Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

Anyone have an update about the use of hydroquinone and tretinoin in the US for astringents?


  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    edited October 2016
    I never expected hydroquinone and tretinoin to appear in the same sentence as astringent.

    Can you clarify? As far as I am aware, hydroquinone is used as a skin bleaching agent (banned in a number of countries) and tretinoin is a drug for the treatment of acne.
  • @johnb in the ASEAN market there exists liquid preparations that are used as peeling toners containing HQ and tret. These can be bought without any prescription from a medical practitioner. I was wondering if this is the same case in the US and in EU.
  • johnbjohnb Member, Professional Chemist
    I am very surprised that potentially powerful drugs such as these are used for this purpose.

    You state these can be bought "without any prescription from a medical practitioner". Well, whether with a prescription or not, that puts them outside the field of being cosmetics.

    I have just made a quick Google of these two materials in a mixture - most of the previously available products are discontinued or reformulated. I doubt there is any chance that rules will be relaxed in EU or USA.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    I do know that they are not an approved combination in the US. Hydroquinone at less than 2% is an OTC Drug for Skin Lightening. Tretinoin (a very specific compound different from retinol) is a "legend" drug and requires a prescription.

    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • Thank you for your inputs. I guess I have to convince my boss to move on from this combination and try new materials.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I'd suggest an AHA and/or BHA with Trehalose.

    (Warning: really bad pun and old movie reference - What is the Three Stooges favorite cosmetic raw material? Trehalose.  )
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
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