Lustra Cream, which contains 4% hydroquinone, is indicated for the treatment of hyperpigmentation or patches of dark skin (sun damage, age spots, uneven tone and post-inflammatory pigmentation). As far as medications go, hydroquinone is one of the most effective therapies for the management of hyperpigmentation.
Hydroquinone is thought to work in a few ways:
1. It inhibits the tyrosinase enzyme, which is necessary for the synthesis of melanin.
2. It might possibly inhibit a protein associated with melanin synthesis.
3. Some researchers claim that it denatures the melanin-protein complex, causing a decoloration of the skin.
Yes, Lustra Cream (and other hydroquinone formulations) are effective, but you may be concerned about their safety, which is widely discussed online. A number of issues have been raised:
Practical experience shows that skin irritation is likely the largest safety risk associated with hydroquinone. And, while you will read a lot about other associated risks, there is little evidence to back it up.
Hydroquinone is often combined with other ingredients to enhance its effectiveness. Find it with glycolic acid and Vitamin C in Lustra Cream. Clinicians often recommend using it in conjunction with a retinoid (as in Apothekari A is for Anti-Aging Retinal Serum) as well which enhances its effectiveness. In order to reduce the potential for side effects, skin care professionals may recommend that you use hydroquinone in a cyclic fashion – on for four months and off for two – repeat cycle. If you are concerned at all, check in with your dermatologist.
The risk of side effects are small if hydroquinone products are used wisely – concentrations of 4% or less; in a cyclic fashion; careful attention. However, if after reading this post you are still concerned about using hydroquinone or unable to tolerate its use topically consider alternative skin lightening agents such as: