Skin School: Tyrosinase and Pigment
Having pigment issues? Let’s take a step back and learn about the function of Tyrosinase - the internal process that influences hyperpigmentation. Importantly, we’re also looking at how we can attempt to stop this process (or at least slow it down) in the hope of increased skin clarity.
Bear with us as it’ll be a little science-heavy, but this is necessary to understanding WHY this is important for people who suffer with pigment issues.
WHAT IS TYROSINASE?
Tyrosinase is an enzyme found in our melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin. However, before there is melanin, Tyrosinase has to get in the mix. It is responsible for causing the amino acid Tyrosine to oxidize, therefore creating melanin pigment which is transported to the upper layers of the skin to give us color.
We all have the same amount of melanocytes in our skin, but what differs is the amount of melanin that the melanocytes produce. The darker your skin, the more active your melanocyte cells are.
However, melanocyte activity is also increased by exposure to UV rays as well trauma and damage to the skin, hormonal fluctuations, illnesses and medication. Tyrosinase kick-starts increased melanin production in an effort to fend off damage and protect our skin.
SO, WHERE ARE WE GOING WITH THIS?
In a nutshell, by understanding how excessive melanin leads to unwanted hyperpigmentation, we are able to limit the action of its main catalyst – Tyrosinase, by ensuring that our skincare includes Tyrosinase Inhibitors. WHAT ARE TYROSINASE INHIBITORS + WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT IN SKINCARE? Tyrosinase Inhibitors are ingredients that help prevent an overproduction of melanin. This is great news for those who suffer with hyperpigmentation as the inhibitors will help to prevent discoloration from occurring.
Tyrosinase Inhibitors come in a few different forms. But, because you want to give these special ingredients time to penetrate deep in the skin for maximum effect, you need to ensure they are as close to the skin as possible and not layered on top of other products. Ideally, you want them in serum or pad form, applied to clean skin.
What you are looking for in these serums or pads are anti-pigmentation, lightening and brightening ingredients that contain common ingredients such as Kojic Acid, Vitamin A, Bearberry, Niacinamide, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and Licorice Root Extract.
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