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Skin whitening

Have you ever wondered why early childhood photos of many top celebrities show a much darker skin color then they have now? Have you also longed for a much whiter complexion? Then you should go for skin whitening treatments. Mainly the skin whitening ingredients works in two ways to give you a whiter skin: 1. By absorbing the UV rays, thus preventing the sun

from darkening your skin. 2. By reducing the production of melanin, the skin pigment found in your skin which is responsible for skin darkening.

Most skin whiteners currently on the market contain ingredients (hydroquinone, ascorbic acid, kojic acid, arbutin, azealic acid, glycyrrhetinic acid (licorice extract)) that act as direct inhibitors of tyrosinase, the enzyme in the skin pigment cells (melanocytes) that make melanin.

Arbutin is a new type of skin de-pigmentation and whitening agents, an extract of Bearberry plant which produced by a solid /liquid extraction, an environmentally friendly process. Arbutin protect the skin against damage caused by free radicals, Arbutin is a skin whitening agent which is very popular in Japan and Asian countries for skin de-pigmentation, Arbutin inhibits the formation of melanin pigment by inhibiting Tyrosinase activity. It may be used to repress the virulence of bacterial pathogens and to prevent contaminating bacteria, it is also used for treating allergic inflammation of the skin . More recently, Arbutin has been used to prevent pigmentation and to whiten the skin beautifully. It can be used to whiten the skin, to prevent liver spots and freckles, to treat sunburn marks and to regulate melanogenesis.

Arbutin is very safe skin agent for external use which does not have toxicity, stimulation, unpleasant odor or side effect such as Hydroqinone.The encapsulation of Arbutin constitute a delivery system to potentialize the effect in time. It is a way to incorporate the hydrophilic Arbutin in lipophilic media. Arbutin give three main properties; Whitening effects, anti- age effect and UVB/ UVC filter .

There is an increasing awareness that vitamin C has a wide variety of role in human health. New therapeutic uses are being investigated daily, among recent discoveries is that Vitamin C can play important role in the health and beauty of your skin. Vitamin C as ascorbyl form has been tested extensively and reported in journal of American Academy of Dermatology to inhibit the production of the melanin (Melanin is the pigment which give the skin it's dark color), when Vitamin C inhibit the production of the melanin, a lighter and brighter skin will reveal in just few weeks.

Vitamin C does more than that also, vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis, which declines markedly in aging skin. As we grow older, we suffer diminished micro capillary circulation within our skin, which deprives our skin cells of the supply of vitamin C it needs for youthful collagen synthesis. The topical application of vitamin C in a skin-penetrating medium can dramatically enhance the availability of vitamin C for collagen production.

Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E in the skin. An antioxidant like vitamin E can only suppress a limited number of free radicals before it runs out of electrons to donate. Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E and enables vitamin E to provide sustained antioxidant protection in the skin's elastin fibers.

Vitamin C plays a vital role in skin repair. When your skin is injured, its Vitamin C content is used up rapidly in the scavenging of free radicals, and in synthesizing collagen to speed healing.

Glycyrrhetinic acid, isolated from Glycyrrihiza glabra (licorice) is widely used in cosmetic industry. Licorice inhibit tyrosinase activity of melanocytes without any cytotoxicity, it also showed that UV-B–induced pigmentation and erythema can be inhibited by topical application of 0.5% Licorice The anti-inflammatory properties of Licorice were attributed to inhibition of superoxide anion production and cyclooxygenase activity.

As a fungal metabolic product, kojic acid inhibits the catecholase activity of tyrosinase, which is the rate-limiting, essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of the skin pigment melanin. Kojic acid also is consumed widely in the Japanese diet with the belief that it is of benefit to health. Indeed, it has been shown to significantly enhance neutrophil phagocytosis and lymphocyte proliferation stimulated by phytohemagglutinin. Melanocytes treated with kojic acid become nondendritic with a decreased melanin content. Additionally, it scavenges reactive oxygen species that are excessively released from cells or generated in tissue or blood.

This tyrosinase inhibitor was isolated from a plant herbal extract. The plant roots from which paper mulberry was isolated were collected in Korea. The tyrosinase inhibition of paper mulberry was compared to kojic acid and HQ. The IC50, the concentration causing 50% inhibition of the activity of tyrosinase, was reported to be 0.396% compared to 5.5% for hydroquinone and 10.0% for kojic acid.

