In this discussion, we will explore other skin whitening ingredients that work through various mechanisms beyond inhibiting tyrosinase and melanosome transfer. These mechanisms include removing epidermal melanin, dispersing melanin, and UV pigment inhibitors.
As previously mentioned, melanin is transferred to keratinocytes and subsequently removed through metabolism. If the removal process can be accelerated, pigmentation can be reduced. AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids), BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids), and retinoids can speed up keratinocyte metabolism and lighten skin. Some doctors use higher concentrations of AHA and BHA to help their patients tackle pigmentation problems. After treatment, patients may experience initial peeling, followed by smoother, whiter skin. Moreover, if products contain fruit acid, it can thin the dead skin, and other whitening ingredients can penetrate deeper into the skin, enhancing their effectiveness. Vitamin A and tyrosinase inhibitors, such as hydroquinone and arbutin, are especially effective when combined. Therefore, many medicinal or high-potency whitening products are based on these two ingredients.
Lastly, let’s discuss UV pigment inhibitors, Pycnogenol and ferulic acid. Pycnogenol is a French maritime pine bark extract, containing phenolic compounds and concentrated flavonoids that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that oral intake of Pycnogenol can prevent UV-induced side effects, such as hyperpigmentation. Some topical Pycnogenol products claim to reduce pigmentation, but they are not popular in Hong Kong.
Ferulic acid is one of the derivatives of cinnamic acid. It is widely found in plants, such as rice bran, oat bran, and some vegetables and fruits like the seeds or leaves of tomatoes, eggplants, sweet peppers, etc. Ferulic acid has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and UV-protective effects. Another interesting function is to stabilize the efficacy of vitamins C and E. Therefore, some whitening products containing vitamins C and E are supplemented with ferulic acid.
In conclusion, after reading these articles on skin whitening ingredients, you are well on your way to becoming a skin whitening expert.