How To Lighten Skin (How I Got 3 Shades Lighter)

Do you have a dark, uneven skin tone? I did too and here’s what I did to lighten it:

I have a co-worker (I think she’s bi-racial of Black and White descent) who has a beautiful skin tone, which I consider to be a “not too dark, not too light” kind-of complexion. Her skin is even from head to toe and I’m totally jealous. Why? Because my skin is uneven and a little too dark. Don’t get me wrong – I love my skin (and ethnicity) but I think that I would look better if I’m a few shades lighter. So I put myself on a mission to find out how to lighten my skin. While on my mission, I did a lot of research on what I need to do to lighten my skin and believe it or not, in just 6 months, I was three shades lighter! Here’s how I did it:

How I lightened my skin:

I stayed away from sunlight. 

This is the first thing I did when I first started my skin lightening regimen. I know that being under the sun makes the skin darker, so this is something that I completely avoided. I used an umbrella whenever I walked my dogs out and it’s funny because I got all these “weird looks” from my neighbors.

I exfoliated my skin everyday.

I read an article that talks about how exfoliation plays a huge role in skin lightening. The article states that if you don’t exfoliate regularly, then the products that you use (regardless of brand and potency) wouldn’t work at all. But why is that? The reason behind it is because your skin has a lot of dead skin cells that block the skin lightening actives on penetrating your skin deeper. The skin lightening ingredients like kojic acid, alpha arbutin and glutathione must make its way to your pores in order for it to lighten your skin. If your pores are blocked with dead skin cells, then how would the skin lightening actives do its job? I found that a great way to exfoliate is by using this kind of acid-based whitening scrubs.

I used topical skin lightening products.

Aside from avoiding sunlight and daily exfoliation, using skin lightening soaps, lotions and creams is a must. How could you lighten your skin without these products? When I was doing my research on what to use, I realized that the market is full of products that promises a lighter skin. There’s whitening soaps like kojic acid, glutathione and arbutin. There are also creams and lotions that contain arbutin, kojic acid, glycolic acid, azelaic acid, hydroquinone and vitamin C. So, which one of these did I use? For my whitening soap, I used a kojic acid soap. The reason behind it is because kojic acid is the strongest skin lightening active that you can possibly use on your skin. Unfortunately, it loses effectiveness very quickly especially when it’s added to either a lotion or a cream (it’s unstable to heat and light). This is why for my skin lightening lotion, I decided to use this product that contains alpha arbutin. Alpha arbutin is very stable and effective at the same time.

I started taking supplements.

You’ve heard of glutathione supplements, right? Glutathione supplements have been the “it” supplement for skin whitening for so many years now. Here’s the thing: almost everyone I know who have been using it for years is still as dark as they first started taking it. Why is that? A lot of people don’t know that glutathione actually oxidizes (loses effectiveness) once you take it. So let’s say that you are taking a supplement that has 500 mg of glutathione in it. What happens is as soon as you take it orally and it starts to travel to your bloodstream, the amount of glutathione decreases. The only time your skin is going to lighten is when your liver is full of glutathione. Because of this, it might take years before you see results. In my case, what I did was I started using this vitamin C supplement that has bioflavonoids in it. While doing my research, I came across a beauty blogger that talks about how vitamin C lightened her skin. I tried it and sure enough, she was right. Another thing about vitamin C is it helps reduce wrinkles, in addition to protecting the immune system. I always believe that I’m doing something good for my body when I take my supplement.

How long did it take to lighten my skin:

It actually took about 6 months of religiously using the products before I started seeing results. I was consistent with my regimen and I think that this was the reason why I saw a huge difference.

Before and after pictures:

I changed phones recently so all of my old pictures are in my old phone. I will look for my picture from 6 months ago and will take a new one very soon so that you guys can see it.

Here’s what I want to tell you:

There’s nothing wrong if you want to lighten your skin. If that’s your standard of beauty and if you think it will make you confident, then go for it! Life is too short for you to not do what you want. However, you need to understand that skin lightening is a gradual process. A lot of people out there would like to see results within a few weeks, but let me tell you this: it will take quite sometime and you need to be patient about it. As long as you are consistent like me, then you will see results. If you have any questions, then please use the form below and I will get back with you as soon as I can.


*This is from Pauline B’s experience with skin lightening products.

Disclaimer: Result will vary based on your skin type. Always check with your doctor before using any supplements and check with your dermatologist before using any kind of skin care products.

  22 comments for “How To Lighten Skin (How I Got 3 Shades Lighter)

  1. Rena
    February 12, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Mental illness. If the objective was to even your skin tone then it’s okay…but you wanted to lighten yourself because of society beauty standards and hating yourself. Don’t have children. You’ll just pass that hate down .

    • Taylor Scott
      March 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Personally, I think that a person has the right to do what he/she wants to do with her own skin. Agree?

  2. Mack Christopher
    June 4, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Taylor, thanks so much for posting this! When i was younger, my skin complexion was a light brown and since I’ve gotten older (18 now) only my face has darkened to a very dark brown. Do you still recommend me using this regimen. Also, may you post before and after pictures of yourself.

    • Taylor Scott
      July 12, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Do you stay under the sun? This is the main cause of discoloration. I would suggest using skin lightening products only if you don’t stay under the sun at all.

