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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys

Just thought id give you an update. As some of you know ive been mixing my own creams at home, so here's the results/conclusion so far:

The high HQ 20% mix gave me contact dermititus after a while so I stopped using it and I allowed my face and neck to recover using skin healing cream.

My conclusion is that HQ is just far too unstable to use. My mix turned brown more quickly due to the high concentration. Although i figured out a way to allow the mix to last longer, its just too much 'hard work'.

I mixed a lower strength HQ cream 4-7%, this was much more successful for me. I kept my bottles upside down aswell. Do you know what else as well? It smells weird on your skin after a while. I had to add a little perfume my lotion.

I next mixed a high percentage beta-Arb cream 10-20% and this provided excellent results. No skin irritation, easily dissolved, manageable, very stable. Fast lightening! Its amazing!

My skin has a lighter caramel butter soft complexion (just like meagan good's which is what I wanted!) Obviously I need to work on my neck and body. I honestly cannot believe how this lighter complexion has enhanced my features.

I would put the softness down to added DPG. AHAs are also part of my regimen because I need to ensure my pores are not clogged as the lotion I use is not oil free (because it helps keep random flakiness from the retin-a under control).

I also realised why i got a patchy face in the beginning. I was scrubbing each day and night and i can see where i didnt scrub as well (top of forehead, near ears) so those areas did not exfoliate as well as my nose, chin etc.

This meant the lightening cream worked much better in those areas.

Retin-a is great, however I really think the cream would be better than the gel. I also have 10% and 20% glycolic acid cream on the way which I will use on the body to help with skin renewal i will let you know how it goes. This will be my alternative to using the precious retin-a gel and making it last as long as possible (until I can find a cheaper regular source).

Its been a lot of work getting these formulations right and alot of trial and error but I have found something that works and is an alternative to high HQ as a result.

Its hard getting these in the UK, (customs etc) for those of us who live here, and its annoying having to rely on an international source i know but I will try this out for a while longer before i recommend this option to anyone, but for now the ready made 4% HQ and retin-a 0.1% is the tried and tested method and the one to go for.
 

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Thanks for the fascinating update! It is exposure to air that causes HQ to go brown regardless of the concentration. Mixing it with REtin A seems to negate this effect. So, you've achieved your goal with the Arbutin; good for you! By the way, what is DPG?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, the arbutin is a godsend. The fact that I am able to get it in powder form and mix it with my lotion successfully as opposed to paying £20-30 (or about $50) for a brand is very beneficial. DPG is dipropylene glycol and is found in many cosmetic as well as other products.
 

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Please keep us all posted: many of us here are interested in what you are doing.
 

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Yes, the arbutin is a godsend. The fact that I am able to get it in powder form and mix it with my lotion successfully as opposed to paying £20-30 (or about $50) for a brand is very beneficial. DPG is dipropylene glycol and is found in many cosmetic as well as other products.
What color was your skin to begin with?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i would say color of venus williams, my face is a couple of shades lighter. The area around my forehead is still darker, as it is catching up with the rest of my face.

I immediately noticed when I went to apply foundation, I didnt need to plough it on and it actually matched my complexion.

I need to try it for much longer to get overall results, so ill update everyone in a few weeks.
 

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Nina, why not give the HQ4% + Retin A mixture 2x/day 20 mins after showering routine a try for a couple of months? You seem to be experiencing a lot unevennness that people using the blend are not reporting. My skin is fading evenly all over. Are you sure your compounds are blended correctly & are stable?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nina, why not give the HQ4% + Retin A mixture 2x/day 20 mins after showering routine a try for a couple of months? You seem to be experiencing a lot unevennness that people using the blend are not reporting. My skin is fading evenly all over. Are you sure your compounds are blended correctly & are stable?
Hey ondine, I am in the process of ordering it, so when I get it I will happily try it.

As I said in my previous post, the HQ uneveness was due to me scrubbing too much in certain places. I then applied the HQ which resulted in me lightening in those areas quickly, where the cream was able to penetrate the 'baby skin'.

Using my new mixture (with arbutin) is lightening the darker skin around my face. The uneven area is fading into a more even tone.

I want to continue using this method as it works for me. I have other methods that I would also like to try like Glabridin powder. I do feel like abit of a 'guinea pig' but I really would like to find alternative and easier options to HQ (being from the UK).

You are very right about mixing your own compounds, its risky. As a result of my experiences I have noted them in my posts.

The good thing is my current solution is working.

(I may start a new topic on Alternatives to HQ later on...)
 

