Facial hyperpigmented disorders are a common complaint in the adult population of all races. First-line topical treatments are usually hydroquinone or topical retinoids, which can cause irritant reactions. The need for better tolerated, yet effective, skin lightening agents that could be utilized by a wider population has led to the investigation of several potential botanical/natural compounds. There are currently many topical cosmetic formulations claiming skin depigmenting effects. A few of the ingredients (e.g. soy) are supported not only by in vitro results but also by a body of controlled clinical efficacy studies; other ingredients, instead, are backed mostly by in vitro data and a few small uncontrolled clinical studies. In this review, we describe the most common natural ingredients used for skin depigmentation and their major published studies: soy, licorice extracts, kojic acid, arbutin, niacinamide, N-acetylglucosamine, COFFEEBERRY™ and green tea.