4% hydroquinone (HQ) has long been the gold standard treatment for hyperpigmentation problems. Hydroquinone is often combined with retinoids or other prescription ingredients to improve effectiveness. While effective, there are safety concerns associated with HQ. It has been banned in Europe, and the FDA is considering pulling it off the market in the US. It can also irritate the skin, especially when combined with retinoids or other irritating substances. HQ is also known to occasionally make the areas surrounding dark spots lighter, creating a ‘halo effect’ and making the dark spots even more visible.
Fortunately, studies have shown natural alternatives to HQ. These are both safe, and when used in correct combinations, can be as effective as 4% HQ.
Studies have shown many natural substances can effectively treat hyperpigmentation problems. They work by inhibiting either the production of pigment in the skin or transfer of the pigment to the skin. Effective natural treatments include:
- Retinol (animal form of vitamin A)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin/ nicotinamide)
- Vitamin C
- Azelaic acid
- Kojic acid
- Licorice extract
Out of these, vitamins B3 and C, and retinol seem to be the most effective. While none of these alone rivals 4% HQ, used in proper combinations they can be very effective.
Insta Natural has several products with a promising ingredient mix. My suggestion is to try any of the products below:
- Skin Brightening Lotion
- Skin Brightening Serum
- Age-Defying & Skin Clearing Serum
- Retinol Serum
- Palmer’s, Cocoa Butter Formula, Eventone, Dark Spot Corrector
I can’t say which one of the above works the best. I suggest you try one of them. Or you can try some other product with one or more of the effective ingredients listed above.