Hydroquinone is commonly used for the skin in hyperpigmentation conditions, while tretinoin is used for treatment in acne vulgaris.
Products containing these substances are classified as pharmaceuticals and can only be used under the advice of a healthcare professionals in the EU, as stated by Cosmetics Europe.
Thus, the unsupervised use of both of these substances can cause redness to the skin, discomfort, stinging, peeling and sensitivity to sunlight.
On discovering that its spot and peel cream contained these substances, Dermoscience reps told news publication, Chemical Watch that the company will no longer be working with the contract manufacturer that supplied the products and has yet to get a full explanation as to how these ingredients found their way into the products.
The move comes two weeks after the Malaysian Ministry of Health ordered the removal of the products from the Malaysian market.
Tretinoin only for over-the-counter, hydroquinone linked to cancer
Tretinoin is defined as a carboxlic acid form of vitamin A, as well as being classified as all-trans retinoic acid. It is commonly available in global pharmaceutical brands such as Retin-A, in doses of 0.025% to 0.1%.
Although it is commonly used as a topical acne treatment, it is also used in anti-ageing treatments, where it is said to target collagen levels in the dermis, as well as treatments for stretch marks.
Hydroquinone is an aromatic organic compound that commonly used as a depigmentation or skin whitening agent in a range of skin care products, mainly for medical applications and under professional administration.
The US FDA has proposed a ban on the use of Hydroquinone, but this has yet to be finalized, with the ingredient still permitted in OTC & Prescription skin whitening products.