Written By Jennifer Raskin / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
However, you should proceed with a little caution when using hydroquinone. The FDA deemed it as a safe ingredient in the early 1980s. But then a few years later, there were concerns about the safety of it.
After some research of the questionable products that retailers pulled, hydroquinone products for were found to contain mercury and other dangerous contaminants. To this day, the FDA still confirms hydroquinone is safe to sell in OTC formulations at two percent concentration.
What Hydroquinone Does
Basically, this ingredient will bleach your skin. It does so by reducing the melanocytes - the cells that make the melanin in your skin and create your skin tone. When hyperpigmentation exists, it means you have increased melanocyte production. To halt it from discoloring your skin, you need to take control over these cells which is what hydroquinone does quite well.
But if you think hydroquinone will suddenly erase these discolorations, think again. It takes about a month to see results, maybe even more before your skin becomes a harmonious and even tone again.
What Can You Use Hydroquinone For?
If you have any type of hyperpigmentation, hydroquinone may be for you. It can help fade away scars left behind from acne in your youth. It can blend away age spots, sunspots, and freckles that make you feel less confident in your skin. It can also correct melasma - that hyperpigmentation that usually comes on from hormonal shifts. Even marks left behind from eczema and psoriasis can be treated with hydroquinone, fading red or brown spots away.
While it does the trick quite well, even on stubborn spots that have refused to budge, it can’t get rid of active inflammation. So you can fade old acne scars, but if you currently have an angry, red breakout, it won’t have any effect.
Those that have sensitive or dry skin types may experience more discomfort and irritation as your skin adjusts. It’s best for fair skin tones so if your skin is medium to dark, you’ll want to discuss if hydroquinone is a good choice with your dermatologist first. It has been known to make hyperpigmentation worse in darker skin tones so proceed with caution.
How to Use It
For the best results, you have to be consistent with your use of hydroquinone. Before you start using it each day, even if your dermatologist has recommended it, test it out on a patch of your skin to see how it reacts first.
Even when hydroquinone doesn’t cause an irritation for you, make sure you always protect your skin during daylight hours with sunscreen. The sun can reverse all the good that hydroquinone will do for your skin.
Additionally, hydroquinone is an ingredient you shouldn’t use more than five months at a time. It should resolve your hyperpigmentation issues by then but if it doesn’t, you’ll have to see what your dermatologist recommends you try after that. For most people with hyperpigmentation though, hydroquinone will reveal the results you’ve been aching to see.
Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.