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Cutis. 2010 Sep;86(3):153-8.

Evaluation of a kojic acid, emblica extract, and glycolic acid formulation compared with hydroquinone 4% for skin lightening.

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Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, North Carolina, USA.


Hydroquinone has been the standard prescription agent for skin lightening; however, its use recently has become controversial. Hydroquinone is banned in Europe and parts of Asia because of potential long-term consequences, including carcinogenesis when orally consumed. These concerns have stimulated research to develop alternative skin lightening agents with efficacy comparable to hydroquinone but with a better safety profile. This double-blind study examined the skin lightening ability of a topical formulation containing kojic acid, emblica extract, and glycolic acid compared with prescription generic hydroquinone cream 4%. Eighty multiethnic participants with mild to moderate facial dyschromia were randomly assigned to use the study product or hydroquinone 4% twice daily for 12 weeks to evaluate product efficacy, tolerability, and safety using investigator assessment, participant assessment, and dermospectrophotometry. Study results demonstrated efficacy parity between the study product and hydroquinone 4%. Thus this novel skin lightening preparation is an alternative to hydroquinone 4% for participants with mild to moderate facial dyschromia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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