RedCatWaves - thoughts on Hydroquinone?

misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
Hi RCW,

I have been on your program for almost 2 weeks now and I am very pleased with not only how my skin looks but also how soft it feels! :blob7:

Last June I turned to the Obagi Nu-Derm system to clear up some sun damage and after being on maintenance I am thrilled with the even tone of my skin. I know the products are too harsh for using long term, so I have dropped the cleanser, toner, and Exfoderm forte, but I still use the Clear (4% hydroquinone) once a week to maintain the results.

My question for you is should I continue to use the Obagi Clear at all? I checked the ingredients and found sodium lauryl sulfate listed. :evil1: Knowing that ingredient damages the skin barrier, should I be concerned that even with once-a-week use that I am undoing all the good from using the fabulous PSF products I ordered?

I use the following PSF products:

Green Tea Cleansing Milk
Gentle Castile Cleanser ( I like them both!! )
2% SA
Vit. C serum
HA serum

I also have jojoba oil and generic Tretinion .05% used nightly.

I use spf 30 sunscreen every morning. I have become a real hat lover and avoid the sun as much as I can. I'm afraid if I stop using the hydroquinone that the melasma and freckles will reappear even with all my precautions. Do you have any opinion on the PSF PhytoNutriv Lightening Serum as a replacement for the Obagi Clear? I would very much appreciate any thoughts or suggestions you might have.

Many Thanks!!!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Comments

  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You're correct...if you stop using the hydroquinone, your hyperpigmentation will likely re-appear quickly. In general, all of Obagi's products are quite skin damaging. I wouldn't personally use any of them. There are ways to get hydroquinone 4% without detergent. Tri-Luma contains Hy 4%, Retin-A 0.5% and a topical steroid. That's what I use weekly to keep my hyperpigmentation under control. Tri-Luma is an Rx product. I buy it through Medsmex.com.

    The natural alternative skin lighteners (kojic acid, arbutin, vit C, wildberry, etc.) will work to a small degree, but they're nothing like what hydraquinone 4% does.
  • misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
    Thanks so much RedCatWaves for your response!

    ok - You have confirmed what I was thinking. I don't use harsh detergents in my hair, so why use them on my face. Got it. :toothy7:

    I did look into the Tri-Luma, and from what I saw, it is only recommended for short-term use, 8 weeks, or intermittent long-term use, up to 6 months, because of the corticosteroid it contains. But, if I understand your approach, Tri-Luma applied once a week is not damaging in the long term, right? I guess I'm fixin' to get me some....

    One last question. In your opinion,when I do place a Medsmex order, can I feel comfortable using a credit/debit card?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I did look into the Tri-Luma, and from what I saw, it is only recommended for short-term use, 8 weeks, or intermittent long-term use, up to 6 months, because of the corticosteroid it contains. But, if I understand your approach, Tri-Luma applied once a week is not damaging in the long term, right? I guess I'm fixin' to get me some....

    One last question. In your opinion,when I do place a Medsmex order, can I feel comfortable using a credit/debit card?


    I guess I'm using Tri-Luma off-label then, because I've been using it weekly for a couple of years now and I don't seem to have any bad effects from it. I'll take my chances because there's really nothing else that keeps the hyperpigmentation under control.

    I feel comfortable with medsmex.com and a credit card. Others may have a differing opinion. I use one credit card with a low limit for all my online purchases, so I feel fairly safe. You can call your CC company and see if they'll issue you a one-time number for a specific purchase if you feel uncomfortable.
  • misspammisspam Posts: 5,318Registered Users
    Thanks RedCatWaves! As always, I truly appreciate your insight and your opinions. :cheers:

