List of Popular Skin Lightening Products used in Kenya (pills and creams)

Let’s be real, a bright and glowing skin is a dream for all of us. As we grow older, this becomes a priority for many which always leads them to lighten their skin. In the process to lighten their skin, various products are involved either be pills, creams or even injections.What the products do is to reduce a pigment called Melanin in the skin, a natural pigment that causes darkness hence the lightness.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the popular skin lightening or rather whitening products used in Kenya. These products have been said to treat skin problems such as acne scars, age spots, pimples, freckles, wrinkles and many more. It’s good to note that most of these skin lightening products may cause skin irritation and rashes if you are allergic to any of their ingredients.

Without further ado, here are popular skin lightening products used in Kenya as of 2018.

1. Olay White Radiance Brightening Intensive Cream

It serves as a supplement to UV protection in order to help lighten one’s skin tone while supporting a healthy appearance. It helps to remove small patches or regions with different color tones on your face.  This cream is applied twice a day and may take up to 3 months to notice a change on your face.

Name pros Cons
Olay White Radiance •Smoothens your skin

•Lightens discoloration

•Provides Sun protection

Not travel-friendly


2.Clinicians Complex 6

This cream will help you to get rid of your age spots, sun spots, pigmented scars, freckles, and melasma. The cream also takes care of the pre-existing spots and pigmentation and at the same times prevents future spots from forming on your skin. You must consult with a dermatologist before using this product.

Name pros Cons
Clinicians Complex 6 ·         Ability to Lighten Skin Tone

·         Reduce Fine Lines and Wrinkles

·         Removes sun spots and freckles

·         Promotes brighter and radiant skin

  • It is guaranteed to remain stable for 2 years.


·         It is expensive

·         Thick and hard to use

·         It’s availability is limited

3. Meladerm

Its aim is to reduce the sign of discolored and hyperpigmented skin, including dark spots and scars.It only takes two weeks to notice the results after using it regularly. Meladerm contains Alpha Arbutin, a well-known skin lightening ingredient that has been considered about 10 times more effective for the recent past.

Name pros Cons
  •  It removes any of the following skin discolorations:
  • Acne Marks
  • Age and Liver Spots
  • Tans and Sun Damage
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Freckles
  • Old Scars
  • Uneven Skin Tones
  • Dark elbows, knees, underarms, knuckles
  • Birthmarks
  • Melasma

  • It works great even on dark complexions.
  • Unlike other skin lightening creams, it is non-sticky.
  • The results are permanent in most cases.
  • Makes you more sensitive to UV rays
  • Expensive

·         Only available at online stores

  • Some people may face irritation on the first few days of usage.
  • It may take around 2-3 months to see results in severely darkened areas.


4. Glutathione Pills 

According to Dr. Pancholi, who owns Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic in Nairobi, Glutathione pills are one of the most powerful antioxidants and if taken in proper doses, they can considerably lighten the skin with no adverse effects. Skin lightening using glutathione pills detoxifies every cell in the body hence giving you a radiant glow on your skin.

Name pros Cons
Glutathione Pills 
  • Glutathione blocks oxidative stress, which leads to glowing, radiant skin
  • complements and increases the efficacy of other beauty products
  • Glutathione repairs damaged cells to restore skin’s natural glow. It also refines the skin texture.


·   Some people are sensitive to glutathione, causing a wide range of adverse reactions that may damage the skin. These allergic reactions include rashes, inflammation, and swelling.

· Contains hydroquinone which is one of the cancer-causing compounds.

·         Affects the level of hormones in the body system.

·  Glutathione pills can cause a wide range of discomforts including insomnia, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and mild-to-severe headaches.

· Taking glutathione every day can cause the liver to overwork, causing liver damage and chronic diseases.

5. Kojic Acid Soap

Kojic acid works well in removing or fading freckles, moles, age spots, acne and some types of birthmarks. The ingredients in the kojic acid stop the production of melanin which then makes the skin to get a lighter complexion.

Name pros Cons
Kojic Acid Soap
  •  Kojic acid soaps are very cheap.
  • Kojic acid is safer and more natural than hydroquinone
  • It can be used to achieve skin lightening solutions naturally within a relatively short time
·  Use of kojic acid can lead to a very rapid removal of melanin from the skin surface.

·  This soap is highly concentrated and you may experience skin peeling depending on your skin type

·  You have to use sunscreen when outdoors.

