Skin whitening

Skin whitening is also referred to as skin bleaching or skin lightening.

Skin whitening works at various level along the pathway of melanin synthesis, before, during and after melanin synthesis.

The skin whitening is among one of the top spot in our clinic’s service list. Our team of expert and specialist has been very experienced in skin whitening treatment.


The Clinic Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Ling has been using this ingredient safely for skin whitening treatment over the past 20 years, together with the PRP, filler (such as Vampire lift), Botox and thread lift.

The formula for skin care product may include any of the combination of skin whitener. The formula component ingredients are listed here includes:



Skin Whitening achievable by blocking exact steps of Melanin Synthesis Pathway

Skin Whitening is achievable by blocking the exact steps of Melanin Synthesis Pathway




Pre-melanin synthesis During melanin synthesis Post melanin synthesis
Tretinoin Hydroquinone Alpha hydroxy acid
Arbutin Niacinamide
Kojic acid
Azelaic acid
Vitamin C
Cinnamomum  subavenium

The chart shows that the tretinoin is the most effective in bringing about whitening as it works at the highest level of the melanin synthesis pathway.

Other options of skin whitening:

Pomegranate extract Laser skin whitening

·         Based on selective photothermal lysis principle on target pigmented cell

Ellagic acid Cryosurgery procedure

·         Use liquid nitrogen

·         Controlled destruction of skin cell

·         Useful for sensitive area like the genitals. Here, laser surgery might easily leave a scar

·         Freckle in any part of body can be treated by cryosorgery

Vitamin E
Ferulic acid

The pathway of melanin synthesis or formation and its various enzymes involved in the catalysis of the biosynthesis pathway is shown below.

The various by products are also shown before the end products of black, brown and yellow to red pigments. The agent used as whitening will block or deactivate the various steps along the pathway. The higher up it can block the better is the result. The lower down the pathway it block or deactivate the less effective it is in bring about skin whitening.

The blockage is usually by competitive deactivation, by which it means if the concentration of the blocking agent is higher it has a higher chance to block by the shear bigger number presence at the cell. Thus such a blockage is a reversible process by bombardment of molecules that has a predominant presence.

Whitening agents

The blocking agents are tretinoin, hydroquinone, arbutin, kojic acid, azelaic acid, Vitamin C, glutathione. Cinnamomum subavenium and niacinamide. There are classified as shown in the table, stating where exactly in the pathway it is acting on.

Additional Whitening agents

Some other whitening agent includes monobenzone and mercury. Monobenzone is commonly used for the vitiligo patient where there is a differing areas of uneven light and pigmented spot. Such patient can choose to apply an organic topical cream to bring about total depigmentation or whitening of the entire area to even out the color tone. Monobenzone is not recommended for lightening in condition other than vitiligo. We know that some people uses a lighter concentration of monobenzone foe skin lightening. However, this is never recommended due to various risks involved.

Some other uses mequinol over a long period of time in the hope to bring about lightening effect.


Mercury brings about whitening as well. However, due to its toxic nature, it is not a recommended option. Many illegal skin whitening cream contain mercury. Mercury is banned in most country for skin whitening use.