In the light of my ranting on fair and lovely, I thought I’d start my come-back to blogging about hydroquinone. This chemical is often found in fairness creams or any cream that can actually lighten skintone. I’m not trying to make you hyperventilate in panic and hysterical paranoia, but just to inform you on the effects hydroquinone can have.
What is Hydoquinone?
Hydroquinone is a type of phenol (if that means anything to you at all) that is found in many topical creams that bleaches skin discolouration gradually.
Where can it be found?
This is found at a strength of 2% in over the counter cream and at 3-4% in prescription creams that claim to lighten skin tone and discoloration.
What are the side effects?
Since you probably feel I’m being all preachy, let me get right to it. Hydroquinone has been known to cause blood cancers such as leukemia and kidney damage in animal studies. What happens when hydroquinone is applied to the skin is that it gets absorbed into the blood stream and excreted via the kidneys but at a slower rate. Essentially, this means that that hydroquinone accumulates in the body and is broken down in the bone marrow to p-benzoquinone. This is where long term damage may originate. Several countries, such as
What precautions should be taken?
If you are using a skin lightening cream containing hydroquinone, it is best to avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays. Also, always use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF15.
sources: www.skinmed.co.uk, www.cdc.gov