Wow! With each new article published on Skin Pigmentation Treatment, we find topics which we wish to unravel for us Skincare lovers. It feels kind of exhilarating and yet bewildering to be surrounded by a myriad of anti-pigmentation skincare choices with all these promises of 70%-90% improvements within months.
Not to mention all the controversial on hydraquinone and kojic acid as active ingredients in these topical lightening creams. Thus, leading to a new trend of using anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, stabilized Vitamin C and essential oil from Mulberry, Golden Camomile etc to promote healthy skin rejuvenation as a counter to pigmentation. Not just active ingredients to help ‘shedding of the skin’ or ‘blocking tyrosinase production’.
Let’s dive in to find out what hydraquinone and kojic acid are and why they have become controversial ingredients.
Hydraquinone, also is an aromatic organic compound that is a type of phenol, a derivative of benzene, having a chemical formula C6H4(OH)2.
In 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked its previous approval of hydroquinone and proposed a ban on all over-the -counter preparations. The FDA stated that hydroquinone cannot be ruled out as a potential carcinogen.
While using hydroquinone as a lightening agent can be effective with proper use, it can also cause skin sensitivity. Using a daily sunscreen reduces the risk of further damage. Hydroquinone is sometimes combined with AHA that exfoliate the skin to quicken the lightening process. Topical treatments usually contain up to 2% in hydroquinone. Otherwise, higher concentrations (up to 4%) should be prescribed and used with caution.
While hydroquinone remains widely prescribed for treatment, the questions raised about its safety profile by regulatory agencies in the EU, Japan, and USA encourage the search for other agents with comparable efficacy. Several such agents are already available or under research, including azelaic acid, kojic acid, retinoids, topical sterioid, gylcolic acid and other substance.
Kojic Acid is a produced by several species of fungi, especially which has the Japanese common name koji. Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. It is a mild inhibitor of the formation of pigment used in cosmetics.
It works by blocking tyrosine from forming, which then prevents melanin production. It is not proven that it is carsinogenic though there was study it increases chances of tumor growth in mice.
According to the reviewers, the available data suggest that the use of products containing kojic acid with a concentration of 2 percent for products left on the skin is considered safe. The CIR Expert Panel agreed that kojic acid could be safely used in cosmetic products.
With these 1st generation anti-pigmentation ingredients raising so many eyebrows, skincare manufacturers and dermatologists are moving towards Vitamin A, Retinol and stabilized Vitamin C to treat pigmentation and improve skin tonality. Let’s see what are the pros and cons of these ingredients in our next articles.
Hope you continue to enjoy our Skin Care Singapore article series.