Let’s Get Even with Hydroquinone

Struggling with hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone? Hyperpigmentation is typically caused by melanocytes producing excess pigment in deeper layers of the skin, resulting in certain areas appearing darker. It is quick to form, yet takes time and patience to reverse the effects. While many ingredients provide skin brightening benefits such as Vitamin C, Kojic Acid, Niacinamide, and Licorice Extract, Hydroquinone remains to be one of the most well-established skin brightening ingredients in skincare. Let’s get better acquainted with it.

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What is Hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is an organic compound that acts as a skin lightening agent and is considered the “topical golden standard” treatment for dark spots by dermatologists¹. Hydroquinone works on a molecular level to inhibit the production of tyrosinase, the enzyme commonly known for producing melanin². It can assist in lightening a variety of different conditions on the skin such as melasma, age spots, hormonal pigmentation, acne scars, and freckles. 


load imageHydroquinone in Skincare

Clinical Resolution Laboratory has developed HQ Clarifying Serum formulated with 2% Hydroquinone -- the strongest percentage of hydroquinone you can purchase without a prescription. This unique serum contains Pycnogenol, a natural plant extract derived from the pine bark of French maritime pine trees. Pycnogenol provides many benefits such as reducing redness, inflammation, and signs of aging ³ . HQ Clarifying serum also contains Retinol and Ascorbic Acid known to exfoliate, reduce acne, and brighten the skin. Together these powerhouse ingredients work to minimize unwanted pigmentation and even out skin tone & texture to reveal visibly healthy and younger-looking skin.

Using Hydroquinone:

Hydroquinone reduces the amount of melanin produced by melanocytes, the cells in which melanin is made. In some cases, it will take four weeks to three months of continuous usage to begin seeing results or improvement. By applying hydroquinone consistently every day, each new layer of skin will result in a brighter appearance.

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To start, apply a small amount of HQ Clarifying Serum during the nighttime on cleansed skin. Make sure the skin is clear of excess dirt, oil, and makeup, as hydroquinone produces the best results when it can penetrate deeper into the skin. Best used after toner, and before creams. Be sure to apply only in particular areas where hyperpigmentation and dark spots can be seen.

Since hydroquinone is a potent ingredient, we recommend starting by using it every other day, and then every day once the skin has built a tolerance to the product.

Depending on your skin type and its response to hydroquinone, take a one-month break from using it after three months. After giving your skin some time to rest, reintroduce it into your routine in combination with a Vitamin C 5% or Vitamin C 10% Serum for another three months.

Since hydroquinone can be drying on the skin, we highly recommend ending your skincare regimen with a hydrating moisturizer.

Side Effects of Hydroquinone:

Hydroquinone is not recommended for sensitive skin. Before incorporating Hydroquinone into your daily skincare routine, we recommend performing a patch or skin sensitivity test on a small area of your skin. If no redness or itchiness occurs, begin integrating into your skincare routine after cleansing.

For some individuals, Hydroquinone may cause sensitivity and irritation. If sensitivity persists while using the product, discontinue use and consult with your physician.

¹ Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology
² US National Library of Medicine
³ ResearchGate
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology

Gentle Skin Brightening Alternatives to Hydroquinone:

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