Determination of pH and Hydroquinone Concentration in Selected Bleaching Creams Used By Some Students Of Delta State University Abraka


  • Ovie Benedict Enivwenae Delta State University Abraka, Nigeria


pH, Hydroquinone, Bleaching cream, Melanin, Acid mantle, Skin cancer


Communication in Physical Sciences, 2024, 11(2): 311-315

Author: Ovie Benedict Enivwenae

Received: 06 February  2024/Accepted: 03 May 2024

The study was aimed at evaluating the pH and the concentration of hydroquinone in selected skin bleaching creams used by some students in Delta State University Abraka to ascertain their safety. Seven different bleaching cream samples obtained from the students were used for the experiment. The pH was determined using a calibrated pH meter while the concentration of the hydroquinone was detected using a UV spectrophotometer. From the results obtained, three samples;  recorded pH of  4.11, 5.70 and 6.20 respectively which fell outside the pH range of the skin.  However, the other four samples, BCS 1, BCS 3 BCS 5 and BCS 7  recorded pH of 5.30, 4.53, 5,20 and 4.90 respectively and fell within the pH range of the skin. The concentrations of hydroquinone in the seven samples analysed, ranged from 1.00% to 2.15%  with only one of the samples, BCS 2.  having a concentration of 2.15%  that is above WHO regulation. However, two of the samples, BCS 1 and BCS 5 did not record any concentration of hydroquinone in them even though they were skin bleaching creams. While 86% of the bleaching creams analysed pose no safety threat concerning hydroquinone concentration, 43% of the bleaching creams pose safety concerns as they recorded pH outside the acid mantle (pH range of the human skin). It was therefore recommended that regulatory bodies should ensure that manufacturers adhere to standard practices.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Ovie Benedict Enivwenae, Delta State University Abraka, Nigeria

Department of Chemistry


Adrienne Santos-Longhurst (2019) Side Effects and Precautions of Skin Bleaching.

Bryan Barron (2022) The Ultimate Guide to pH and Your Skin

Céline Couteau, Laurence Coiffard (2016) Overview of Skin Whitening Agents: Drugs and Cosmetic Products.Cosmetics 2016, 3(3), 27;

Eric Selorm Agorku, Edward Ebow Kwaansa-Ansah, Ray Bright Voegborlo, Pamela Amegbletor, and Francis Opoku (2016) Mercury and hydroquinone content of skin toning creams and cosmetic soaps, and the potential risks to the health of Ghanaian women.

Germanò, M.P.; Cacciola, F.; Donato, P.; Dugo, P.; Certo, G.; D’Angelo, V.; Mondello, L.; Rapisarda, A.( 2012) Betula pendula leaves: Polyphenolic characterization and potential innovative use in skin whitening products. Fitoterapia 83, 877–882.

Hu, Z. M.; Zhou, Q.; Lei, T.C.; Ding, S.F.; Xu, S.Z.(2009) Effects of hydroquinone and its glucoside derivatives on melanogenesis and antioxidation: Biosafety as skin whitening agents. J. Dermatol. Sci. 2009, 55, 179–184. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Lambers, H.; Piessens, S.; Bloem, A.; Pronk, H.; Finkel, P. (October 2006). Natural surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora". International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 28, pp. 5, 359–370. doi:10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00344.x. ISSN 1468-2494. PMID 18489300. S2CID 25191984.

Mahé, Antoine; Ly, Fatimata; Perret, Jean-Luc (2005). "Systemic complications of the cosmetic use of skin-bleaching products". International Journal of Dermatology. 44 (s1): 37–38. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2005.02810.x. ISSN 1365-4632

Monika-Hildegard Schmid-Wendtner; Korting Schmid-Wendtner (2007). pH and Skin Care. ABW Wissenschaftsverlag. pp. 31–. ISBN 978-3-936072-64-8.

Olusola Ayandele and Olugbenga Popoola (2019) Psychosocial predictors of skin bleaching among female students of the polytechnic, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Schmid MH, Korting HC (1995). "The concept of the acid mantle of the skin: its relevance for the choice of skin cleansers" (PDF). Dermatology. 191 (4): 276–80. doi:10.1159/000246568. PMID 8573921. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-03-01

Scissors, B.; Gathers, R.C.(2010) A case of exogenous ochronosis caused by a triple combination bleaching cream. J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2010, 62.

Siyaka I., Joda A E, Yesufu HB and MO Akinleye. (2016). Determination of hydroquinone content in skin lightening cream. The Pharma Innovation Journal 5(9): 101-105

WHO (1996) Hydroquinone Health and Safety Guide. World Health Organization.

WHO (2011) mercury exposure: a major public health concern. Geneva, World Health Organization (Preventing disease through healthy environments series; /