Side Effects Of Using Creams Containing Hydroquinone

In the quest for beauty, so many people especially the female folks use skin lightening products. Majority of these products contains hydroquinone.  Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent which lightens the skin and it is mostly used by people that are looking to reduce the appearance of dark spots, freckles, acne scars and other problem spots on the body. Hydroquinone usage goes as far as doing more harm than good. It is banned in European countries and in Japan because of the dangers associated with it. Although it is still legal in some countries.

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Hydroquinone can be said to be a potential carcinogen because it has chemicals that may have cancer-causing properties(clastogen and mutagen). A clastogen is a toxin that can cause breaks in chromosomes, making some sections of them to be destroyed, and thereby resulting to mutations which results to various types of cancer. A mutagen is a material that causes mutations and damage in DNA. When the DNA is altered, it can have adverse effects on health, can cause cancerous growth of cells and cell division.

Hydroquinone bleach the skin by inhibiting the production of melanin and lighten already-darkened areas on the skin. The mechanism by which it inhibits melanin production also lets UV (ultra violet) light penetrate the skin more deeply. This makes your skin more susceptible to UV  rays that can lead to dangerous sunburns, and over a prolonged period of time, an increased risk of certain types of skin cancer. Will you risk cancer because you want a lighter skin? For this reason people using hydroquinone products are always told to wear a sunscreen at all times, or use the product only before bed time when there is no risk of UV exposure.

Hydroquinone products also contain mercury which makes it highly dangerous. Hydroquinone creams may also contain sodium metabisulphite which can cause serious allergic reactions. Severe liver and kidney damage is one of the results of this combination. Skin disfiguration condition called ochronosis (a persistent blue-black pigmentation) can occur from using hydroquinone. The  skin becomes darker and thicker than normal. Just imagine your skin so thick as your heel!

Hydroquinone can cause extreme redness, itching or even a burning sensation when it is applied to the sensitive skin. More reason you should never use hydroquinone cream is that there is also the possibility that after you stop using the product, your melanin cells that once were suppressed, may go haywire and start causing more discolouration. I have seen this occur in so many women's body. 

There are safer and better alternatives to lighten your skin. I'll be glad to share this with you all in subsequent post.


  1. Hmmmmmmmm, thanks for this article. So revealing! Let he that has ears...

  2. I already know that Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent, yet ladies/mothers apply it on their children and themselves.
    The article is quite revealing, time for ladies to start checking the chemical contents of any cream before buying.

  3. Nice post author. Though i dont knw the chemical involved, i initially knew lightening cream ain't good for the skin


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