Why Hydroquinone is Bad For Your Skin
Hydroquinone is commonly used in skin lightening creams around the world. However, there is reason to believe that it is not a good ingredient for you or your skin. There are many dangers associated with the product.
Hydroquinone is a chemical melanin inhibitor that is also used in photo processing. It bleaches the skin by slowing down the creation of melanin, which gives the skin its color. Many products that contain hydroquinone are used to treat areas of the skin that have become dark. This might be from sun exposure, acne, freckles, or melasma.
Studies have shown that in high concentrations hydroquinone can actually be toxic. It has been called mutagenic, clastogenic and immunotoxic by researchers. The chemical is believed to possibly have carcinogen effects. Because of worries over its safety, some countries have actually banned hydroquinone all together. In the United States it is allowed at 2% concentration in over-the-counter products. Higher concentrations can only be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. The FDA is currently considering a ban in all over-the-counter hydroquinone products due to safety concerns.
One problem with this product is that is usually contains mercury. Mercury has been known to cause liver damage. Hydroquinone usage has also been linked to ochnronosis, a condition in which the skin becomes dark and thick any may develop grayish brown spots and bumps. There is also concern that if the product is discontinued the melanin cells may begin to overproduce cause more pigmentation.