Hydroquinone is a common skin bleach, intended to fade age spots and small skin discolorations. Some products that contain hydroquinone Eldopaque, Eldopaque Forte, Eldoquin-Forte Sunbleaching, Esoterica Facial, Esoterica Regular, Esoterica Sunscreen, Melquin HP, NeoStrata AHA Gel for Age Spots and Skin Lightening, Nuquin HP, Solaquin, Solarquin Forte.
What drug(s) may interact with hydroquinone?
Benzoyl peroxide Check with your prescriber if you are using other medications which are applied to the skin. Non-medicated cosmetics, sunscreens, and moisturizing lotions may be worn over the hydroquinone preparation. However, wait several minutes after application of hydroquinone before applying them.
Over-the-counter skin-lightening products often contain 2% hydroquinone, while 4% concentrations are available only from a physician.
Hydroquinone is a strong inhibitor of melanin production), meaning that it lightens skin color.
(source: Journal of Dermatological Science, August, 2001, Supplemental pages S68-S75
Hydroquinone does not bleach the skin (calling it a bleaching agent is a misnomer); it only disrupts the synthesis of melanin hyperpigmentation. In the medical literature Hydroquinone is considered the primary topical ingredient for inhibiting melanin production.
Using it in combination with the other options listed can make a difference in skin discolorations.
(Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Science, May-June 1998, pages 208-290; Dermatological Surgery, May 1996, pages 443-447).
Some concerns about hydroquinone"s safety on skin have been expressed, but the research indicates reactions are minor or a result of using extremely high concentrations.
(Source: Critical Reviews in Toxicology, May 1999, pages 283-330).
Hydroquinone can be an unstable ingredient in cosmetic formulations. When exposed to air or sunlight it can turn a strange shade of brown. It is essential, when you are considering a hydroquinone product, to make sure it is packaged in a non-transparent container that doesn"t let light in and minimizes air exposure. Hydroquinone products packaged in jars are not recommended, because they become ineffective shortly after opening.