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Shining a Light on Skin Brightening

By: Lydia Sarfati
Posted: May 31, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Hexapeptide-2. This is a fast-acting skin-brightening peptide that works as an antagonist to MSH, binding to its receptors, thereby decreasing melanin synthesis.

Pelvetia canaliculata extract. It is an anti-inflammatory found to protect against DNA deterioration and skin-aging acceleration, most notably treating pigmented spots for a more even-toned complexion.

Treat and advise

As always, prevention is the key to avoiding hyperpigmentation. Advise clients to always use an SPF, and remind them that it needs to be reapplied throughout the day. Recommend beach umbrellas, large hats and sunglasses whenever they are planning to be outdoors for long periods of time. Also, advise clients to steer clear of topical products containing citrus or oil of bergamot; these ingredients can cause photosensitivity and increase the likelihood of sunburn. Remember: It is your responsibility as a skin care professional to both treat and advise your clients, so be sure that you are doing both for maximum results.

Lydia Sarfati, president and founder of Repêchage, is an internationally recognized skin care expert quoted in Vogue, InStyle, Glamour and The New York Times, and she has been featured on CNN, CBS and Fox. Sarfati has more than 30 years of experience as an esthetician, spa owner, manufacturer and consultant, and is the author of Success at Your Fingertips: How to Succeed in the Skin Care Business (Alluredbooks, 2005).


1. JM Gilbro and MJ Olsson, The melanogenesis and mechanisms of skin-lightening agents—existing and new approaches, Int J Cosmet Sci 33 3 210–21 (Jun 2011)