    BTW - My husband just this morning commented on how wonderful my skin looks. Yippeee!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • cara4curlscara4curls Posts: 336Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    It seems that there's a "Catch-22" about using hydroquinone - it gets rid of sunspots, and one isn't supposed to use it long-term(only for a very few months), but the sunspots come right back when one discontinues use of of it. Then what gives? I've heard horror stories of people using it and being all thrilled with it and everything(as in the Obagi method which is so-o commonly recommended by medical spas and cosmetic dermatologists), only to have their sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma rebound even worse, despite religious sun avoidance. Doesn't it seem that there are alternatives that help with pigmentation problems that don't do this? I was briefly considering the Obagi Blender and Retin-A, but after hearing the horror stories, I'm inclined to skip the hydroquinone unless there's a way to use it without this kind of stuff happening. Plus, I don't want to damage my skin. An acquaintance over on another message board kindly gave me some samples of Skinceuticals Phyto+ serum, and some NIA24 Strengthening Cream(with niacinamide, which is supposed to help with pigmentation stuff, gradually). It's hard for me to believe that with all the skin care technology and expertise that there are so FEW products that address these kinds of skin problems. Is it because it's a small market, in that women don't complain much about hyperpigmention, or what? It seems that much of the anti-aging stuff out there is oriented towards wrinkles and hydration, not hyperpigmention. Thoughts, anyone? Thanks!
    health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    cara4curls wrote: »
    It seems that there's a "Catch-22" about using hydroquinone - it gets rid of sunspots, and one isn't supposed to use it long-term(only for a very few months), but the sunspots come right back when one discontinues use of of it. Then what gives? I've heard horror stories of people using it and being all thrilled with it and everything(as in the Obagi method which is so-o commonly recommended by medical spas and cosmetic dermatologists), only to have their sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma rebound even worse, despite religious sun avoidance. Doesn't it seem that there are alternatives that help with pigmentation problems that don't do this? I was briefly considering the Obagi Blender and Retin-A, but after hearing the horror stories, I'm inclined to skip the hydroquinone unless there's a way to use it without this kind of stuff happening. Plus, I don't want to damage my skin. An acquaintance over on another message board kindly gave me some samples of Skinceuticals Phyto+ serum, and some NIA24 Strengthening Cream(with niacinamide, which is supposed to help with pigmentation stuff, gradually). It's hard for me to believe that with all the skin care technology and expertise that there are so FEW products that address these kinds of skin problems. Is it because it's a small market, in that women don't complain much about hyperpigmention, or what? It seems that much of the anti-aging stuff out there is oriented towards wrinkles and hydration, not hyperpigmention. Thoughts, anyone? Thanks!


    That's true. Hydroquinone 4% gets rid of hyperpigmentation (and it's the only thing that really works), but it also makes you more subsceptible to sun damage. And, you're not supposed to use it continuously. I used it daily initially to get rid of hyperpigmentation (which took probably a month or two), but then once it was cleared, I use it once a week now to maintain. I've been using it weekly for about a year, and it seems to be keeping my skin clear, but not doing damage.

    HQ 4% is not risk free. That's why people should do their own research and decide for themselves if the risk vs. benefit is worth it for them. I think it's worth it for *me*. Everyone is worried about wrinkles, but hyperpigmentation is probably more aging than wrinkles. A clear bright skintone will do more to keep skin looking young than wrinkle reduction.
  • cara4curlscara4curls Posts: 336Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    "HQ 4% is not risk free. That's why people should do their own research and decide for themselves if the risk vs. benefit is worth it for them. I think it's worth it for *me*. Everyone is worried about wrinkles, but hyperpigmentation is probably more aging than wrinkles. A clear bright skintone will do more to keep skin looking young than wrinkle reduction." - RedCatWaves

    Excellent point here about a clear, even-toned complexion vs. wrinkle reduction for a younger appearance - I have to agree with this for sure! On my own face, I have few wrinkles, and my skin is pretty firm for my age(60)but that hyperpigmentation makes me look older than I should, considering my good health and fitness habits. I'll think about this some more. BTW, that acquaintance gave me some samples of Retin-A .05% that I have been slowly introducing my skin to by way of buffering, and increasing frequency of application over the period of a few weeks. I'm up to every other night now, applied an hour after some neutral face moisturizer(Cetaphil cream). So far so good - only some slight sensitivity. I've had way worse reactions off of drugstore stuff, which leads me to believe that likely the cheap fillers and fragrances were the culprits, not the active ingredients, which in drugstore products are at a laughably low level anyway.
    health-conscious, visionary artist in transition
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Bumping this old thread back up to see if we get any new feedback on NIA24. What were your eventual thoughts on it, Cara4curls? If you liked it, which of the products did you use? I just ordered a travel kit to see how I liked it, but I wonder if it really helps hyperpigmentation or not.

