G.S. Cosmeceutical Sees Bright Future for Skin Lighteners

Researchers at Bay Area-based custom formulator and contract manufacturer of skincare products, G.S. Cosmeceutical USA, tap new technologies that perform as well as mainstay lighteners yet without the potential side effects.

Livermore, CA, April 10, 2010 --(PR.com)-- For years, humans have been preoccupied with altering their skin tone. In the 1970s when Americans were baking in the sun to achieve a sun-bronzed glow (before the dangers of sun exposure were fully understood), skin whiteners were a burgeoning business in Asia.

Today, skin lighteners are sought worldwide for their ability to not only lighten darker complexions but also to control age-related hyperpigmentation. Skin lightening market in Asia is estimated at $7 billion. Last year sales increased by 14% in non-European markets. As ingredients grow so too has the availability of safer, more effective, natural and science-based lightening options.

Pathways to Lighter Skin
Sun exposure and hormones are the two biggest causes of hyperpigmentation in skin, yet blemishes, wounds and rashes can also lead to abnormal discoloration, especially in darker skin tones.

Fortunately, we can offset unwanted skin pigmentation by targeting two principal pathways: By inhibiting the production of skin pigment, or melanin, and by rendering melanin and its precursors colorless. To inhibit melanin production, we must target the enzyme tyrosinase, which converts the amino acid phenylalanine into the precursors of melanin. Or, we can formulate with ingredients that compete against tyrosine to block the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme.

A relatively new skin brightener, Chromabright™ has demonstrated significant brightening properties in in vivo clinical trials by inhibiting melanin production on par with hydroquinone and more effectively than the common skin brightening agents arbutin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP) and kojic acid. Furthermore, unlike other depigmenting agents that can cause photoirritation, Chromabright™ can help prevent UV-induced skin damage.

G.S. Cosmeceutical has also experienced favorable results with a new colorless curcumin material, which, like Chromabright™, has been found in some studies to be more efficacious than hydroquinone in inhibiting melanin. Research shows that this material can inhibit 80% of melanin production and scores higher on the antioxidant ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale than grapeseed extract and green tea.

In addition, some newer whitening peptides have demonstrated tyrosinase-inhibiting action by targeting the protein component of the tyrosinase enzyme and other constituents. β-White™, a biomimetic encapsulated whitening peptide, for instance, decreases proteins involved in the pigmentation process, thus inhibiting tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis. An in vitro comparative study showed that β-White induced significant skin lightening effects on 23 Asian volunteers with at least one hyperpigmented spot after four weeks.

Other skin brightening/whitening agents continue to engage the attention of formulators for their natural approach to whitening and brightening the skin. Some commonly used ingredients include:

Arbutin, Azelaic Acid, Bearberry (Uva ursi), Chinese Flower (Osmanthus fragrans), Licorice Root (Glycyrrhetinic acid), Mulberry (Morus bombycis), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Vitamin C and Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus).

Glutathione: Natural tripeptide... targets pigmentation via competitive binding with melanin’s color-forming precursors and by reducing the pigmenting potential of the melanin.

Hexylresorcinol: This crystalline phenol offers several anti-aging benefits, including the ability to target pathways in the skin that lead to hyperpigmentation. In vivo studies have demonstrated that hexylresorcinol has the same lightening effect as 2% hydroquinone over an eight-week period of time. It is also thought that hexylresorcinol can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase UV protection.

Kojic Acid: By itself or combined with glycolic acid, kojic acid has demonstrated favorable results in inhibiting tyrosinase. While kojic acid can present stability challenges, G.S. Cosmeceutical has been successful in extending the typical shelf life of this material from less than three months to more than two years.

Skin formulations typically fare best when more than one ingredient is incorporated. For instance, a tyrosinase inhibitor, a tyrosine competitor and an agent to render pigmented substances into non-pigmented forms can be used together. The addition of retinol can also boost efficacy in treating skin discolorations. Some research indicates that the alpha hydroxy acids lactic and glycolic acids can inhibit melanin production aside from their chief use as exfoliants.

In the future, the demand for effective skin whiteners is expected to only increase. Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicts the lightening market to reach $10 billion by 2015 worldwide, a growth fueled partially by a growing ethnic population and more demand for whiteners among men. With new peptides and plant-based ingredients expanding the range of whitening options, formulators will be able to keep pace with this increasing consumer demand and continue to offer safer, more effective options.

G.S. Cosmeceutical USA, Inc. is a Livermore, CA-based contract manufacturer of anti-aging skin care, body care, hair care, natural and organic-based products, and OTC cosmeceuticals. G.S. Cosmeceutical provides R&D, manufacturing and warehousing services to physicians, cosmetic entrepreneurs, corporate manufacturers, beauty start-ups and leading professionals in the spa and beauty industry. The company will celebrate its 12th anniversary May 5, 2010.

For more information about G.S. Cosmeceutical, please visit www.gscos.com. You may also contact Marketing Manager, Andrea Sercu, at 925-583-1426 or andrea@gscos.com.

G.S. Cosmeceutical USA, Inc.
Gurkirpal Sandhu, COO
Marketing Manager