What Is Hydroquinone?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a medication called hydroquinone for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. This topical drug can be prescribed by doctors in an extra-strength form or used as an active ingredient in over-the-counter topical treatments at a lower dose.
How Does Hydroquinone Work?
Hydroquinone treatments for the complexion work by interfering with the process that produces the skin pigment melanin. When used regularly, hydroquinone treatments help reduce the amount of melanin present in the area where the dark spot has appeared. This leads to a gradual lightening of the spot over time.
Should I Use Hydroquinone?
While you don't need a doctor's prescription to purchase a hydroquinone treatment from drugstore.com, experts recommend that you still consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter topical drug to ensure best results.
Alternatives to Hydroquinone
If you prefer to go the hydroquinone-free route, you can find a number of brightening skin care treatments to help you address hyperpigmentation and improve the overall radiance of your complexion.
Vitamin C is often used in skin brightening formulas, as the nutrient has been shown to promote a more even complexion and lessen dullness.
Derived from fungus, kojic acid is a natural skin brightener commonly found in topical products. There is evidence to suggest that kojic acid may work similarly to a mild form of hydroquinone by reducing melanin production.
You can also find brightening scrubs and exfoliators with glycolic acid, lactic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids. These products promote a brighter face and diminish dark spots by removing dead and discolored skin cells.
How to Prevent Dark Spots
When you're working to brighten your complexion, the last thing you want is to have the sun undermine your efforts. Using a sunscreen every day or a brightening skin treatment that contains a sunscreen in the morning can help to reduce your exposure to ultraviolet energy. The sun protective ingredients can reduce the risk of new dark spots developing and can help keep the dark spots you have from getting worse.back to top »
| resource library for skin care »