Hundreds of tubes of illegal skin creams have been seized by trading standards officers from shops and warehouses in Birmingham.
Legal versions of the creams are also available
The action was prompted by a BBC Inside Out West Midlands investigation last month.
Researchers from the show found that creams containing banned bleaching chemicals were widely available.
Trading standards leaders urged anyone who had any of the banned creams not to use them.
Chris Neville, from Birmingham Trading Standards, said: "If people have got these products in their bathroom they should stop using them immediately.
"The risk is that it will make their skin very blotchy, it will burn their skin and it will react to sunlight and they will end up with a very poor-looking complexion, which is not the idea at all."
Legal skin-lightening creams are available.