Reduce Spots and Brighten Without Hydroquinone

For years, the go-to ingredient for lightening was hydroquinone. This is still used by many dermatologists but there’s growing concern over its safety. In fact, the FDA has restricted the use of hydroquinone in over-the-counter products and even in physician only formulas , and is currently conducting research on hydroquinone as a cancer-causing and skin disfiguring agent. I don’t know about you, but that’s enough to keep me from using it! At dmSkincare, we prefer to steer away from harmful chemicals in our formulations, even when the research is just beginning to build. For our skincare products, we utilize botanicals whenever possible and have developed a highly effective combination for skin lightening!
Our clari-tone serum™ utilizes 3 key ingredients to lighten, along with acids to enhance the process:
Azelaic acid: most commonly this ingredient is used to treat acne but recent studies have shown azelaic acid beneficial for the treatment of skin discolorations as well. Azelaic acid is a dicarboxy acid that inhibits tyrosinase activity during its use. It has exfoliating and disinfecting properties and works best when used with AHA’s. It is made from the grains of wheat, rye, or barely. Studies have shown it to be effective in treating melasma and inhibiting melanin production, in addition to preventing the formation of acne lesions.
Kojic acid: derived from a fungus, kojic acid blocks melanin production in a similar fashion to hydroquinone. It is considered a melanin inhibitor (translation – blocks natural pigment from being deposited in the skin).
Vitamin C: vitamin C, also known as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbic acid, ascorbyl glucosamine, l-ascorbic acid, and ascorbyl palmitate, is a common ingredient found in many botanical skin lighteners that is also a first-class antioxidant. Vitamin C also inhibits melanin production and leaves skin with a brightened appearance. In clari-tone serum™ we utilize the ascorbic acid form, which has been studied in clinical research.
Lactic Acid: an AHA that increases the water holding capacity of the corneum layer and enhances delivery of lightening agents by exfoliating and driving ingredients.
Salicylic acid: a beta hydroxy acid derived from willow bark or wintergreen. Typically used in acne management for its ability to deeply penetrate pores and offer an antioxidant boost. When used with melanin inhibitors, it offers the essential exfoliation component to the formula.
clari-tone serum dmSkincare all natural lightening anti-aging treatment

So, there it is – a powerful lightening serum, which is botanically-based and safe when used as directed. clari-tone serum™ can be used alone or as part of a holistic lightening protocol to really boost the results. In fact, we highly recommend that clari-tone serum be used as a layer under our AHA salicylic solution. The AHA really drives the serum into the deeper layers of the skin.

If you incorporate this at-home treatment product with IPL or microdermabrasion treatments for pigment, you will see dramatic results – even on the most stubborn sun damage and liver spots!

A critical final step in reducing unwanted pigment and sun spots is to protect the skin from further damage. Please, protect your skin with SPF protection every day! Safe and effective coverage can be achieved with our daily eclipse SPF 30 mineral sunscreen and mineral makeup. SPF is essential when applying any type of AHAs or retinols to the skin and going out into the sunlight, so don’t skip this very important last step in your routine.

At DermaMed Solutions, we would be happy to provide a personalized lightening protocol tailored just for you. Please contact us with your questions and we will have our dmSkincare experts provide their recommendations.
1. Hydroquinone Studies Under The National Toxicology Program (NTP). Accessed online, March 1, 2013 at: