How to Lighten Nipples: Everything You Need to Know About Nipple Bleaching

Brown nipples, pink nipples, red nipples, light nipples, dark nipples...our nipples come in a variety of shades, shapes and sizes.

And they're all beautiful, especially when you consider that they've been color coordinated to match our natural skin shade, with paler skin types sporting lighter, pinkish nipples and those with darker skin having darker, brownish nipples.

Whatever the color, be thankful that you've got those brown and red pigments in your nipples! After all, they're what accentuates your nipples, helping them to stand out against the more muted tones of your body.

But as beautiful as all nipple colors are, sometimes you notice unusual - and often unwanted - changes in the color of your nipples. These are usually temporary, caused by changes to your body like pregnancy, breastfeeding and even simply getting older. Sometimes, though, the nipple darkening sets in for good and you begin to wish you could turn back the hands of time and restore your nipples back to their original color.

And of course, there are also those of us who simply desire a different nipple shade altogether and are looking for a way to lighten nipples in a safe, effective way.

Whatever your reasons are - whether you're currently experiencing a darkening of your nipples and you'd like to nip it in the bud or would like to transition to a lighter nipple shade - here's everything you need to know about how to lighten nipples!

3 Crucial Nipple Bleaching Tips

When it comes to getting lighter nipples, it's not as simple as rubbing on some nipple lightening cream and being done with it. There are a few things you should know about what makes a nipple lightening treatment effective and how to combine different ingredients for the best results.

In essence, lightening your nipples comes down to 3 important components:

  • Hydration. Did you know that something as simple as friction and chafing can cause your nipples to get darker? And we put our girls through all sorts of things - scratchy bras and long hours in a constricting sports bra - all of which can irritate and itch sensitive nipple skin. So keep in mind that when it comes to moisturizing, your nipples matter, too. Give them some serious hydration as often as possible.
  • Exfoliation. Yes, yes, you can - and should - exfoliate your nipples as well. Especially if you want to speed up the nipple lightening process. Exfoliation allows the nipple lightening ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin by clearing away dead skin cells. At times, just exfoliation alone can be enough to see nipple lightening benefits as well as to even out splotchy colored nipples. Of course, by 'exfoliation' - we don't mean you should go to town on your nipples with a harsh scrub or pumice stone. Nipple skin is sensitive so stick to gentle chemical exfoliants or gentle, very fine natural exfoliators.
  • Nipple lightening ingredients. The skin on your nipples is very similar to the rest of your body in the sense that the darker color is caused by - you guessed it - melanin. This means that the roster of melanin-inhibiting ingredients that work to lighten your skin will work beautifully on your nipple skin as well.

All three of the above ingredients are crucial so for the best results, plan to integrate all three of them into your nipple lightening routine. So if you're going with a nipple lightening cream, make sure to look for one that contains ingredients that meet all three criteria!

Natural Nipple Lightening Cream vs Hydroquinone

how to lighten nipples

Results from hydroquinone

Speaking of nipple lightening creams, one question you'll inevitably have is...which are the best ingredients to use? Should you stick to natural nipple lightening ingredients or go for hydroquinone?

To be honest, there is no one answer on this and the final decision is yours to make. But here are a few things you should know to help you make the decision:

  • Sensitivity. Nipple bleaching poses certain challenges simply because this is highly sensitive, intimate skin. In fact, the skin around the nipples is rich in a supply of special nerves - nerves that are so sensitive that they can elicit an orgasm all on their own! All in all, it's delicate skin that can be particularly sensitive to strong chemicals and bleaching agents so it makes sense to be wary of using skin lightening creams that may be fine to use on, say, your elbows and knees, on your nipples.
  • Natural nipple lighteners work. There's a great wealth of natural melanin-blocking ingredients out there, like Arbutin, Licorice Extract, Mulberry Extract, Kojic Acid, and even good old Vitamin C. Not only do these natural lightening ingredients work - but they do so without causing irritation or adverse side effects. The downside is that they tend to take longer to work and don't produce as drastic a difference as hydroquinone does but the gentle, non-irritation can be worth the extra time and effort.
  • Hydroquinone is effective. The reason why hydroquinone - as controversial as it may be - still comes up in regard to nipple bleaching is for the fact that it works very, very well. In fact, a combination of hydroquinone and retinoids was found to be the most effective treatment for nipple lightening available so far.

As you can see, there really are benefits as well as downsides to both. Hydroquinone is a quick and effective way to lighten nipples but it can also be too harsh, especially for sensitive nipple skin. On the other hand, natural skin lightening ingredients are gentle and effective but can take longer to show results.

You'll have to decide what's more important and choose accordingly. And keep in mind that the two choices aren't mutually exclusive - you can even choose to go with a hydroquinone cream to achieve quick nipple lightening and then stop once you get the color you want and switch to a natural skin lightening cream to maintain the results.

