Sunspots on the skin are tricky to treat.
Why? Because they often fall under different guises:
Sunspots appear as round, brown, flat patches, where the top layer of skin expands with pigment.
While some people have a hereditary predisposition to sunspots, most appear due to too much exposure to UV rays.
The important thing to note is that sunspots are stubborn to remove, especially when you’re up against controversial ingredients like Hydroquinone.
The important tyrosinase inhibitor
Before we begin, we need to get a bit technical and explain the term “tyrosinase inhibitor“.
The key to the regulation of skin pigmentation is melanotropin, often referred to as Alpha-MSH. Melanotropin controls Tyrosinase activity, along with melanin synthesis – tyrosinase is the key enzyme involved in producing the skin pigment melanin.
Many of the extracts listed below contain molecules that antagonize alpha-MSH and inhibit tyrosinase; reducing this activity helps lighten pigmentation and improve skin tone.
These dark patches are caused when melanin – what gives our skin and hair colour – is overproduced in certain spots on the skin, causing them to look much darker than your natural pigment (skin tone.)
There are a couple of common causes for getting these; age spots that are often exposed to the sun; melasma, often as a result of hormones during pregnancy; and then there is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which occurs after a pimple, bite, or other trauma to the skin once it heals a mark is left behind.
This is why we encourage you never to pick or squeeze your skin, especially your face, where the skin is thinner than anywhere else on the body.
This article on derm NZ does a great job of breaking down different pigmentation disorders.
Naturally treating sunspots on skin.
- this ingredient comes from yeast extract
- it promotes skin lightening by blocking melanin
- it is considered one of the safest ingredients for removing pigmentation
Bearberry Leaf Extract/Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi
- a popular skin brightener
- it is also considered an anti-bacterial and antioxidant
- these ingredients address the connection between inflammation and pigmentation formation
- they also help to slow down the oxidation that is involved in the formation of melanin
- contains four plant extracts: Saxifrage, Grape, Mulberry, and Skullcap
- inhibits the production of tyrosinase
- plant extracts exfoliate dark surface cells, promoting healthy cell renewal
- white also offers protection from UV radiation
Daisy Flower Extract/Bellis Perennis
- a potent skin lightener and antioxidant
- bellis Perennis influences the pathways involved in the formation of melanin
Diacetyl Boldine Extract/Lumiskin
- this extract comes from Chilean bark
- it inhibits pigmentation induced by cellular stress; lightening and brightening sunspots on skin
- developed from alpine plants
- giga white has strong antioxidant properties
- it is considered a potent anti-inflammatory and skin lightening extract
- it naturally inhibits tyrosinase
- this extract is sourced from mushrooms
- it prevents melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase
- hydroxy acids un-bond corneocyte cells that contain melanin – the cells responsible for skin colour
- 5% concentration of lactic acid can help to inhibit the formation of the tyrosinase enzyme, slowing the process of melanin synthesis
Mulberry Bark Extract/Morus Alba
- a natural tyrosinase inhibitor
- morus Alba has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- this is the equivalent of a non-hydroquinone treatment for hyperpigmentation
- perfect for overall brightening and fading of sunspots on skin
- another great skin whitening agent
- it works in synergy with niacinamide
Poria Cocos Polysaccharide
- increases skin thickness
- improves luminosity and microcirculation
- decreases the appearance of wrinkles caused by ageing
Rumex Occidentalis Extract/Tyrostat
- this botanical extract comes from a plant native to Northern Canada
- regarded as one of the best all-natural skin whitening bio-actives
- it has a strong inhibitory effect on the tyrosinase enzyme
- a potent sun spot fader
- made from natural amino acids
- hailed as a breakthrough in reducing pigmentation
- it works as an MSH antagonist, preventing the production of melanin synthesis
- n-acetyl glucosamine, niacinamide, and sepiwhite are proving to be very effective in reducing melanin production without damaging skin cultures
Not so naturally
This is a good example of a peptide that can control pigmentation; it is a synthesised peptide that can inhibit tyrosinase activity within the skin.
It visibly brightens sun-induced hyperpigmentation in half the time of many other popular skin lightening ingredients. It is considered one of the most effective and safe ways to treat hyper-pigmentation.
This peptide works by antagonising the alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone.
It prevents the hormone from telling the melanocyte to produce melanin, thus helping to lighten hyperpigmentation areas on the skin.