7 of the Best Over the Counter Hydroquinone Products
|Image||Product Name||Top Choices||Latest Pricing|
|1. Admire My Skin Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum||Our Favorite||Amazon|
|2. Skin Bleaching Cream AHA Treatment||Great Deal||Amazon|
|3. 6% Skin Bleaching Cream||Amazing Product||Amazon|
|4. Meladerm Skin Lightening Whitening Bleaching Cream||*Honorable Mention*||Meladerm's Website|
Known as one of the most effective ingredients used in skin lightening products, hydroquinone continues to remain at the top of the list if you are looking for is a lighter complexion. The way it works is quite simple, but it is harsher than other natural alternatives that are used to lighten the skin. Hydroquinone changes your skin’s appearance by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase. This enzyme is crucial in the production of melanin and when it is inhibited you produce lighter pigments. From this, you can expect a lighter and brighter complexion.
Because of its reputation, hydroquinone strikes much controversy surrounding its use, but despite that, it remains the most promising skin lightener on the market.
So, what does it do for your skin exactly? Well, besides having the ability to lighten the skin by several shades, the other uses for hydroquinone are to fade away dark blemishes such as freckles, hyperpigmentation lightening, dark spots, acne scars, scar whitening and even melasma.
However, don’t underestimate the potency of using hydroquinone, as only 2% (which is the maximum concentration found over-the-counter) is already strong enough to notice visible results from using.
Now that you have a brief understanding of how beneficial hydroquinone and how to use hydroquinone safetly is let us introduce you to our seven top picks of over-the-counter products that contain hydroquinone. Hopefully, you can use this guide to find the right product that can give you the results you are wanting.
Admire My Skin Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum
As you may know, there are many different types of creams, lotions, serums and more that contain the ingredient hydroquinone and are available on the market currently. From this broad selection, we want to mention some of the best creams and serums we could find that also contain additional active ingredients that will help boost and improve the performance of hydroquinone.
Not only are serums especially great for faster absorption due to their thinner consistency and smaller molecules, but they are very versatile when it comes to how you can incorporate their use. For instance, you can apply them with a daily moisturizer or even a skin lightening body lotion, such as this one by Shouvy.
Doing so will hydrate the skin but also expedite the effects of hydroquinone found in the serum. Regardless, if you prefer to directly apply the serum that’s always fine too, just make sure your skin is fresh and cleansed.
You can always opt for a whitening face wash instead if you’re not too keen on moisturizers. Here’s a good one by Hollywood Style that enhances glow.
Since we are on the topic of serums, we would like to introduce you this one by Admire My Skin. It combines 2% hydroquinone with other powerful antioxidants such as; vitamin C, kojic acid, azelaic acid, and the exfoliant called lactic acid (which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles from aging). Together these ingredients will lighten and brighten your skin efficiently, but also diminish visible wrinkles and fine lines, as well as hyperpigmentation and melasma.
Skin Bleaching Cream AHA Treatment
Creams are a top-rated product in the skincare industry. Not only do most contain rich ingredients but they can be very gentle on the skin due to their moisturizing properties.
Creams are recommended to be paired with exfoliating agents such as retinoids and AHAs, since doing so will allow the active ingredients to penetrate faster and deeper into the skin to speed up the process of cell turnover. If you decide to go the cream route and are looking to pair it with the proper exfoliant, try this charcoal scrub by Epielle. This exfoliant contains salicylic acid, which is a (BHA) exfoliating agent used in exfoliating scrubs. Using salicylic acid on your skin will help the process of hydroquinone by cleansing the surface of the skin from debris and cell buildup.
Now that you have an excellent exfoliator to use let’s move on to the main product that’s going to do the most work in regard to lightening your skin. This is where the Skin Bleaching Cream AHA Treatment comes in and works like a breeze. With 2% hydroquinone, 6% AHA glycolic acid and lactic acid you can expect this to reliably improve the appearance of your skin.
This cream really packs a punch too with its other additional additives such as vitamin E, licorice extract, peptides (amino acids) and niacinamide which helps even out your complexion.
This cream is very easy to use as you will only need to apply it directly to your skin twice daily. Make sure to be consistent with its application to ensure the tone of your skin stays even throughout the whitening process.