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Have you ever tried an ingredient called Sepi-White ? I am reading interesting things about its potential. The problem is that most commercial preparations containing this ingredient are priced to also lighten bank accounts
whereas that raw ingredient is relatively cheap.

With my lightening, the more resistant areas have been my forearms & the backs of my hands: no surprise to me there
since they got tons of sun over the years as I drove my scooter. They have lightened a lot & I can wear those pinky nail polishes that looked unflattering back in Winter. My legs are really taking to the lightening process well. Lightening in Summer can be challenging but fortunately, we've had a summer of mainly dreary weather. Whoever thought I'd ever feel grateful for dreary days!

When I was walking down the hall at the emerg. at the hosp waiting for my elbow x-rays ( a minor sprain
) 2 black women walked by. They were the med true brown I used to be back in Jan. One stopped me & complimented me on my 'beau teint' (pretty colour). They were very kind & I was thankful for the kind word: esp since I was wearing no makeup & I was in pain. They began taking about the challenges of 'women our age'. They were in their mid 20's. (23 & 24 respectively). When I told them I was 44 they almost passed out. The exfoliating/collagen building/skin tightening of the Retin A really works like a charm! The lightening looks natural; not 'forced'. I am thankful for all the sages on this site who have helped me get here.
 

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What a wonderful thing, ondine, to get compliments like that! I, too, am having trouble getting anywhere with my arms. I'm not trying to lighten them with HQ4%, but I have used glycolic peels on them along with 2x day 12% glycolic lotion (lac-hydrin). The peels have done wonders for my hands though not so much for the arms. Not sure why on that.

I need to go look up the ingredients of Sepi-White. I just can't see how these OTC products with nothing documented to lighten really can work. I'm a skeptic at heart.
 

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Many of the otc creams do not truly lighten, they exfoliate dead skin making the remaining skin look brighter & polished. I have ordered, from m a k i n g c o s m e t i c s . c o m , a TCA 18% peel solution to try on my forearms, the backs of my hands & the tops of my feet. Before actually using it, I plan to do more research & talk to more knowledgable forum members in the anti-aging dept. where there are some threads about TCA peels.

Has anyone here tried these?
 

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hello ninasky,

Could you please share the sources for retin a 0.01% that ship to the UK as i am having trouble with this. A source for the hydroquinone would also be appreciated.

Thanks a lot
 

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I just made an odd & surprising discovery: there is someone, only blocks away selling 100% pure HQ powder! She says that she always has this available. Since I do not compound my own creams, I did not buy any BUT I did keep her info so if there are any home compounders in Canada, please pm me if you need a source for authentic HQ in its pure form.
 

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How'd you discover that? Where can someone get the PURE, NON-PHOTOGRAPHY(mixed with other chemicals and begging for skin to rot off) version of this in the USA?
 

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We were talking at the bike path! She just began talking about what she does & mentioned it in passing. Crazy coincidende or what? I'm sure there must be someone in the USA carrying it. Has to be. Contact photography supply places & tell them what you;re interested in. I'd bet that the sources THEY use will carry it. Someone ought to be able to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi ondine, yes ive heard of sepiwhite, but i also hear its quite expensive. its one to look out for apparently as well as glabridin (active form of liquorice extract). These are very good lighteners. I got a quote for it a few days back, £2000 ($3300) for 1KG 90%!!!!

I dont have that kinda spare change lying around, so I gave that a miss....

janneha ive pm'd you the uk source for the retin-a and the uk source for the HQ. Pls dont attempt to mix it yourself without speaking to me first though (i wanna make sure you dont fall victim to the same mistakes as I did, mostly down to impatience!)
 

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NINA SKY! Glad I caught you online.Please go check out my new thread on HQ & compounding. I'm sure you'll find it useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have checked it out, i cant wait to hear more of your results. I also wondered how we'd work out storage issues, but Im sure we'll figure that out at some point in the near future. Ill carry it on in your new thread...
 

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Hello ladies!

ninasky, sorry i couldn't reply because I have to post more than 15 posts!! Any way just to tell you thank you for the info. I think I'll follow your advice and just stick to HQ 4% with the second source ondine recommended from India. They ship to the UK.

With regards to the uk source for RETIN A which you so kindly shared, I checked and it seemed quite expensive. Are you satisfied with its authencity? Also I am useless with dollars. I know I am asking a lot but could you please PM the actual amount in pounds + shipping?

Also curious as to where you live in England. Who knows, we might be in the same region perhaps!

Thanks for all your help guys! Much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi janneha, ive pm'd you.

also curious as to how everyone uses the retin-a and if they use it just on their face or all over the body...i only use mine on 'select areas' to make it last
 
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