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What are some fast-acting skin whitening creams?

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Highly effective whitening creams may contain potentially harmful ingredients such as hydroquinone and mercury, reports Thomas Fuller for The New York Times. Less effective but safer ingredients include licorice and mulberry extracts.

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Steroids are another effective, common and damaging skin-bleaching ingredient, notes Pumza Fihlani for BBC News. Effective skin-bleaching creams may also contain corticosteroids and kojic acid, which can cause health problems, according to an article in the Bayero Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences. Whitening creams generally work by peeling away surface skin, preventing skin cells from producing melanin or bleaching the skin, explains Sindya N. Bhanoo for The New York Times. Mercury-based bleaching cream can harm various organs and result in neurological problems, reports Dr. S. Allen Counter for Globe Newspaper Company.

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