Hydroquinone Cream for Your Skin Care Routine? The Basics
If you’ve been looking for fade creams or dark spot correctors lately, chances are that you’ve heard of hydroquinone. This compound is a derivative of benzene, and it’s also known as Benzene-1, 4-diol (although you probably won’t see that name on an ingredients list). But what does that mean for your skin beauty regimen? If you go online to search for hydroquinone cream, you’ll probably find all sorts of information - some scary, some reassuring, and some informative. At the end of the day, you probably just want to find a beauty product that is safe, reasonably priced, and effective. Here’s a comprehensive look at hydroquinone, and how it can become an important part of your skin care routine…
The good: Hydroquinone is the only skin lightener recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Here’s how it works: melanin is created as a response to the elements (sun, aging, etc), but it has a darkening effect on your skin. This can result in dark spots. Hydroquinone works to block the production of melanin by inhibiting the enzymes that create it, like tyrosinase. In this way, your skin is prevented from increased pigmentation, and it can even break down spots that have already developed. There is no doubt that hydroquinone cream is effective at what it does; check out some success stories! While there are many products that claim to lighten dark spots with Vitamin C or other ingredients, hydroquinone is an active ingredient that gets results.
The bad: Hydroquinone has a somewhat controversial reputation. Here’s the brief history: it was initially deemed GRASE (generally recognized as safe and effective) by the FDA in 1982 for products that contained 1.5 - 2% concentration. In the next two decades however, some studies began to show that rodents who ingested hydroquinone developed benign tumors. This led to some fear about using hydroquinone as part of a healthy skin care routine, but there are a few things that are important to remember: the rodents ingested hydroquinone orally (humans use it topically), the tumors developed were benign (non-cancerous), and hydroquinone has a history of success in lightening dark spots.
The key: Like anything else, hydroquinone works best when you follow instructions for its use. For instance, do not combine hydroquinone products with peroxide or resorcinol products - they are contraindicated and might result in temporary staining of your skin in the first case, and darkening of the skin in the second. You may also get reliable information from your dermatologist or doctor about how to achieve the best results for your skin health.
So, we’ve gone over the good, the bad, and the key to using hydroquinone effectively. As always, it’s important to experiment with what works best for your skin at any given time. By using dark spot correctors and fade creams with hydroquinone correctly, you’ll be well on your way to healthier, brighter skin!