Skin bleaching with monobenzone

If you’re considering using monobenzone to achieve a lighter complexion – stop. If you have already started using monobenzone and you do not have vitiligo, stop immediately.

(Did that grab your attention? I hope it did!)

Of all the chemicals that bleach the skin, monobenzone is the worst thing anyone with normal skin can use.  And by ‘normal skin’, I mean the skin of someone without vitiligo.

  • If you have dark marks from acne, scars or melasma, you have normal skin.
  • If you have skin that has gotten darker through years of tanning or being under the sun, you have normal skin.

Compare that to the skin of a vitiligo sufferer, whose immune system is attacking melanocytes. And before I go on any further, I think it’s important for you to first understand what vitiligo is.

So what is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a relatively common skin disease affecting about one out of every hundred people. With vitiligo, the body works to kill melanocytes (cells that give us our color) causing the skin to turn white in patches. This bleaching effect can also sometimes affect hair as well as mucous membranes inside the nose and mouth.

No one knows what causes vitiligo for sure. For now, only theories exist. Vitiligo may be due to:

  • Genetic causes
  • Environmental causes
  • Autoimmune abnormality

The disease can spread, rapidly or slowly, to cover the entire body surface (universal vitiligo) but the most common form appears in a symmetrical form (generalized vitiligo). Sometimes, only half of the body is affected (segmental vitiligo).

Vitiligo affects both men and women regardless of skin color or ethnicity. Vitiligo can occur at any age, but most develop it before they turn twenty. It is not infectious. Meaning you cannot catch it from someone with vitiligo.

More information on vitiligo and vitiligo support:

And what is monobenzone?

Monobenzone is a depigmenting treatment for cases of extensive vitiligo, where the patches of white skin are too large to be treated for repigmentation.

There are a few things you should know about this chemical called monobenzone:

  • Scientists still do not fully understand how monobenzone works.
  • Its effects are unpredictable and may not lead to complete depigmentation.
  • Monobenzone is usually also the last resort for someone with vitiligo.

Monobenzone creams appear to cause depigmentation by killing the skin’s melanocytes. However, later studies have shown that while it probably kills melanocytes in the epidermis, it has no effect on the follicular reservoir. Therefore, it is not unusual for spots of original color to return after a few years of good results. Sun exposure may possibly speed up the return of pigmentation.

In vitiligo sufferers, monobenzone use may lead to pigment-free skin within 1 to 2 years. However, monobenzone has unpredictable effects, and even vitiligo sufferers being treated with monobenzone by their doctors have difficulty maintaining their even and white color. Spots of pigmentation may reappear after several years because of the follicular reservoirs that can produce melanin.

Michael Jackson (rest in peace), was the world’s most famous person with vitiligo. Yet, even after what was probably years of intense monobenzone treatment with the best doctors available to him and all the resources he had available, he still had to live under a veil of make-up and gloves. It is important to realize that even for vitiligo sufferers being treated with monobenzone by their doctors, make-up and other ways of camouflaging the skin often become a way of life, as patches of color may remain resistant to depigmentation.

Using monobenzone can have serious consequences

Yet another downside… monobenzone poses risk to others

The process of completely depigmenting the skin with monobenzone is a long one (1-2 years). Unlike other skin treatments, using monobenzone  could also put family members and close ones at risk of depigmenting due to accidental skin contact. Because monobenzone has to be handled carefully, vitiligo patients have to take extra precautions so that the cream does not inadvertently transfer itself through skin contact with members of their household. Thus, vitiligo patients undergoing monobenzone depigmenting treatment often only apply the cream when their children are at school to minimize the risk.

Q: Is monobenzone like hydroquinone?
A: No!

Most people desperate to lighten their skin make the mistake of thinking that monobenzone is one step up from hydroquinone and that it can boost their skin lightening progress. This is simply wrong.

Monobenzone should not be compared to hydroquinone or any other skin lightening ingredient. This is because monobenzone is not a skin lightener. In fact, it is unlike any other skin lighteners out there. Because of what it can do, monobenzone is in a class of its own. I am not sure where the confusion between monobenzone and hydroquinone started, but perhaps it is because monobenzone is also referred to as ‘monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone’.

Yes, it is true that monobenzone and hydroquinone are both ‘phenols’ and have similar chemical structures (see the table), but the effects they have on the skin are as different as night and day.

