Is it allowed for men to use fairness cream made of halal ingredients ?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
Fairness creams are generally used for beautification. Male beautification has been discussed by the Fuqahaa (jurists) in great detail. In principle, Tajammul( elegance) has been permitted while Tazayyun (undue beautification) has been severely disliked for males. For example, applying mascara, wearing bracelets and donning other female beautification accessories would be Makrooh (disliked) whereas donning expensive and elegant garments would be permissible.
With regards to your specific query of using fairness creams, generally fairness creams are used by females for beautification purposes. Therefore it is Makrooh for males to beautify themselves with fairness creams.
Moreover if the fairness cream contains medically proven harms, then it will be impermissible for males and females to use such creams since this will entail the intended damage/harm to one’s limbs which is impermissible in Shariah. Recent studies indicate potential and proven harms of certain fairness creams. Furthermore it will be impermissible for one to use fairness creams with the intention of deceiving a prospective spouse as the colour of one’s skin may have an impact on the decision of the prospective spouse. The issue of chemicals in the fairness creams decreasing melanin levels could also be regarded as changing one’s natural self (Taghyeer al-Khalq) which is impermissible in Shariah.
However it will be permissible if one is advised by a professional dermatologist to use fairness creams for medical purposes.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Checked and Approved,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
وَلَا بَأْسَ بِالِاكْتِحَالِ لِلرِّجَالِ إذَا قَصَدُوا بِهِ التَّدَاوِيَ دُونَ الزِّينَةِ (البحر الرائق ج ،2 ص 302)