8 Best Toning Cream for Black Skin Without Hydroquinone

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Many women and men want brighter, smoother, and tighter skin with over 50% of them using lightening or toning products. One of the products they always look for is the best toning cream for black skin without hydroquinone. But with so many options available in the market, how do you find the one that’s right for you? 

What is a Toning Cream for Black Skin?

When it comes to lightening and rejuvenating dull skin, the market has many products to offer. From bleaching soaps to toning creams, you have many options available. For black and dark-skinned women, often one of the best products to use is a toning cream. While a skin toning cream for black women is different from bleaching creams, it does help.

See more:Top 4 Best Skin Bleaching Cream For Inner Thighs

Compared to toning creams, bleaching lotions lighten the skin by limiting its ability to produce melanin. On the other hand, a toning cream does slightly help lighten the skin, but its work is mostly focused on increasing elasticity and smoothening. It may also cause slight skin irritation, making the skin feel tighter and healthier.

Bleaching creams are a bit on the harsher side while toning creams are gentler. This quality of the product makes it perfect for black skin. Toning for black people helps correct uneven skin tone or imperfections. Black or dark-skinned people often suffer from hyperpigmentation due to too much melanin that helps to protect from the sun.

The problem to some people is that some areas of the body such as the knees and elbows are too dark. But with using the best skin toning cream for black skin, you can lighten those areas and correct their uneven tone, plus tighten them as well. As a health-conscious individual, however, you want to use a product with truly the safest ingredients.

Hydroquinone and Safety Concerns About It

Hydroquinone is one of the most popular and common ingredients used in whitening creams. Products containing this ingredient are indeed effective in lightening black skin. As some of you well know, black skin’s needs are unique because of the presence of pigment. Therefore, ordinary skincare and whitening products may not be as effective.

This makes it critical for them to find the right product that could work on their skin. Hydroquinone is a chemical compound that’s been proven to work on lightening blemishes and tightening skin for more than 50 years. It works on acne scars, age spots, and sunspots by stopping the darkening of skin directly from the source – the melanocytes.

The efficiency of this synthetic ingredient is unquestionable, but there are some concerns over its safety. As such, many people now prefer to use other toning creams for black skin without hydroquinone. Seeing as you are here, you must also be looking for alternative skin creams. But first, let’s find out what safety concerns people have over it.

Is Hydroquinone Harmful to the Skin?

Given that so many products use this ingredient, many people must have used hydroquinone at least once in their life. If that’s the case, you don’t have to worry too much because it’s not deadly. However, the FDA is concerned about its long-term effects on one’s health. There have been studies showing that hydroquinone may have carcinogenic side effects. 

It is not only that, the side effects of hydroquinone are present no matter the type of skin. It is especially concerning to know that on black skin, its effects also include exogenous ochronosis. This is a kind of disease that causes darkened and thickened specks on the skin. Sometimes, it even appears as yellowish or brownish dome-shaped spots.

Alternatives to Use Instead of Topical Hydroquinone

No doubt toning creams and lightening creams with hydroquinone are effective. But given its related safety issues, you must now be looking for alternatives ideal for black skin. Good thing there are natural products that can help with this. Many plant-based skincare products can reduce age spots, sunspots, dark spots, and all other kinds of hyperpigmentation.

Some of these natural ingredients include:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Lemon juice
  • Tomatoes
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar, etc. 

If not natural products, you can use lightening creams that don’t content hydroquinone. Manufacturers today realize the possible dangers of hydroquinone, so they’d started to use other ingredients. Now, your dilemma is there are too many of them. Thus, you’re looking for the answer to the question, “what is the best toning cream for black skin?”

How to Choose the Best Toner Cream for Black Skin without Hydroquinon

The best toning cream for black skin without hydroquinone offers many benefits. It cleans the skin and removes excess dirt. It can remove traces of makeup and oil. It also corrects and balances the pH levels of the skin. Toners can clean and close pores. However, this all depends if you choose the right toning cream suitable for your skin type.

