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Golden Girl

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HQ and RA LIGHTENING FAQS:


I want to know what my skin may look like if I use Hydroquinone (Hq) 4% and Retin-A (Ra)? Will I have the "bleached out" look that some people get with some bleaching products or will I be able to retain the appearance of my natural undertones?

Yes you can. I, as well as many others, have been able to do this. You have to be cautious not to lighten too quickly so that you will not have that "bleached out" look where you undertones are masked. Also, adding a good quality vitamin C (ascorbic acid or other quality vitamin C forms) serum can be added to your regimen and will help give your skin a lovely glow and will help your undertones to be more pronounced. And always use an effective sunblock high in spf to prevent the skin to redarken and protect it from UVA and UVB rays.

Where can I apply and not apply Hq and Ra?



Personally speaking, I just apply a little on the tip of my finger and apply it to the outer areas of my ears, behind the ears, neck, back of neck (including hairline) and any other area tha I am trying to lighten. I do not apply retin-a to the back of ears or neck because it burns and the skin is already quite thin there. Hq will lighten it just fine on it's own, but yes still apply sunblock there. Only places where you don't use either is areas such as mucous membranes areas: nose/nostril areas, in mouth and intimate parts, and not in the ears :-S. If theres an area your not sure about, feel free to ask.

If people begin to ask me how and why I am getting so light and fair, what should I say?



You can try to avoid this if you possibly can until things are even. But, some situations may be exposed and the only thing you can do while currently in the lightening process is to say your top half is paler because you dont get much sun or say nothing (best I can think of). While lightening DRAMATICALLY such as a few shades+, I remember asking about this situation. Well, people who know you will begin to notice. I usually do not try explaining myself unless asked...because that is my right and I do not pry in their business and ask them. But, when they do ask as people are naturally nosy by nature, I usually respond by saying that I have been going to the spa or dermatologist and getting acne and exfoliation treatments such as AHAs and so on...or that I am using exfoliators to help even my skin and help remove my discolorations, acne, and blemishes.

In which I am using exfoliators such as AHAs (latic acid). I'm also working on the appearance of my acne scars, stayin clear from acne breakouts, removing my blemishes and scars....I'm just lightening overall as well. Which is equally fine since people also tan their skin which can be more dangerous and even cancerous. Once you feel that you have reached your desired goal, you'll have to maintain your results (and this is with any lightener). Why? Because the skin cells are replaced on average every 28 days and will return to it's genetic color. Maintaining with an effective skin lightener 2-3 times weekly, an exfoliator, and always use sunblock every day before going out the same way we must brush our teeth daily to main our pearly whites.

Is Hq and Ra Expensive?



It is possible to use gels and cremes that cost under $100 and still achieve your results without paying really high prices for them. They can be purchased through certain reliable online websites usually between $2-15, plus shipping and handling. Hq and Retin-a are only one of the few methods to lighten the skin, as there are other methods as well.

Does Hydroquinone have steroids &/or mercury in them?



Hydroquinone is a chemical of itself and does not contain steroids or heavy metals. There are many products on the market that contains hq along with other ingredients such as steroids, mercury, &/or lead which may help increase lightening results but at a cost which may not be reversable.

What do people mean when they say "Hq Abuse"?



You can get quality hq and ra and it may work for you. I am currently using them now and I'm lightening quite well. Yes, this can be used when used safely, properly and not abused.

Examples of Hydroquinone abuse are:
-using hq in very high amounts
-knowingly or unknowingly used along with steroid or mercury products
-not using a quality sunblock high in spf every day (to prevent UVA/UVB exposure)
-not limiting the amount of sun exposure: when sun is limited and sunblock used you have a greater chance of continuing to achieve lightening results, maintain your results, and not causing your results to erverse and redarken
-applying hq several times a day on regular basis. Hq only need to be applied 1-2x daily
-Not using an exfoliator on a conistent basis
-If you happen to have an allergic reaction to hq or your skin is too sensitive to hq and you still continue to use this, like many other things your skin's condition may become worse. You'll have to discontinue use shortly if your skin is unable to tolerate hq and skin's condition becoming worse.

**There are several other factors of hq abuse, these are only a few to avoid (which also applies to all skin lighteners and exfoliators in general) in order to help increase your success in lightening your skin**

Do I have to use very high amounts of Hq to get good results? Are low amounts of Hq really effective?



No, there is no need to use very high amounts of Hq (such as 10%, 20%, or higher) on your skin and can actually cause damage the skin. You can use Hq 4% along with retin-a and still reach at the least close to your goal if you stick to this regimen, following the proper instructions, and over time with patience you can acheive this. This is the amount that dermatologists prescribe to their patients. There is no need to either use Hq 10%, and the high percentage hq can place your skin at higher risks of being damaged.

Can I just jump and use the highest strength Retin-a 0.1%, instead of having to use the lower strengths in order to get great results?