If you do not have the time to read this entire page, the table below will give a quick summary of the differences between the effects of monobenzone and hydroquinone on normal skin of people who do not have vitiligo. If you do have time, read on – it just might save your skin!

Effects of monobenzone and hydroquinone on non-vitiligo users

 

Monobenzone

Hydroquinone

First few months Initial white patches all over the body, including areas not treated with monobenzone Color lightens a few shades from original where it is applied
One year Large portion of body has turned white Hydroquinone use should be limited to fewer than six months. Using it for longer can cause the opposite desired effect, skin darkening and damage
If usage has stopped… When you stop using monobenzone, melanocytes will become active. Old skin color will start to reappear causing distress and very patchy, uneven skin If the skin is healthy, the lighter shade can be maintained through regular sunscreen use.  Otherwise, any lightening achieved can be easily reversed.
If usage continues beyond one year…. Raw areas of pink skin may emerge, mixed with white patches. Spots of original coloring may emerge within a few years due to follicular melanocytes.Monobenzone becomes ineffective on these spots as the returned pigment has become resistant to the chemical.

The overall effect can be devastating mentally, emotionally and psychologically.

The skin has a high risk of developing abnormal pigmentation like exogenous ochronosis.
Chemical structure monobenzone chemical structure hydroquinone chemical structure

What monobenzone does to normal skin

  • Initially, white patches, white spots and streaks all over the body (regardless of where the cream is applied)

Unlike skin lightening creams which only lighten the areas it is applied to, monobenzone applied anywhere on the body will lead to white patches at different areas. For example, if you applied monobenzone on your face, you could develop permanent white patches and streaks on your arms, legs and torso as well.

  • After one year….white skin, with ruddy or pinkish tones

Because monobenzone creams kill the skin’s melanocytes, you can expect completely white and pinkish skin following depigmentation. This usually occurs after approximately one year of monobenzone use. The skin color will be similar to a person with albinism. Physical activity and exercise will lead to ruddy-looking skin and flushing as the blood beneath the skin’s surface will show up clearly without any pigment to tint its appearance.

  • Within one to two years, the skin may start to repigment itself

While this repigmentation may happen to vitiligo sufferers as well, it occurs sooner and more aggressively in people with normal skin. This is because vitiligo sufferer’s immune systems are constantly attacking their own pigment cells. There is no such action in people with normal skin. With a fully-functioning immune system, melanocytes will become active again. Spots and patches of pigmentation will start to appear over previously white skin, leading to a patchy appearance.

Unlike the initial stage of using monobenzone, applying monobenzone to bleach these repigmented spots will likely have no effect. This is because the newly re-emerged melanocytes have become resistant to monobenzone, even in even higher concentrations like 40% monobenzone. In other words, at this late stage, monobenzone will stop working on the skin.

  • If the skin does not repigment, expect a lifetime of zero sun protection

Because melanin offers sun protection, completely depigmented skin which has no melanin offers zero sun protection. Vitiligo sufferers who have successfully depigmented wear hats, long sleeves and long pants outdoors all the time to protect themselves from sun damage. Even on cloudy days, sunscreens with broad coverage are a must.

The consequences of monobenzone use on people with normal skin

Often, someone without vitiligo who uses monobenzone in sufficiently high percentages (eg 20% monobenzone) and over a long period of time will have to be treated by a doctor as a new ‘vitiligo’ patient as there exists no way yet to reverse the damage caused by monobezone.



Additional Information on Monobenzone

Monobenzone goes by several other chemical names.

  1. Benzoquin
  2. Benzyl hydroquinone
  3. Hydroquinone benzyl ether/Hydroquinone monobenzyl ether
  4. Monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone/Monobenzyl hydroquinone
  5. Benzyl p-hydroxyphenyl ether
  6. p-Hydroxyphenyl benzyl ether

Monobenzone is distributed and sold under these brand names (this is not an inclusive list).

  1. Benoquin (the most popular)
  2. Leucodinine
  3. Alba-Dome
  4. Superlite
  5. Carmifal
  6. Depigman
  7. Novo-Depigman
  8. Dermochinona
  9. Monobenzon
  10. Pigmex
  11. AgeRite Alba
  12. Agerite

49 thoughts on “Skin bleaching with monobenzone”

  1. I used monobenzone for 2 1/2 yrs and i did’nt g et patches not that much litening either and it was real monobenzone. so to me it was a waste of time and money.

