Table of Content:
Can I use them tretinoin and hydroquinone at the same time? | What are tretinoin and hydroquinone used for? | What results can I expect? | Can I use them long term? | How to get them? | How to use them together? | Side-effects | Brands
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The combination of tretinoin and hydroquinone cream is considered one of the best treatments for hyperpigmentation, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne, eczema and psoriasis. This article explains the benefits and mechanisms of action of this potent combination and helps you get a prescription for a customized formulation for hydroquinone and tretinoin for your skin.
Hydroquinone is a skin-brightening component frequently employed to address issues like age spots, freckles, melasma, and other skin pigment irregularities. These can arise from various causes like sun exposure, inflammation, or skin trauma, including those associated with acne vulgaris1.
Tretinoin, commonly sold under the brand names Retin-A or Altreno, is a commonly prescribed retinoid. It plays a crucial role in regulating skin cell growth and transformation, making it a preferred choice for numerous skin conditions. In essence, tretinoin manages the growth and turnover of skin cells, tackling various skin issues. For example, it accelerates the removal of older skin cells and encourages the generation of fresh ones. Consequently, it helps unblock pores, reduce inflammation, and improve the overall skin texture2.
Can I use hydroquinone and tretinoin at the same time?
Dr. Alpana Mohta, expert dermatologist, says that you can use hydroquinone and tretinoin simultaneously under a dermatologist’s careful supervision. In fact, she often prescribes it as a combined solution for melasma and hyperpigmentation.
Hydroquinone and tretinoin uses
Hydroquinone and tretinoin are both potent skin agents with distinct properties. This combined formulation can be used for the following:
This combination is frequently used to treat melasma, which presents as brown to gray-brown patches, primarily on the face. Hydroquinone works by reducing the production and increasing the degradation of melanin pigments in the skin. In contrast, tretinoin promotes skin cell turnover, helping to remove the layers with excessive pigmentation3 4 .
Acne scarring and post-Inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Since hydroquinone and tretinoin are used to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne scars, therefore this combination is very effective at lightening these spots and promote faster healing5 6 .
Long-term sun exposure can lead to signs of aging and discoloration known as photoaging. The combined effects of hydroquinone to lighten sunspots and tretinoin to promote skin renewal help address these issues7 8 .
Prevention of new dark spots
Although hydroquinone is not used as a preventive agent for the new formation of dark spots, tretinoin is. As it boosts cell turnover, the likelihood of pores getting clogged and leading to acne lesions that can cause hyperpigmentation is reduced9.
Request an tretinoin and hydroquinone prescription for pigmentation!
What results can I expect from using a hydroquinone and tretinoin gel?
Lightening of dark spots
Hydroquinone and tretinoin are used independently to lighten the skin. When used consistently, together with a sunscreen with a high SPF, you can expect a noticeable reduction in the appearance of age spots, freckles, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation10 11.
Improved skin texture
Tretinoin promotes skin cell turnover. Over time, you might notice a smoother skin texture, reduced appearance of fine lines, and smaller pores12.
More even skin tone
With the combined action of hydroquinone lightening dark spots and tretinoin promoting even skin regeneration, users can expect a more uniform skin tone over time.
Reduction in wrinkles
Although hydroquinone doesn’t have any anti-aging properties, tretinoin can decrease wrinkles by having the ability to stimulate collagen production and can lead to a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
As tretinoin boosts collagen production, some users may notice their skin becoming firmer and more youthful13.
Can I use hydroquinone and tretinoin long term?
Hydroquinone is an active ingredient that can only be used for a short amount of time, typically up to 4 months at a time14.
Dr. Mohta suggests that after a few months you switch to using tretinoin and azelaic acid (which is also a skin lightening ingredient) since these two ingredients can be used long term.
How to get a tretinoin and hydroquinone cream?
To get a customized formula with tretinoin and hydroquinone, you require a doctor’s prescription. You can secure one through a virtual photo consultation with a dermatologist for just $59. Expect a response and the prescription within 1-2 days. After receiving the prescription, you can place an order online.
Request an tretinoin and hydroquinone prescription for pigmentation!
How to use tretinoin and hydroquinone together?
Dr. Mohta recommends not using it more frequently, in larger amounts, or for an extended period than prescribed by your doctor.
You should remember that it might take several weeks to see noticeable improvements in your skin, but using a larger amount of the medicine will not speed up the results.
As a general rule, she says that the combination of tretinoin and hydroquinone gel should be applied once daily during night time since tretinoin is photosensitive.
You should also use sunscreen with a high SPF every morning (even during winter) while using any retinoids.
Tretinoin can be quite irritating on the skin if not used properly. So, please read our dermatologist guide on “How to use tretinoin” to minimize skin irritation.
Potential side effects of using hydroquinone and tretinoin together
- Redness and dryness
- Irritation and peeling
- Burning or stinging
- Increased sensitivity to sunlight15
- Allergic contact dermatitis
- Ochronosis (very rarely) which is a blue-black or gray-blue discoloration that may occur when patients use a high concentration of hydroquinone for a long period or on large areas of the body16.
Hydroquinone and tretinoin brands
Tri-Luma is a popular and widely available brand that combines tretinoin, hydroquinone, and fluocinolone acetonide which is very effective for hyperpigmentation. You can also get a customized tretinoin and hydroquinone formulation via Skin Medicinals, which is more affordable.
Can I use tretinoin and hydroquinone together?
Yes, Dr. Mohta says that it is possible to use tretinoin and hydroquinone together, whether it is by having two separate medications or by getting a combined medication.
Should I apply hydroquinone or tretinoin first?
According to Dr. Mohta, if you are using two separate medications, you should apply hydroquinone in the evening after applying tretinoin.
The combination of tretinoin and hydroquinone offers an effective solution for hyperpigmentation and anti-aging due to their synergistic effects. Tretinoin enhances skin cell renewal and prevents pore blockages, while hydroquinone is the most potent skin-bleaching agent available17.
For best results, consistency in application and sun protection are essential. Always consult your online dermatologist for tailored advice.