you probably dont want to be using mequinol, hydroqinone, or mono for the rest of your life. that would be stupid. you can maintain your skin color with a good exfoliation, acid peels, topical vitamin Cs, and sunscreens. supposedly mequinol has a semi-perminant lightening effect. so that means that you lighten your skin and eventually some of the results will be perminant. two steps forward and 1 step kinda thing. but im waiting to see if anyone gets perminant lighteing from mequinol. but you shouldnt use any of the phenols forever. the stuff gets absorbed into your body and who knows what kind of damage it can do long term.