For more than 50 years, Hydroquinone has been a popular ingredient in skin whitening. It has been proven to fade dark spots, uneven skin tone, and lighten skin in general.
From my experiences with different skin clinics in the Philippines, most of them offer hydroquinone in small percentages.
It is very strong and together with its efficacy comes controversy.
Is Hydroquinone Safe?
South Africa has banned Hydroquinone many years ago. The products that were banned contained mercury and glucocorticoids in conjunction with it.
The bad side effects probably weren’t caused by hydroquinone itself but because of the contaminants and caustic ingredients that were included with it.
Some European countries followed suit from the reports of the banning despite it being proven to not be a harmful ingredient when properly formulated.
There’s extensive and abundant research pertaining to Hydroquinone being safe and effective.
I’ve had my fair share with the powerful ingredient and I didn’t experience anything bad. All I had was a tingly sensation but it was tolerable and I kind of liked it.
I don’t recommend Maxipeel though (a product with hydroquinone that’s easily available in drugstores) as it ruined my face which I’ll talk about in a future post.
Be aware that there are studies that hydro can cause a skin disorder called exogenous ochronosis with long term use.
A skin that’s experiencing ochronosis usually darkens.
Skin doctors usually tell me to avoid the upper lip area and under eye area when applying it.
I think it’s because the skin in those areas is very thin and can be more susceptible to ochronosis.
They also don’t advise prolonged use making the studies true.
Use of the mighty H is in your own discretion and if you experience skin darkening, throw it away immediately.
How does Hydroquinone work?
Excess amount of melanin is limited by Hydroquinone. Although there is nothing wrong about having a lot of melanin in your body, it is actually what’s causing your skin to darken.
Products that are in the market with it mostly only contain 2% maximum of hydroquinone content.
Please don’t go overboard because it is a very strong ingredient.
There are also products formulated with 4% but those will only be available within the discretion of your physician.
The reason why hydroquinone is highly prescribed by professionals is because it is proven to be extremely effective and shows quick results.
Fading of dark spots can be seen in as soon as 2-3 months.
We all know that skin whitening is one of the things that’s very hard to achieve when it comes to skin care and hydroquinone truly owns up to its promise.
You like Hydroquinone
You’ve decided that you want to try it but you don’t know where to get it.
Sounding like a junkie now lol.
My advice is to go to a skin clinic with an in-house dermatologist.
Your doctor will know your skin best and will be able to tell you if your skin is in dire need of hydroquinone.
It is not something like an aloe vera gel that anybody can play with.
Be aware that whether you are only trying to lighten scars, dark spots, or whiten your skin in general, you have to always apply sunscreen.
It is imperative to protect the skin that you applied bleaching/whitening products on in order to avoid adverse side effects.
You don’t like Hydroquinone
If you don’t have the courage to risk your skin, you can try Alpha-Arbutin.
Alpha-Arbutin is proven to be extremely safe and it is one of the best natural skin-whitening ingredients available in the market.
It doesn’t only whiten skin but it’s also beneficial in erasing dark spots.
It may not work as fast as hydroquinone and can be discouraging but it’s something that can help you get better sleep at night. (Knowing there are no adverse effects)
Authentic Alpha-Arbutin comes from Switzerland and is expensive but you can get it economically through using Ayo Soaps.
We are all entitled to how we want our skin to look like.
If you really want to try hydroquinone for fading dark spots and skin whitening, go for it.
Just be sure to consult your doctor.
Want to know the most effective ways to whiten your skin? Read HERE.
Looking for affordable night creams in the Philippines? See the list HERE.
Tired of your pimples? Our pimple remedy guide is HERE.