Whatever choice you go with, it's actually a really awesome thing that when it comes to lightening nipples, you have a whole lot of choices!

What is the Best Nipple Lightening Cream?

Your wealth of choices doesn't just apply to ingredients - it applies to creams as well. There are tons of intimate lightening creams out there but, of course, not every nipple lightening cream is worth splurging on so here's a quick look at the best ones on the market and what you can expect from them!

Amaira Intimate Lightening Serum

how to lighten nipples

Amaira Intimate Lightening Serum, $60

This is probably our favorite natural nipple lightening cream as of now, thanks to the fact that it's gentle while containing the most effective medley of natural skin lightening ingredients including Niacinamide, Kojic Acid, Licorice Extract, Mulberry Extract, and Bearberry Extract - all of which inhibit tryosinase activity to lighten and brighten skin color.

It also contains a potent combination of chemical exfoliants like Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid, which helps even out blotchy and uneven nipple tone and even smooth out rough, chaffed skin. At the same time, though, the combination can come on a bit harsh so please start small and use sparingly until your nipple skin gets used to it.


Pink Privates Intimate Lightening Cream

how to lighten nipples

Pink Privates Intimate Lightening Cream, $60

Pink Privates lives up to its name, gently but effectively transitioning your privates into a lighter, pinker color. This one's perfect for sensitive areas like the nipples since it's gentle enough and has a great combination of super nourishing, hydrating ingredients like jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil and hyaluronic acid to nurture sensitive nipple skin, which is a must especially when you'll be exfoliating the nipples and using skin lightening ingredients on them!

To actually lighten nipples, Pink Privates uses Alpha Arbutin, a botanical and naturally-occurring, safer derivative of hydroquinone that blocks melanin activity to gradually lighten the skin.


Pink Madison Whitening Mask

best whitening mask

Pink Madison Whitening Mask, $25

As you already know, this isn't a leave-it-on nipple lightening cream - instead, it's a whitening mask that delivers a quick dose of lightening and brightening benefits before you wash it off. And this is exactly what makes it perfect for super sensitive nipples.

If the skin on your nipples is hypersensitive, even the gentlest natural skin lightening ingredients can cause redness or irritation. But when used as a temporary mask, you're able to reduce any potential irritation while getting the lightening benefits.

The ingredients are also pretty perfect for sensitive skin - this mask is a brilliant combination of Vitamin C to lighten, Lactic Acid to exfoliate and Bentonite Clay to soothe and provide immediate brightening benefits. Overall, the ideal nipple lightener for sensitive skin!


MD Complete Dark Spot Corrector

over the counter hydroquinone

MD Complete Dark Spot Corrector, $40

When it comes to hydroquinone creams for nipple lightening, the range of choices really taper down. Sure, you can use any of the hydroquinone creams out there...but you have to keep in mind that it's not just the hydroquinone that can cause sensitivity, but the other ingredients that are usually included in the cream to help the hydroquinone penetrate better.

That's why for the nipples, we recommend going with a gentler cream like the MD Complete Dark Spot Corrector. It contains the maximum concentration of over the counter hydroquinone - 2% - as well as natural skin lighteners like Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin, but it leaves out stronger exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs and instead replaces them with skin soothing goodies like Borage Oil, Allantoin, and Black Raspberry Seed Oil.

And that makes the hydroquinone a lot less irritating, especially for those delicate nipples!

Extra perk: This Dark Spot Corrector comes with a sample bottle of Vitamin C Retinol Booster that you can use alongside the hydroquinone for better, deeper absorption and faster results. We really like how it comes in a separate bottle so you can add it on if your skin can handle it or leave it out if it can't.


How to Lightening Nipples: Quick Tips

  • Just in case you were wondering: nipple bleaching doesn't really involve bleaching. It's just a term to refer to lightening nipple color.
  • Natural is not always safe so be careful when it comes to home remedies. One that's touted in particular: undiluted lemon juice straight on your nipples. Lemon juice isn't quite potent enough to bleach darker nipple skin but it is acidic enough to cause irritation. 
  • Keep in mind that it took a while for your nipples to get to a darker color. They first changed when hormones during puberty caused a darkening of your intimate areas and then went through subsequent changes throughout adulthood. It's going to take some time to lighten them as well. So be patient and consistent in your efforts.
  • If you have nipple skin that's darker due to irritation - say, constant chafing, dryness, and scratching - you may be able to fade the discoloration without an aggressive lightening regimen. Simply doing nurturing things for your delicate nipple skin like rubbing natural oils on them every night and being religious about moisturizing can help restore your natural color.
  • Do you like topless sunbathing? If so, keep in mind that nipple skin is every bit as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your skin. Cover your nipples in Vaseline or even bandaids to protect them from darkening before you head out into the sun.
  • Last note: Please don't use any nipple lightening cream - even the natural ones - while you're pregnant and breastfeeding!