Spotlight on Hydroquinone

While hyperpigmentation can always be addressed with a specialized skincare routine, sometimes your skin needs a little bit more! Skincare professionals and professional-grade companies have turned their attention to hydroquinone, a revolutionary ingredient in the fight against hyperpigmentation and visibly uneven skin tone. 

  

Read on below to learn more:

 

WHAT IS HYDROQUINONE, EXACTLY? 

 

Hydroquinone (HQ) is a skin-lightening agent that bleaches the skin. This can be helpful when it comes to treating different forms of hyperpigmentation: the result of more melanin being present due to an increase in melanocyte production. 

 

The goal of controlling these melanocytes is to even out the skin’s uneven tone over time. This includes acne scars, age spots, freckles, melasma, as well as post-inflammatory marks from psoriasis and eczema.

 

HOW DOES HYDROQUINONE WORK?

 

Hydroquinone bleaches your skin by decreasing our present number of melanocytes––AKA, what composes our melanin and our skin tone.

 

WHO SHOULD USE HYDROQUINONE?

 

Hydroquinone is generally well-tolerated, but there are still a few exceptions. Those with dry or sensitive skin may find that hydroquinone causes further irritation. This usually tapers off as the skin adjusts to the ingredient. 

 

People with normal or oily skin are less likely to experience side effects. And although hydroquinone can help fade red or brown spots that have lingered, it won’t help those experiencing active inflammations, such as acne or psoriasis. 

 

The ingredient is also recommended and tends to work best on fair skin tones, as it can worsen hyperpigmentation and unevenness in darker skin tones.  

 

WHERE CAN YOU FIND HYDROQUINONE?

 

HQ is available at a 2% concentration over-the-counter, or at 4% as a written prescription here in Canada. 

 

HOW DO YOU USE HYDROQUINONE?

 

We highly recommend the input of a professional skincare aesthetician or a licensed dermatologist. If used properly, the results of an HQ treatment can be seen by the beginning of month four. And by used properly, we mean following a full protocol of steps––including both a full morning and nighttime routine! 

 

That being said, ZO Skin Health’s V.P. of Business Commercial Development in Canada, Valerie Potter-Johns, explains that HQ should not be used continuously as resistance to hydroquinone is often seen after 5 months of continued use. 

 

Here are some of her Zo Skin Health suggestions: 

 

ZO SKIN HEALTH DAILY POWER DEFENSE - $180

 

A must to protect the skin’s barrier when using an HQ treatment! Make sure to apply in the morning following a cleanse and a toning product. Daily Power Defense has been elevated with ZO’s exclusive technologies to enable a long-lasting, youthful, and healthy skin complexion. This advanced serum is clinically proven to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier while defending against environmental stressors and premature signs of aging.

  

ZO SKIN HEALTH PIGMENT CONTROL CRÈME - $87

 

Pigment Control Crème 2% HQ is a highly potent bleaching solution that gradually lightens and inhibits hyperpigmentation by altering the natural processes that cause cell damage. Specifically created to help even skin tone by slowing melanin production, it dramatically reduces the appearance of chloasma, melasma, freckles, and sun damage. Helps reduce irritation associated with hydroquinone and hydrates newly exposed skin.

  

ZO SKIN HEALTH PIGMENT CONTROL BUNDLE FOR NORMAL/COMBO SKIN - $323

 

ZO SKIN HEALTH SUNSCREEN + PRIMER SPF 30 - $88

 

Interested to learn more about hydroquinone––such as how it can be an ideal skin conditioning treatment pre and post-skin procedures––or how it might benefit you? Make sure to tune into our upcoming podcast with Valerie, where she shares with us some of the expertise she’s acquired in the past 37+ years in the skincare industry.

 

Until next time,

 

The BSE Team

 

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