Q. Please can you recommend me a skin-lightening cream; I have Asian skin and used to be really fair; now just my face is very tanned with uneven skintone, while the rest of my body is creamy beige.
A. In a word (almost), NO, we can’t recommend a skin-lightening cream.  To lighten skin requires strong chemicals which have real health question marks over them, with some ingredients (like hydroquinone, widely used in Asian markets to lighten skin) being banned here.  (Hydroquinone has been linked with cancer, and also with a bluish-black discolouration of skin.)  Unless you’ve developed hyperpigmentation (melasma, or ‘age spots’, which it doesn’t sound like you have), then if you protect your skin from UV light, it will slowly lighten up again and become paler.  Use a face cream with a high SPF (30+), and wear a hat.  (Build a collection of hats with broad brims!) Sit in the shade.  There’s also a fantastic ‘white’ primer from Chanel which really works to create a smooth, pale base for foundation: Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base, which you can find on-line at www.boots.com if you click on the product.  It’s a short-term cosmetic answer while you wait for your tan to fade to a body-matching creamy beige…

Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base, £30 for 30 ml at www.boots.com; buy here