Skin whitening has been a practice in many cultures for hundreds if not thousands of years and has found an ever increasing popularity in more recent times. Unfortunately, one of the key ingredients used in this type of product has come under the spotlight… and not in a good way.
Hydroquinone, long thought to be the safest and most effective for age spots, sun damage and hyperpigmentation, has been the subject of much controversy, with many groups calling for the FDA in the United States to ban the compound. In some countries Hydroquinone is already illegal. Side effects from regular use of Hydroquinone can cause serious irritation to the skin, especially for people who have sensitive skin or allergies. In extreme case it can cause redness, itching and a burning sensation. When looking for a skin-whitening product ensure that it does not contain Hydroquinone.
Fortunately there are several eminently suitable natural replacements. CR Formulations’ skin whitening serum ‘Lighten Up’ contains a botanical complex of 7 organically grown plants from the Swiss Alps, which include Primula, Alchemilla Vulgaris, Veronica and Yarrow. These plants were selected for their ability to inhibit Tyrosinase, the enzyme, which is responsible for the production of melanin (skin pigment). It has the same effect as Hydroquinone but without the harmful side effects.
To maximise the efficacy of these ingredients, Lighten Up also has Bearberry Extract, derived from the Uva Ursi plant. This contains a natural form of Hydroquinone but is more stable and does not become pro-oxidant when exposed to sunlight and it is not harmful to the skin.
Licorice Root Extract is also an ingredient used in Lighten Up because it contains Glabridin, which is responsible for the skin whitening function. Studies have shown the Licorice Root extract can provide an excellent brightening effect but remains non-toxic to the melanin forming cells. It also has great anti-inflammatory properties.
Lighten Up also contains Niacinamide, commonly known as vitamin B3. It is well known as a great skin whitener and is also known to be a very effective ingredient for acne.