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Discussion Starter #1
I really want to lighten my skin. My knees, elbows, neck and inner thighs are darker (I'm not good with shades so I don't know how many shades). It seems like my face, inner arms and hands are the lightest while the outside of my arms appears tanned and my stomach and legs look dark. I spend a lot of time outside as a kid and never wore sunscreen, so I'd say that it's sun damage. But I'm not even 20 yet. Is it possible to have sun damage already?

My complexion is almost exactly like Reshma Shetty's from Royal Pains (there are some pics were she looks really dark. I'm not that dark, just look at the pictures were she is lighter if you're googeling her). Lightning a bit would already be great, but I actually want a complexion like Sandra Bullock. I'd go lighter if possibly, but having Sandra's complexion would be a dream come true. I just never felt like a 'dark, ethnic' person at all.

I don't just want to lighten the dark spots but my entire skin. But I do not want to use Mono or HQ. I heard that HQ can darken you skin and cause cancer if you use it long term (I'd have to use long term). Does stuff like kojic acid, Arbutin even work? Because everybody who seems to be getting lighter is using HQ. I would consider using HQ on the dark spots only if nothing else works, but using it to lighten my entire body plus using it for maintenance just seems to risky.

I already changed my diet (not that my diet was bad, but I cut out things that darken skin. Like carrots, sweets and even tea which I loved). I put on sunscreen every time before I leave the house and actually tried to stay inside as much as possible in Summer, plus I peel my skin regularly. I took Gluthione before finding out that the body cannot absorb it. I bought Vitamin C powder and tried to use it as a peeling (doesn't work). So I really need something effective that will lighten my skin eventually.

Incase you're wondering my mother is white/German and my father is Hawaiian and I am probably as dark as him. But I have pictures of myself in summer where I look African American because tans look very real on my skin. People, especially Americans keep thinking that my father is African American and I'm just saying Hawaiian so I don't have to be 'black' and that is pissing me off VERY much (but it isn't the reason I want to lighten my skin).
 

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Hi Devany & welcome to the forum. That was a very thorough intro. As for using 'natural' agents to achieve the type og lightening you are seeking, so far, there isn't a scientifically established way of doing this-despite many mfgr's wild claims on their ads & in their websites.

As for HQ causing cancer, there has never in recorded hostory been a human being who has developed cancer from HQ in a lightening cream. Those who became ill were using dodgy products containing HQ BUT corrupted with mercury, lead, bleach & other toxins. It was these agents that caused the adverse effects. Ochronosis can happen, but it too is rare & there are typically other complicating factors. There have been only 30 known cases of ochronosis in american history. http://www.skincaretalk.com/skin-lig...an-legend.html

Please read the article: it'll allay many of yr fears re HQ. Right now, scientists are researching several natural agents. So far, none compares to Hq. If you want the kind of change you described, HQ is the only agent I know of that has been proven to be able to do it. Once you reach r colour, you can reduce application to 2-3 x/week. Hope this is useful to you.
 

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Yes, this is VERY useful for me. So I guess ochronosis is one of those rare side effects they have to tell you about, such as the possible side effects on aspirin bottles that nobody ever seems to get.

Would it be possible to use HQ to lighten and something else to maintain every day, per se? Because I just wouldn't want to use HQ for the rest of my life. Do you know anyone who used HQ for a longer time? Like over a year?
 

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Devany theres a thorough thread on here called Lauren to mariah it was made by a person who used hq for a year and was happy with the results, check it out its good.
 

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There are thousands of studies on long term HQ use & overall results are good. What people do is use it at the strength required to obtain their desired result. This varies according to individual needs. Some white skinned people get results ar 2% whereas 4% is the most common with higher strengths available with a prescription. After optimal results are achieves, both the concentration of the HQ and the amt of times a person applies it are reduced to the minimal amt that maintains those results. As for using something else to maintain... theoretically, sepi white & kojic acid or arbutin might work, but there aren't any studies out there confirming this. You'd have to try it & see for yrself or hopefully by the time you get yr results the research being currently carried out will have provided reliable info.
 

