Skin Matters

When Is The Best Time To Use Whitening Creams?

Day or night? Here’s the scoop on how you can safely and effectively get the most out of your whitening cream.

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You’ve probably heard your dermatologist tell you to avoid sun exposure while undergoing treatments that include lasers, chemical peels, and whitening creams. But does that mean you can only use skin-brighteners at night? We answer your most common questions on how to safely lighten your skin.

Q: How can I safely use whitening cream during the day?

A: Always make sure to use sunscreen. When layering skin care, make sure to apply thinner formulations on your skin first and thicker formulations last. This helps your skin efficiently absorb each layer without blockage. Your best option? A whitening day cream with an SPF of at least 15—if you’re indoors most of the time—or apply sunscreen over your lightening cream.

Q: Why do dermatologists tell you to stay out of the sun when undergoing treatment?

A: If you’re undergoing a specific treatment with your doctor and she tells you to stay out of the sun, she has good reason to. It’s probably because your skincare regimen contains prescription-strength ingredients that can make you more sensitive to the sun’s rays. But also, staying out of the sun helps maximize your whitening treatment because the sun is responsible for the signs of photo-aging, such as sun spots, age spots, and rosacea.

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Q: Should I only use whitening creams at night?

A: Many whitening creams now contain skin-lightening ingredients, like niacinamide, that work in a safer, gentler way (read: they won’t make your skin as sensitive to the sun as prescription-strength whiteners). So you can use whitening creams during the day. Just opt for one with broad-spectrum protection that protects from both UVA and UVB rays.

Q: Why does my skin get sensitive even when I use certain whitening products?

A: Examine your skincare regimen carefully. Are at-home peels, exfoliants, and intensive facial masks part of your daily beauty routine? If so, check their ingredients. Many exfoliants contain hyrdroquinone and tretinoin (also known as retinoic acid), which work aggressively and—when combined with skin whiteners—can cause peeling, itching, redness, and a burning sensation. You’ll want to stay away from those.

Q: So how can I make my whitening cream work better?

A: Look for a product that combines several whitening ingredients with other antioxidants to form a powerful compound—like skin-adapting Gen-Active or VAO-B3—that whitens, nourishes, and protects. Since brightening agents can be a bit harsh for some, a moisturizing ingredient and SPF can help form a protective layer on skin.

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PDS is the only specialty society in Dermatology recognized by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP). PDS is not an endorser of any product found in the site.

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