Hi all, I survived my hydroquinone trial with PCA Skin pHaze 13 Pigment Gel (HQ 2%).
I was initially impressed with the clean ingredient list and in theory, this product should work. It contains a fairly gentle exfoliator, lactic acid, which helps slough off dead skin cells and preps the skin for the triple dose of brightening/whitening ingredients, namely 2% hydroquinone, azelaic acid, and kojic acid. I’ve had a positive experience with kojic acid in the past when I tried Skinceuticals Phyto+ (see review here).
Unfortunately, my hydroquinone trial was a bumpy 2 week ride.
My skin never got used to HQ and it always turned red upon contact. Using a Q-tip, I applied HQ on my freckles and sunspots religiously at bed time.
I found that the hydroquinone dried out my skin. I had peeling skin and had to slather my face with a thick coconut oil based moisturizer to soothe the dryness and redness.
Something else to note is that the HQ gel needs to be given time to dry before applying moisturizer lest you smear the gel all over your face. Yes, I admit that’s what happened to me. 😉
I only gave this product a 2 week test because I believe my sensitive skin just doesn’t agree with HQ.
Did hydroquinone help fade my sunspots?
Yes. If my skin could have tolerated it.
I’d read reviews where users literally had their sunspots peel off and that actually happened to me right as I quit using the product.
I had developed a reddish scab over one of the darkest sunspots and a few days later, the scab fell off revealing a lighter sunspot!
Here are pictures of the sunspot that literally peeled off my face:
Summary: I believe that PCA Skin pHaze 13 Pigment Gel which contains 2% hydroquinone does help reduce sunspots, but it doesn’t work for all skin types. The product was too irritating to use for my sensitive skin and so I can’t recommend it for that reason. There are many reviews online which report positive results so you’ll need to give it a try!