How to Safely Come Off Hydroquinone

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Has one of your clients been on hydroquinone in high doses for a long period of time? Here’s a little about the treatment — and how to safely come off it.

Is Hydroquinone a Steroid?

For years, people said that hydroquinone is a steroid. We have been told that because almost all prescriptions for hydroquinone have a steroid base.

Here is an example of a typical blend when prescribed:

“Fluocinolone is a corticosteroid (steroid medicine), hydroquinone is a bleaching agent, and tretinoin is a retinoid (related to vitamin A). Concentrations vary from 2% to 10%. Hydroquinone may be used twice daily for 12 weeks. Hydroquinone may cause local skin irritation, however, and thereby leading to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, making the skin pigmentation worse.”

It works by decreasing the formation of melanin, the pigment in your skin that gives it color.

It is is prudent after 3 months to come off hydroquinone by replacing with a natural lightening agent.

You can gradually come off hydroquinone depending on how often client is using it. For example, if hydroquinone was used twice a day, substitute a natural lightening agent in the morning. After a week or so, substitute the hydroquinone at night every other night with natural lightening agent. Do this until client is totally off hydroquinone and has replaced it with a natural lightening agent.

How to Use the Reinols in the Image Skincare Line

In the Image Skincare line, retinols can be used as followed:

  • The Repair creme -For thicker skins, oily or textural issues


  • Retinol A creme – For dry, sensitive skin including rosacea


  • Total Retinol Mask – Can be used 2-3x per week for that extra boost or for introducing retinol for the first time.
  • Total Eye creme – At night only. Use another more moisturizing eye creme during the day.

With all retinols, start off slow and increase as needed:

  • 1-2 x per week first week
  • 2-3 the second week
  • Every other night
  • Every night as warranted depending on skin