Skin brightening has become a more targeted subject in the field of dermatology. Both estheticians and their clients have been searching for ways to reduce melanin production in the skin. Some of the most common conditions of hyper pigmentation are age spots, melasma, freckles and acne scars. Now that we know more about skin pigmentation and how the skin makes melanin, we can more effectively utilize certain ingredients. Much of the research in the field focuses on tyrosinase, an enzyme that spurs melanin production from tyrosine through oxidation. In the pathway, tyrosinase is produced by the melanocyte (the skin cell responsible for pigmentation) and is responsible for several reactions. You can limit melanin by limiting tyrosinase anywhere along its pathway.
There are some brightening agents that I am very excited about! There are marine active ingredients, that work on signaling proteins in the skin for melanin production and DNA repair. Although algae has been used for many years in skin brightening formulations, its being brought to a peptide level to help more with melanin inhibition. The use of botanical extract ingredients is a method I strongly suggest. They are gentler to the skin and our body automatically knows how to process them. One argument about botanical ingredients is whether they are as effective as their chemical counterparts. Traditionally, treating hyper pigmentation chemically has been done by bleaching the skin with either hydroquinone or kojic acid. While these ingredients are fast acting and effective, if you were to stop using the product at any point in time, it could actually make hyper pigmentation worse. This is because they can be cytotoxic to melanocytes in large amounts. Because of this, skin may respond to these chemicals negatively, resulting in production of more melanin. One of the best benefits of using plant extract and peptide-based products is that there’s little to no chance of doing serious harm to the skin.
I always recommend doing your research and finding a company that uses high quality botanicals and is well-versed on how to handle them during formulation. The effectiveness of these products depend on the knowledge of the developer, especially when it comes to which part of the plant to use. For the best results in treating hyper pigmentation, look for products that work at multiple points during the production of melanin. Since there are so many ways to treat hyper pigmentation, it is better to utilize different methods so that they can work cooperatively for an overall better effect. Keep your skin fresh and glo-ing!