Hydroquinone. What comes to mind is bleaching or lightening agent, causes skin cancer, and every other bad thing you can think of.
Well, hydroquinone is a compound with the chemical name benzene-1,4 –diol or quinol.It works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase which helps in the production of melanin. The skin becomes lighter, so yes, it is a lightening agent. It degrades in the presence of air.
Hydroquinone was banned about 50 years ago because it was used with mercury and other notorious compounds. So hydroquinone on its own is safe and effective, it doesn’t cause skin cancer. However, a low percentage (2%) of this is safe and can be gotten over the counter in cosmetics while higher percentage (4%) is available only for prescription.
None of what is written above is new. My major concern is cosmetics that promise skin lightening and still tell you its hydroquinone free. How possible is that? Truly, there are natural “brightening” or lightening agents like mulberry, arbutin that gives you same result as hydroquinone. Know why? Its because these natural products, when they get into the skin, break down into hydroquinone –surprised? Well that’s what’s up!
You don’t have to believe that hydroquinone is harmless –this afterall is not to make hydroquinone saintly; but wouldn’t you rather go for an honest product that tells you hydroquinone(2%) than one that promises lightening and tells you hydroquinone free ? Let’s watch what we buy, let’s be observant. We should not believe all what manufacturer or producer gives as an info.