“Traditional” Depigmenting Products


Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Rhododenol is also called 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanol. It is manufactured by Kanebo cosmetics and has been on the market since 2008. It is naturally produced and has been approved for the management of pigmentary problems (Melasma, Sun spots, Lentigo…) It is a phenolic compound therefore it is potentially melanocytoxic. It acts by reducing the activity of tyrosinase […]

Kojic acid

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Kojic acid It is a fungal metabolite which inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase. It binds to copper which becomes unusable by melanocytes. It is used at a concentration of 1% Its therapeutical effets are weak to moderate. Contributors: Dr Christophe HSU – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland Bibliography: Katsambas A. Melasma: Pathogenesis and Treatment. 70th Annual Meeting of […]

Hydroquinone (HQ)

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Hydroquinone (HQ) Mechanism of action: hydroquinone inhibits activated tyrosinase activity (therefore it does not act on normal skin). A word on available concentrations: 2%: often ineffective 3-5%: good bleaching agent 6-10%: higher concentrations can cause irritation Side effects: Contact dermatitis (Both Allergic and Irritant) Nail Discoloration Exogenous Ochrnosis can rarely occur in dark skin individuals […]

L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) Is an antioxidant Is used in the treatment of disorders of pigmentation including melasma (chloasma) (pregnancy mask) Alters the color of melanin from jet black to light tan Unstable as quickly oxidized Bibliography: Katsambas A (Conflicts of Interest: Abbott, Janssen-Cilag, Leo Pharma, Merck, Schering-Plough). Melasma: Pathogenesis and Treatment. 70e Réunion annuelle […]

New Depigmenting substances

Monday, February 20th, 2012

New Depigmenting substances: N-acetyl glucosamine Artocarpanone 4-n-butylresorcinol (rucinol) Ursolic Acid Anthraquinones Cinnamic Acid Macelignan Gallic Acid Glycine Isopanduratin A and 4-Hydroxypanduratin A Kurarinol, Kurarinidol and Trifolirhizin Pycnogenol 8% topical indomethacin cream Selina dien-8-one Taxifolin DeoxyArbutin and its second generation derivatives Hydroperoxy Traxastane t; type Triterpene Piceatannol Handog E. Brown Spots: Melasma Updates.2012 (02) – 20th […]

Existing Depigmenting substances

Monday, February 20th, 2012

They act through: Tyrosinase Inhibition Inhibitors of Inflammation-induced Melanogenic Response Peroxidase inhibition Product Reduction and ROS (Radical Oxygen Scavengers)   Tyrosinase inhibition hydroquinone 4-hydroxyanisole 4-S-CAP and derivatives Arbutin Aloesin Azelaic Acid Kojic Acid Ellagic Acid Resveratrol Oxyeresveratrol Licorice Extract Lactic Acid   Inhibitors of Inflammation Induced Melanogenic Response Chamomille Corticosteroids Gliabridin Tranexamic Acid   Peroxidase […]

4-Hydroxyanisole (4-OHA)

Monday, November 15th, 2010

4-OHA is a skin depigmenting agent with moderate efficacy and may be used for the treatment of hyperpigmentary disorders such as melasma and freckles. This agent decreases the number of melanin producing cells in the skin and can whiten the skin to a considerable degree. However, one should be aware of possible side effects such […]

4-Hydroxyanisole-Tretinoin Formulation

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

The addition of 0.01% tretinoin to 4-OHA is shown by several studies to significantly enhance the skin depigmenting effect of 4-OHA. This combination is a very potent skin depigmenting formula and is used for the treatment of liver spots (senile lentigo). Liver spots are usually very resistant to depigmenting agents and are very hard to […]


Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Arbutin is a hydroquinone derivative found in the bearberry extract. This agent was long believed to act as a depigmenting agent. However, there are no human or even animal studies that confirm the efficacy of arbutin as a skin whitener. In addition, recent in vitro studies have cast doubt on its efficacy as a depigmenting […]

Azelaic Acid (AZA)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

AZA is a dicarboxylic acid synthesized by the fungus Malassezia fur fur. Cutaneous infection with this fungus causes a significant and long lasting depigmentation in the affected areas, which is believed to be induced by AZA. AZA is an inhibitor of the enzyme tyrosinase, the key melanogenic enzyme in melanocytes. When applied to the skin […]

image description