Currently, hydroquinone-free products such as kojic acid, bearberry and arbutin have gained more popularity for correcting skin hyperpigmentation.
While hydroquinone (HQ) is the gold standard for the treatment of hyperpigmentation, the trend is now to explore non-hydroquinone skin lighteners such as:
Kojic acid, arbutin, bearberry, licorice extract, niacinamide and tranexamic acid.
Consumers should be aware that the skin lightening from non-HQ sources will not be as powerful as hydroquinone, especially for very dark-skinned individuals.
Let’s look at your Non-HQ options used by the Melanopeel®
#1 – Kojic acid.
This is a chemical made from different types of fungi. It is also a by-product of certain foods like rice wine and soy sauce. Typically, kojic acid is used in different skin conditions but it is famous for its powerful skin lightening properties. Kojic acid is used as a lightening agent in age spots, sunspots and scarring. It is commonly used in cosmetic products like lotions, creams, serums and soaps.
Kojic acid works as a melanin suppressor by inhibiting the formation of tyrosine. Tyrosine is a precursor compound that is needed to produce melanin in the body. Therefore, by inhibiting excessive melanin production, kojic acid has a skin lightening effect. Moreover, kojic acid also has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and can be used as a natural preservative in the food industry.
#2 – Arbutin.
This is a skin lightening and de-pigmenting agent used worldwide. Arbutin is also known as “Uva ursi extract” and has two forms, called “alpha-arbutin” and “beta-arbutin”.
Arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone found in dried leaves of a number of different plants.
These include pear tree, cranberry, blueberry and bearberry. Arbutin inhibits melanin concentration in the body by inhibiting tyrosinase activity and melanosome maturation. In this way, arbutin prevents and inhibits pigmentation. Arbutin is less cytotoxic to melanocytes as compared to hydroquinone.
#3 – Bearberry extract.
This is obtained from leaves of the bearberry plant. Other names for bearberry are sandberry, rock berry, upland cranberry and hogberry. Bearberry extract contains alpha-arbutin. It is mainly used as an astringent in skincare products but it also has skin lightening properties.
It is used to fade skin discoloration caused by hormonal conditions or sun damage. It inhibits enzyme tyrosinase, which is the main enzyme involved in melanin production. It also protects your skin from harmful UV radiations, thus helps in preventing premature aging. It also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
#4 – Licorice extract.
This contains all the valuable chemical substances present in the Licorice root. Licorice is scientifically known as “Glycyrrhiza glabra”, meaning sweet and smooth root. It is used as a skin-lightening agent as it removes dark circles, dark spots and darkened skin due to scars.
Other than skin lightening properties, it also possesses oil-controlling properties. Its active ingredient, glabridin, is a tyrosinase inhibitor. Therefore, it inhibits melanin synthesis resulting in minimized pigmentation. Licorice is used in different skincare products as a skin lightening agent.
These skin lighteners are often incorrectly marketed as “natural” botanical skin lighteners.
While they may have their roots in botany, they are now all lab manufactured. Melanopeel® uses the purest and strongest extracts with a high safety profile, high efficacy, low allergenicity, & low skin toxicity.