patch treatment

BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
Just having come back from day 1 of an expo, I was once again struck by the quite large number of people asking me for a product we don't make, specifically something to "cure" dark patches of skin on the face (melasma). Women seem to be more prone to this.
I did some research and thus I have to tell these people, that if they really want to get rid of dark spots and patches it will involve something rather more than a cosmetic, typically a treatment at a dermatologist. Invariably, they don't want to hear this. In fact I suspect they are already aware of it.
Since I should be taking delivery of some interesting possible actives for the condition in the next week, I might just try to develop a topical cream for it. (If I were in the USA this would be a nonstarter I imagine.)


Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.

Comments

  • Well, there are plenty of creams in the USA "for" melasma. Most of them contain 2% hydroquinone and sometimes combine it with glycolic and lactic acids. It works, but only on epidermal melasma to a certain extent. Sunscreens are used to prevent UV-induced pigmentation. But we're technically talking about drugs here.

    Are you willing to formulate with hydroquinone? It's a finicky ingredient. Come to think of it, I can't remember if hydroquinone is even legal in Mexico.

    There are other cosmetic ingredients sometimes used for unwanted pigmentation: niacinamide, retinol, and antioxidants. The first two help (a little), but not so much antioxidants because most of them are fussier than even hydroquinone.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    There's no way I would consider using hydroquinone. Or AHAs for that matter. I'm thinking of glycrrhizic acid, niacinamide, kiwi fruit, gluconic acid. 
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Anti-inflammatories such as glycyrrhizic acid and bisabolol do block inflammation-induced pigmentation, though not as powerful as steroids. Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory properties too.

    Have you considered linoleic acid, arbutin or kojic acid? What about weaker forms of vitamin A such as retinyl palmitate?

    Some advice: skip the mulberry extract. It takes than 25-50% (per studies) to show results, and it's kind of a pain to preserve extracts. Also, you won't have very good product consistency.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Thanks for that. Regarding kojic acid, I noted a report that said it could cause lack of pigmentation bordering the treated area due to its effect on melanin inhibition. When I am developing a product I like to begin modestly and increase actives as I get feedback. I'll use retinyl palmitate if I can get hold of it, and salicylic acid?
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Many tyrosinase inhibitors can have that side effect, especially in those with African-American descent, which is why some dermatologists will tell them to not "spot/area treat" so much.

    When retinyl palmitate, retinol, or retinal turns into tretinoin, it accelerates skin turnover, which lessens epidermal pigmentation. From enzymatic studies, my estimates would be that it takes 2-4% retinyl palmitate--depending on the carrier--to equal low-level tretinoin. But in low concentrations it makes a nice moisturizer.

    Salicylic acid isn't as strong of a skin turnover accelerator as AHAs, but it's anti-acne and anti-inflammatory effects prevents redness and thus inflammation-induced hyperpigmentation. Also, it has fewer side effects compared to glycolic acid.

    You might be interested in skin turnover accelerants/exfoliants such as mandelic acid, L-lactic, gluconolactone and lactobionic acid (the last two are polyhydroxy acids) which are nicer on skin. But you could have trouble finding gluconolactone and lactobionic acid.

    Oh, and with kojic acid: it's sensitive to oxygen and sunlight, so 1) store it properly and 2) you might want to have it under 2% and combine it with allantoin if possible to counter the former's potentially-irritating effects.
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Thanks Michelle. I have noticed a long time back that my very first hand cream, which is based on organic shea butter, faded photo-pigmentation blotches by about 50% over several weeks of use, presumably due to the vitamin A content.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
Sign In or Register to comment.