It is BEST to start off with a low strength of retin-a if you are not accustomed to using exfoliators, have sensitive skin, and hq has the tendency of making the skin more sensitive as well. Everyone' ki is different, so everyone will not be able to equally tolerate high strenth or mid strenth retin-a. Some people are not able to tolerate retin-a at all, and will have to use another exfoliant alternative.

The strengths are 0.025% being the mildest, 0.05% being the general strength used (I use this) and 0.1% being the strongest and not recommended to be used first, as the skin should build tolerance with retinoids and any other forms of exfoliators. Immediately jumping to the highest maximum strength can effect some people's skin in a negative way and cause burns and skin darkening due to the skin not given the chance to build tolerance. Not recommended.

Is Hq/Ra the ONLY way that I am able to lighten my skin?



Although this route is working for some, as well as myself, as well as many Hq negatives are myths and hq can be safely used....hq is not your only option.

Can I just apply sunblock sometimes and not all of the time when going out, since I am already lightening my skin?



ALWAYS use a good sunblock high in spf (use at least 55 or higher, prefer spf 70-100). Good brand is Neutrogena with Helioplex)



Last edited by Golden Girl on Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:44 pm; edited 3 times in total

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MAHARANI

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This is a great post for anyone to use as a reference, should they decide to embark on using Hq/ Ra. There does seem to be a great deal of interest in this combination, as people seek an effective lightening regime.

As you said this is not the only option for people wishing to find a lightening product, but it is important for people to glean as much information as possible, if they do go down this route,so thanks for posting.

Golden Girl

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thanks, I think theres still many people sleeping on this [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] , but some are looking for alternatives to avoid the high prices of what some more natural lighteners charge.

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MAHARANI

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Well going to take the plunge and try out Nadinola and Retin A and see what sort of results I can achieve.
I will only be using it at night to allow my skin to get used to the HQ and to make the lightening come along in a gradual process. Don't want to get too many comments !!! LOL

Golden Girl

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I wish you luck Maharani and I hope you find success with it. I'm still using it on my neck, ears, and arms so I have about 2 jars left.. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

MAHARANI

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Thanks GG for the encouragement. My fingers are crossed !!
It really absorbs well I have found. With some other lightening products there is this greasy after look that can make you look darker immediately. If it was not for the fact that I only want to use it at night, I think it would have been nice to apply in the day to achieve that matte look I like.


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Kandiluv

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Really nice, my fingers are crossed too!!

MAHARANI

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Thanks Kandiluv [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Yasmynn

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I love nadinola, it's gentle, absorbs well and works great.

MAHARANI

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Have not seen any major lightening, as yet, as it is has only been a couple of weeks, but I have to totally agree that it sinks in beautifully.

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Golden Girl

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I agree nadinola absorbs well, especially when I have my hangups with mineral oil-based products. Though if it lightens, I'm alll for it. My ears have gradually lightened a bit more, I realized I had made the mistake of typing in my signature that I use it on my face (which I'm not) but on my neck, ears, and the spots on my arms in the a.m.

I'll see how long it will lighten and to what degree exactly, although I do not use retin-a on my neck as of last year because it makes it to eventually feel raw and irritated. So, I use the grapefruit facial scrub instead.


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

Amyyy

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Wow this is really helpfull golden girl Very Happy

If you have time could you please direct me to a legitimate site what sells HQ and Ra for $2-15$ please because I don't want to be scammed or buy some fake stuff

MAHARANI

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Hi Amyyy,

A warm Welcome to the board !! If you are looking for HQ and RA, you can purchase it from Allday chemist, which sells it very cheaply. Their shipping is $25, so it is high, but members ofset this by buying in bulk. You can also buy nadinola extra strength, which has 3% HQ and if you are based in the US, is very easily obtainable.

Here is the link to All Day Chemist. If you do get a chance, please feel free to also add a post to our introduction section, so we can find out a little more about our newbie !!! Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride !!!


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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MAHARANI

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Oh and here is a link to the introduction section, if you want to make a post.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


.

Amyyy

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Thanks MAHARANI my fellow london girl Very Happy

Golden Girl

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Hi Ammy and welcome! Yes, Maharani is correct that ADC (All Day Chemist) is mostly where members here, including myself, orders Hq 4% and Retin-a since it's reliable and among the cheapest (except for their shipping fee). I used this for about 4 months.

Theres also as mentioned Nadinola Extra Strength, which is 3% Hq and what I'm now currently using on my neck and ears fror the past couple of months now. And I use this with retin-a (tretinoin) which exfoliates and helps for the skin lightener to penetrate deeper. But, there are other effective exfoliators that will help as well.

And always sunblock is important to prevent redarkening


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

allure

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GG, great post! I remember when I started using RA (cant believe this) I started with .1%!! Okay I had peeling really bad and my skin was super sensitive. I took a break from it and went to it a couple months after. My skin got adjusted to its formulation and even now I experience great peeling (appreciate it tons by the way) and I know I can live with the peeling and the itching at times.
Ammy welcome! I'm a new person too and there is a wealth of info to gain from this forum.
Maharani, what is your experience like with the nadinola? Is it really that effective? I used to use this but all it did for me was make my face oily! I really want to try another cream on my skin after my MQ runs out thus the question. I am waiting on the 4% HQ and I wonder if people have been mixing some with nadinola cream? Thanks!