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Slather on that sunscreen, nothing less than a spf 30.

You cannot use hydroquinone 7 days a week for 365 days a year, without eventually having some type of consequences, that is just fact. Not only that, it could have the opposite affects that you want, especially on people of color. My results with hydroquinone have not been great.

Every single persons body is different, what may work for one, may not work for another. If you want to make a DIY Vitamin C serum, then that will take you about a shade or two lighter, then that is what I would advise. It is safe, and you can use it on a long term basis without any side effects, plus it is an antioxidant.

Vitamin c lightened my skin tone about 1 shade, so now I have to use it everywhere, except my legs, to look eventoned. It's worth it, hardly any dark spots anymore.

I have a medium olive complexion. If you don't have to use hydroquinone, then don't. There is a skin care forum, by Dr. Leslie Baumann, she wrote a book called, The Skin Type Solution, and that forum will tell you straight up, if something is good or bad, and how long it should be used, or if it is safe. They know their ingredients inside and out, and for everything they state, they can back it up with medical journal writings.

I worked for a dermatologist for 8 years, and thought I knew alot, until I hit that forum, and started researching on my own.

You might want to check it out.
 

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Also, Dr. Perricone states you can take a glutathione pill that will even out your skin tone. Some people say it works, some say it doesn't. ????
 

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Slather on that sunscreen, nothing less than a spf 30.

You cannot use hydroquinone 7 days a week for 365 days a year, without eventually having some type of consequences, that is just fact. Not only that, it could have the opposite affects that you want, especially on people of color. My results with hydroquinone have not been great.

Every single persons body is different, what may work for one, may not work for another. If you want to make a DIY Vitamin C serum, then that will take you about a shade or two lighter, then that is what I would advise. It is safe, and you can use it on a long term basis without any side effects, plus it is an antioxidant.
Well that was pretty broad.....Why cant you use HQ everyday? Not that anyone would but I'd like to know what negative effects you're familiar with in regards to people of color? what kind of "consequences".... What specific results have you had?
 

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SPF 30 is WEAK. Go for SPF 70 + up.
 

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You certainly CAN use HQ4% 2x/day for a year. There are people here who've done that & all they've gotten is lighter skin. Once the desired tone is reached, you reduce usage to the minimum needed to maintain the new colour.
 

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My Mom and Aunt have used face creams with 2% HQ in them since I can remember and all they have now is beautiful skin. My Mom is 85 and looks 60 my Aunt is 60 and looks 40. And that is no kidding!!!

I agree with Ondine - after achieving desired results - the strengths and application frequency should be reduced and a maintainenance regimen established.
 

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Well that was pretty broad.....Why cant you use HQ everyday? Not that anyone would but I'd like to know what negative effects you're familiar with in regards to people of color? what kind of "consequences".... What specific results have you had?
I got hypopigmentatin spots from it, two spots got darker, instead of lighter. I am thankful, after stopping the use of it, it disappeared after about 7 months. I used it 4 months on, and 1 1/2 months off, for a year.

It just has some reverse affects for people, what happened to me, may not happen to someone else. I used an spf 45 sunblock everyday too, sunglasses, and a wide brim hat which was overkill, because I never really went out directly into the sun. Everybodies body is different.
 

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Hydroquinone was made to lighten hyperpigmentation, not to lighten a persons entire body of skin. A medical doctor will tell you this is dangerous. People who use it will tell you otherwise. Everyone do their research, and go from there. Just type in the dangers of Hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone (C6H6O2) is a severely toxic and very powerful chemical used in photo processing, the manufacture of rubber and is an active agent in hair dyes.

In the short term they will initially cause the skin to lighten by inhibiting the production of melanin. Without melanin formation in the basal layer no brown pigmentation will be visible.


