Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review
Lighteners & Brighteners

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?

One of the oldest skin brighteners on the market is Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener. Made by Summit Laboratories, the name of the product has been changed to Dr. Fred Summit Skin Whitener, but it is still commonly known as Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener, so that’s how we’ll refer to it in this review.

Originally created by Dr. Palmer over 80 years ago, it’s been used faithfully by women of color every since.  Today, it is used by women who want to fade age spots, freckles, and brown spots while they achieve a smoother, more naturally balanced, lighter,and brighter complexion.

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener ReviewDr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Ingredients and How They Work

The active ingredient in Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener is Hydroquinone, which blocks the production of melanin, which is what causes color in skin.  You’ll find there is a lot of controversy regarding this ingredient.  On the one hand, it is universally known to be the most effective lightening ingredient.  On the other hand, there is some belief that it may be carcinogenic and may cause ochronosis, a permanent thickening of the skin, but this seems to only occur when hydroquinone is taken orally, not topically.  Because of its potential as a carcinogen, hydroquinone has been banned in many countries, though it is currently allowed to be present at levels up to 2% in over-the-counter products in the U.S.

It is recommended that you test Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener on a small area inside your elbow for a number of days to determine if you will experience irritation, before applying to your face.  If you do not, then apply 2 to 3 times daily to clean skin where you want to lighten and brighten.

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Pros and Cons

There are good and bad aspects to most things.  Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener is no exception.


  • It is affordable.
  • It has been around for a very long time, and is well-trusted.
  • Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener reviews show that most users achieve positive results.


  • It takes weeks to months to see results.
  • Many users complain that it is greasy, and goes on like chapstick or vaseline.
  • There may be risks or irritation associated with hydroquinone.

Where to Buy

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener enjoys very wide availability on the internet and at local beauty supply stores.  The price for a 2 oz tub ranges from $3 to $5 online. We don’t know what to expect in terms of prices as beauty supply stores, though we suspect it is slightly more expensive.


If you are not concerned about the potential hazards of hydroquinone (and many dermatologists would agree that you should not be), then certainly, Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener seems like a product worth trying.  Skin brighteners come in a wide range of prices.  This one has the most effective ingredient, at the highest concentration allowed without a prescription, and seems to work quite well for many women. Factor in the extremely low cost, and it would seem to be a no brainer.

Read about our Top Skin Lighteners

Have You Used Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener?  Leave Your Review Below!

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Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?
5 out of 5 stars

Sep 30, 2022 by 
Pam Daniels

I love this product, I can’t find it no
Where. Please tell me where
to find it

I can't be beautiful without my Dr Fred

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?
5 out of 5 stars

Jul 04, 2022 by 
Roberta bailey

I can't be beautiful without my cream I been using this cream since I was a teen I just love how my skin glow and all the compliment I got.

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?
5 out of 5 stars

Aug 24, 2021 by 
Karen E Wallace

I have used this product since I was a young teenager. Over the years this product has become harder and harder to fine. When found online the price is outrageous. I need help finding product at a reasonable price.

Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?
5 out of 5 stars

Mar 20, 2021 by 

I give this product a 5 star. Used it when I was a teenager and it speaks for itself. I am a woman of color and any discolorations on my skin this is the only cream that works


Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?
1 out of 5 stars

Dec 14, 2018 by 

this product is to harsh for me left me with chemical burns when i was a teen i wouldn't recommend it to teenagers or people with sensitive skin

4.2 5.0 5 5 I love this product, I can’t find it noWhere. Please tell me whereto find it Dr. Fred Palmer Skin Whitener Review – Tried and True?

User Questions and Answers

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User Questions and Answers

Q: hey so i brought this stuff from walmart and ive been using it for about a week now but im afraid its making me darker. it only has 2% Hydroquinone, Does Hydroquinone... maybe its all in my head but i used this to make my skin lighter. does this make your skin darker?? -Alexandria James Lee

A: Hi Alexandria, as strange as it sounds, yes I have heard of hydroquinone causing the side effect of making skin darker. Hydroquinone is toxic, I don't recommend it. And if you're using it and getting ANY sun whatsoever this could be what's happening. You must use SPF every day if you're lightening your skin because it makes it really sensitive to the sun. If you want to try something all natural, with nothing toxic, check out my review on Beautycounter's Brightening Facial Oil with Vitamin C and other natural lighteners. Using these products plus SPF protection over time will fade those dark spots and brighten your whole complexion. It's a constant battle for me, but hydroquinione makes me break out in a rash, it's way too harsh. Your skin has a 28 day cycle of regeneration so you have to be patient, and keeping the sun off you is imperative. Good luck! ~Rachel

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Q: How can I order dr freddy skin lightner -elnora

A: Elnora, you can buy it at Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart, it's a drug store brand. xo Rachel

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Q: Hi there, I came across an old tin that is called Dr. Fred Palmer's Skin Whitener. It is about two inches round and it is -Don

A: Hi Don, any skin care product is going to go bad within 6 months max after being opened.  Skin lightening ingredients will go bad even faster, I would pitch it. Rachel

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Q: Can you use this to bleach your butthole? -Nikki

A: I'm sorry Nikki, I don't have an answer to your question.... ;0)

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Rachel Vrabel

Rachel is Chief Editor of Women’s Blog Talk and writes reviews across the spectrum of anti-aging, health and beauty. She has an English degree from USF and worked in finance for 15 years before establishing this website in 2011. She loves having a place she can share her inspiration for health and beauty and continue to help others! She lives in South Florida with her husband and her hobbies include beach volleyball, HIIT training and combing the beach for sea glass and shells.


  • doris

    Is there a reason that you cannot find the product anywhere near me nor is it online. Is it no longer being made? I have used it for years with no problems.

  • Dede B Logronio

    My husband and I are using this for 24 years now I love it . Kmart used to sell them but they discontinued this product. Now I have to go to Path mark supermarket and it’s too far from Belleville NJ. Usually I have to buy 5 boxes. Now I almost running out and we went last week to Path mark in Belmont Avenue Belleville NJ. Shelves are empty … I was so mad because that’s the only day off I had. Now I don’t know I order online but I don’t want to pay the S&H period. Please help me.

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      Dede, It looks like Amazon has it available from several vendors with free shipping over $35. You may have to order 6 boxes to get the free shipping but if you love this product, then go for it. Thanks for your comment.

  • Naomi McKenzie

    I love this skin bleaching cream, but it takes a week to see results. I have used many different products for skin lightening/bleaching. This one works and also there is another you might wanna check out it called Crusader. That one works too, it made my skin look so light. so i just mixed it with Dr.fred Summit to see faster results. By the summer i cant wait to see my new complexion. I bleach three times a day. Im startin to get into the habit of taking pics before and after so I can show people my results from my skin bleaching

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