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What should you check on the label on skin lightening products?

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Make sure there's no mercury in the product. It's sometimes listed under other names, such as calomel, mercuric, mercurous, or mercurio.

An over-the-counter skin lightener with hydroquinone should have no more than 2%. If a label lists that ingredient but doesn't say how much, don't assume it's safe to use.

If you have any questions about a product you're considering, talk with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure it's safe.

From: Skin Lightening Treatments WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Palomar College: "Skin Color Adaptation."

AcneNet: "Skin Color Changes: Spots May Fade With Right Treatment."

AgingSkinNet: "Age Spots."

Dermalogica: "Your Skin: What Causes Uneven Skin Tone?"

Georgia State University College of Arts and Sciences: "Researcher Investigates Reasons Behind Skin Bleaching With Dangerous Chemicals in Tanzania."

Minnesota Department of Health: Skin-Lightening Products Found to Contain Mercury" and "Stop Using Skin Lightening Products Containing Mercury: Health Alert for the General Public."

WHO: "Mercury in Skin Lightening Products."

Cleveland Clinic: "Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on March 6, 2019

SOURCES:

Palomar College: "Skin Color Adaptation."

AcneNet: "Skin Color Changes: Spots May Fade With Right Treatment."

AgingSkinNet: "Age Spots."

Dermalogica: "Your Skin: What Causes Uneven Skin Tone?"

Georgia State University College of Arts and Sciences: "Researcher Investigates Reasons Behind Skin Bleaching With Dangerous Chemicals in Tanzania."

Minnesota Department of Health: Skin-Lightening Products Found to Contain Mercury" and "Stop Using Skin Lightening Products Containing Mercury: Health Alert for the General Public."

WHO: "Mercury in Skin Lightening Products."

Cleveland Clinic: "Understanding the Ingredients in Skin Care Products."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on March 6, 2019

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