The long term effects, however, are those that must be addressed.



The long term effects of using skin lightening products

Hydroquinone or Mercury applied to the skin will react with ultra violet rays and re-oxidise, leading to more pigmentation and premature ageing. More product is then applied in an attempt to correct the darker blotchy appearance.

These are the beginnings of a vicious cycle. By altering the skins natural structure and inhibiting the production of Melanin, it’s natural protection, the skin is more susceptible to skin cancer.

Prolonged use of Hydroquinone will thicken collegen fibres damaging the connective tissues. The result is rough blotchy skin leaving it with a spotty cavier appearance.
 

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Of course anyone can use it 2x/day for a year, what's to not stop one, except for common sense. You might get lighter skin, but what are the long term affects from abusing it? Unhealthy skin, and possible diseases. Is lighter skin really worth it.

Every single bit of scientific medical research I have done, states you cannot use hydroquinone without taking a break from it, every few months if you want good healthy results. Ask any medically licensed Doctor or Dermatologist.

It will eventually backfire on the person who is abusing it. That's fact.


You certainly CAN use HQ4% 2x/day for a year. There are people here who've done that & all they've gotten is lighter skin. Once the desired tone is reached, you reduce usage to the minimum needed to maintain the new colour.
 

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I agree, I think the health risks outweigh the benefits in using HQ for skin lightening purposes. I would say stick to natural methods, it will take more time, but at least u are not risking your health. cheers
and try to love the skin ur in !



Of course anyone can use it 2x/day for a year, what's to not stop one, except for common sense. You might get lighter skin, but what are the long term affects from abusing it? Unhealthy skin, and possible diseases. Is lighter skin really worth it.

Every single bit of scientific medical research I have done, states you cannot use hydroquinone without taking a break from it, every few months if you want good healthy results. Ask any medically licensed Doctor or Dermatologist.

It will eventually backfire on the person who is abusing it. That's fact.
 

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Mariansc - I agree with some of your points and disagree with others based on my own personal experience. As I mentioned in another thread, doctors are not always right or wrong and neither is the patient (consumer). My Mom and Aunt have used fade creams with 2%HQ since I can remember and
I have used Porcelana Fade Cream for over 30 years -AND I always get compliments on my skin, even if it is dark. I am almost 60 years old and I still get carded at Casinos and clubs ( I am not lying nor kidding). Additionally, on many many occasions people have referred to my girlfriend as my mother! I hope that gives you an idea that the fade cream has not been detrimental to me or my family's skin - in fact quite the opposite. And like anything else (workouts, bodybuiding, diets, haircoloring, etc) the routine has to be maintained or you divert back to "the way it was" - so I believe skin tone is subject to the same governance.
BUT - I do agree with you concerning taking breaks from treatments. I am a firm believer in giving my skin a "rest" from invasive treatments. I believe your skin can develop a tolerance or immunity to a given treatment and thus it can become ineffective. Consequently, the strength and/ or frequency has to be increased. However, a rest can mean using a different product (ie. use Kojic Acid based creams instead of HQ) This is my own personal belief and I manage me - so this is what I do. It makes me feel as though I am acting responsibly.
I am in the process of identifying what products at what strengths work well for me on which body parts. When I have a total body plan I will be able to manage application , which will include "rest" time. I would like to lighten as soon as possible but not at any cost! (another area where you and I agree
 

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I wasn't talking about 2% over the counter hydro. I was talking about using this drug in high concentrations, for complete body lightening. Hydroquinone does not bleach the skin, and can only disrupt the synthesis and production of melanin hyperpigmentation, this is were the ignorance lays with people who abuse it. What are these type of people going to do, stay out of the sun for the rest of their natural born lives. Using this drug in high percentages to whiten an entire body, can be and IS detrimental. Using this drug, for this purpose is abuse.