Below is a simple guide to help you find the best toning body cream for black skin:

  • Ensure that the essential oil, plant extract or other ingredient used does not cause skin irritation.
  • Note that salicylic acid can be harsh to sensitive or acne-prone skin.
  • For sensitive or acne-prone skin, choose alcohol-free toning cream with alpha hydroxy acid, glycerin, and vitamin C.
  • Alpha-hydroxy is gentle on the skin, unlike retinoids and other ingredients that might irritate it.

Top 8 Best Toning Creams without Hydroquinone – Reviews

One of the products below is the best toning cream for black skin without hydroquinone for you:

1. Shrink Toning Lotion

This is a heat-activated skin tightening toning cream for the body. Using this cream helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. The ingredients used include CoQ10, caffeine, and vitamin C. This cream uses ingredients reactive to the natural fat-burning process of your body. 

With CoAxel as its main ingredient, it promises to restore collagen and skin elasticity. If it's targeted slimming you are looking for, this might do the trick for you. Many of its users claim that you will feel a tingling going through your body. It also seems to be an excellent motivator for work out thanks to the scent and warming sensation. 


  • Tingling sensation
  • Tightens skins 
  • Pleasant scent
  • Increases blood circulation in the skin
  • Moisturizes well
  • Makes skin look plumped and smooth
  • Visible reduction of cellulite


  • Not much on lightening
  • Some might experience skin irritation
  • Might not work to some people

2. BeautyFit Beautybum Anti Cellulite Cream Toning Lotion

This BeautyFit toning lotion comes with an anti-fat formula designed for women. It works to tighten skin with regular use. Beautybum promises to restore the natural smoothness of the skin, toning and firming it with its muscle redefining formula. It also eliminates fatty tissues and toxins by penetrating the subcutaneous layer of the skin where it releases lipid particles.

The formula of this toning cream means that it does not only tone the skin. It may also have the ability to help you shed some fat. The main ingredients of the cream are alpha and beta hydroxy acids. These ingredients help decrease wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. They also improve the skin’s elasticity and production of collagen.


  • Soaks into the skin easily
  • Doesn’t feel greasy
  • Heats up and gives a tingling sensation
  • Increases circulation when applied
  • Pleasant smell 
  • The bottle lasts for a long time
  • Handy pump


  • Thick lotion
  • Washing up after use is necessary
  • A tad expensive

3. NIVEA Skin Firming and Tony Body Gel-Cream

This toning cream from Nivea uses Q10 ingredient to tighten and firm the skin. It’s intended for normal skin, perfect for black skin and dark skin. Applying the cream will leave a cool sensation that leaves the skin feeling supple and soft. Besides Q10, the main ingredients of the lotion are lotus extract and L carnitine – absolutely no hydroquinone.

The recommended use for the product is twice daily on the stomach, thighs, and buttocks. The formula is lightweight, so it absorbs quickly. It said to leave the skin toned and firm in as quickly as two weeks by regular use. Since the cream is gel-form, it is non-greasy. If it’s a lightweight toning cream, this might be perfect for your skin regimen.


  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Effectively reduces cellulite
  • Shows noticeable results
  • Works no matter the age and skin


  • Some doesn’t like the smell
  • Might not work to some people

4.Body Merry Cellulite Defense Gel-Cream

An anti-cellulite cream, this product from Body Merry promises to firm and tone your skin. Its main ingredients include coconut oil, natural caffeine, and peppermint. It’s a new and improved formula for a gentle, but stronger remover of cellulite. As a skin toner, it tightens skin and leaves it smooth.

Besides the ingredients mentioned, it uses potent antioxidants such as lemon, rosemary, and organic spirulina. These all help in toning and firming bumpy skin with the caffeine that helps to increase blood circulation. The cream is lightweight in texture, which helps gets as much coverage with as little lotion.