    Also, have any of you ever used the skin bleaching gel (hydroquinone-free) from MUAC? Just wondered what you think of the ingredients and whether it works nearly as well as testimonials there claim . . . . www.makeupartistschoice.com/products/Skin_Bleaching_Gel-373-83.html
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I switched from the Tri-Luma to 30% Retinol from makeupartistschoice:

    http://www.makeupartistschoice.com/products/Retinol_30_Anti_aging_Sun_Damage_Adult_Acne_Minimize_Pores-340-6.html

    They also have 10%. The Tri-Luma caused me some problems by on my arms, but I was using it about 4 times a week for more than 8 weeks. I didn't know you weren't supposed to. I also am one of the people who had their credit card ripped off because of medsmex.

    I've been using the Retinol for a few months now and it is working really well. It does take a lot longer to start seeing results than the Tri-Luma though. I have no sensitivity to this and I'm really liking it. This combined with my products from The Organic Pharmacy have made a real difference in how my skin looks.

    ETA: makeupartistschoice has 20% off sales a lot if you sign up for their announcements. I just reordered the other day at 15% off and I just happened to see that on the site when I went there to order.
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I had as good results with Tri-Luma as anything, even laser removal. But it made me peel an awful lot while using, then as soon as I ended a cycle and had to stop for a while, the spots would soon start coming back, even though I was using a 30-50 SPF sunscreen every day.

    Have just recently started using MUAC's 10% retinol, with the intent of building up to 30%. I also just got a sample of the bleaching gel, but I haven't yet used it. Do you use it, too, SDC, or just the retinol?

    Oh, and I also totally agree with RCW's statement about the spots being more aging than wrinkles! Same for the broken capillaries I have - Vit. K creams don't seem to help and the little bit of good laser treatments did initially didn't last. My lackluster results with laser treatments for both hair and various discolorations make me wary of wasting more money trying photofacial treatments for the capillaries. Anyone here tried it?
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • ShrekLoverShrekLover Posts: 2,551Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I did try the bleaching gel, but not for very long. I figured the retinol should take care of spots as well as helping with overall skin texture. I had no trouble adjusting to the 30% retinol and I have pretty sensitve skin. My spots are diminishing, but slowly.
  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I just ordered the 40% lactic acid peel from MUAC for my hyperpigmentation...cross your fingers!!
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

    I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. (Invictus - William Ernest Henley)

    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
    Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
    Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
  • WurlyLoxWurlyLox Posts: 4,858Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I tried the lactic acid peel last year, but couldn't tell it did anything. I also recently got some of their 50% glycolic acid peel but haven't yet started it. I need to make out a schedule of when I'm going to do what, LOL!

    ETA: I know lactic acid is supposed to be more effective for brown spots, but that's not consistent with real-life results of a few people I know. Not having had any luck w/LA, I figured GA was worth a try since it should at least help with other things, if not with the spots.
    2C/3A/3B - modified CG - fairly fine now, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

    Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite,CJ Pattern Pusha,, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

    HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

    www.fotki.com/auntnett
  • pandoraspoxxpandoraspoxx Posts: 248Registered Users
    I have been trying to find the regimen the OP is talking about..no luck...exactly what is RCW skin program..

    I made Vitamin C serum a while back and i loved it..my skin is seriously a hot mess right now and i would love to know what that program is ..hopefully someone can post it. MEanwhile i will continue to search.

    Thanks
  • pandoraspoxxpandoraspoxx Posts: 248Registered Users
    ^^^I found it..

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