6% Skin Bleaching Cream
This cream uses the maximum dosage of over-the-counter hydroquinone (2%). Needless to say, this cream is very powerful, but if you’re in the market to try something a bit more strong then give this cream a try! This skin bleaching cream combines 2% hydroquinone with 2% kojic acid and 2% bearberry extract.
Overall, this is a very potent cream and will likely give you a lighter whiter complexion over time.
Did we mention it’s very gentle as well? This is because it doesn’t involve the use of strong exfoliants, but instead uses natural alternatives like pineapple enzymes to lightly remove dead skin cells and for better absorption of the skin lightening ingredients contained in this cream.
Generally, this is considered to be an exceptional product, however, there is a slight downside to this cream which is why we do not recommend this to those who suffer from oily, acne-prone skin. Since this cream contains mineral oil, it would make oily skin feel greasier, and that is not good for the skin. However, if you suffer from dry skin, this is going to be an excellent choice for you!
This bleaching cream can be found through the link!
Alpha Skincare Dual Action Skin Lightner
If you are someone who has used AHAs before (this could be either chemical peels or certain skincare products) and can handle high concentrations of it, then you might find this product very useful.
The Alpha Skincare Dual Action Skin Lightner combines 2% hydroquinone with a significant percentage of 10% glycolic acid, which will allow the hydroquinone to absorb quicker and allow for healthy lighter skin that is free of discoloration and blemishes such as sunspots or hyperpigmentation. Besides that, it also contains highly nourishing ingredients such as vitamin E to prevent the skin from drying out.
This product would not be best for someone that has sensitive skin (because of its potency) or oily skin, since it also contains mineral oil which can do more harm than good when used on oily skin.
This skin lightener can be found on Amazon!
Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum
Although this serum is a little more on the pricier side of the spectrum, the lightening capabilities that it holds might be worth the investment for some.
This is an age spot corrector and is primarily used on the face to treat sun spots, brown spots, hyperpigmentation, and effects from melasma.
The lightening treatment features 2% hydroquinone (the highest level available without a prescription), hexapeptide-2 and glycolic acid which is a fast-acting blend of ingredients that assist in the renewal process of the skin. This blend of ingredients also works to correct unwanted skin discoloration and protects against future damage.
We recommend using only a small amount at a time for those that have dry skin types, as it can be quite harsh. But don’t worry, you can slowly build up more over time when your skin becomes adjusted to it. Just be sure to keep your skin well-nourished with moisturizers to prevent cracking or dry patches.
Importantly, don’t forget to use sunscreen when going out so you can maintain an even complexion and prevent further sun exposure that would cause tanning or sunspots.
This serum is just through the link.
Ambi Fade Cream
Are you looking for an affordable and reliable cream that works? Then the Ambi Fade Cream might be exactly what you’ve been searching for!
Containing 2% hydroquinone and a small amount of AHAs (which are lactic acid and glycolic acid that are made of bigger particles, which means slower absorption but gentler for skin).
For best results, you may want to try using an exfoliant or retinoid cream prior to using this cream.
Because this cream lacks an abundance of strong exfoliants, it won’t be as harsh or drying on the skin compared to other types of products that contain hydroquinone. This means it’s very suitable for those with sensitive skin.
Besides the affordable price of this cream, it also contains a small amount of sunscreen too, but not enough to skip out on broad spectrum sunscreen that contains a high SPF for daily errands. Nonetheless, it’s a great product and has some valuable ingredients for the price point.
MD Complete Dark Spot Corrector
Although hydroquinone products work well for skin lightening, it can be annoying sometimes because of how drying or irritating some of these products can be on the skin, especially if they are combined with AHAs and BHAs. It’s especially important to keep your skin nourished and hydrated during the winter season due to the harsher conditions outside.
But not to worry, there are some great alternatives on the market that contain hydroquinone and are gentle enough. MD Complete Dark Spot Corrector is one of the best. This spot corrector fade cream contains 2% hydroquinone as well as other natural skin lighteners such as Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin, leaving the intensive exfoliants (AHA & BHA) out and replacing them with different natural skin ingredients such as allantoin, borage oil, and black raspberry oil.
This will result in a brighter, smoother and even skin complexion, without the appearance of flakiness or drying.
What’s neat about this product is that it includes a sample size of Vitamin C Retinol Serum that you can use with the hydroquinone for faster results. It’s always good to have more than one option available to experiment with when it comes to skin lightening.