Golden Girl

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Oh wow 0.1% lol, yeah it sure makes you peel! I had started with the 0.05% Ra and my face was peeling so much for quite some time. For me it had taken about 2 months to see my face evening out and most of the dead skin had shed away.

How long did it take for you to notice the evening from the retin-a Allure? Were you using the retin-a or other exfoliator along with nadinola extra strength?


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

Amyyy

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Golden Girl wrote:Hi Ammy and welcome! Yes, Maharani is correct that ADC (All Day Chemist) is mostly where members here, including myself, orders Hq 4% and Retin-a since it's reliable and among the cheapest (except for their shipping fee). I used this for about 4 months.

Theres also as mentioned Nadinola Extra Strength, which is 3% Hq and what I'm now currently using on my neck and ears fror the past couple of months now. And I use this with retin-a (tretinoin) which exfoliates and helps for the skin lightener to penetrate deeper. But, there are other effective exfoliators that will help as well.

And always sunblock is important to prevent redarkening

Thanks for that GG , I got a few questions

1.How many shades did you lighten with HQ and RA ?
2.How long will I have to wait it out to see results ?
3. I went on the site and I think I found the right Retin-a [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but I can't find the HQ or Nadinola

MAHARANI

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Here is the HQ from ADC
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

MAHARANI

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Here is the Retin A


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


.

MAHARANI

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The Nadinola, I got from an online store. Can't find the details at the moment but will let you know when I find them.


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MAHARANI

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allure wrote:GG, great post! I remember when I started using RA (cant believe this) I started with .1%!! Okay I had peeling really bad and my skin was super sensitive. I took a break from it and went to it a couple months after. My skin got adjusted to its formulation and even now I experience great peeling (appreciate it tons by the way) and I know I can live with the peeling and the itching at times.
Ammy welcome! I'm a new person too and there is a wealth of info to gain from this forum.
Maharani, what is your experience like with the nadinola? Is it really that effective? I used to use this but all it did for me was make my face oily! I really want to try another cream on my skin after my MQ runs out thus the question. I am waiting on the 4% HQ and I wonder if people have been mixing some with nadinola cream? Thanks!

I have not been using it for that long, so don't know if I can really give you a proper review. Funny, someone else said they thought it was quite oily on their skin. I actually found that it sinks straight into my skin and leaves absolutely no residue. How long ago did you use it.? I wonder if they have changed their formulation. I don't have oily skin, so maybe this is a factor, as well.

I have to admit that today, my skin definitely looked brighter. I don't know if this is due to the MQ, which I use at night with RA and cetaphil, to dilute it, or the nadinola that I use in the day.


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Golden Girl

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Amyyy wrote:
Thanks for that GG , I got a few questions

1.How many shades did you lighten with HQ and RA ?
2.How long will I have to wait it out to see results ?
3. I went on the site and I think I found the right Retin-a [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but I can't find the HQ or Nadinola


1. With the Melalite 30 gm Hq 4% from ADC I say I had lightened up to about 3.5 shades, maybe 4 from the photos taken.

2. This depends on the individual, since our skin is all different and lightens at different lengths of time and not a 100% guarantee that this works for all. But, for me I did go through what I call an "ugly phase" due to the peeling in different areas faster than others (I was patchy for up to 2 months), redness, dry skin so I had to moisturize to soothe any irritation and itchiness. Moisturized before I went out of the house to help minimize the peeling.

I began to see some lightening around 2 to 2.5 weeks. Within a month, I saw more results. So, each month there was more lightening. But, this isn't a real fast lightener where you see results in days, I had to prolong my patience and positive attitude about it as the Hq/Ra regimen works in stages, gradual yet consistent with lightening.

3. Nadinola Extra Strength (Hq 3%)I first purchased a pack (which contained 3 jars) from Amazon, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Now, I just get it from Walmart and other local shops carried it(I'm currently in the U.S.). Since your in the UK, Maharani may be able to assist you with finding a location of where to get it.

I had used the A-Ret (Tretinoin Gel USP) If your skin is not so familiar with stronger ecxfoliants such as retin-a or AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), I suggest starting with Retin-a 0.025% or Adapalene which are milder forms of Vitamin A so that your skin can adapt. Another option is you can use the Carotein Nourishing & Fairness Cream [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] which is rich in vitamin A, Carrot Extract, AHA, and Vitamins B, C, and E.


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

MAHARANI

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Amazon was going to be my next choice as to where to get it from, when I run out. I still have 2 jars of the Nadinola and I have just received my order from ADC that has HQ in it, so won't need anything for a while, as I am really focusing on just my face at the moment. The store I originally did get it from did take a while to get to me in London. I am sure Amyyy that you get as fustrated as me, that you have to get so much stuff from overseas and it doesn't help when you also get taxes added on occasions.

.

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