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My Melasma

Hydroquinone for Melasma: My Before & After Pictures

Hydroquinone for Melasma: Does it work?

Oh you guys…I’m sooo disappointed to let you know that Hydroquinone did NOT work for my melasma at all. If you remember I was prescribed Kligman’s Formula which is a combination of Hydroquinone, Tretinol & a topical steroid. I applied the cream to my face each night for 5 weeks and it did not even budge the hyperpigmentation a little bit.

As many of you know, I saw Hydroquinone as my last option. I held out for so long because of all the controversy around hydroquinone like it can make melasma worse or makes your skin even more sensitive to light. I really had high hopes that it would lighten my melasma….but after 5 weeks of nightly applications. I have decided to stop using it. My dermatologist instructed me to use it for 6 weeks and then stop. But seeing as I haven’t seen any lightening¬†at all, I’ve decided to end a little early…what’s the point?

hydroquinone for melasma

Before & After Pictures of Hydroquinone on Melasma

Admittedly I understand that my patches of melasma are lighter than most…so for that reason alone I feel fortunate. But because it’s all relative, the blotches on my face still affect the way I feel about myself when I look in the mirror. I was hoping to see some breaking up of the large patch on my forehead and lightening on the upper lip, however, no improvement has happened. You can see in the pictures above that the ridges of my forehead are still in tact and they did not break up or lighten at all. My upper lip actually looks worse than before and I wonder if it was because the hydroquinone irritated that area of my skin.

How I applied the Hydroquinone to my Melasma

Each night I washed my face using olive oil and warm water. I then applied the Hydroquinone to the melasma sections of my face and went to bed. Each morning I would wash off my face, apply sunscreen, concealer & my favorite foundation for melasma. I wore hats when I go outside and I even got my car windows tinted to block out the UV rays.

My Melasma Diet

Before starting the hydroquinone I also went on a clean eating diet. I cut out gluten, sugar, alcohol and dairy out of my diet. I also did my best to avoid these estrogenic foods. I was also taking Vitamin D, MSM, Cod Liver Oil, Probiotic, and Milk Thistle. I lost 8 pounds, but unfortunately, that did not help the melasma at all.

Living with Melasma

I feel like I have tried everything to cure or lighten my Melasma and nothing seems to be working. I understand that many of you feel the same way, so I just want to thank you for your words of encouragement and willingness to share what is and is not working. Thank you again!

Wondering if you try hydroquinone to cure Melasma? Check out this before/after picture to see if it works.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor :) I'm just a girl who suffers from melasma and I'm on a quest to find out as much information about the disorder as I can and hopefully rid myself of Melasma once and for all.

This article has 9 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Love your blog. I too suffer from melasma and am right there with you in your quest for “relief”. I have run across a couple of new potential treatments in my research. I’d be interested in your thoughts, research, experiments, and maybe even physician reviews. One is topical application of Silymarin. The other is a new product called Lumixyl. Looking forward to the exchange of thoughts and potential successes!

    • Chrystie

      Hello! I have never heard of either of those..and will be doing some research! Thank you!

  2. Sunidhi

    Give a try to Sandalwood Paste and sometimes also a[pply lemon juice to the affected parts. I am Applying these two things every alternate day and really it is helping me.

  3. Erica

    Hi. Love your blog. I have researched a lot as well and found a cream called Cysteamine Cream…natural and way better for your skin than hydroquinone. I have ordered a tube. Have you heard of it?

  4. Jennifer

    Hello! I also have Melasma and was wondering if you’ve found anything that works since you wrote this article?! Thanks!

  5. Jackie

    Hi; I think that washing your face with olive oil and warm water will create a barrier for the medication to be properly absorbed by your skin. Remember oil and water don’t mix and HQ contains water. I think the skin should be dry and clean of oils before you apply the treatment. I am actually seeing results. I started using cream for 2 days now. I apply HQ at night and during the day I use a 100% UV sunblock lotion. Hopefully it will fade..

  6. Annick

    I take fresh aloe vera. And make a mask of it at night and sleep with it wash it off and in the morning mix 2 spoins yogurt with 1/2 tea spoon of tumeric and leave it on 15mun on weekends leave it on 1 hr
    Also do honey mask or patato juice mask or tomato. Alternate every 2 days

    This really fades the hyperpigmentationi just need to do it on a constant base
    Hyperpigmentation is also hormonal imbalance
    So to really take care of your hormanal balance

  7. Julianne

    Have any of you tried Rodan+Fields Reverse? I’ve seen this stuff work on so many including my neighbor and friend who both suffered terrible Melasma. It’s worked wonders for them.

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