What to Know About Hydroquinone and Skin Care
Hydroquinone is the active ingredient of many skin lightening creams. It works by inhibiting melanin producing cells so that less pigment is produced. Another way it works is by breaking down the existing melanin. By attacking melanin and melanin production, the result is a lighter skin tone. There are various reasons why someone will choose to bleach their skin. One reason is that you may wish to have a lighter complexion because you believe it is more beautiful. Another reason is that you may have melisma, which is dark skin discoloration.
When choosing a skin whitening cream, it is important to find out whether it contains hydroquinone. It is always a good idea to find out what the active ingredients of any products are; this way, you are aware of what you are taking into your body. And because some people react negatively to hydroquinone, you want to make sure that you do not suffer any adverse allergies.
It is advisable that you perform an allergy test first before using the skin bleaching cream. You do this by applying the cream on a small portion of your skin to see whether there is any allergic reaction. If your skin does not react negatively, wash the affected areas thoroughly and apply the cream.
Even though there is much controversy surrounding this bleaching agent, there are various reasons why hydroquinone is still prescribed. It has proved to be the most effective skin bleaching agent as far as hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation is concerned. It is why people still use it despite the fact that it has been banned in many countries.
There are certain side effects of hydroquinone that you should be aware of. First, prolonged use can lead to ochronosis. This is a permanent dark discoloration of skin. It has also been shown to have adverse effects on certain organs such as the liver, kidneys and thyroid glands. Although it has not been tested in humans, it has been shown to be carcinogenic in mice.
It is always advisable to start using skin whitening creams only after you have consulted your dermatologist. Your dermatologist is in the best position to advise you on the creams best suited for your skin.
Safer, natural alternatives exist for those wishing to gets that lighter skin tone without dealing with the adverse effects of chemical ingredients. Arbutin and kojic acid are examples of natural ingredients that are effective for skin lightening. Arbutin is an extract gotten from the leaves of berry plants such as blueberry and cranberry. Kojic acid results from rice fermentation. There are even skin bleaching remedies that you can make right at home. An example is the orange peel paste where you grind sun-dried orange peels and mix the powder with milk. You than apply the resulting paste onto your skin and leave for about 15 minutes.
For best results, use skin care products that contain retinol. Retinoic acid will trigger the production of collagen which makes your skin firmer. It will also increase production of new skin cells which makes your skin appear younger. The bottom line is that having an unblemished and fair complexion is indeed something you can achieve.