  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Natural ingredients
  • Tingling sensation
  • Shows noticeable difference


  • The smell might be too strong 

5. SteelFit Abs of Steel Topical Cream

SteelFit’s maximum definition Abs of Steel cream is not only a skin toner but a workout enhancer. The cream is made of 5% CoAxel, an ingredient known to work well on skin toning, definition, and firming. It’s also said to help with fat loss. CoAxel is a combination of Coenzyme A and L Carnitine for releasing fat cells.

Another ingredient of the product is caffeine, which promotes lipolysis. It’s known to help break down fat. By breaking down fat in a subcutaneous level, Abs of Steel means to help skin feels tightened and smooth. One notable feature is it promises no side effects – no altered sleep cycles, increase heart or body temperature. 


  • Effectively tightens skin
  • Warms app quickly when applied
  • Makes you sweat 
  • Smells great
  • Makes skin smooth 


  • Not ideal for sensitive skin
  • Slight burnt and red color

6. Makari Extreme Carrot and Argan Oil Toning Face Cream

Makari face cream is intended not only for toning but lightening and brightening skin. It uses organiclarine to treat dark spots, freckles, acne, and many other skin issues. It’s said to have powerful skin lightening formula, but with safe and fast results. It tones the skin, so it lightens to a clear, radiant, and healthy glow after every use.

The ingredients of the product are argan oils and carrot, both rejuvenating components that soften wrinkles and lines. Makari says all its ingredients are natural, which is safe to most skin types, including African-Americans. If you are looking for a toning cream that lightens your skin as well, Makari Toning Face Cream might be the one. 


  • Cruelty- and chemical-free
  • Tones and lightens skin
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Works well with black and dark skin
  • Nourishes and smoothens skin
  • Great scent


  • A little expensive
  • Might cause too much lightening

7. Dark Spot Corrector by Olay

Olay’s Dark Spot Corrector is a tone perfecting lotion and sunspot remover that promises quick, effective results. The formula for the cream is infused with antioxidants, ingredients that sink deep into the skin for a healthy, bright-looking complexion. According to Olay, this cream can make your skin look more beautiful in as fast as two weeks.

The formula for Dark Spot Corrector is designed to work on different tones and types. Thus, it is might be safe to assume that it works with black skin as well. For sunspots and other pigmentation problems, regular use of the product said to reduce it in only eight weeks. The main ingredients are niacinamide, glycerin, and NAG. 


  • Day and night cream
  • Feels smooth and velvety
  • Regular use does make skin look brighter
  • Ideal for sensitive skin


  • Leaves a white chalky residue
  • A bit expensive
  • No instant results

8. ACTIVSCIENCE Whitening Cream

This whitening cream boasts of an advanced formula. It uses ingredients clinically researched and found to lighten skin, treat hyperpigmentation and melasma, liver spots, sunspots, and other skin issues. ACTIVSCIENCE Whitening Cream is said to be highly potent, but gentle for all skin types. Both men and women can use the product.

The cream has plenty of essential fatty acids and antioxidants to nourish the skin. Thus, it’s said to work as whitening and toning cream as well as a moisturizer. It also doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Recommended use of the cream is to apply them to the face, neck, and affect areas daily. 


  • Face feels clean and refreshed after use
  • Has a pleasant, minty scent
  • Effectively treats hyperpigmentation
  • Consistent results with regular use
  • Brightens and smoothens skin


  • Others experienced breaking out


Black skin doesn’t mean you are not beautiful, but the problem is the hyperpigmentation caused by too much melanin. It’s a harmless condition, but in that case, toning creams might help to lighten, moisturize and tighten skin. On that note, Shrink Toning Lotion beats all mentioned products as the best lightening cream for black skin without hydroquinone. 

Compared to all other toning creams mentioned here, it’s toning effects work not only for the face but for the whole body. It can effectively remove cellulite and stretch marks, not to mention even athletes find them effective. It’s even motivating thanks to the pleasant scent of the cream. The best of all is it doesn’t contain hydroquinone, so it is perfectly safe for black women. 

Jim Jones

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