There is a high demand for products that lighten discolorations and create even, uniform complexions. Some of the ingredients that achieve these goals, however, irritate skin, develop odors, change color over time and increase sun sensitivity. GSC has extensive experience with Chromabright™, a relatively new single molecule ingredient that has been shown in vivo clinical trials to inhibit melanin production on par with hydroquinone without any oxidation, unpleasant odor, or increase in sun sensitivity. Studies further reveal that it can be even more effective than other common skin brightening agents, such as arbutin, magnesium and ascorbyl phosphate (MAP).
When it comes to brightening skin and fading pigmentation spots through inhibiting melanin production, kojic acid is a superstar ingredient. But unfortunately it tends to oxidize and turn brown in just two-three months, making it unappealing and far less effective to use.
Benzoyl Peroxide is considered the most effective ingredient to combat all types of acne lesions. It works in two ways: first by oxidizing or liquidating the acne “plug” to open up the pore; and second by oxidizing the surface sebum that then migrates back into the pore serving as an anti-microbial agent to blast blemish-causing bacteria. But despite its effectiveness, benzoyl peroxide can be extremely irritating if it is too concentrated in one area, causing all of the available sebum to be oxidized, which can leave residual benzoyl peroxide on the skin’s surface. The benzoyl peroxide and excess oxidized sebum can react with the healthy skin causing irritation.
Vitamin C is another anti-aging powerhouse that has been shown to stimulate collagen repair and fight free radicals. It is, however, also extremely unstable. While it is possible to create an oil or silicone-based vitamin C product that doesn’t oxidize easily, water-based vitamin C products¬–even with concentrations as low as four-five percent–can oxidize and turn coffee brown in as little as one month. Many consumers, however, favor water-based products because of the way they feel on the skin.
Retinol is the Gold Standard of cosmeceuticals with a long lineage of success in fighting the signs of aging through boosting the skin’s natural cell turnover process, enhancing collagen production and inhibiting collagen-breakdown. But its predisposition to causing irritation and its short shelf life (it typically carries only 2-3 months of effectiveness) can offset its benefits.