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Natural Alternatives to Hydroquinone
If you have looked into lightening skin care options, odds are you have heard about Hydroquinone. This controversial ingredient is best known for it's ability to lighten dark spots, freckles, acne scars, and more, but at a cost. Though no studies have shown a direct correlation between this ingredient and cancer in humans, European studies did find a link between high levels of Hydroquinone and cancer in mice. Products containing Hydroquinone have thus been banned in Europe, leaving many US beauty enthusiasts wondering: is this product safe for me? While Hydroquinone does produce some pretty significant results, it is important to know your natural options, which are also wonderful (and much safer) when it comes to creating a gorgeous, even complexion.
Natural Alternatives to Hydroquinone
Bearberry Extract - derived from an edible red berry, bearberry extract contains a compound called arbutin, which is a powerful skin lightener. Acting in a similar way to hydroquinone, this ingredient is a great way to brighten dark spots, freckles, and scars without the negative drawbacks of hydroquinone. In fact, many people swear by this ingredients to get better results (naturally) than controversial hydroquinone. Bearberry extract is antioxidant rich, which means it will nourish the skin while protecting it from free radical damage. This ingredient has been becoming more and more popular recently, with good reason!
Great Recommendation: Eminence Organics Diodynamic Bearberry Eye Repair Cream
Kojic Acid - If Melasma is a concern for you, be sure to ask your deratologist about this natural skin care ingredient. Remember, you have to be extra careful with your skin care routine during your pregnancy, so consultation with a medical skin care profession is essential. Kojic Acid has proven effective in the treatment of Melasma, and is a wonderful over-all skin brightener as well. It's main purpose is to treat hyperpigmentation, so even if you are not struggling with melasma, this is a wonderful ingredient option to look to.
Great Recommendation: Rhonda Allison Naturale Mega Brightening Serum
Lemon - I will preface this by stating that you should never use lemon (fresh or otherwise) as a spot treatment. With that in mind, lemon as a skin care ingredient does have wonderful results for lightening dark spots and evening out the complexion. This ultra simple ingredient is high in Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which both assist in delivering more even-toned, beautiful skin. It is important to consult your skin care professional before using lemon as an ingredient, as the high acidity content can cause a negative reaction to the skin.
Great Recommendation: iLike Apple & Lemon Whipped Moisturizer
Licorice Root Extract - Often utilized in candies and teas, licorice root extract has a number of attractive skin care benefits. Acting as a natural anti-inflammatory, Licorice is known for its soothing and healing properties, making it a wonderful option for many sensitive skin, rosacea, or eczema sufferers. It is potent in antioxidants that help to fight free radical damage, meaning you get anti-aging protection. And, of course, it works well to diminish hyperpigmentation and blemishes.
Great Recommendation: Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster Serum
Malic Acid - Derived from apples and a variety of other fruits and vegetables, Malic Acid delivers a number of benefits including: anti-aging, exfoliating, anti-acne, and skin brightening. Some studies have even shown Malic Acid to be beneficial in aiding in collagen products, making it ultra beneficial to those seeking anti-aging benefits (or prevention). Malic Acid falls into the Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) category, and much like other AHA's, works wonderfully to exfoliate away dead skin cells to reveal a fresh, healthy glow.
Great Recommendation: Epicuren Pumpkin Apple Spice Peel
Vitamin C - Vitamin C is, without a doubt, one of the most popular ingredients on the skin care market. There is a very good reason for this: it is highly effective! Vitamin C is the gold standard in antioxidant-rich, free radical protection. Its high antioxidant content also allows it to nourish the skin very well, making it a fantastic anti-aging ingredient. As for a more even complexion goes, this ingredient has proven very effective in lightening dark spots and a number of other signs of sun damage. Vitamin C in the effective dose can also help to produce soothing, anti-redness effects, making it an ideal ingredient for acne sufferers. This is one of my best-researched natural ingredients on the market, and can do wonders for your skin when used in the right amount/formulation.
Great Recommendation: Epicuren CXc Vitamin C Anti Aging Cream