Hydroquinone is a chemical found in several place on our planet. It is used in over-the-counter and prescription skin whitening creams. It is also in industrial products such as photo developers and fertilizer. It is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Due to its chemical make up, and the reactions it goes through, hydroquinone can be found in the air, as a liquid or a solid.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had originally approved the use of hydroquinone in 1982 in over-the-counter topical creams, but later recalled its approval when it was found that hydroquinone may be a carcinogen in rats after they were given it orally.
Skin Whitening Products
Hydroquinone is the key ingredient in skin whitening products. These products are used to treat unwanted freckles, brown skin discoloration, also known as hyper-pigmentation and rosacea, to name a few. The creams come in 1 percent, 2 percent and 4 percent hydroquinone levels. According to InChem.org, the following are the brand names sold in North America. The American brand names are Aclaro PD; Alphaquin HP; Claripel; Dermarest Skin Correcting Cream Plus; Eldopaque Forte; Eldopaque ; Eldoquin Forte; Eldoquin ; EpiQuin Micro; Esoterica Daytime; Esoterica Nighttime; Glyquin-XM; Glyquin; Lustra-AF; Lustra-Ultra; Lustra; Melanex; Melpaque HP; Melquin HP; Melquin-3; NeoStrata AHA; Nuquin HP; Palmer's Skin Success Eventone Fade Cream; Solaquin Forte®; and Solaquin.
The Canadian Brand names are Eldopaque; Eldoquin; Glyquin XM; Lustra; NeoStrata HQ; Solaquin Forte; Solaquin; and Ultraquin.
The Mexican brand names are Crema Blanca Bustillos; and Eldoquin.
Hydroquinone is used in photograph developing chemicals. It is also in industrial dyes and agricultural fertilizers. It is used in the manufacture of rubber and in stabilizing antioxidants, according to DermNetNZ.org. While once more widely used in hair dyes and cosmetics, that number has since decreased. It is also used as a stabilizer for gas and oil., varnishes and paints.
Naturally Occurring Products
Hydroquinone occurs in nature in many different forms. It appears in the leaves and bark of certain berries like blueberries and cranberries. If tea is made from these leaves, it will then appear in the tea. It is in certain coffee beans and is therefore in certain coffees. It can also be found in various fruits and vegetables, and wheat. It can therefore also be found in wines and beers. When in doubt, check the ingredients list of these products to verify the presence of hydroquinone.