For individuals with black and dark skin, hyperpigmentation manifests itself via a dappled uneven skin tone (Fig.1 & 2). This could be the result of an immune system response to inflammation, an infection and/or scarring, but it could equally be the result of daily use of topical lightening products containing substances which are banned today in cosmetics such as hydroquinone and/or dermocorticoids.
Figure 1: Hyperpigmentation spots due to acne
Figure 2 : Hyperpigmentation spots on legs after scaring
With the goal of reducing this dermatosis, understanding the mechanisms of melanogenesis is essential. Thus, it will be much easier for us to visualise at what level of process that we need to act, to stop and/or alleviate the activity of melanin production effectively and with no side effects.
Melanogenesis takes place within the epidermis, on the uppermost layer of the skin, within specific dendritic cells known as melanocytes. These melanocytes interact with the adjacent keratinocytes to diffuse the synthesised melanin evenly. The melanogenesis process takes place within specific organelles called melanosomes, which are intrinsic to melanocytes. It is therefore the support of the synthesis of different pigments (melanins), which is responsible for our specific skin colour (phototypes).
Currently, 60% of black women admit to having used whitening products with the goal of achieving a clearer and more uniform complexion. This commonplace practice, initiated by the media, can not only cause significant dermatological problems, but also systemic complications in the long run. Around 70% of users present with skin conditions such as acne, stretch marks or even skin dyschromia.
Products available on the market, which claim to have lightening properties are products which should only be used for therapeutic reasons. They usually contain mercury derivatives (30.9%), hydroquinone (24%) as well as corticosteroids (18.5%) and present significant side effects. Products which are appropriate for black and dark skin have been developed and tested on caucasian and asian skin, without taking into account the specific differences between the two different skin types.
The technology used by the IN’OYA SAS Lab has been developed to respond to this growing public health problem, which is voluntary depigmentation. The goal is also to alleviate the unaesthetic aspect of localised hyperpigmentation after a particular exterior agression.
Our objective is to develop a peptide and/or natural molecule effective active ingredient that has no side effects, to incorporate within cosmetics which are adapted specifically to black and dark skin and which can finally respond to a real need.
The first measure is preventative. Sun exposure is consistently harmful. It aggravates all causes of pigmentation and can speed up relapse in treated areas. Exclusion of ultraviolet will therefore be strict, both during the cure as well as after. SPF 50 such as SUN'OYA® My Sun Fluid should be applied for any prolonged sun exposure. Photosensitive substances should be banned.
The treatment will rely on molecules which allow the level of melanogenesis enzymes to be maintained:
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