Is It Safe to Use Products Containing Hydroquinone as an Anti-Aging Ingredient?
The aging process is marked with hyperpigmentation, freckles, or age spots, and all of these are pretty much visible on your skin. To encounter all these signs of aging, you might have come across or even tried several products that contain the ingredient named hydroquinone.
For those who haven’t heard of this ingredient before, hydroquinone happens to be a synthetic organic compound and is generally used to be a skin brightening agent. Hydroquinone is available in several brightening creams and serums that are known to lighten dark patches. Even though a few dermatologists have been recommending it as an essential product to cure hyperpigmentation and improve skin tone, along with it. But there are a few controversies that are associated with it.
Hydroquinone – What Is It?
Hydroquinone is a common constituent in products that are used for skincare and helps in removing dark spots, lightening the tone of the skin, and prevents discoloration. With aging, all skin types become prone to discoloration, mainly due to discoloration. Under such circumstances, hydroquinone can be used either in prescribed high percentages or in comparatively lower rates when received over the counter to lighten sun spots, scarring, and age spots. In other words, hydroquinone has the potential to be hailed as a skin brightening agent. Research shows that hydroquinone with corticosteroids and retinoids is beneficial for your aging skin than any anti-aging ingredients.
Safety Issues You Need To Consider
Even though hydroquinone might seem to be a miracle remedy to alleviate dark spots permanently, several dermatologists have something to say about its safety as well as efficacy. According to them, hydroquinone is not among the safest ingredients to use. From what we understand from dermatologists, hydroquinone is a skin irritant that can lead to increased occurrence of certain cancers in animals and can even change immune function.
The risk of cancer associated with it has forced some countries, especially those who belong to the E.U., to ban hydroquinone. Its carcinogenic effects, of course, have a huge role to play. Long-term use of the synthetic organic compound in high concentrations can cause ochronosis, i.e., increased darkening of the skin. The FDA, too, hasn’t expressed anything in favor of hydroquinone owing to its mutagenic properties as well. On general lines, although the constituent is considered somewhat safe and quite effective in its treatment of aging signs, one cannot overlook the safety-concerns that are associated with long-term use.
How to Use Hydroquinone Properly?
If you are in the United States, you can get hydroquinone in skincare products from the counters in around 2% formulas, i.e., low concentration. In case you want to go for a higher level, say about 4% or more, you can ask your dermatologist to prescribe it. Remember, you need to use much higher concentrations only under the supervision of your doctor. According to experts, about the dosage, it’s always safe to use hydroquinone in two percent or four percent. The formulations should be used two times a day for 12 weeks and not more than that.
Give your skin a break after this from the organic compound. Besides that, make sure you use a sunscreen having an SPF of 30 must be applied every day. It is essential even after your counter darkening treatment. If you are on a hydroquinone regimen, your dermatologist might recommend two approaches. Through one, you can use mild hydroquinone products, in addition to other products that have brightening agents in their list of ingredients. The different approach is to choose hydroquinone creams that have high concentration either with or without any brightening agent added to the list of ingredients.
Alternatives That You Can Consider
If your concern is about safety and you are seeking out a substitute for hydroquinone, experts recommend the use of arbutin. Arbutin is an essential ingredient in many skincare products. It has outstanding brightening properties and also has a low irritancy risk. Moreover, arbutin doesn’t come with high cancer risks. Other alternatives are vitamin C, papaya enzymes, niacinamide, Giga white, and licorice.
Doctor supervision is essential for every dose of any anti-aging ingredient you want to use. Do keep the detrimental impacts in mind before you opt for Hydroquinone – an organic compound.
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