Sunday, May 13

Look for These Naturally Effective Skin Whitening and Anti-Aging Ingredients in Beauty Products

So I was surfing through the web the other day and found a snippet about cosmetics and skin whitening products. The short article mentioned the widespread use all over Europe during the Renaissance era of whitening make-up (Venetian Ceruse) that contained lead. In fact, Queen Elizabeth the First of England was the most famous consumer of lead-based cosmetics that kept her skin look pale, which was commonly perceived as a symbol of wealth, privilege, and youthful vigor during that time. Sadly, centuries passed before the people realized during the 17th century that it was lead that caused the increased incidence of psychological and nerve-related diseases among the middle-class nouveau-riche and the members of the nobility.

super skin lightener bearberry arbutin
Super Skin Lightener with Bearberry Extract (Arbutin) : Photo credit: Superskinlightener

Naturally, there was a mad scramble for alternative ingredients that whiten, cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize the skin without putting the consumer's health at risk. Thus, the manufacturers begun to look into indigenous ingredients that produce the same results. Despite the high costs of cultivating the raw materials and processing them to extract the vital ingredients, the companies producing make-up, body, and skin care products for the global market continued to do extensive research, which led to successful branding that focused more on the consumer's overall health.

And so, you should watch out for the following ingredients in anti-aging skin care products and major cosmetic brands. They're proven to be naturally effective and also safe to use. The first two ingredients, kojic acid and licorice extract, were best use in topical applications, such as body lotions, soaps, and facial creams. The rest of the ingredients were either part of a skin care product for external use or included in a health supplement's list of ingredients.

Kojic Acid

It was only twenty years ago that kojic acid was discovered by Japanese scientists as a healthy substitute to using pure hydroquinone to exfoliate the skin and expose a lighter layer of younger skin tissue. Because large amounts of kojic acid may cause irritant contact dermatitis, manufacturers often mixed a 2% concentration of kojic acid with 2% hydroquinone and 10% glycolic acid. The presence of glycolic acid, which is a form of corticosteroid, reduces skin irritation from the acidic content and decreases the overall effects of melanin on skin pigmentation. Most whitening soaps and body lotions that contain kojic acid also has a significant amount of glycerine to soothe and moisturize the skin.

Licorice Extract

A Brazilian study revealed that applying a skin whitening solution that contains 7% licorice extract effectively lightens up the skin without causing redness, swelling, or itchiness. However, this doesn't mean that the licorice has completely blocked the production of melanin in the body. Some of the melanin may escape and continue to be absorbed by the skin's uppermost layer of cells.

A skin whitening product with licorice extract delivers more effective results when it contains two other active ingredients. One ingredient exfoliates dead cells, blemishes, and embedded dirt and oil from the epidermis through a gentle scrub with ALA-rich micro beads or through a chemical peel that uses hydroquinone or kojic acid to burn off the skin's epidermal layer, which turns flaky when healed. The other ingredient must stop the melanin from penetrating the surface skin cells, such as the Clairju or "melanin diet" that's made from hydrolyzed prune and discovered by Japanese scientist Dr. Kiyotaka Tanaka.


Its name roughly translates from Latin into "control darkness" - mela means black and tonin means control. In general, our pineal gland releases the hormone melatonin in response to sunlight. Hence, it regulates the body's sleep-wake cycle. Yet, its skin lightening and anti-aging properties made it an essential ingredient in skin care products, such as whitening treatments and anti-aging serums.

Melatonin essentially functions as a protective layer on your skin similar to a sun block lotion with SPF 35. In fact, researchers at The University of Zurich have found that topically applied melatonin may help protect the skin from harmful UV rays if applied prior to sun exposure. In addition, this hormone also increases the amount of antioxidant enzymes in skin cells and retains more moisture that keeps your skin hydrated.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Alpha-lipoic acid is essentially an antioxidant that helps the human body synthesize glucose into energy, which the healthy cells need to perform vital functions. In effect, this antioxidant boosts the body's ability to generate new tissue and to repair damaged or sickly cells in the skin, internal organs, muscle tissue, and other body parts. ALA is also purported to inhibit the production of the hormone melanin that stimulates skin pigmentation.

Concentrated ALA may be added to whitening lotions, body scrubs, facial cleansers, and other skin care products because it's easily absorbed into skin. It's also organically found in broccoli, spinach, collard greens, or chard as well as in steaks or in animal organs, like the kidney, liver, and heart. Also, yeast has been known to provide a substantial amount of alpha-lipoic acid. Hence, foods with high amounts of yeast, such as bread and beer, also contain this powerful antioxidant.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Normally, the skin releases melanin, which stimulates pigment production as a defense layer against the sun's harmful rays. Darker skin won't likely burn from a long-term exposure to the sun. It also absorbs less UV particles that mostly cause skin cancer. However, individuals who want to a maintain healthy and fair complexion don't have to avoid the sun constantly.

As mentioned before, antioxidants help the body cells recover faster from free radical damage brought about by too much exposure to UV rays from the sun, environmental pollution, food additives, and the natural process of aging. Hence, the human body's maximum absorption of ascorbic acid, or commonly known as Vitamin C, at about 1500 mg daily definitely leads to positive health benefits on skin quality and systemic immunity. Soon, the patches of sun-burned skin all over your body heal completely and your skin color won't remain dark for long.

Beta-Arbutin (Bearberry Extract)

Generally, arbutin stops the naturally occurring enzyme, tyrosinase, from stimulating the production of melanin in the body. Most forms of arbutin are found in wheat and in large amounts in pear skins, but it can be also extracted from the leaves of cranberry, mulberry, bearberry, and blueberry plants. Aside from beta-arbutin, there are alpha-arbutin and deoxy-arbutin, which are the purer forms of this glucosylated hydroquinone. Beta-arbutin is commonly known as Bearberry Extract, which is a common active ingredient in skin whitening brands.
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1 comment:

  1. Thank's for your information. It's really nice and informative.


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