The dangers of hydroquinone

A classical ingredient in the history of dermatology, hydroquinone was used for years to treat skin blemishes, but today its use in cosmetic products because of its toxicity is forbidden by law. It acts on the activity of tyrosinase (the mechanism that triggers the production of melanin) and, despite its efficacy especially at high concentrations, it can cause several side effects, such as skin irritation, allergies, contact dermatitis, and darkening of the treated area. The most effective alternative to hydroquinone is pidobenzone, an active ingredient which acts on the spots without causing disturbances on the epidermis.