If you have been to a dermatologist or Drug Store about skin blotchiness, uneven skin tone, freckles or other skin conditions, then you probably know about skin lightening treatments to make your skin whiter.
You might have even been prescribed some form of topical medications that help to reduce the appearance of the unwanted blemishes. With so many products on the market, it is hard to know which ones will harm your skin further, and which will give you the results you are looking for.
One such ingredient in question is hydroquinone. It is found in some topical prescription and non-prescription medications like hydroquinone face cream and body paste which is used to lighten skin.
There has been much debate about the safety of this ingredient. So if you plan to whiten your skin, you will first want to check if the product you intend to use contains hydroquinone. If it does it is important for you to know what the ingredient is and what health concerns there are associated with using it, and of course you should discuss it with your doctor.
Apakah yang di maksud dengan Hydroquinone?
Hydroquinone is a chemical compound that is a kind of phenol. It is an ingredient found in many whitening creams used to lighten your skin tone. Most over the counter skin lightening creams contain about 2% hydroquinone, while the prescription form contains about 4%.
Cara kerja hydroquinone
When a cream containing hydroquinone is applied to your skin, it works to reduce the amount of pigment in your skin. This is how it generally whitens your skin, reduces the appearance of aging spots, acne, freckles and other skin conditions where skin tone becomes uneven.
It is recommended that anyone who plans to use skin whitening cream that contains this compound in it such as cream pemutih wajah should first test it on a patch of their skin before applying it in volume.
Hydroquinone skin bleaching cream can irritate your skin especially if you have sensitive skin. It should also be noted that when using this product, staying out of the sun is extremely important since hydroquinone reduces the amount of melanin your body produces and you can burn very easily.
Exposure to it will likely cause you to burn much more quickly and in fact it might even cause you to burn severely which can very painful, lead to sun spots and even cause skin cancer.
Does it work?
For most users the answer is yes, many people who use products containing hydroquinone to make their skin whiter have had success with it. These users say it normally takes about four weeks to see a noticeable difference but often the results are what they expected.
So for most people there is no doubt that hydroquinone cream does what it says (users experiences sourced from internet forums).
But, this is certainly not without consequence for some of these people. Some of the side effects that users experience are dry and sensitive skin and it exposes them to a greater risk of sunburn which is a real concern.
When users combine hydroquinone with other skin care products, which they likely will, other adverse reactions can occur. Since the combinations of products could be limitless, there is no way to know all of the reactions someone may have in regards to using products containing hydroquinone.
It is safe to say that anytime you are causing damage to your skin by drying it out, making it more sensitive, or becoming sun burned, you are working against yourself and your precious health.
Sun damage, dry skin, sensitivities, and skin care products are some of the things that cause uneven skin tone to begin with. While an individual may see visible improvements over the course of a month’s worth of use, that doesn’t mean they know what the long term effects may render.
Is Hydroquinone Safe?
This is a subject that is widely debated. Perform an online search of hydroquinone and you will quickly discover that there are people who argue both ways, some claiming there is no way this compound is safe and others who say that it is. For several reasons both sides have legitimate claims about what they believe are safe skin whitening products.
When being presented with both of these arguments it is important to do your own research and keep an open mind as to what conclusion you draw. According to Web MD, which is widely considered to be a very reputable site, it says that this compound has been on medical watch lists as a possible cause of cancer for many years.
There have been studies involving rats where they have been fed a great deal of hydroquinone and went on to develop cancer. For that reason, some people want this ingredient in products banned forever and in some countries it is where the decision has already been made to take this compound out of products.
However, there is also a group of people that say it shouldn’t be banned for several reasons. For one, this group made the point that hydroquinone isn’t ingested by humans the way it was fed to rats so it is not correct to draw a comparison from those results.
They claim there is no direct link between putting the product on their skin and that resulting in them developing cancer. Note that this is not the only test that has been done to determine if there is a link to cancer.
One problem with that argument though is that the chemical is still absorbed into your blood stream through your skin, so though you may not be eating it, it is still going into your body. But like with many situations, if the adverse effect is not immediate it is very hard to conclusively say that there is a direct link.
Often is the case with carcinogens is that it can take years for the problems to show up, and once they do it can be too late to do anything about it. Whether or not you can prove this ingredient has been linked to cancer or not, is it worth the risk?
For some people, the answer is yes. There is no way to avoid everything out there that has been linked to cancer, however, this is one area in which you can try natural skin whitening methods and be successful. There really is no need to risk the exposure to possible carcinogens if there is an alternative such as natural skin whitening.