do you use a sunscreen daily? If so, which one?

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