  2. I used monobenzone and I got darker. In some people the body will do the opposite and product more pigmentation. Now I have dark brown patches.

  3. I Have Vitiligo.I Have 49 years Old. I Use Of Menobenzen %20 ,10 years Ago.My Face And My Hand And Some Of Leg Had White.I Am Iranian. I Am Very Depress,Beacuse when I Go Anywhere In The Sun All off Pepole That See My ,Think I Am Bad Irani Person.Beacuse I weare gloves And Hat.Anywhere I Have A Quesion,That If Is Monenzen Injection And How I Can Preapre It Beacuse I Live InThe Iran .I tired To Use Of Monobenzen Cream.I Am sorry Because My english Is Bad.

    1. Hi Nisa, I’m very sorry for this late reply. I just want to say that your comment really touched me. I wish there was some way I could help you. To answer your question, I’ve not heard of monobenzone being administered by injection before. There is probably a good reason for that (monobenzone can be poisonous).

    2. Hello sister my name is Halima, I am 47 and I also have Vitiligo. I do not use any chemicals, l use a Camouflage creme to cover the areas affected by vitiligo. If u want I can tell you where to get it.

      1. Hello Halima,
        I also suffering from vitiligo. would be appreciated, if you could provided the info where to available Camouflage creme. We are staying in Dabai, United Arabai Emirates. Please let us know this madicine available in Dubai?
        Awaiting for your reply

  4. We are manufacuturing Monobenzone Cream. If you unable to afford Monobenzone Cream. Then you can contact for free monobenzone cream Treatment, Only for Vitiligo Patient.

    Thanks
    Fairnglow.com

      1. CORRECT !!! Fairnglow are SCAMMERS !!!! They are just behind your money !!!!
        Their ”MONO” is FAKE as well (FULL OF STEROIDS / MERCURY) !!!!
        Purity test was done with Mercury in it, BUT NO trace of Mono was found !!!

  5. B*******! I’ve used Monobenzone 3 % on normal skin and i luv the results NOTHInG HAS HAPPENED! DONT BELEIVE NEGATIVE ARTICLES..their just hatars! I have a few shades lighter with an even tone.

    1. Hi mate… its wonderful to know you have got good results with monobenzone.

      Can I ask you where did you purchase your mono from and how much does it cost ?

      1. This is highly inappropriate and shameful.

        My article is clearly about the dangers of monobenzone use. I am all for a well-balanced discussion and hearing two sides of a story, but when it comes to monobenzone, the risks FAR outweigh what slim possibility of reward there is.

        I will say this —- no one can and will ever stop anyone else from using monobenzone if that is what they want. You always have freedom of choice. My article cannot stop you or anyone else from using monobenzone, it can only MAKE YOU THINK (but only if you want it to. Again your freedom of choice is always there). If you have had good results with monobenzone, then that is great. I am truly happy that it did not damage your skin and that you are well.

        However, there are MANY other sites and forums for this sort of discussion. Please, please take it elsewhere.

    2. oh my God thank you cause i have vitiligo , and i was worried about using it , and do i need a doctor to get it i see i can buy it off line but i was scared of what would happen to me,

  6. Fairnglow.com is best for Monobenzone cream as well as Hydroquinone Cream
    I have used monobenzone cream from all companies, but no result, Only Fairnglow Monobenzone cream is working. And my Doctor also confirmed that its Real Monobenzone cream.
    They are providing free sample to Doctors and Vitiligo patient.
    My Friend has vitiligo and fairnglow is giving free sample to her for treatment.

    1. YOU ARE THE Fairnglow SELLER !!! Stop these big lies !!!
      Fairnglow is NOT selling Mono !!!
      Purity test was done and the outcome is MERCURY and other steroids, NO trace of Mono. was found. Please sell this crap somewhere else !!!!

  7. I have used monobenzone for some years so what should I do now that you have enlighten me to keep my results or what other options do I have Help I had normal skin Thanks for the article

    1. Hi, if you’re having serious problems the best option would be to consult with a doctor or a dermatologist with experience in treating vitiligo patients. They would be more familiar with long-term monobenzone use and what your options might be.