I used hydro over the counter 3% for 3 months, and then breaking from it for 1 1/2 months, then starting it again, no problems. It had sunscreen in it, plus I put sunscreen on top of it. I then went on 4% with retinoids, and it worked great at first, then it did the reverse, plus the hypopigmentation.

Some people develop sensitivity or other reactions to it with long-term use, but there are those who use it relatively long-term without problems, with LOW percentages. But, in the long term, it will rear it's ugly little head and can be harmful. I am convinced that skin-lightening products that contain hydroquinone in high doses, are best avoided, and one is using it, not for it's intended purpose, and without medical supervision.

There never seems to be a shortage of plastic surgeons, dermatologists, people and other sales people who encourage people to change or hide what they don't like about their looks, because as long as they make a buck, they'll put a smile on their face, and tell you what a wonder cure it is.

http://www.skinmed.co.uk/pharmacynew...s_release.html

When applied to the skin every 24 hours for 4-6 weeks, as indicated for effective use, Hydroquinone is absorbed into the blood stream and has been shown to be excreted via the kidneys, at a much slower rate (every 72 hours). It is this accumulation in the body, as the molecule is broken down in the bone marrow to p-benzoquinone, which provokes the potential long-term DNA cell damage and poses the carcinogenic threat.



Some of you people, continue to make yourselves believe it is all okay, to use this drug in high percentages, espcecially without a doctors supervision. In the long run, you will see the damage that can be caused from abusing this drug. It's ridiculous, immature to abuse such a drug.

If entire countries can take it off the market for a reason, then this should be a warning sign to all, you don't want to heed that warning sign, then go right ahead, and sit their with your arrogance and put downs on me, and tell me I am wrong, it won't make you right.

This is for people who are using hydro, and precautions when handling it, this is for a workplace, but those making thier own creams should heed it as well when handling it.
http://gis.wvdep.org/tri/cheminfo/csfs66.txt
 

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To each his own. I havent had a problem with hydro and you wont if you use it correctly.
Yes, to each their own. I used it correctly, and there are many others who have used it correctly, and got good results, and bad results. I also, have the common sense to not encourage others to abuse it. To research their facts, and not just listen to anything or anyone. Everyone should use with caution, there is a reason, why you have to get a prescription for it, in higher doses!

Special precaution should be taken by people with darker skin tones, they should proceed with education and facts.

Hydroquinone lightens the color of the skin areas to which it is applies, and is the only FDA approved product for bleaching. It is affective in about 60-to70% of its users. It is available over the counter in concentrations up to 3%, with higher concentrations obtained by prescription. It is safe to use in low percentages and short periods of time. Too high a percentage of hydroquinone over prolonged use and direct sun can cause mutagenic damage to melanocytes. It is imperative to stay out of the sun for the treatment to work.http://www.classicbeautyconcepts.com...gmentation.htm



http://www.funkymommy.net/blog/2009/...k-exposed.html



http://www.lneonline.com/featured_ar...rchive/?200701


http://www.celibre.com/Celibreblog/p...roquinone.aspx
 

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Addressing the topic title: Yes, a few other things do work. Arbutin is said to lighten evenly, and with no negative health effects. However, it is reportedly only a mild lightener, and would like be pointless to use as anything other than a tan-remover or a maintainer. I doubt it would have any visible effects at all on African or Indian skin.

Monobenzone works, but as we all know, it is so strong that it is dangerous to use for a long period of time.

Mequinol is said to be as effective as monobenzone, but without the negative effects, but since very few people have gotten a hold of it, we cannot know for sure what its effects are.

In my opinion, monobenzone, mequinol or hydroquinone would be excellent to start off with, just to give the melanin an initial kick up the backside to get out of our skin. After that, low concentrations of HQ or medium concentrations of Arbutin (which is pretty cheap) to lighten the rest of the way and maintain. That's just a theory, though, and I don't know how well it would translate into practise.
 
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