‘Tis the season to be bright! Before you hit the beauty store, let’s get to know how the skin’s pigmentation works, so you can buy the right products worth spending on. Better safe than sorry!
HOW PIGMENTATION WORKS
Melanocytes are melanin-producing neural crest-derived cells located in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis. In short, melanocytes are melanin factory. In order to produce melanin, melanocytes need enzymes. Tyrosinase is an enzyme required for melanocytes to produce melanin, or you can think of it as the production line of the factory, and melanin is the product. Once produced, melanin is transferred to neighbouring keratinocytes at the top layer, or basically the skin’s window display.
WHAT CAUSES DARK SPOTS
AND UNEVEN COLOUR?
Melanin production is a natural process. When the skin’s balance is off, the body produces more melanin to protect itself. This process is programmed in all of us. Fundamental causes of dark spots and uneven colour is sunlight. When your skin is exposed to the sun too much without sunscreen, UV rays stimulate the production of tyrosinase, which in turn produces more melanin. When we’re out in the sun, UV rays are not evenly exposed on our skin, and therefore darkening occurs in patches.
Other causes include hormone imbalance, which is common during pregnancy, medicine, and reaction to make-up. Genetics can also cause irregular melanin production.
BRING BACK BRIGHTNESS
The reason we have to understand how skin pigmentation is in order for us to protect the skin. Every process is important, so if you want bright and beautiful skin, you have to take care of every step, from how much is produced and transferred to the top layer to how fast the skin cells turn over.
Think of dark spots and dull skin as unsold items, left to rot in the store. To deal with this, first the production line must slow down the production, meaning to control tyrosinase. Second, the transfer of product to the shelf must also be stopped, meaning you should stop the pigmentation from reaching the top layer, or in this case the window display. Last but not least, you must ensure the old products are sold. Come up with promotions to get them out of your way. This means getting rid of keratinocytes on the skin.
WHAT BRIGHTENING PRODUCTS TO BUY
From the information above, you can make the skin brighter again by using products that slow down the pigmentation process in the three steps:
1. Products that slow down tyrosinase, such as arbutin, mulberry extract, kojic acid, vitamin C and vitamin C derivatives.
2. Products that slow down the transfer of pigment, such as soy and niacinamide.
3. Products that stimulate skin cell turnover, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid and retinoid. These products are not suitable for sensitive skin.
Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer (50ml). Brightens the skin with extracts from seaweed, licorice, molasses, and gyokuro, which is one of Japan’s most precious green tea.
Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (50ml 3,020 Baht / 100ml 4,335 Baht). Contains ascorbyl glucoside which can inhibit the activity of tyrosinase.
Phyto-Blanc Intensive Lightening Serum (30ml 8,920 Baht). Contains three powerful ingredients known for slowing down the activity of tyrosinase: Ascorbyl Glucoside, White Mulberry Extract and Lemon.
*Prices are subject to change without prior notice.