  8. Hi Hessa

    I appreciate all the info you put together (What a great article!) But please dont be single minded by asking people to stop posting about their good results. There are always benefits and drawbacks so why not allow you readers to have access to both sides of the story instead of asking people to “take it elsewhere”? … Just a thought.

    1. I appreciate your comment.

      My answer is that if you do a simple Google search, you’ll find many, many forums and posts where “people are already writing about their good results”. Many posts and forums are extremely flattering to monobenzone use, without talking about the downside or risks involved. Often, when a poster refutes their claim or talks about their bad results, they will be attacked.

      This article is but one counterbalance for the multitude of those. No one is lacking for information in this day and age. The web is free. Those forums are free. What’s severely lacking is a balance.

      I’ve also stated my case and reasoning clearly in my Jan 10, 2011 reply. My article is about the dangers of monobenzone use. Why anyone would want to turn the comments section into a forum debating this or to buy/sell monobenzone is beyond me.

      Or perhaps it reveals just how desperate the monobenzone sellers/buyers are. This article — heavy on facts — poses a threat to them.

      p.s: Maybe I was a little harsh in saying ‘take it elsewhere’, so I thank you for giving me the chance to clarify my position.

  9. My friend w/vitiligo has recently come across the idea of using monobenzone and I was just helping him do some research and became fascinated w/the product and decided I’d try it out for myself b/c I have some disfiguring scars from acne and injury and a lot of areas of uneven pigmentation all over my body that darkened severely over the years and I thought low dosages of monobenzone would give me the more even and lighter skin tone that I desired/was born with permanently (an injury to my leg early in my youth, left me a flat, dark scar that makes me uneasy at the thought of wearing shorts. My gradual skin darkening has left me w/freckle-like patches of discoloration on both my arms, shoulders, back and a few large ones on my face that appeared after pimples and I now hide w/a beard). In our research, we’ve only found sites that discourage the use of monobenzone in people w/out vitiligo but they never went into detail why not and I’m glad that I stumbled onto this. To let you know what we’ve come up w/ so far, some sites have monobenzone available in very low dosages for up to a couple months of use (1500mg/day for about 2 months for 2-3 shades of lightening) and monobenzone is now available in pill form. I had considered using other products for my skin problems but they just don’t cut it for me. Trust me, I tried the scar removal gels. They don’t work. I also do not want to spend the rest of my life paying for monthly shipments of a product that I have to use every day at the constant risk of having my skin goes back to the way it currently is or even darker. I need a permanent solution and monobenzone seems like it. I do not plan to end up the same complexion as Michael Jackson but I just want my skin a few shades lighter and more even. I am glad to be better informed by your article but I still feel the temptation of monobenzone. If you do not recommend it, I would like to know of any useful alternatives you might have for me that are permanent in lightening and evening my skin. At this point, I am not comfortable knowing that my skin is not at its worst yet as it will gradually get darker and more uneven and my injuries are permanent. You’ve informed but can you help?

      1. I tried vitamin C injection with glutathioe from that Roche company, din work at all, spent bout 600 and not even one shade lighter. Maybe different people have different effects I’m not sure, but for me it was a complete waste of money. I tried this cream from the doctor, worked like a miracle. I was lighter in just 3 weeks….a lot lighter. They don’t disclose the contents but its from this brand called clinicare I think. The sad part is, I wanted smth for my legs, and got myself several bottles….turns out it only worked for the face and neck….and no where else….so I’m still searching but i will never ever try vit c or glutathione again.

  10. hi Hessa

    can low doses of monobenzone be safe to use at all? or is it all unsafe no matter the doses. I actually didn’t really intend on using monobenzone but happened to come across this site I would like to lighten my skin but was thinking of getting lightening injections done professionally, do you have any ideas where or what clinics do this in London?

    Thanks so much for your help x

    1. Hi kay, our bodies are resilient. I believe recovery is possible if someone is exposed to monobenzone over a short period of time and in low concentrations (low enough that no irreversible depigmentation occurs).

      About “monobenzone injections”… as far as I know, monobenzone is a toxic chemical so I can’t imagine anyone wanting to inject it directly into their bloodstream. Ask your doctor about this, I’m sure he’ll set you straight.

      He might look at you funny, but at least you know he’s on your side and has correct medical information.

      I don’t need to tell you that anything injected directly into the bloodstream will go to all the major organs. Forget about your skin for a moment and think about this — what will monobenzone do your brain, your heart, your kidneys and liver? Your eyes? What are you willing to risk?

