How hydrocortisone minimizes irritation

The anti-inflammatory ingredient that keeps your skin calm

Going after tomorrow’s skin goals doesn’t have to be difficult on your skin today. We create personalized formulas that you can easily adjust to—because who needs irritated skin? Here’s how hydrocortisone helps us do that.

What is hydrocortisone? Hydrocortisone is a topical corticosteroid that reduces swelling, itching, and redness. 1 Though it’s not typically associated with anti-aging skin goals, it can help your other skincare ingredients get to work without the distraction of irritation.

What does hydrocortisone do?

Hydrocortisone resembles the hormone cortisol, which relieves inflammation. 2 Your Agency dermatology provider may choose to include the ingredient in your initial Dark Spot Formula to help your skin adjust to your new routine. It can calm possible irritation you might experience, keeping your skin comfortable and on track to your goals.

Where can you get hydrocortisone?

Widely available over the counter, 1% hydrocortisone creams are commonly used to treat allergic rashes and other skin irritation. 3 Stronger formulations of the soothing anti-itch cream4 require a doctor’s prescription. 

Your Agency dermatology provider can include hydrocortisone in your Dark Spot Formula if appropriate for your unique skin and long-term goals.

What are the side effects of hydrocortisone?

Side effects from topical hydrocortisone are unusual when used as directed. However, thinning of the skin and dilated blood vessels can occur, so make sure to follow your provider's instructions or adhere to the directions on the box of an over-the-counter product.

Want to know more about your Dark Spot Formula? You know your skin—we’re here to help you know your skincare. Our team of dermatology experts has helped create guides to each of the hyperpigmentation-targeting ingredients in your Dark Spot Formula. 

Learn how hydroquinone, kojic acid, and azelaic acid help even out your skin tone.



1. Hydrocortisone Topical. MedlinePlus.

2. National Center for Biotechnology Information.  PubChem Compound Summary for CID 5754, Hydrocortisone. (2021).

3. American Academy of Dermatology.  Hydrocortisone Activity Is Dependant on Formulation and Excipients. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2007, February 1).

4. Kevin B. Yarborough, et al. The Effects of Treatment on Itch in Atopic Dermatitis. Dermatologic Therapy. (2013, April 3).