Hydroquinone cream is currently the main bleaching cream that is recognized by the FDA. For this reason, whenever you come across a product that used for bleaching or whitening the skin, it most likely has the main ingredient, hydroquinone in it.
You can buy Hydroquinone cream over the counter or get one with a higher concentration by prescription from your health provider.
Hydroquinone Cream Over The Counter
Over the counter (otc) hydroquinone cream in the USA has a 2% hydroquinone concentration. You should see results in about 8 to 12 weeks using creams with this concentration.
Note: You’ve probably heard of some people saying they have bought creams with more than 2% concentration. Be very wary of this as it could be contraband and shipped over from Asian or African countries which may have added other ingredients. And you never know if these ingredients are good for you or not.
Also remember that hydroquinone is a very controversial ingredient. As much as it is FDA-approved there continues to be groups of people who campaign for this to be banned. What I’m saying is that, it’s best to stick to what the medical community tells us about this particular ingredient.
Here are some examples of hydroquinone cream over the counter.
- Clinicians Complex Skin Bleaching Cream
- Neostrata Bionic Skin Lightening Cream
- Porcelana Skin Lightening Cream
- Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel Complexion Calming Gel
- Ambi Skin Discoloration Fade Cream
Prescription Hydroquinone Cream
Prescription hydroquinone cream on the other hand has 4 percent hydroquinone concentration and you can expect to see results from 4-8 weeks.
I recommend that you try the 2% concentration first before you go to the dermatologist for a higher concentration. There are some people who do not react very well to hydroquinone so it’s best to test before starting to use a more expensive product.
Does Hydroquinone Work?
Based on many scientific studies and user reviews, hydroquinone cream works very well. This doesn’t happen overnight however. As you can see, it can take 4-12 weeks to see any significant changes. Obviously, the darker you are or the darker your spots are, the longer the lightening will take.
You also need to be aware that if you stay out in the sun a lot, you will get dark again and you will get those dark spots again. Unfortunately though, it is not recommended to use hydroquinone for more than 4 weeks – 3months. So at some point, you will have to stop using it.
This is why I always recommend using whitening creams which have natural ingredients such as kojic acid, papaya extract, or Bearberry Extract . Whitening creams with these ingredients work very well too and you can use them for a much longer time as well. I recommend using Meladerm cream.
Exercise Caution When Using Hydroquinone Cream
Hydroquinone is a very active and effective skin lightening ingredient. It’s also very potent. So potent that you shouldn’t use it for more than the number of weeks your dermatologist prescribes. Most people who use this cream never have problems with it, but some people have reported that their spots have become darker after using the cream for a very long time.
Also, never ever use this cream when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Studies have shown that hydroquinone can cause low birth weight. Webmd suggests that if you really must use a whitening cream during pregnancy, then use ingredients with a good safety record such as topical vitamin c.
How To Apply Hydroquinone Cream
If this is your first time to use hydroquinone cream, then do a test patch. Apply a thin layer on a small part of your face (I usually do one at the chin). Wait for 24 hours. If you don’t see any allergic reaction, you can start using the cream.
- For best results, use hydroquinone lightening cream twice a day. Preferably apply it first before any other cream that you use. Wait for about 10 minutes before you layer the other cream.
- It is even more important to use sunscreen when using this cream. Your skin gets very sensitive to the sun at this time. If you can find one that has a 50 SPF or higher, then use that one.
- You should not use hydroquinone cream for more than 3 months at a time.
- A slight tingling sensation is normal when you apply this cream. However, if if you start feeling a burning sensation, immediately stop using the cream and go see your dermatologist if you continue to have any more problems. You may also experience some peeling. If you are experiencing a lot of peeling, then exfoliation is a good idea.
- Stop using when you see results, but as always, don’t forget to use sunscreen. You can use it again, when you start seeing spots.
Are There Hydroquinone Cream For Eye The Eye Areas?
Yes, there are with much lesser hydroquinone concentration. These hydroquinone cream are said to help with with dark circles around the eyes. The most notable of these is the Murad Lighten and Brighten Eye treatment. I recommend using this all natural Civant Skincare Eye-Complex.