The global hydroquinone market size is expected to witness potential gains in the future and register a significant CAGR of 4.10% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Hydroquinone, also known as quinol, is an aromatic organic compound produced as an inhibitor, an antioxidant, and an intermediate in the synthesis of dyes, motor fuels, and oils. This phenol has antioxidant properties and is used to lighten the dark patches of skin. Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production by the melanocytes to produce reversible lightening of the skin. The U.S.FDA approves sell of hydroquinone over the counter in 2% concentrations. It is sold under brand names such as Lustra, Melquin, Melquin HP 4%, Melquin-3 Topical Solution, Lustra-AF, and Lustra-Ultra.

Market Dynamics

Hydroquinone finds application as an antioxidant, intermediate, polymerization inhibitor, and photosensitive chemical in the industries such as polymers, cosmetics, paints and adhesives, and rubber. Hydroquinone is used for continuous production of cross-linked particulate gel-type polymers and superabsorbent polymers. Therefore, increasing demand for hydroquinone from the polymers industry is expected to boost growth of the global hydroquinone market over the forecast period.

Moreover, hydroquinone is the common name for the ingredient 1,4-dihydroxybenzene and may be used safely in a variety of cosmetics such as skin lighteners, facial and skin cleansers, facial moisturizers, hair conditioners, and finger nail coating products. This in turn is expected to drive demand for hydroquinone from the cosmetics industry.

However, hydroquinone is also associated with cancer and organ-system toxicity. Moreover, hydroquinone is not recommended for dry and sensitive skin type as the phenol further leads to dryness or irritation.  Moreover, the preferences for use of natural ingredients in cosmetics is increasing significantly. These factors are expected to hinder the market growth over the forecast period.               

Market Outlook

On the basis of region, the market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to hold dominant position in the market, owing to increasing demand and consumption of cosmetics in economies such as China, South Korea, Japan, and India. The market share of North America and Europe is expected to decline over the forecast period, owing to increasing preference and use of natural ingredients in cosmetics. Moreover, adverse effects of hydroquinone on the environment is also expected to hinder the market growth in these regions.

Key Players

Major players operating in global hydroquinone market include, Rhodia, Genetic Ridge, Harrison Specialty, and International Shield, Inc.

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