Got Spots? Look for These Plant-Based Natural BrightenersNov 03, 2019 11:01AM ● By Suzanne Pear
Sun spots, age spots, liver spots or solar lentigines—whatever we want to call them—are dark areas of excess melanin or pigment on the face and body that have received a significant amount of sun exposure over time. These spots and patches vary in size and are harmless for the most part, although sometimes unsightly and can usually be lightened slowly with daily use of sunscreen 30 SPF and consistent home and professional skincare.
It is important to appreciate that although using natural brightening products may require more time to see improvement, the likelihood of inadvertently stimulating hyperpigmentation and making the problem worse due to use of overly aggressive chemicals and treatments is greatly reduced.
The skin’s process of pigment formation and deposition into young epidermal cells offers opportunities at different steps in the process in which to intervene with natural brightening agents. When looking for homecare products to help prevent new pigment formation, look for those that contain more than one of the active ingredients mentioned below.
Bearberry, with its primary active Arbutin, is known to successfully block skin’s tyrosinase activity (the enzyme precursor to melanin production), resulting in the prevention of melanin formation. It is safe for sensitive skin.
Licorice root extract contains two actives, glabridin, which interferes with tyrosinase activity, and liquiritin, which helps to break up and remove existing pigment.
Mulberry extract, a powerful antioxidant, also has anti-tyrosinase as well as anti-aging benefits.
Several varieties of mushroom are known to have skin brightening properties, with kojic acid being the principal active, derived. It too prohibits melanin production, but may irritate sensitive skin, so proceed slowly.
Lactic acid, which occurs naturally in sour milk, gently hydrates the skin, removes hyperpigmentation and stimulates collagen production.
Vitamin C, usually labeled as L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and/or tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, is a water-soluble antioxidant that inhibits melanin, lightens hyperpigmented skin and also stimulates collagen and elastin production.
Another important skin vitamin, niacinamide or vitamin B3, helps fade age spots and balance skin tone by blocking melanin transfer to the skin.
These seven natural brighteners are just a few of the plant-based pigment fighters available today. When used consistently and appropriately, along with daily use of full-spectrum 30+ SPF sunscreen, these actives may safely and effectively lift hyperpigmentation with little or no irritation or downtime. As always, an annual skin exam by a dermatologist is essential so that pre-cancerous lesions may be identified and treated promptly.
Suzanne Pear, RN, Ph.D., LE, COE is the owner of Pampered Skin Studio, practicing advanced aesthetics and quantum energy healing. She offers effective skin protection and lightening products as well as facial and body treatments, including microdermabrasion, microneedling and peels for all skin types and sensitivities. Connect at 520-400-8109 or PamperedSkinStudio.com. See ad, page 13.