Alpha Skin Care

Dual Action Skin Lightener

0.85 fl. oz. for $ 10.99
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Brand Overview

Dual Action Skin Lightener has an identical ingredient list to the former Alpha Hydrox Spot Light Targeted Skin Lightener, right down to the excellent combination of 2% hydroquinone for fading dark spots plus 10% glycolic acid for exfoliation—all in a lightweight, slightly fragranced lotion formula suitable for all skin types. It remains an excellent, inexpensive option to target brown spots from sun damage or other factors.

Dual Action Skin Lightener 10% glycolic acid can exfoliate as it fades thanks to its pH of 3.6*, all in packaging that will keep the hydroquinone stable. If you'll be applying it all over your face, the slightly creamy lotion is ideal for normal to dry skin; however, if you're only going to spot-apply to discolorations, it's fine to use on all skin types not prone to breakouts.

The only thing that's still missing is a selection of state-of-the-art skin-identical ingredients and more antioxidants (vitamin E, listed as tocopherol, is included). Despite that shortcoming, Dual Action Skin Lightener remains one of the best hydroquinone-powered options at the drugstore. You'll find other hydroquinone products that come in larger sizes, but the majority of them are packaged in jars, which will quickly render the hydroquinone ineffective.

OK, one more slight disappointment to mention is the inclusion of fragrance. Fragrance isn't skin care, and coupled with active like hydroquinone plus 10% glycolic acid, it could put skin at greater risk of irritation. Still, if you're only using this to spot-treat discolorations, the risk is minimal; hence our rating for this renamed-but-not-reformulated product remains the same.

Dual Action Skin Lightener ranks among the best hydroquinone-based options to tackle stubborn brown spots from sun exposure or other causes (like hormonal influences). Its lightweight, creamy lotion texture is easy to apply, the packaging keeps key ingredients stable during use, and the addition of pH-correct 10% glycolic acid will help enhance the results and provide smoother, more even-toned skin.

*The packaging for this Alpha Skin Care product indicates the pH is 4, but our testing confirmed it's 3.6, which is actually even better result for effectiveness.

  • Contains 2% hydroquinone, the gold standard for fading brown discolorations.
  • 10% glycolic acid exfoliates and enhances results from the hydroquinone.
  • pH-correct formula allows the glycolic acid to function as an exfoliant.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Small amount of fragrance may increase potential for irritation from the combination of hydroquinone and glycolic acid.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Dual Action Skin Lightener formula provides the optimal balance of 2% hydroquinone and 10% Glycolic AHA. Hydroquinone is a proven skin lightener. Glycolic AHA helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while boosting the effectiveness of hydroquinone. Your skin will look bright, healthy and more radiant. Helps to fade dark spots caused by aging, sun damage and blemishes. Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Evens skin tone and texture. Vitamin E helps nourish skin.

Active Ingredient: 2% Hydroquinone. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycolic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Mineral Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Ozokerite, Sodium Hydroxide, Steareth-20, Laureth-23, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Dimethicone, Xanthan Gum, Sodium PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance, BHT

Known primarily for their well-formulated AHA products, Alpha Skin Care (formerly Alpha Hydrox) recently got an impressive image update. Along with a new name, they've also revamped their products. Although the improvements were more visual and packaging-related than formulary-driven, the fact remains that Alpha Skin Care has a formidable range of effective AHA products, all with definitively researched glycolic acid. Kudos to the company for continuing to be direct about the AHA content (and pH) of their exfoliants, something most other lines selling AHA products prefer to keep a mystery.

Should the folks behind this brand choose to go back to the drawing board once again, they would do well to reconsider their current jar packaging if they intend to keep adding antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients to their efficacious but still predominantly basic products. Until then, you can rely on Alpha Skin Care for supplying AHA products that really work, and a few other surprises too, all affordably priced and readily available.

For more information about Alpha Skin Care, call 1-800-447-1919 and select option 1 or visit www.neotericcosmetics.com/.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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