      My advice is simple (though you may not like it!). Don’t depend on monobenzone sellers to educate you, no matter what they say. As always, your best ally is your own good judgement. Trust it. In the end, we are all responsible for ourselves.

      A few more good questions to ponder:

      - Do monobenzone sellers care abt your health or anyone else’s?

      - What incentive do they have to care?

      - If “monobenzone injections” have damaged your eyes/kidneys/skin and altered your life permanently, will monobenzone sellers lie awake at night worrying abt you? Who would bear the consequences?

      1. is it ok to take glutathione caslupe even i have vitiligo?my vitiligo never grows anymore, they are stable in shape and never become bigger anymore. i have three stable shaped white spots on my body due to vitiligo, i think it became better already because they are only stable in shape. so,i started taking glutathione because i like to have a glowing skin. is it ok?

        1. Hi Aline, glutathione doesn’t cause vitiligo and it’s produced by the body naturally when we have a healthy diet. So as long as you trust your source, it should be fine.

  11. I have virtilligo and my doctor prescribed virtillix gel to help put back pigmentation in my skin. Now I have dark patches en white patches on my skin. I need good advise because i was considering using lightening treatments to even out my skin tone. It is depressing because I am beauty therapist and I have to advise my clients all the time with their skin. I really need a good treatment to get my skin back to normal.I am in South Africa and it can be very hot.

  12. hello,i have vitiligo for 5 year,i use everythink but nothink.and now i whant to use this monobenzone cream,because i sufer very much,my hasbend is very bad man and i sufer very much from him.my life is not good,i whant to bring back my smile in my life.please help me to use this monobenzone cream and to cure my vitiligo.when i use this monobenzone cream,is the dangerous for my body
    .i wish all the best .

  13. iam suffering from vitiligo from 10 years. it was started small patch on leg side.

    gradually it effected body& hands.not compleate body about 30-40%.affected.

    i decided treatement for nb uv theropy.for the effect its covers ears.

    mouth.but legs&hands not compleatly covered.so iwill go for this bromo benzene treatement.

    please suggest.

    with regards.

    bhagappanashi.

  14. I have been using Monobenzo for a long time; only that I never know it’s monobenzo until recently (which is a long story). I have patchy skin all over my arms and my neck, just as the post described. I’m so scared. And I really need to know if there’s any treatment to it. I saw that “Often, someone without vitiligo who uses monobenzone in sufficiently high percentages (eg 20% monobenzone) and over a long period of time will have to be treated by a doctor as a new ‘vitiligo’ patient as there exists no way yet to reverse the damage caused by monobezone” and got terrified. I’m so scared and devastated.

  15. i m in a dame s*** confusion. Plz help me gt ot of this..m usng hydroquinone2%..bt its nt helpful.it taks long time dipigmnting. . And soon repigmentation starts..just i wana look light. . .what should i prefer to i alred lost my self confidenc.:(

  16. please where can i find genuine monobenzone in south africa, preferably the Mac Remedies brand.i live in jsouth africa johannesburg.tanx.

  17. Does anyone know of a dermatologist in Johannesburg, SA who can assist in recommending monobenzone to lighten the skin around my vitiligo spots? I have tried everything to repigment and my only option now is to lessen the contrast between these caramel coloured spots and my own dark skin. Please help!!

  18. Hello. My question is really important to
    Me ,i am suffering vitiligo 5 years now it was small patches but eventually started to grow I dont feel comfortable because I am a makeup artist and my clients wonder what is happening to my skin really embarrassing I have vitiligo
    Mainly on my limbs and those are the
    Most exposed parts so my question is if i want to be treated my monobenzone how long it would take me to get my skin all white (notice that I have range from 10% to 20% of my body affected by vitiligo) but i dont want to be recommended to other treatments because I barely have any progress treating the limbs by Narrow band or anything else so im thinking of depigmenting my skin,any help?

    1. Hi Logina, sorry to hear about your struggles. Hopefully, someone with experience in using monobenzone for vitiligo will chime in. In the meantime, have you tried one of the vitiligo support forums? You might get better and more informed responses there. Take care.

  19. I haven’t found low dosages of monobenzone .only 20% and I was told you can mix the monobenzone with an oil to avoid the streaks .

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