Controversy Surrounding Hydroquinone
As an ingredient for the skin, hydroquinone has held a reputation surrounded in controversy. However, for over 50 years it has been known for being the most effective ingredient for helping to fade uneven skin tones, dark spots, brown spots, or for lightening the skin.
While turning to research, you will see more about why choosing hydroquinone for helping to lighten the skin will be a logical step all depending on what you are trying to achieve. Over the long run, hydroquinone is looked upon as being the right ingredient for lightening skin, and this has not changed throughout the years.
However, if you decide that hydroquinone is not the perfect ingredient for you, there are some alternative options that have impressive research backing it up for your skin brightening needs.
The controversy surrounding hydroquinone seems to come from a time when it had been banned in South Africa some years ago. The products that were in question showed traces of glucocorticoids and mercury, along with other illegal, caustic contaminants. This is more than likely the reason for the side effects that were recorded.
Countries throughout the European Union followed suit based on these reports even though hydroquinone is not a harmful ingredient when placed in the right formulation. There is lots of research that shows that hydroquinone is a very safe and effective ingredient.
There are also issues with the rare association between the long-term hydroquinone used in high concentrations or from products that are adulterated, and a skin disorder that is known as exogenous ochronosis.
Ochronosis is a reaction where the skin can darken in any areas where the product gets applied. If you are concerned with this risk, you can look to alternatives for skin brightening. However, if you are still considering hydroquinone, it is encouraged that you stop using it right away if you start to see any skin darkening taking place and then consult your physician.
How Hydroquinone Works
This is an ingredient that helps to limit the skin from creating an overabundance of melanin, which is the element that gives your skin its color. Too much of the melanin clustered together will lead to brown spots. Hydroquinone will step in to interrupt the process, causing the gradual fading of the brown spots.
Hydroquinone products that you can buy over the counter will have up to 2% concentrations, with the 2% being the most effective amount you can get OTC. There are 4% concentrations or higher that you may be able to get by prescription, which will be helpful if you have advanced or stubborn dark spots.
Through daily use, you can expect a skin lightening product containing hydroquinone will give you visible results in about two to three months, as long as the use is consistent. While this may sound like a long time, you need to remember that the dark spots did not take place overnight.
Enjoying Hydroquinone Benefits
You will need to use proper sun protection as an element to your skincare routine, which will be especially important if you use any skin lightening products. You are not going to get the results you are hoping for without being diligent about applying a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day, whether it is sunny or cloudy.
Never leave home without your sunscreen, and it is crucial that you reapply it as much as you need to.
You also need to be sure that you use a hydroquinone product that is packaged in a container that is opaque and that also minimizes exposure to air. The hydroquinone can degrade whenever air is present, which means that it should never be packaged in a jar. Once your jar is open, and it lets air in, thy hydroquinone will be losing potency.