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We know glowing, radiant skin is the result of a good skincare routine, and one of the first steps you should take in your routine is addressing how to even out your skin tone. These reader-approved skin lightening creams and skin brightening products do just that, giving you smoother, brighter skin and lessening dark spots caused by sun damage and scarring. (There are also a few skin lightening creams that just don't live up to their name.)

Whether you need to lighten freckles, hyper-pigmentation or age spots, find out which of the best skin lightening creams our readers can't live without, and which ones they tossed in the trash.

Image via Vogue

Worst Skin Brightening Product No. 2: Ambi Fade Cream, $6.49
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Totalbeauty.com average member rating: 6.5*

Why: "I have now given up on this fade cream," says one reader, who saw "little to no results" after several months of use. "This cream did absolutely nothing for the hyperpigmentation on my cheeks," says another reader. Reviewers say the product made them break out while not delivering on its promise to lighten and brighten. They also complain about its "greasy" texture.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review of Ambi Fade Cream here.

*At time of publication

Worst Skin Brightening Product No. 1: Barielle Advanced Formula Porcelain Skin Brightening Cream, $20
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Totalbeauty.com average member rating: 5.7*

Why: Readers are "disappointed in this product" because of its "thick, white, chalky consistency." One reader says, "It is so thick that you can't actually rub it all the way in." Another reader says it "made [her] look like a ghost, all chalky and powdery white." Reviewers add it smells "gross" and "does not do anything to lighten blotches." The general consensus? "Don't waste your money on this."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review of Barielle Advanced Formula Porcelain Skin Brightening Cream here.

*At time of publication

Best Skin Brightening Product No. 12: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, $79
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Totalbeauty.com average member rating: 8.0*

Why it's great: Users say their "skin's radiance drastically improved from using this product," and it prevented them from developing any new sunspots -- even while vacationing in sunny locations. Readers also say it brightens their skin and corrects acne scars. "It has a light texture and a lovely fragrance," says one user. "Great for sensitive skin that can't handle glycolics or have rosacea. Worth every penny."

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum here.

Buy Now on Sephora

*At time of publication

Best Skin Brightening Product No. 11: DDF Brightening Cleanser, $39
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Totalbeauty.com average member rating: 8.0*

Why it's great: "This cleanser is great because it contains both glycolic and salicylic acid to really clean and gently exfoliate your face, preventing breakouts and blackheads," one informed reader says. "My skin looks noticeably brighter after I use this." Other users agree saying it zaps acne and "leaves a nice glowing complexion". Readers also claim it tightens pores and isn't too abrasive on sensitive skin.

Agree? Disagree? Write your review for DDF Brightening Cleanser here.

Buy Now on Amazon

*At time of publication

We know glowing, radiant skin is the result of a good skincare routine, and one of the first steps you should take in your routine is addressing how to even out your skin tone. These reader-approved skin lightening creams and skin brightening products do just that, giving you smoother, brighter skin and lessening dark spots caused by sun damage and scarring. (There are also a few skin lightening creams that just don't live up to their name.)

Whether you need to lighten freckles, hyper-pigmentation or age spots, find out which of the best skin lightening creams our readers can't live without, and which ones they tossed in the trash.

Image via Vogue
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