Reverse Skin Lightening Treatment
1.7 fl. oz. for $77
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners With Hydroquinone
Last Updated:12.17.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Reverse Skin Lightening Treatment contains 2% hydroquinone as its active ingredient, so it can have a positive effect on pigment discolorations. Included in this product’s lightly creamy base are emollients, film-forming agent, silicone, antioxidants, retinol, and lactic acid (as a water-binding agent, not an exfoliant). This is suitable for someone with normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin. Interestingly, Rodan and Field’s ProActiv brand offers a Skin Lightening Lotion retailing at $21.75 for 1 ounce on QVC. It is a remarkably similar product that does double duty because it also contains a good amount of glycolic acid (the retinol is absent). Still, that doesn’t explain the blatant price discrepancy for essentially the same product—we guess they thought most people wouldn’t notice.


Maximizes treatment with hydroquinone in a lightweight, fast absorbing lotion. Revitalizes skin tone and texture, reduces the appearance of dark marks, restores radiance, hydrates in a non-comedogenic formula.


Active: Hydroquinone (2%), Other: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethoxydiglycol, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Diethylhexyl Sebacate, Polyacrylamide, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinol, Glyceryl Stearate, Lactic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance, Laureth-7, Sodium Metabisulfite, Disodium EDTA, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Yellow 5, Yellow 6

Brand Overview

Rodan + Fields At-A-Glance

Strengths: Two fantastic skin-lightening products with hydroquinone; a well-packaged retinol product; every sunscreen provides sufficient UVA protection; some fragrance-free options.

Weaknesses: Expensive; jar packaging hinders effectiveness of several otherwise impressive products; sunscreens should contain more bells and whistles for the money; eyebrow-raising amount of products with irritating ingredients.

Many of you are probably familiar with physicians Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields from their appearances on infomercials about their successful ProActiv line of anti-acne skin-care products. The Rodan + Fields supposedly therapeutic approaches are advertised for those suffering from a variety of skin conditions, and are claimed to work for anti-aging, skin discolorations, sensitive skin, and acne.

Lots of consumers believe that dermatologist-developed products will be the answer for their skin-care woes; but, in two words, they aren't. After reviewing dozens of so-called doctor-designed product lines, including this one, we can tell you there are no miracles to be found, and often there are some problematic products to steer clear of. Overall, many of these lines are quite comparable to other product lines without the physician headliner credentials and exorbitant prices. (Shockingly, Rodan + Fields' acne products are virtually identical to their ProActiv products, except that these cost more. We assume they thought no one would notice; perhaps they are right.)

Many consumers want simplicity when it comes to making decisions about what skin-care products they should use. The Rodan + Fields marketing strategy is to make it simple. They eliminate the confusion about what products work together by creating streamlined, prepackaged product groups, each aimed at specific skin-care concerns. Each product group is enclosed in a clever, take-along parcel that is the skin-care equivalent of a sack lunch. (Products are also available separately for those who want to customize their routine or add products outside the predetermined routines.) This structured approach has merit, but, as you will see from the reviews below, each routine has at least one questionable or lackluster formulation, or a problem with packaging. Considering that these are really pricey products, this is not good news.

Rodan + Fields does deserve kudos for being one of the few cosmetics companies to list the ingredients for each product on their Web site. It’s a major help for beleaguered, savvy consumers who care about this detail. Still, it would have been better all around if they offered more thoughtful, less problematic formulas.

For more information about Rodan + Fields, call (888) 995-5656 or visit www.rodanandfields.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:
Reverse vs Proactiv

Hmmm, I don't know how the retinol can be ignored! That is crazy coming from any 'skin' expert! The Rodan & Fields Reverse is more expensive, it lasts longer than 2 months! So do the math, cost is same or less even depending on use. It has transformed my skin completely!!! I thought I would have to deal with dark spots/sun damage/dullness/wrinkles at 35, then used Reverse & my skin is the best it has been in 15yrs! Fact! If I could post my before & after pictures here I would.

Reviewed by
Fé Anna O
The BEST I've found.....It works!

I've worked behind the cosmetic counters in moderate and high end stores for almost 20 years. Needless to say, I've tried a lot of brands. As I aged and being fair skinned, I developed sun spots from sun exposure that I'd had when I was a teenager or young adult. I tried Rodan & Fields REVERSE regimen two years ago to reduce my sun spots. OMG, I got SO many compliments on my skin, even though I thought my skin was OK before. It evened out the tone of my skin, it was brightened. It's the BEST!

Reviewed by
REVERSE Helping Melasma

REVERSE is the only thing that has helped to significantly reduce the Melasma I developed at the end of and after my pregnancy. The point about ProActiv having similar product for less money - well, the Proactiv product is meant to last as a 30-day supply (1 oz) and the Rodan and Fields product is meant as a 60 day supply (1.7 oz) therefore they essentially end up being the same price, but just paying out more for Rodan and Fields vs. more often for ProActiv. I used both, prefer RF.

Reviewed by
Don't waste your money

I used the entire Reverse line for over 6 months and saw no results at all. Total waste of money.

Reviewed by
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.389 4/26/2015 4:46:37 AM