Stretch marks are a common skin condition that can appear during pregnancy, puberty, or due to the use of certain kinds of body creams. In this article a skincare expert, Vicky Bon exposes the effects of hydroquinone creams and how it causes stretch marks, and how to safely use it.
Why Stretch Marks
“Lightening creams bring out stretch marks from the body faster than weight gain does,” says Vicky Bon. “Out of 100%, 97% of stretch marks that I have treated is caused by wrong active ingredients in lightening creams. Not weight gain.”
Research shows that Hydroquinone lightens the skin by suppressing melanocytes, the skin cells that produce melanin.
Melanin is the pigment that gives our skin and hair its colour. Sometimes, our skin produces too much melanin, because of sun exposure, inflammation, hormonal changes, or aging. Hydroquinone slows down melanin production, allowing existing stretch marks to form on our skin.
Beware of Lightening creams
According to www.stearsng.com, skin lightening products are unbelievably popular in Nigeria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report in 2011 estimating that 77% of Nigerian women use skin lightening products regularly. This is in comparison with 59% in Togo, 35% in South Africa, and 27% in Senegal. In fact, bleaching products are reportedly the fourth most sought-after household item by African women, alongside essentials like soap, milk, and tea.
Also according to the skin expert, most of the skin lightening used in Nigeria comes from sister African countries surronding Nigeria but sadly there also the most damaging to the skin.
“At least, 5% hydroquinone is added in most bleaching creams made in Cameroon and most African countries.
And on the bottles of these creams, You will see, ‘Hydroquinone Free”, she says.
“You can perceive hydroquinone from the moment you let it touch your nose. When added with other ingredients it turns out to smell like rotten onions. Even skincare that is safe, and made with onion extracts don’t smell like onions.”
If You Really Need to Lighten Your Skin then You Need to Do this
Several other ingredients can tone your skin and fade spots: Vitamin C, glycolic acid, kojic acid, papain, etc. So if you are really considering using hydroquinone then she recommends you do this.
“The right usage rate for hydroquinone should not pass 2% for terrible dark spots. If you want to use a product that contains hydroquinone because of dark spots. Go for pharmaceutical brands that are highly recommended by dermatologists, and not a quack.”