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Most commonly used in skin lighteners, it is linked to cancer and organ-system toxicity.

Happy Tuesday, ladies! Let’s get back to a little ingredient education 🤓

Ever heard of hydroquinone? It is one of our blacklisted ingredients and is marketed most aggressively to women of color for its whitening ability in skin creams. It is also market to ladies with sunspots or melasma. Don’t fall for it, ladies!! 🙅🏻‍♀️ The chemical is allowed in personal care products in the United States in concentrations up to 2%. Although banned in the European Union, a UK news report found that products containing hydroquinone were relatively easy to procure.

In addition to its use in skin lighteners, hydroquinone is a possible impurity of tocopheryl acetate (synthetic Vitamin E) which is very commonly found in facial and skin cleansers, facial moisturizers and hair conditioners 😩


👎🏼Cancer: Hydroquinone works by decreasing the production and increasing the degradation of melanin pigments in the skin. This increases the skin’s exposure to UVA and UVB rays, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

👎🏼Organ-system toxicity: Hydroquinone is linked to a skin condition called ochronosis in which the skin (our largest organ) thickens and turns bluish-grey. Exposure of the eye can cause pigmentation and permanent corneal damage.

👎🏼Respiratory Tract Irritation: Hydroquinone may be harmful if inhaled, causing irritation of the nose, throat and upper respiratory tract. A study on occupational exposure of hydroquinone showed that subjects exposed to hydroquinone had a higher prevalence of a cough and decreased lung capacity compared to their unexposed counterparts.

Ever heard of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics? It’s an organization I trust for getting the facts! 🙌🏼

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