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Lighten Up–The Natural Way!

By: Natalie Pergar
Posted: May 30, 2014, from the June 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Lighten Up–The Natural Way!

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At a glance, hydroquinone has some very attractive qualities. It works by decreasing the production of and increasing the breakdown of melanosomes (melanin pigment granules) in the melanocytes. By reducing the production of melanin, it fades hyperpigmentation, acne marks, sun spots, melasma and other skin discoloration issues, and the effects are fast.

The ban of hydroquinone in some countries and its side effects have caused some in the skin care industry to seek out natural and organic products with few side effects, while looking to incorporate additional proactive actions, such as antioxidant benefits and SPF content for protection and prevention. There are a number of natural alternatives to hydroquinone that have been shown to work for most skin types and most types of hyperpigmentation.

Following is a list of nature’s gifts that can effectively help treat hyperpigmentation.

Alpaflor Gigawhite. From ingredient manufacturer Centerchem, this is a popular formulation used to brighten and lighten skin. Gigawhite is comprised of seven organically grown Swiss alpine plants, including mallow flower, peppermint, eurasian primrose, lady’s mantle, speedwell, lemon balm and yarrow. Each one of these extracts has the ability to inhibit tyrosinase. This combination of natural, plant-based extracts helps dramatically decrease melanocyte action.

Bearberry extract. Bearberry extract is a botanical skin-lightener that contains natural forms of hydroquinone and arbutin, which are melanin-inhibiting agents. Derived from the uva ursi plant, bearberry extract has powerful antioxidant properties that make it very stable, because it does not create oxidative stress when exposed to sunlight. Oxidation plays a contributing factor to melanin formation, meaning that any antioxidant will assist in reducing the presence of hyperpigmentation.