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October - November 2008



by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member

The beauty industry is worth millions.

We have an innate desire to be more attractive and often use cosmetics which may even be dangerous.

There are hundreds of products that claim to be able to lighten your skin.

Hydroquinone has traditionally being used as a skin lightening agent, but has had many adverse reactions.

Hydroquinone as a cosmetic ingredient is banned in the European Union since 2001.

A safer and more effective alternative to hydroquinone , are products that contain Kojic Dipalmitate, which helps restore and maintain a beautiful and flawless complexion without the damaging side effects of hydroquinone.

Facts about hydroquinone:

Hydroquinone is a dangerous skin bleaching agent which is often used in skin lightening cosmetic products. Although some people have seen benefits from using it, this banned substance has been found to be a potential carcinogen and cause liver damage after long term use. It can also have a reverse effect by causing the skin to darken, leaving many people with permanent dark marks or disfiguring conditions.

Side Effects




A gradual blue-black darkening of the skin (ochronosis)

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:



Severe swelling


Trouble breathing

This medication may make the treated areas of skin more sensitive to sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing on the treated areas of skin when outdoors.


Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching agent which may produce unwanted cosmetic effects.

Hydroquinone based products have caused disfigurement and permanent scarring to thousands of faces around the world.

Prolonged use of hydroquinone may lead to temporary or permanent discoloration of the skin.

Irritation and corrosion to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes may occur.

Jaundice may also be noticed.

It can lead to kidney failure or skin cancer, and so prove fatal.

Neurological effects of hydroquinone include:





Muscle twitching

Tremor and convulsions

Nausea, vomiting and production of brown-green urine may occur.

More Health

More articles by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member

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