When we talk about aging, we are constantly being bombarded with scary stories of fine lines and wrinkles, bags under our eyes and sagging skin. But truth be told one of the first things to crash on our skin and begin to give away our advancing years is pigmentation or hyperpigmentation to be more accurate. Also known as age spots, freckles or melasma, they are those brown spots that begin showing up on our skin that we all prefer weren’t there. Little reminders of all of our recklessness in our youth, when we decided that a tan was more important than the damage we were doing to our skin.
Now as we hit our later 30s, 40s and 50s, we are desperately trying to search for a solution to this problem, we want to smooth out our uneven skin tones, reduce the redness as well as the spots and return our skin to a more youthful overall radiance.
As described by skincare expert, Dr Marc Ronert “As you age, photo damage from the sun and environmental toxins can create dark spots and uneven pigmentation on the skin, along with fine wrinkles and rough skin texture. Even skin tone is a universal sign of youth and beauty.”
Whilst there are a range of medical and surgical anti-aging treatments available, these do not come without their share of risk. Before going down this more expensive and invasive path, there are some very effective topical products that will aid in minimising uneven discoloured skin tone, the question is how do you wade through the zillion products and know which ones will give you the results you are looking for.
There are plenty of brighteners on the market but many fail to include truly effective ingredients or skimp on the concentration of the beneficial ingredients they do use. So when selecting brightening products to incorporate into your daily routine, keep an eye out for some of these next-generation lighteners and brighteners being used in skincare today. Here are the Top 10 to look out for:
Illumiscin™ is a blend of Vitamin C, Zinc PCA, and Oleropein, a form of olive leaf extract, it is a tyrosinase inhibitor and actively works to prevent and work against the development of Melanin and Lipofuscin, the creators of dark spots in the skin. This trio of potent active ingredients not only inhibits the production process of Melanin and Lipofuscin, but reduces past damage for visibly improved skin tone.
DermaPep™ , or Dipeptide 16 another effective tyronsinase inhibitor and whitening agent. Studies show it possesses far greater depigmenting effects than other known whitening agents such as arbutin as well as offering anti-inflammatory benefits.
Melaslow™ is extracted from a Japanese Mandarin Citris reticulata Blanco - Unshiu. , studies show it to be a significant inhibitor of melanogenesis and tyrosinase activity.
In a recent study, participants applied a cream containing 5% Melaslow™ twice daily to one hand for 6 weeks to test the effectiveness on age spots and brightening effects respectively. At the end of the hand cream study, there was a 28% decrease in colour intensity of age spots and participants noticed a 71% decrease in overall intensity of age spots.
Tyrostat (Rumex) – Plant derived botanical from the Field Dock, a native plant to Northern Canada. It is yet another tyrosinase inhibitor shown to have a higher activity than arbutin, turmeric and hydroquinone. It has been shown to reduce skin pigmentation, age spots and erythema
Sulphora White - is a liposomal preparation of Swiss garden cress sprouts rich in sulforaphane, a powerful whitening antioxidant phytonutrient. It effectively inhibits pigmentation by targeting the two upstream key reaction steps in the melanin cascade: it neutralizes reactive oxygen species and inhibits the binding of á-MSH, a natural hormone which stimulates skin pigmentation.
Bellis Perennis (Daisy Flower) is a specific species of European daisy native to western, central and northern Europe. It works by influencing different pathways involved in melanin formation, counteracting age spots and balancing hyperpigmentation. Before melanogenesis starts, the active in Bellis Perennis reduces Endothelin (the proteins that constrict blood vessels) production in keratinocytes and blocks the binding and transfer of melanocytes. It also decreases tyrosinase synthesis and activity during melanin formation, reducing melanin production in the melanosomes. This powerful ingredient also has ROS scavenging abilities and can reverse existing pigmentation issues.
Indian Kudzu (Pureriria tuberosa leaf cell extract) – assists in limiting melanogenisis and has been shown to decrease tyrosine (a culprit of melanin production) by up to 24%.
Synovea HR (Hexylreorcinol) Synovea®HR has been clinically proven to be four-times more effective than Hydroquinone in lightening skin. Studies showed a 75% reduction in extracellular melanin. This result along with its anti-glycation and stimulatory effects on cell protective glutathione and antioxidant defense enzymes makes Synovea®HR a key ingredient of choice in many skin brightening, anti-aging, skin protection and even-toning products.
Revinage ™ An extract of the Hairy Beggartricks (Bidens Pilosa) plant. Studies showed a reduction in age spots by 36%. It was also shown to be 3 times more effective than Kojic acid and arbutin. Other benefits of this ingredient include anti-inflammatory and retinoid-like benefits without the inflammatory side effects.
Trichloma Matsutake Singer Enzyme Mushroom Extract – Tricholoma Matsutake, or pine mushroom is a skin lightening agent native to Japan.
Other ingredients to look for include Neem leaf, which improves clarity, brightness, and reduces melanin production. Green Tea extract, which reduces redness and soothes the skin, Mulberry extract, Liquorice, Bearberry, Net-DG (glycyrrhizate) and Emblica are known for their natural skin lightening benefits are also important to include in your routine.
Getting similar results doesn’t require fancy treatments at a dermatologist’s office; all it takes is a little research and the right brightening skincare ingredients in the correct percentages. Add these revolutionary ingredients to your routine, and you’ll certainly see the difference in no time! And don’t forget sun exposure is the number one cause of accelerated aging of the skin so make sure you limit your sun exposure and always use sunscreen. If you want proof, compare the skin on your hands with that of your buttocks!