Patent Pick: Fairness in Skin Lightening

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Fairness in cosmetics is about more than being pale; it's about sharing color evenly across skin. This patent from Avon takes this judicious approach to skin whitening by weighing all the paths to reach it, and spreading the wealth across them.

Tyrosinase inhibitors
U.S. Patent 9289364
Publication date: March 22, 2016
Assignee: Avon Products, Inc.

The industry's search continues for skin depigmenting ingredients that overcome the limits of existing technologies and reduce irritation. This patent details compositions and methods using various novel ingredients that have proven efficacy against reducing unwanted pigmentation such as freckles, age spots, liver spots, sun damage, acne marks, scars, birthmarks, melasma, after-burn scarring, yellowing of skin, dark under-eye circles and more. (See patent for the full list and schematics of the ingredients.)

The present composition and methods are multifaceted in nature, whose uses are not limited by characterizations of their physiological and/or chemical effects. Rather, various skin lightening pathways are known, including decreasing melanogenesis by decreasing tyrosinase activity in melanocytes, as well as inhibiting melanosome maturation. And the lightening agents and methods used herein are designed to lighten by multiple modes of action, including inhibiting the transfer of melanin from the melanocytes to the keratinocytes.

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