Are You Aware Of What’s In Your Skin Care Products?

Believe it or not,  some potentially harmful products can be found in your neighborhood drugstore, medi-spa or even your doctors office (if misused or used longer than directed).

Whether it is sun-damage, environmental factors or hormonal changes brought on by puberty, pregnancy and menopause – one of the most commonly sought after skincare solutions is a clear, even complexion. Unfortunately there are have not been many safe and effective answers to solving this problem.   Once you botox away your deep lines, and fill in the tissue deficits in your face, the hyper-pigmentation (or dark spots) left behind is that much more obvious!  This has created a market on which products of questionable safety prey upon unsuspecting consumers.

In fact the Chicago Tribune reported on the shocking results of an investigation they conducted wherein they sent 50 skin-lightening creams to a certified lab for testing, most of them bought in Chicago stores and a few ordered online.  Of those 50 products tested six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law.  Of those, five had more than 6,000 parts per million — which is enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time, according to one of the paper’s consulted medical expert.

“I’m shocked and speechless,” said Dr. Jonith Breadon, a Chicago dermatologist contacted with the results by the Tribune, who said she sees patients weekly who ask about lightening their skin. “I just assumed since (mercury) was banned in the U.S., it never got in. But clearly that isn’t true.”

Other more commonly found ingredients that can be hazardous to your skin health include hydroquinone, Steroids, Arbutin (a hydroquinone derivative), and Kojic Acid.   In a recent episode of the popular Dr. Oz show dedicated to skin lightening, Dr. Oz was joined by Eliot Battle, MD a prominent dermatoligist based in Washington DC.  Dr. Battle noted that the number one concern from patients in his offices is getting a clear complexion.  He also said that Hydroquinone, and steroids are extremely dangerous if used improperly.  The result, according to these doctors can range from thinning of the skin, to higher blood pressure, high blood sugar, and possibly immune system suppression.   Dr. Oz showed a case of a women who suffered a permanent darkening, or “blueing” of the skin, medically known as ochronosis, associated with hydroquinone use (or misuse).  Dr. Battle noted that he used to see patients with hydroquinone or topical steroid related skin damage about once a year.

“We are now seeing this monthly, or weekly,  most of the patients are getting these drugs, these medications, from the internet or over-the-counter”  commented Dr. Battle, “this condition now has gotten to be so popular unfortunately, that we are nervous about this.”

The Dr. Oz Segment can be seen here:

Prescpription drugs with 4% hydroquinone or higher are still commonly used by many physicians in treating their patients, presumably because there have not been good alternatives to use in the past.   However, the September/October issue of MedEsthetics magazine, features a story entitled “Expanding the Canvas”, Chief Surgeon and Medical Director of Precision Aesthetics in New York City and Palm Beach Florida, Lisa A.  Zdinak, MD, reflects a growing attitude among her peers.   Dr. Zdinak is quoted as saying “I have been leaning away from Hydroquinone due to the controversies abroad about the dangerous side effects. ”   The article goes on to explain that Dr. Zdinak’s preferred product is the new Lumixyl Topical Brightening Creme, a peptide based technology that prevents the formation of the pigment in skin by blocking the same pathways of melanin production that Hydroquinone does, but without the safety concerns.

“I have my patients mix the Lumixyl with Retin-A at bed time and apply it to the decollete region. They notice an effect after about three weeks,” notes Dr. Zdinak, of her preferred method of fading dark spots on the neck and chest.

The Lumixyl Peptide, now the anchor technology in the Lumixyl Topical brightening system,  is a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak skin brightening landscape.  It was discovered and developed by Dr. Basil Hantash and a team of Stanford University dermatology researchers.  “The Lumixyl Topical Brightening System is an entirely new approach to naturally brighter, more vibrant skin, representing a new physician-grade standard in skincare,” explains Dr. Basil Hantash, MD, PhD, a board certified Stanford-trained dermatologist and vice-chairman of the board at Envy Medical

If you share that almost universal desire to get an even skin tone, you will be encouraged that there are new ways to achieve a clearer complexion.  However their are not so many ways to do it safely.  Be very careful about what you put on your face.  Any product can make claims, but ask your doctor about the new alternative known as Lumixyl, instead of using those that contain Hydroquinone, Steroids, Kojic Acid or other ingredients in question. Putting the wrong thing on your skin can cause unnecessary irritation at best, and possibly much worse.

-End Article – See links to article sources and related materials below.

If you have experienced negative reactions as a result of using products with hydroquinone, topical steroids, or other skincare products and would like more information on what you can do,  email us at

Article Sources:
Click the links below to go directly to the referenced sources for this article:

1)   Skin whitening creams found to contain toxic mercury. Chicago Tribune

2) Dr. Oz & Dr. Battle Discuss the Dangers of Hydroquinone and Steroids

3) Expanding the Canvas MedEsthetics September/October

4) Press release on the launch of the new Lumixyl Topical Brightening System


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One Response to Are You Aware Of What’s In Your Skin Care Products?

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