|Me, Before Using Hydroquinone||Me, After Using Hydroquinone for 1 year|
Almost all of us have some sun damage. The sun’s rays breakdown our skin cells and create discoloration in our skin’s appearance. The UV light from the sun stimulates the melanin cells in the skin and causes them to darken. This is how you have a tan, but it is also what brings out freckling, age and sun spots. Starting at birth, sun exposure damages our skin. As we age, sun exposure not only leaves our skin with unsightly spots, it also weakens the skin and makes it more prone to wrinkling, sagging, and tearing.
There are several ways to reverse sun damage. The number one way is to limit your sun exposure immediately, as well as begin to use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with Zinc Oxide (10.5%) and Octinoxate (7.5%) and to reapply that sunscreen every 2-3 hours.
As women, many of us also have skin discoloration from hormonally caused melasma that is often brought on by a pregnancy, and can be exacerbated during our monthly hormonal cycles.
In our Broomfield, Colorado office, we use both fractional laser and IPL Photofacial procedures to pull pigment from the skin and to leave you with a clearer, more even, less sun-damaged complexion. These are fantastic treatments that can literally change your skin. After treatment, our patients report more even and youthful complexions. Often times, after a laser or IPL, patients will no longer need to wear makeup to even out their skin.
Topically and at home, the most effective thing you can do to treat and resolve sun damage is to use a medical-grade dosage of hydroquinone daily. Hydroquinone is the only FDA-approved ingredient for lightening skin pigment. The concentration we sell of 4% is only available in medical offices, and is the safest daily dosage. The concentration matters. Over the counter products are limited to a 2% concentration which will take much longer to work and will be less effective.
Using hydroquinone is something you can do every day that will change and improve your skin.
Some of us associate hydroquinone with skin bleaching. The formulations and dosages we carry are much less concentrated than the dosage Michael Jackson used. You will have even, brighter skin but you won’t be bleaching or dramatically changing your skin.
Hydroquinone is derived naturally from antioxidants in plants. It works by inhibiting the color-producing cells in our skin, and over time, dark spots will simply fade away.
There have been some recent safety concerns about hydroquinone. However, hydroquinone has been the gold standard for correcting skin discoloration for over 50 years. The dosage we carry of 4% has been clinically proven to be both safe and effective. There is also a myth that you must cycle off hydroquinone every 3 month. This has been proven to not be true, and you can use hydroquinone continuously, as many of our patients do.
The OBAGI products are the worldwide leaders in medical-grade skin care, and hydroquinone based products are the core of their offerings. Obagi carries 4 products with 4% hydroquinone – Clear, Blender, SunFader, and Exfoderm. Patients often ask us, why use all 4? We had the same question. The answer is: each product works at its own skin depth, so using all 4 in combination on a daily basis tackles skin discoloration on every level. Just one hydroquinone product will get your results – but using all 4 will accelerate results and give you “wow!” skin.
The products do have a medicinal scent to them, and used as a set, it can be a big regimen for people to tackle. However, the results are absolutely worth the effort. And all hydroquinone products are MOST effective with combined with daily use (at night) of Retin-A. Ask us for more information on why Retin-A is the number one product everyone should be using.
We absolutely recommend the Obagi kit for our patients post laser or post IPL, as it only enhances their results. We have many patients who swear by the products, as does our own patient services coordinator, Jeanette, who keeps her hormonal melasma at bay by using Obagi’s hydroquinone products.
As you can see in the photos above, using Obagi’s hydroquinone products changed my skin. I look more youthful now than I did 5 years ago. I didn’t realize how much freckling and sun damage was aging my face. With continued use of the Obagi hydroquinone products, as well as Retin-A, I am able to maintain youthful, clear skin.
We love the products and we know you will too.
*Results may vary from patient to patient