There are a pool of products out there with many permutations and combinations of ingredients to help you achieve even skin tone.
You might have dark spots from acne or hormonal melasma, but whatever the blemishes and spots are, you want them to go away with only one product.
What matters, though, is how the ingredients are combined together in that product.
The perfect combination of ingredients to address PIH, melasma and dark spots is only available in a few top class and well researched products.
Among them, one of the best combinations is Alpha arbutin and tranexamic acid.
Read on to find out why this perfect combination is the best with scientific facts.
Let's start with Arbutin
What is arbutin?
Arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone and D-glucose compound.
It has been the subject of considerable research on its skin-lightening properties for over 30 years.
You may come across alpha-arbutin or deoxyarbutin in some skin-care products and beta-arbutin in others.
Alpha-arbutin and deoxyarbutin are synthetic forms of arbutin, while beta-arbutin is the plant-derived form of arbutin.
As Dr. chiu said "While both types of arbutin inhibit melanin synthesis, research has indicated that alpha-arbutin is more stable and 10 times stronger than beta-arbutin."
What is alpha arbutin?
Alpha arbutin is an antioxidant and skin brightener found in the bearberry plant.
It decreases melanin production, fading age spots, freckles, melasma, and post-inflammatory pigmentation.
It's a glycosylated hydroquinone molecule, which means a sugar molecule has taken the place of one of hydroquinone's hydroxyl (-OH) groups.
Hydroquinone is the star in skin whitening, but there are side effects such as skin sensitization, melano cytotoxicity from oxidative byproducts, and exogenous ochronosis (blue-black splotchy pigmentation) as a result of long-term use.
Alpha arbutin, sometimes known as "natural hydroquinone," is a more tolerable alternative to hydroquinone.
Because of its molecular structure, alpha arbutin works like hydroquinone, but with less irritation and melanocytotoxicity.
What does alpha arbutin do?
Alpha arbutin has better water-solubility,heat-resistance, and light-stability properties
It is a potent inhibitor of tyrosinase, a vital enzyme involved in epidermal melanin biosynthesis and pigmentation does not increase further rapidly.
Melanin is a pigment that is derived from the amino acid tyrosine and this conversion is regulated by the enzyme tyrosinase. Alpha arbutin is similar in structure to tyrosine, which fits into tyrosinase, needed for melanogenesis. Thus competing with the melanin for tyrosinase, it reduces the production.
Without increasing sun sensitivity, alpha arbutin effectively lightens and decreases UV-induced pigmentation and free radicals. It evens out skin tone while fading discolouration caused by inflammation and environmental stresses. Glycation or sugar-induced skin sallowness, and elasticity loss are also addressed.
Now, let's talk about the acid in the combination-Tranexamic acid.
What is tranexamic acid?
Tranexamic Acid is a synthetic derivative of lysine, an amino acid that cannot be obtained naturally. The amino acid lysine hydrates and stimulates collagen production under the skin.
Tranexamic acid (TXA) was first discovered by Shosuke and Utako Okamoto, two Japanese researchers, for medicinal purposes such as blood loss prevention and treatment. Tranexamic Acid's safety towards skin whitening agents was deemed reasonable in 2017, resulting in its emergence as a skin whitening agent.
Tranexamic acid is a water-soluble synthetic ingredient .It Inhibits UV-induced melanin synthesis by "blocking the interaction between keratinocytes and melanocytes.
UV irradiation induces the synthesis of AA and plasminogen activator in keratinocytes thus activate melanin synthesis.There comes the tranexamic acid showing Anti-plasmin activity producing hypopigmentary effect
How much alpha arbutin and tranexamic acid ?
To be effective skin care products should contain between 2-5%
2%Alpha arbutin will be effective to treat hyperpigmentation while using tranexamic acid.
TRANEXAMIC ACID + ALPHA ARBUTIN
Tranexamic acid and alpha arbutin are an ideal blend for treating melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and overall skin brightening.
Tranexamic acid is more of a skin brightener than an exfoliating acid, operating as a tyrosinase inhibitor and plasmin inhibitor.
Alpha arbutin, like tranexamic acid, inhibits tyrosinase but also slows melanosome maturation (the organelles that synthesise and store melanin or pigment).
Combining tranexamic acid with alpha arbutin targets more than four different aspects of melanogenesis, fading the most stubborn discoloration caused by inflammation, acne, environmental stressors, melasma, and UV exposure.
Other possible ingredients in the formulation
Adding a moisturising ingredient like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid and a multi purpose ingredient like acetyl glucosamine can make the formulation more efficient