How does hydroquinone work?
Hydroquinone works by decreasing the production and increasing the
breakdown of melanosomes (melanin pigment granules) in the skin's
pigment cells (melanocytes). It does this by inhibiting the activity of
tyrosinase, the enzyme needed to make melanin.
How effective is hydroquinone?
In most cases, lightening of skin should be seen after 4 weeks of
treatment. Sometimes it may take longer to see any change but if no
bleaching effect is seen after 3 months of treatment, you should stop
To increase the effectiveness of hydroquinone you should stay out of the sun, or wear protective clothing and use a SPF30+ sunscreen when outdoors. Do not use sunlamps or tanning salons.
It is important to use hydroquinone regularly as directed until you
achieve the desired bleaching, after which use only as needed to
How to use hydroquinone
Test for skin sensitivity before using by applying the cream to a
small patch of hyperpigmented skin. If no redness or itching occurs
within 24 hours, begin treatment.
Clean and dry the skin before applying a thin film of cream twice
daily to the area(s) in need of bleaching. Rub into the skin well.
Apply just enough to cover the affected areas and avoid applying to
normal skin, as this will lighten as well. Hence wash your hands after
applying unless these are areas of treatment.
Do not apply near the eyes, mouth, and other mucous membranes.
Avoid using other medicated topical products (particularly peroxide
products) on the same area at the same time unless directed to do so by
When using non-medicated cosmetics, sunscreens, and moisturising
lotions, apply hydroquinone first, then wait several minutes before
applying them over the top.