Melanostat is a peptide obtained by amino acid synthesis with a technique of Merryfield. It demonstrate an outstanding anti MSH activity experimentally investigated for skin lightening. The target of Melanostat the membrane receptor of alpha-MSH on the melanocytes, the B- MICR receptor , its mode of action is a competitive inhibition of alpha-MSH, membrane receptors are blocked in a natural way. The anti-MSH is a molecule naturally present in the skin. It belong to the system of regulation of the pigmentation. Melanostat counterbalances the formation of melanin and especially the synthesis of tyrosinase, key enzyme involved in the process of pigmentation. In the skin, alpha-MSH plays an essential role in the stimulation of the synthesis of melanin. This process is under the control of an anti—MSH, also naturally present in the skin.

Recently, researches performed on alpha- MSH enabled a detailed study of the structure and function of this molecule, so as the exact determination of its receptor. This receptor is B receptor, its scientific determination is MICR receptor. The study of these molecules enabled researchers to synthesize peptides with a similar (MSH-like), or antagonist (anti-MSH) activity. The structure of Melanostat antagonist peptide of the alpha-MSH, is relatively similar to the structure of alpa-MSH. Because of this similarity, Melanostat acts while competing the receptors of alpha-MSH on the melanocytes. The action of Melanostat occurs before the action of the well-known inhibitors. Which acts on the intracellular enzyme system. Melanostat does not penetrate the cell because its competitive activity initiates on membrane receptors. Its action enables a natural and reversible blockage of the membrane receptors, without disturbing the physiological functioning of the cutaneous cells. Thus, Melanostat counteracts the formation of melanin and notably the synthesis of tyrosinase, key enzyme of the pigmentation process of the skin. The anti-MSH molecule naturally exist in the organism, and is involved in a system that regulates melanogenesis. It is activated in season changes. When sunshine is high, the amount of alpha MSH exceed the amount of anti-MSH. The receptors for alpha-MSH multiply at the surface of the cells. The results is an increase of the synthesis of the melanin and the rise of the pigmentation of the skin. When the sunshine is low, anti-MSH exceed alpha-MSH. The receptors at the surface of the melanocytes decrease. The synthesis of melanin is not stimulated anymore, pigmentation of the skin decreases. Thus, alpha-MSH and anti-MSH play the role of accelerator or brake for the synthesis of melanin. Depending on the predominance of anti-MSH or alpha-MSH, the color of the skin evolves in a away or another.

The incorporation of Melanostat in skin lightening creams will place the skin in a physiological dominant anti-MSH situation. Its action is based on the reinforcement of the natural ability of the skin to counteract the activity of alpha-MSH. Melanostat has been investigated in vivo against alpha MSH: the darkening of the skin induced by alpha-MSH is assessed and expressed in percentage of change by comparison with the normal situation.

Retinol is the most important natural form of vitamin A. Vitamin A is the first vitamin to be used topically for the treatment of damaged human skin. Today, the term vitamin A is applied to retinol (Vitamin A alcohol), retinal (Vitamin A aldehyde) and tretinoin (Vitamin A acid). Vitamin A stimulates mitotic activity and the production of collagen - the stuff skin is made of. It is now known that the clinical effect obtained with high doses of vitamin A is necessary for normal differentiate and maintenance of epithelial tissues. Especially, retinol is held out as the new great hope for reduction of photo aging skin. Retinol or Vitamin A helps to renew and exfoliate the skin, giving a new lighter, beautiful skin.

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Recommended skin care products

ClearSkin Skin Wash
Natural skin wash with herbal ingredients for skin health and nourishment. A 100% natural, safe and proven herbal wash that cleanses skin thoroughly without drying or flaking.

Age-defense Active Day Cream
Age-defense active day cream contains ingredients specially chosen for their ability to reverse the visible signs of aging skin. Your skin will become softer, smoother and younger-looking!

Deep Active Cleansing Mask
Deep active cleansing mask is specially formulated for all skin types and gives your skin an extra deep cleansing treatment to remove toxins. Your skin will feel fresh and glowing.

Featured skin topics

Spider veins
Varicose veins
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Age spots
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Dry skin care
Oily skin care
Skin whitening
Asian skin care
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Organic skin care
Skin resurfacing
Face Lift
Skin care tips
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Natural skin care

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005