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Melasma: Inhibit Melanogenesis

How to Treat

In an attempt to discourage melanin, we recommend using melanogenesis inhibitors in daily care products and professional treatments. This family of ingredients helps stop the chain reaction that results in melanin deposition. Melanogenesis inhibitors are especially important for those who are genetically predisposed to hyperpigmentation.

It is wise for these patients to use a product daily that contains gentle melanogenesis inhibitors to stave off any future discoloration, even after success has been achieved with their treatment. Some common and effective melanogenesis-inhibiting ingredients include:

  • Hydroquinone is synthetically produced or naturally found in wheat, berries, coffee, and tea. It inhibits the binding of copper to tyrosinase and induces melanocyte-specific cytotoxicity.
  • Arbutin is naturally found in wheat, pears, bearberries, blueberries, and cranberries. It suppresses the activity of tyrosinase and inhibits melanosome maturation.
  • Kojic acid is naturally found in soy, mushrooms, and rice bran. It chelates copper bound to tyrosinase and decreases the number of melanosomes and dendrites.
  • Retinoids are synthetically produced. They suppress the activity of tyrosinase, decrease the amount of melanosomes and inhibit melanosome transfer.
  • L-ascorbic acid is naturally found in many botanical sources, such as citrus fruit and corn. It converts DOPAquinone back to L-DOPA, preventing melanin formation.
  • Lactic acid is naturally found in milk and sugars, and suppresses the formation of tyrosinase.
  • Azelaic acid is naturally found in many grain products and castor beans. It provides anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects on melanocytes, but not the surrounding healthy cells, and inhibits tyrosinase activity.
  • Glycyrrhiza glabra root extract (licorice root) suppresses the tyrosinase activity of melanocytes without cytotoxicty.
  • Morus alba root extract (mulberry root or white mulberry tree) inhibits tyrosinase activity, particularly the conversion of tyrosinase to L-DOPA.
  • Rumex extract is naturally found in various herbs. It inhibits the activity of tyrosinase with no irritation.
  • Phenylethyl resorcinol is synthetically produced. It inhibits the conversion of tyrosinase to L-DOPA.
  • Resveratrol is synthetically produced. It prevents the synthesis of the melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) and, as a result, the formation of tyrosinase, melanin and melanosome transfer.
  • Phytic acid is found naturally in various types of grains, bran and seeds. It inhibits the activity of tyrosinase while also inducing the exfoliation of superficial melanin-filled skin cells.
  • Niacinamide reduces redness, yellowing of the skin due to glycation and melanosome transfer.
  • Hexylresorcinol helps promote an even skin tone and reduce the inflammation that can lead to discoloration.
  • Hydroxyphenoxy Propionic Acid inhibits the release of melanin by melanocytes and provides a photoprotective effect.