  3. Shruthi
    March 28, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Hey taylor, can you give an example of what skin shade you were before skin whitening and what you are now. (example rhianna skin colour…) and how long it took you to achieve your desired shade. Btw, are you still lightening your skin? have you tried lactic acid? Thanks

    • Taylor Scott
      March 31, 2016 at 12:20 am

      I was like cassie’s skin tone then it lightened about 2-3 shades. It took several months because I was on and off using it. I have a hard time applying the lotion, cream, etc. because I’m really busy. I try to take the supplements everyday since it also gives me that healthy-looking skin. I’ve never tried lactic acid before but I did try glycolic. I think that these two are effective but it must be combined with another lightening agent as these are great exfoliators.

  4. Newbie just a few
    March 18, 2016 at 12:41 am

    I have been exfoliating for 2 weeks now so far I have lightened about 1 or may 1 1/2 shades. I’m trying to get to a very LIGHT brown. I’m medium brown (meaning right before dark brown) do you think it’s possible for me and I plan on exfoliating for 2 months. Any advice on how long by I should exfoliate and I want some advice on good products that Do not contain hydroquinone. I don’t trust glutathione either. I’m thinking arbutin, is it effective? I just want to get 4 shades lighter nothing more.

    • Taylor Scott
      March 19, 2016 at 1:57 am

      What are you using right for exfoliation? Are you exfoliating your skin everyday? If you do, then you might think about it twice. The thing is, your skin might get too thin and it might cause for you to breakout. I’ve been using a cream with Alpha Arbutin and so far, so good. It just really depends on the brand that you use because a lot of AA creams in the market has a small amount of AA in it – which will not make it effective. The cream that I’m using is highly concentrated and that’s why I’m seeing results. By the way, how come you don’t trust glutathione? Are you talking about a glutathione cream or supplement?

      • Olivia
        March 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm

        What’s the cream that you use ?

        • Taylor Scott
          March 31, 2016 at 12:25 am

          I used a lotion on my body and then cream on my face. The lotion is marie france tone perfecting lotion and the cream is tone perfecting cream.

  5. Shruti
    March 12, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Hi, your post was very useful and it has given me more info on how to lighten my skin. How long did it take for the vitamin C tablets to work. I leave in Sydney which is a very hot place and I always get tan so I find it hard to lighten my skin in this climate. Can you plz recommend any good sunscreens and can you plz give me like a step by step skin lightening routine. Thanks so much!

    • Taylor Scott
      March 19, 2016 at 2:02 am

      Hello. It took about 3-4 months but that’s with me using topical lightening products that I mentioned in the blog post. The only thing that you really need to look for is a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF (regardless of brand). Also, my skin regimen is very basic: Use topical skin lightening products, take my supplement and never stay under the sun.

      • Shruthi
        March 19, 2016 at 2:22 am

        Thanks for your reply. I used kojie san soap consistently for 1 month and my skin was half a shade lighter but I want faster results. I stopped using kojiesan after starting school because I started to become more exposed to the sun and I gradually got darker. I am keke palmer dark and I want to be light to medium brown. Can you suggest some inexpensive skin lightening products that will speed up my skin lightening. I was considering buying Retin-A and using it with kojiesan what do you think? Thanks Taylor.

        • Taylor Scott
          March 19, 2016 at 2:27 am

          That might be a recipe for disaster – simply because I read in an online article before that you cannot stay under the sun while using Retin-A. One thing I can tell you is that most inexpensive skin lighteners out there do not work. Simply because they don’t have enough actives to really lighten your skin. I think you will be better off using products that are a little expensive but worth the price. Email me for recommendations.

          • Shruthi
            March 19, 2016 at 4:26 am

            Then do you think I can use that combo on the areas that won’t be exposed to the sun and one last question, does retin a lighten the skin if used alone.

            • Taylor Scott
              March 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

              You can. Retin A is a cream that can help rejuvenate (exfoliate) the skin to make it look younger. It’s also used to treat acne. However, I don’t think it will help lighten the skin when used by itself. It’s a good exfoliator but you need a lightening product (soap, cream, serum, etc) to make your skin lighter.

  6. mira
    February 19, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    nice blog..
    i would like to ask cousin sell a whitening cream,no brand.she said the doctor made it(but its not written the ingredients).she said its arbutin cream..
    alot of ppl buy it,and their face bcome white,lighter and cleaner in a very short time.lest than 2 weeks..she said even many pregnant woman use it.
    is it true,arbutin can give maximum affect in only 2-3weeks?bcos all of her buyer,get baby skin in a very shorr time
    thank you
    waiting for your reply:)

    • Taylor Scott
      February 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Mira. I don’t think so. Alpha Arbutin can whiten a person’s skin but not that fast. It would probably show results after 4-8 weeks (depending on your skin type) but not less than 2 weeks. Also, where does your cousin buy it?

    • Lexi
      March 24, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Where can I find the product ?

  7. Jenny
    January 2, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Hey… Nice blog. Do u mean to say that Gluta pills r useless?

    • Taylor Scott
      January 6, 2016 at 12:13 am

      Pretty much…. The thing is, it oxidizes so quickly that when you actually take it orally, it has basically lost about 75% of its effect.

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