·   It can trigger irritation to sensitive skin. There’s a risk of developing allergic contact dermatitis with continued use.

· It can take time for the ingredients found in the kojic acid to fully give out their intended effects.

6. Neutrogena Fine Fairness cream

Neutrogena products are widely used in Kenya for various skin care purposes. It contains healthy white complex, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C and Portulaca that will give you an even skin tone and reduce the production of melanin. It has SPF20/PA+ ingredients that will protect your skin from harmful sun rays.

Name pros Cons
Neutrogena Fine Fairness cream
  • Easily available and affordable.
  • Moisturizes the skin well.
  • Dermatologist-recommended product.
  • Does not contain harsh chemicals like parabens.
  •  Contains UVA and UVB sunscreens


  • Not good for oily skin tone people.
  • Irritates eyes if it comes into contact with them accidentally.
  • Makes skin oily on an application.
  • May leave a white cast if not blended properly or applied in an excess amount.

7. Clean and Clear Fairness Cream

Clean and clear fairness cream is another skin lightening cream that comes in a tube form. It contains a  PureRise oil control system that gives your skin oil free look.

Name pros Cons
Clean and Clear Fairness Cream
  •   It comes with UV protection that will protect your skin from harmful UV rays
  • Affordable price
  •  Provides instant pinkish glow
  • Non-greasy and Non-sticky.
  • Good for oily skin tone people.


  • Over application leaves white cast
  • Feels greasy on the face
  • Clogs  skin pores


8. Lakme Absolute Perfect Radiance

This cream removes dark spots on the skin and prevents production melanin which gives you a smooth and flawless skin tone.

Name pros Cons
Lakmé Absolute Perfect Radiance
  • Can be used by both men and women
  • Contains Vitamins and micro-crystals
  • It has sunscreens that will protect the skin from harmful sunbeams.
  • Best for oily skin tone people
  • Provides instant gleaming and bright look.
  • Repairs the skin


  • Not good for use during cold seasons
  • Not good for dry skin people.
  • No moisturizing effect.

9. Loreal Paris Cream

It comes in three creams; 20+, 30+ and 40+ to cater to all skin issues, whether it’s wrinkled, whitening or dark spots. It contains Vitamin 3x technology, Salicylic acid, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C and Vitamin E that helps to keep oiliness, pimples, and blemishes off your skin. Requires continuous usage to achieve a lighter skin.

Name pros Cons
Loreal Paris Cream
  • Provides instant fairness and glow.
  • Suitable for all skin types.
  • Contains UV filter that protects the skin from imperfections.
  • Has oil control Properties.
  • Economical and easily available
  • Non-sticky
  • Keeps skin moisturized.


  • Can be a little messy for summers.
  • Does not instantly lighten up the face


10. Garnier White Complete cream

Garnier skin care products are also widely used in Kenya because of the good reputation that the company has built over the past years. This cream protects the skin from darkening by harmful UVA and UVB sun rays and makes your skin lighter in just 2 weeks. It’s enriched with a lemon essence which helps lighten the skin tone.

Name pros Cons
Garnier White Complete cream
  • Refreshing lemony fragrance
  • Very affordable
  • Improve the texture of the skin
  • Works perfectly for normal to dry skins.
  • Contains Vitamin C
  • Instant whitening and skin that is two tones fairer after using the cream for two weeks.
  • Not good for oily skin tone people.
  • The cream is moderately thick and takes two minutes of massaging to become absorbed into the skin.

Caro Light Beauty Cream

As the name suggests, the cream is designed to help lighten dark skin and hyperpigmentation. It Contains vitamins E and A that helps in nourishing the skin once applied. Caro light lightening beauty cream can be used to lighten the skin up to 5 shades lighter since it contains a high amount of hydroquinone which makes it work on all skin types.

Name pros Cons
Caro Light Beauty Cream
  • The product is affordable
  • Helps to moisturize and soften the skin
  • It can treat areas of concentrated pigmentation
  •  Widely available online
  • Contains vitamins E and A for nourishment
• It can cause skin redness.

• It can cause skin flaking.

• It can cause skin inflammation.

• It can cause stretch marks.

• It can cause ear irritation.

• It can cause burning sensations.

• It can cause sunburns.

• It can cause skin discoloration

only works where it is applied


As much as we want our skin to glow, let’s remember that we were all created in the image of God. 

Victor Matara

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