Anyone who is looking to diminish sun or age spots, acne scars, or other discolorations needs to be aware of the chemical ingredient Hydroquinone used in topical skin creams.
The question of does hydroquinone work is answered, but there are even more serious questions raised about the safety of applying this chemical on your skin.
You also need to be wary of the severity or harshness of other chemicals used in whitening creams. This is because skin lightening products that use it also use other toxic chemicals such as mercury, steroids, and parabens.
Simply put these ingredients are dangerous and can cause more harm than good. There is one crucial fact all potential skin lightener consumers need to be aware of, the dangers associated with the ingredient hydroquinone. It is in your best interest to know about the risks and what alternatives to this toxic chemical are available.
Hydroquinone works by decreasing the production of melanin pigments in the skin and is used in skin lighteners and related products, mainly because it has been proven to help in making skin tone more even.
It was once considered a miracle ingredient, it whitens skin and makes it stay that way – permanently. It’s still used in bleaching creams and other skin whitening products, but new studies have shown it to be a dangerous toxin.
In short it is an effective ingredient, however, there are certain health risks that have become associated with using it. It has been scientifically linked to several different health issues, the most dangerous being cancer.
Due to the health risks, it’s use is prohibited in several countries, in fact, the EU banned the use of it in over the counter skin products back in 2001. The FDA has come to similar conclusions about the health risks but has not yet issued a ban on its use.
The U.S. Cosmetics Ingredient Review Panel stated it’s unsafe for use in products left on the skin. The Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database identified this chemical as a carcinogen, immunotoxicant and they give it a high overall hazard rating that has significant health risks.
It’s considered one of the more dangerous ingredients used in personal care products, and especially in skin lightening products. This is the first thing everyone should look for when checking the ingredients of a product.
Products That May Contain Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is in products designed to lighten the skin or to fade out spots, scars, and other blemishes and discolorations. In addition to its use in skin lighteners it can also be found in facial and skin cleansers, and facial moisturizers, although it’s no longer widely used in these type of products.
This highly toxic ingredient is also seldom used anymore in other products such as hair relaxers, hair colorings, nail products and glues used in hair extensions, but it always pays to check the label.