Monday, April 16, 2012

Skin Whitening Ingredient: Hydroquinone

Hello, lovelies~ I posted a poll in my previous post about what kind of blog post you would like to see more of. So, I'm going to keep my promise and here is the first post of the series. Since there is going to be plenty of information, I'm going to write this in bullet points to prevent myself from rambling, lol.

Introduction to Hydroquinone
Some of the products on the market containing HQ
❀ Commonly found in skin whitening products, over the counter or prescription
❀ Present in concentrations of 2% (over the counter), 4% (with prescription) or custom made (the doctors usually ordered this)
❀ Has been the first line of treatment for hyperpigmentation; sun spots, age spots, dark spots

How Does It Work
Well, you won't be getting a zipper along with the cream.
❀ Inhibits tyrosinase (an enzyme that helps the body produce melanin, the molecule responsible in skin darkening)
❀ It decreases the activity of tyrosinase by 90% 

How Long Should You Use It
❀ Results are usually seen after 6 weeks or more of using this

Which Concentration To Choose
❀ The most effective is the 4% concentration, but is usually more irritating to the skin

Side Effects
❀ Transient erythema (brief redness on the skin) 
❀ Mild burning sensations
❀ Hyperpigmentation (also known as exogenous ochronosis)
❀ Staining and corneal opacities (if used near the eyes)
❀ Tremors and convulsions after systemic absorption ( if you consume the hydroquinone orally)
❀ Occasionally, hypersensitivity (in other words, allergy)

What is Exogenous Ochronosis
❀ A side effect from prolonged use of hydroquinone
❀ An appearance of a blue-black spots on the area where HQ is applied
❀ It is a more permanent form of hyperpigmentation 
❀ This side effect is more common is people with darker skin types

Controversy Behind Hydroquinone

❀ In female and male rats and female mice, HQ produces some evidences of carcinogenicity (potensi menyebabkan kanker)
❀ FDA still waits for further studies more specific on HQ and how it relates to carcinogens

Phew~! That is most likely a summary on what hydroquinone is and its side effects. I hope you find this post useful and don't forget to tick the Like This! button if you like this type of blog posts. I'll see you in my next post~ Taa~



  1. hiiih..efek sampingnya ngeri bgt, sis phanie...(T^T)
    nda berani pake...>_<

  2. Sev, waduh, bukan bermaksud menakuti~ Biasanya terjadi pada penggunaan yang lama dan rutin, juga orang yang kulitnya lebih gelap.. Jadi, kalo pakenya sekali2 atau cuman dalam jangka waktu di bawah 6 bln, gpp ^_^

  3. my cuz already tried melanox for her acne scars that she thinks annoying, but accidently become moooore scary than before.. >.<"

    the instructions on the packaging say to use at night, and she thought that if used during the day will further accelerate the healing process, but when the products attached by the sun light it turns out darker & looks like burnin' or sumtin..

    dunno if the result due to misuse the product or sumtin else.. :x

  4. I thought that the government already forbid manufacturers to use hydroquinone on their products years ago .-.

  5. Imelda, it's not supposed to be used during the daytime because the sunlight may worsen the skin while it is being treated with HQ. It's best to use at night. ^^

    Noleeana, they did forbid it, but reality is the products are still out there because there is no direct evidence that it causes cancer in humans. It is only seen in rats, so further studies are needed to be exactly sure.

  6. ooh gitu..ic ic...:D
    asal jgn di pake terlalu lama, ttp aman yaa...
    mmm, kyk melanox boleh dipake di muka or di dark spot aja?
    soalnya koko-ku make melanox nih~

  7. Sev, mendingan sih di dark spotnya aja. ^^

  8. Gimana cara menghilangkan dampak dari effect samping obat itu?
    Seperti yang saya rasakan.wajah saya akan menjadi merah saat berada diAC.tpi kalau tidak.bisa terlihat normal.

    1. Hi, lee~ Thanks for visiting~

      Kalo wajah kamu jadi merah, pemakaiannya boleh diselang seling. Contoh: pakainya hari Senin, Rabu, Jumat, dst agar kulit kamu bisa beradaptasi terlebih dahulu.