Hydroquinone is a product prescribed by dermatologists to correct skin tone and complexion. It is a skin-lightening agent used to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Dermatologists use it to treat conditions like acne scars, age spots, melasma and spots from psoriasis and eczema. It’s a straightforward product to use, but can be easily used improperly. Here are four things to consider when using hydroquinone:
- Consult your dermatologist first – Hydroquinone is not always the answer for all skin types. Those with dry and sensitive skin might experience a level of irritation when using this product to even out their skin tone, or those with darker skin tones might have different results than expected. Before adding hydroquinone to your lineup, do consult your dermatologist if it’s the right treatment for the issue you are trying to correct.
- Remember to use sunscreen – Like with all other skincare products, use them in tandem with sunscreen. Because hydroquinone can cause irritation, exposing irritated skin to the sun can make the negative effects a lot worse. What you want to do is to minimize further UV damage by using sunscreen to protect your skin and let hydroquinone produce more optimal results.
- Avoid mixing it with other irritants – Avoid using hydroquinone with AHA’s, or alpha hydroxy acids. Examples of AHA’s include glycolic, lactic and citric acids that are used for face masks, serums and peels. Besides further irritation, your skin might also become a lot more dry if you mix AHA’s and hydroquinone.
- It’s not for long-term use – You should not use this product for no more than six months. Results start to become visible after one to three months, and hyperpigmentation should be fully faded by the third month. After that, you should set this product aside and only use it if you see more dark spots, or if your dermatologist instructs you to.