Cosmetic Science Talk

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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Hydroquinone and Tretinoin

  • johnb

    October 8, 2016 at 8:23 am

    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.

  • crisbaysauli

    October 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

    @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.

  • johnb

    October 10, 2016 at 8:29 am

    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.

  • Microformulation

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    October 10, 2016 at 9:45 am

    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.

  • crisbaysauli

    October 11, 2016 at 1:32 am

    Thank you for your inputs. I guess I have to convince my boss to move on from this combination and try new materials.

  • Bobzchemist

    October 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    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. )