What is Hydroquinone? Is it Safe?

Hydroquinone has received a poor reputation over the years. Most of the misinformation about this ingredient stems from misuse and a lack of education. People have continued to put the ingredient in a bad light by simply basing opinions on the worst cases of misuse of hydroquinone. Others simply don’t understand what this ingredient does. When trying a new product that has active ingredients in it, it is important to understand what those ingredients treat. Clear Essence’s Platinum and Anti-Aging lines contain small and appropriate concentrations of hydroquinone and we want all of our customers to feel safe and to know what this ingredient does for the skin.

Hydroquinone is one of the few FDA approved skin-lightening ingredients. It can be a great treatment to even one’s skin tone by fading discolored skin such as freckles, age spots, sunspots, and other discolorations created by hormone changes, acne, or injury to the skin. Chemically speaking, hydroquinone decreases the formation of melanin. Melanin is the pigment in the skin that gives it its color. Melanin is also a natural UV protectant. Hydroquinone is found in stores in concentrations of 0.5% to 2%. The FDA has regulated that no more than 2% concentration can be purchased over the counter. A doctor must prescribe any product that contains a concentration higher than 2%. A concentration of 12% prevents the production of melanin altogether. When hydroquinone is properly formulated it is not a harmful ingredient and there is no substantial research proving otherwise.

Important to wear Sunscreen

Beware the UV RAYS

Some may say that hydroquinone causes cancer yet, “hydroquinone happens to be a potent antioxidant and there is even research that shows that workers who handle pure hydroquinone actually have lower incidences of cancer than the population as a whole (Paulaschoice.com).” The only cases in which a patient did develop cancer or an issue of darker colored skin are those who did not use sunscreen in conjunction with the ingredient. Since melanin is our natural UV protectant it is important to realize that one’s skin may become sensitive to the sun after displacing the dark spot or discoloration. Although it is always critical to use sunscreen to prevent damage to the skin, it is even more important when using a product to lighten discolorations.

Research has indicated problematic skin reactions are rare and more often than not, minor. The most startling risk is a skin disorder called ochronosis, which is a bluish tint of the skin. This is caused by long time use of a high concentration of hydroquinone. Again, not using sunscreen will cause the area to re-darken and can sometimes make the area even darker due to the inhibition of our natural UV protection, melanin.

sunscreen-29736_640

The correct way to use hydroquinone is by following the instructions on the drug facts label or package. Also, before using it is recommended to do a “test patch” by applying a small amount to a small area of healthy skin (such as inner wrist) to make sure an allergic reaction does not occur.

Clear Essence skin care products that contain hydroquinone always adhere to the FDA regulation of 2% concentration. Some of Clear Essence’s skin lightening products also contain SPF 15 so that an extra layer of sunscreen does not have to be applied! As you can see it is important to know the ingredients you put on your skin and how to properly use the skin care products in your daily regimen. Although it is trendy to say a product is all natural, science can sometimes give us the most effective results to ensure our skin is always flawless! The key is remembering proper use of these ingredients in healthy concentrations!!

Clear Essence Anti-Aging Line

Clear Essence Anti-Aging Line

Clear Essence Platinum Line

Clear Essence Platinum Line

3 Responses to “What is Hydroquinone? Is it Safe?”

  1. Dolphin says:

    I have a sensitive skin. Which clear essence product is suitable for me!? My skin us becoming redish

    • Hello,
      Thank you for using Clear Essence skin care products. We appreciate your support. For sensitive skin looking to lighten discolorations or dark spots we recommend our Lemon Plus Vitamin C line. This line uses licorice and lemon extract to provide an even, spot free complexion. If you are looking for plain moisturizers for dry skin, cracked heels or just maintain moisture in the skin we also have our Sensitive skin care products which contain thick body lotions and creams to maintain a hydrated complexion. If you already have the skin you love and want to maintain your skin with natural ingredients, check out the My Natural Beauty line which has exfoliating soap bars and moisturizing lotions, oils and SPF 15 products to protect the skin from the sun and keep skin soft and beautiful. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions or need any further clarification or information on our products. Thank you again for choosing Clear Essence skin care!

  2. Esther says:

    I want to have clear , flawless and radiant skin , can u please educate me on the best product to use and i also want to brighten my colour . May be am using the wrong one . My skin is combination of oil and dry . Thanks

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