Some people tan in the sun significantly without even trying. If those people use skin lighteners, they go back to their "default" color which may be a few shades lighter than their sun-induced color. I don't think it's actually possible to get lighter than your "default" color, though. That's just genetics. Skin lighteners and zinc-oxide sunscreen can definitely prevent and remove sun tan, though, thus making people who tan easily noticeably lighter.
Also, keep in mind that influencers shoop themselves lighter. A lot of asian selfie apps also have a lightening filter.