Functional Actives

- Pigment boosting

Human skin color ranges in variety from the darkest brown to the lightest pinkish-white hues. Melanin is the primary determinant of skin color and is produced by melanocytes which are found in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanin biosynthesis is a complex pathway that appears in melanocytes, within membrane-bound organelles referred to as melanosomes. Melanosomes are transferred via dendrites to surrounding keratinocytes, where they play a critical role in photoprotection.

Protective effects of melanin

Melanin plays an essential role in the protection of the skin against UV injury under normal physiological conditions. The color of the melanin is dark and it absorbs and blocks all the UV-B light from passing the skin layer. Light-skinned people have about a tenfold greater risk of dying from skin cancer.

The melanogenic pathway that develops within melanosome,
leading to the production of eumelanin and/or pheomelanin.

Pigmentation Process

These melanocytes or “melanin factories” are located just below a layer of surface skin cells called keratinocytes.

1. Activation Phase (StageⅠ-StageⅡ)

·The melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) activates melanin production.

·MSH binds to a hormone receptor on the melanocyte.

·This binding activates the melanocyte to turn on the synthesis of melanin.

In the initial phase (activation) of the pigmentation process, a hormone initiates melanin production within the melanocyte. Other factors such as stress, hormones, and UV damage can also initiate melanin production.

2. Synthesis Phase (StageⅢ)

Three main chemical reactions exist within the synthesis phase:

·Tyrosinase, an enzyme essential to melanin synthesis, functions to convert tyrosine, an amino acid, to another amino acid called DOPA.

·Tyrosinase then converts DOPA into dopaquinone, a secondary chemical.

·Dopaquinone, in a final reaction, is converted into one of two types of melanin: light melanin (phaeo-melanin) or dark melanin (eu-melanin).

All three reactions occur inside the melanosome located within the melanocyte. Light melanin (phaeo-melanin) is produced when the environment is abundant in certain amino acids. Dark melanin (eu-melanin) is produced in the absence of these amino acids.
In the production phase (synthesis), melanocytes produce melanin inside an even smaller factory called a melanosome. After a series of complex chemical reactions, the melanosomes are full of melanin and ready for delivery.

3. Expression Phase (Stage Ⅳ)

Expression is the process through which “packaged” melanin is brought to the surface of the skin and made visible to the eye.

·Once melanin has been produced and packaged into melanosomes, the melanocyte initiates a delivery process and pushes the melanosomes out to the ends of its numerous dendrite-like arms.

·As melanosomes reach the ends of these dendrite-like arms, they are transferred from the melanocyte to the adjacent layer of keratinocytes.

·These melanin-filled keratinocytes then make their way to the surface of the skin and melanin becomes visible.

In a final distribution phase (expression), melanosomes are transported to the keratinocytes and to the surface of the skin where the melanin is visible to the naked eye.