African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2184

Full Length Research Paper

Identification and spectrophometric determination of hydroquinone levels in some cosmetic creams

P. O. Odumosu1* and T. O. Ekwe2
1Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sunderland, SR1 3SD, UK. 2Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 973B6CA25623
  • Vol.4(5), pp. 231-234 , May 2010
  •  Accepted: 15 February 2010
  •  Published: 31 May 2010


Hydroquinone, a dihydroxylated benzene derivative is used therapeutically as a topical agent for the treatment of certain skin conditions. Ten (10) cosmetic creams containing hydroquinone were randomly sampled based on consumer demand from the open market in Jos, Plateau State. The labels on the packages noticeably did not indicate the levels of hydroquinone present. The creams were subjected to colour and chromatographic test for identification, as well as assay by UV spectrophotometry.  All ten (10) creams sampled, gave positive results to the test for hydroquinone. The level of hydroquinone was below 2% for seven of the creams, between 2 - 5% for two and above 5% for one. (The upper limit for cosmetic creams is 2 and 5% for therapeutic use). This study shows that despite the potential health hazards of hydroquinone, cosmetic products containing this agent are available for sale in the open market with inadequate warning on the labels.   


Key words: Spectrophotometric analysis, hydroquinone, cosmetics.