Hydroquinone-free products on the rise in US professional skin care, says Kline

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hydroquinone-free products on the rise in US professional skin care, says Kline

Related tags: Professional skin care, United states, Human skin color

Non-hydroquinone–based products are driving sales in the hyperpigmentation and sun damage skin care concern category, outperforming total market growth in 2014 and pushing on the professional skin care market.

This is down to the increased demand for products to address skin pigmentation coupled with concern over hydroquinone, according to market researcher Kline, which has published its report ‘Professional Skin Care: US Market Analysis and Opportunities.’

“Baby boomers are faced with hyperpigmentaion issues caused by a variety of factors. This is resulting in an increased demand for skin-lightening or brightening topical products, as well as in-office laser and intense pulsed light treatments,”​ says Karen Doskow, director, consumer products practice at Kline.

Hydroquinone concern

Hydroquinone is a prescription-only ingredient in many markets around the world as it is used to treat pigment problems but there have been safety concerns, particularly over its directions of use, which are very specific.

The ingredient is surrounded with controversy due to some of its reported side effects, which has affected its demand according to Kline.

Europe has banned the ingredient in concentrations greater than 1%, and in the United States it has been banned from five states - New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Montana, and Texas.

As a result, Kline says that brightening products featuring alternatives to hydroquinone were on the rise in 2014.


According to Kline’s report on Professional skin care in the US, sales for products addressing hyperpigmentation account for nearly one-quarter of total take-home product sales and grow faster than any other concern, including acne and aging, among others.

Medical care providers are the main channel for hyperpigmentation products, accounting for over 70% of the total sales.

The same channel also shows the most promise and is poised to become the leading distribution channel of professional skin care products, overtaking the spas and salons channel by 2019.

Related topics: Market Trends, Skin Care

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