The dangers of #hydroquinone #lightenersHydroquinone is an ingredient commonly found in skin lightening creams. However, it has side effects as diverse and horrific as poisoning, convusions, asthma, leukaemia, liver damage, anaphylactic shock and infertility, as well as a medical condition called ochronosis where the skin becomes dark and thick, with dome shaped yellow or greyish brown spots. hydroquinone is already banned in many other countries inclunding Japan,the European Union, Australia, and African countries. however, many products containing this ingredient remain freely available in South Africa, sold by street vendors and in certain retail outlets.
It is frightening that the health risks associated with this product, and with unregulated bleaching creams, receive so little publicity. This ingredient started being used in skincare by accident, after black workers at a rubber plant found that when this chemical came into contact with their skin it caused lighter patches to appear. Although they sued for damages as a result of their injuries, the ingredient become used in cosmetic lightening creams. This ingredient is a very powerful chemical. It is also used in photographic developing, as an antioxidant in the rubber industry, and as an agent in hair dyes.
Hydroquinone products sometimes cause elevated levels of mercury in the systems of people who use it. Mercury is an extremely toxic product which often causes mercury poisoning. Bleaching creams work by stripping the natural pigmentation from the skin. Bleaching creams were originally intended for use by dark skinned people on areas of skin that have become darker –
For example, from scarring. Other people use the creams in order to make their intire skin ligheter. However in dark – skinned pigmentaton people this is a natural protection from the sun. Bleachng changes the natural structure of the skin, resulting in inadequate production of the protective melanin. Because of this many bleaching products contain sun screen, or advise users to use sun protection creams with the product. However the more frequently that bleaching cream is used, the deeper the damages it cause to the skin. Hydroquinone also damages the skin’s connective tissue-and carlage, and blotchy, rough skin can be an after effect of bleaching products.
If you want to even out or brighten your skin tone, there are many other effective products on the market that contain less damaging ingredients . When buying this type of skin care you should read the list of ingredients carefully and research the product before you use it to see wether there have been any unwanted effects. Remember skin damaged by chemicals can be difficult or impossible to repair, so educate yourself on the alternatives out there. Don’t let South Africa become a dumping ground where unethical companies try to sell products that have been banned elsewhere in the world, believing that consumers here are uneducated and naive enough to buy them and suffer the damages.