Hydroquinone (HQ) is a skincare ingredient that you may or may not have heard of. You probably have if you suffer from melasma or any other kind of deeply pigmented skin (acne scarring, sun damage/spots). Chances are your doctor or skin care therapist has prescribed you a product with said ingredient in it. I don't want to be long winded here, but there is a lot of controversy on the subject of hydroquinone. There are websites out there, like this one: http://www.hydroquinonereview.com will scare the bejesus out of you if you have used or are currently using HQ. Now, I must say there are safer ways to get rid of pigmentation and I do believe the claims of such websites to an extent. The product has been banned in Europe, and that has to say something. They are so much more strict on the ingredients used in skincare and food. With that said, anything they ban is probably cause for concern (at least I think so).
On the other hand, I also think that hydroquinone has gotten a bad rep based on studies done in areas where women were abusing the product, such as Asia and Africa. Asian and African women, in general, have a stronger desire to even out their skin and lighten it. Tangent: For what reason? I don't know. I think their skin is beautiful just as it is. I guess it's just society's sick way of telling people what's beautiful and what's not. End Tangent. A lot of women were buying extreme amounts of hydroquinone. The US only allows 2% (at most) of HG in products.
I am writing about this ingredient because, as a teenager and 20-something acne sufferer, I would do anything to get rid of those pesky red acne scars; just as much as your 40 and 50-somethings who want to rid of those pesky "sun spots." There are other ways...
I was just reading about this product called, Luminaze. It's probably expensive, and only sold in select department stores, but you should check out their website. It's mushroom and enzyme based. The mushrooms were found in the Swiss Alps. It seemed as though all the bark surrounding these particular mushrooms were decoulorized, so the scientists took off with it, and figured out it can do the same thing to meltonin (the dark spots and melasma) in the skin.
Here's their website if you want more information: http://www.luminaze.com/catalytic-skin-tone-illuminator.html
It looks pretty cool, but just a little out of my budget right now. If you try it, let me know how it works!