TCM in Skin Whitening and Lightening: The Eternal Pursuit in East Asia

Feb 1, 2013 | Contact Author | By: Huiliang Li, Jahwa Cosmetics
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Title: TCM in Skin Whitening and Lightening: The Eternal Pursuit in East Asia
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)x skin whiteningx Qi Bai Gaox safetyx stabilityx sensoryx whiteningx anti-agingx
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Keywords: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) | skin whitening | Qi Bai Gao | safety | stability | sensory | whitening | anti-aging

Abstract: More than 25% of the prescriptions recorded in Chinese historic medical references are for skin whitening. Through the analysis of the most well-known, Qi Bai Gao, this article provides an introduction to TCM ingredients with skin-whitening efficacy, their prescription rationale and their various forms. Further, the challenges of applying TCM ingredients in skin care are also discussed.

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H Li, TCM in skin whitening and lightening: the eternal pursuit in East Asia, Cosm & Toil 128(2) 104-109 (Feb 2013)

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  • Suppliers are engaging in the advanced research of plant-derived peptides, encapsulated actives, active plant stem cells, complex extraction processes and clinical testing.
  • The Indian market has traditionally been drawn toward natural products; while consumers elsewhere must be educated about the benefits of natural herbs, this knowledge is inherited from generations.
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White and fair skin are viewed as symbols of beauty by Chinese, Japanese and Koreans for geographical, racial, cultural and traditional reasons. In China, there is an old saying that, “A white complexion is powerful enough to conceal thousands of faults.” Observing the Chinese cosmetic market today shows that products with skin-whitening claims are the most popular. In fact, according to AC Nielsen data, whitening products make up nearly 30% of the total skin care market in China. The market for such products continues to grow at a fast rate. For example, the sales value of whitening facial cream increased 17.9% and 6.2% year-on-year in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Consequently, skin whitening has become one of the hottest areas of focus among R&D in Chinese cosmetic enterprises.

Meanwhile, statistics have shown that products with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) claims account for a large share of the skin-whitening product market in China—nearly 33% in 2011, which has risen year after year. This article thus serves as a summary of the historic and current application of TCM in whitening cosmetics. It also provides a preliminary discussion of the challenges faced when incorporating TCM into skin care and skin-whitening products.

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This is an excerpt of an article from GCI Magazine. The full version can be found here.

 

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Table 1. Sales of whitening facial cream*

Table 1. Sales of whitening facial cream*

The sales value of whitening facial cream increased 17.9% and 6.2% year-on-year in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Table 2. Percent of total whitening cosmetic products in China market* with herbal or TCM claims

Table 2. Percent of total whitening cosmetic products in China market* with herbal or TCM claims

Products with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) claims account for a large share of the skin-whitening product market in China.

Table 3. TCM ingredients of Qi Bai Gao and their functions

Table 3. TCM ingredients of <em>Qi Bai Gao</em> and their functions

Present day composition analysis and biological research on the TCM ingredients used in Qi Bai Gao have revealed a close relationship between the chemical composition of the ingredients and skin-whitening efficacy.6-11

Footnotes

a The Herborist brand products are manufactured by Jahwa Cosmetics.
b Chando brand products are manufactured by Jala Corp.
c Magic (MG) brand products are manufactured by Guangzhou Magic Cosmetics.

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