Non-Toxic Skin Brighteners

September 7, 2019

Written by Melissa Lenberg

This post was written to contribute to the topic of self-care for the What Lola Likes blog by Melissa Lenberg of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar. All facts, opinions, and professional tips are Melissa’s.

Whether it’s acne scars, sunspots or brown spots known as melasma (often triggered by pregnancy, menopause and sometimes birth control pills), many women look for skin brightening creams and serums at some point in their lives. With the right combination of natural and non-toxic ingredients, skin brighteners can be a powerful addition to your routine and will help even and clarify your complexion. Sadly, the majority of skin brighteners on the market are down right dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. In today’s post, we’re talking about why you should avoid conventional skin brighteners, and we’re offering a safe alternative from Tata Harper that will bring you beautiful results without compromise. 

Toxins Hiding in Conventional Skin Brighteners

Topical Steroids: Many cosmetics companies use prescription strength steroids that can thin the skin to an extreme degree, allowing capillaries to become visible and leaving skin more vulnerable to acne. Sounds like a look we’d like to avoid! Some companies are including the most potent topical steroid in dermatology— clobetasol proprionate—illegally in their cosmetic products in unsafe amounts. While this can appear alongside other dangerous and undisclosed ingredients like mercury, which poisons the nervous system, topical steroids do plenty of damage on their own. According to doctors interviewed by the New York Times, long-term use of a brightening cream with topical steroids can lead to hypertension, elevated blood sugar and suppression of the body’s natural steroids in addition to weakening and thinning the skin. Bottom line? Stay away from these topical steroids. 

Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone is another popular and unsafe ingredient commonly found in skin brighteners. Long banned in countries like England and France, hydroquinone is available in over-the-counter products and cosmetics here in the United States. Many skin brighteners are sold in concentrations of 2% hydroquinone. When used long-term, especially in high concentrations of 4 percent to 5 percent, which is common in knock-off skin brighteners, hydroquinone can cause a blue-black darkening of the skin. Hydroquinone is also a potential carcinogen. The food and drug agency proposed a ban on over-the-counter sales of hydroquinone in 2006 for that very reason. If these aren’t enough reasons to deter you, just know that hydroquinone can cause serious skin irritation, especially in those with sensitivities and allergies.

The good news is that there are safe and nontoxic skin brighteners that deliver results and don’t compromise your health. Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Serum is one of the best on the market. The results are impressive, and the serum fights hyperpigmentation with some of the most advanced natural ingredients formulated to fight every stage of the hyperpigmentation process. It inhibits the passage of melanin to the skin surface while fading the look of existing dark spots. The Concentrated Brightening Serum also helps delay the visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles by counteracting the effects of daily collagen degradation and supporting elasticity. 

According to the clinical data, the Concentrated Brightening Serum is proven to boost the skin’s melanin elimination process by 155%, and users experienced a 63% reduction in the look of dark spots. One of the way to get the most out of not just your brightening serum, but any serum, is to make sure your skin is relieved of all dead skin, dirt, and debris before applying. We recommend using the Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence. This AHA-BHA toner removed dead skin and melanin producing cells to reveal dramatically brighten skin primer for serious skincare results. If you’re looking for a combo to help reveal a fresh even complexion and fight hyperpigmentation, be sure to check out this one out!


Always striving to follow her dreams, Melissa started working in the cosmetics’ industry at the age of 15. At the age of 19, this Arizona Native moved to Los Angeles to follow her dreams of doing makeup professionally. Melissa worked in the entertainment and music industry, which gave her prodigious experience. She returned to Phoenix in 2006 and she knew she had to aim for the stars. Melissa suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis and PCOS, so she turned to all natural products after discovering that “conventional” beauty products were laden with toxic chemicals that disrupt your endocrine system and harm your well being. Soon thereafter, she noticed a total shift in her overall health and skin.  She knew she had to share with others. After a life-changing trip to Sedona, she decided to follow her dream and open Citrine Natural Beauty Bar.

Citrine is unlike any typical beauty store, her motto is beauty as wellness & she strives to empower women to live their best and healthiest life.