Blog 43: Essential oils – Nature’s secret to fairness
You can always be ‘un-fair’ & beautiful but if your skin complexion is hampering your self-confidence, do not jump for just any fairness product available in the market. A lighter skin tone might add to your appearance but you should not gain that at the expense of your skin quality. Most of the skin whitening products contain chemical skin de-pigmentation ingredients like hydroquinone (Odumosu & Ekwe 2010), kojic acid (Garcia & Fulton 1996), arbutin (Virador et al. 1999) & azelaic acid (Sarkar et al. 2002). These ingredients can be harmful for the skin & have significant side effects (Huang et al. 2015).
How skin fairness products work
The colour of the skin is controlled by melanin, a pigment that work as a natural barrier against UV damage to the skin. Production of more melanin on the skin results into hyperpigmentation & hence controlling the melanin production is the key to get fairer skin. In the melanin synthesis pathway, the enzyme tyrosine work as a rate-limiting factor & the chemicals used in most of the fairness products work as tyrosine inhibitors, thus limiting melanin synthesis (Huang et al. 2015).
Essential oils for skin lightening & brightening
Some essential oils, the healing agents of aromatherapy, extracted from different plant parts through sophisticated processes have been found to be effective in inhibiting melanin synthesis on the skin, in the same way by inhibiting tyrosinase but without any negative side effects (Al-Mamary et al. 2011).
Research has revealed, while chemicals like Arbutin has above 90% tyrosinase inhibition activity, there are more than one essential oils with tyrosine inhibition activity level between 60 – 85%. There are also plenty of essential oils with less than 60% but notable tyrosinase inhibition activity. Hence using these essential oils, instead of the chemicals is certainly the side effect free way to get fairer skin (Al-Mamary et al. 2011). So, essential oils can not only offer you holistic healing but also a fairer skin.
Essential oils with notable skin lightening properties
Basil essential oil
The essential oil extracted from the leaf of the plant Ocimum basillicum has been found to have high tyrosinase inhibitory property (Al-Mamary et al. 2011). Basil essential oil is also antimicrobial & anti-fungal, hence can make an ideal ingredient in skin fairness products.
Cinnamon essential oil
The oil extracted from the bark of cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) scores high in tyrosinase inhibitory activity (Al-Mamary et al. 2011). It also fights infection on the skin & increases circulation. Anti-inflammatory property of cinnamon essential oil is also notable.
Clove essential oil
Clove essential oil has notable tyrosinase inhibitory property (Arung E et al. 2011). The essential oil extracted from the flower buds of Eugenia caryophyllata is also known for treating fungal as well as bacterial infection on skin.
The essential oil extracted from the flowers of Eucalyptus camaldulensis significantly inhibits the activity of tyrosinase & reduces synthesis of melanin on the skin (Huang et al. 2015). It also enjoys antibacterial & anti-inflammatory properties.
Coriander essential oil
Coriander essential oil is the other essential oil in the list with noteworthy skin lightening abilities. This tyrosinase inhibitor also works as a natural anti-fungal agent on the skin.
Lemongrass Essential oil
This Asian herb with lemon like flavour has been found to have potent tyrosinase inhibitory property (Masuda T et al. 2007). As the essential oil extracted from it is a concentrated potion of the herb hence its ability to inhibit tyrosinase & to control melanin synthesis is expected to be noteworthy.
Apart from the above, essential oils extracted from Mexican tea (Chenopodium ambrosioides), Southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum), Wild marigold (Tagetes minuta) also have notable tyrosinase inhibitory properties & can be effective ingredients in skin lightening products (Al-Mamary et al. 2011).
Skin lightening & brightening products from Keya Seth with pure essential oils: Tetra Skin Whitening Cream, Tetra Skin Whitening Conditioner,Tetra Skin Whitening Serum, Fair & Bright serum, Fair & Bright cream, Fairy Pack.
Odumosu, P. and Ekwe, T. (2010). Identification and spectrophometric determination of hydroquinone levels in some cosmetic creams. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, p. 233
Garcia, A. and Fulton, J. (1996). The combination of glycolic acid and hydroquinone or kojic acid for the treatment of melasma and related conditions. Dermatol. Surg, p. 443–447
Virador, V., Kobayashi, N., Matsunaga, J. and Hearing, V. (1999). A standardized protocol for assessing regulators of pigmentation. Anal. Biochem, p. 207–219.
Sarkar, R., Bhalla, M. and Kanwar, A. (2002). A comparative study of 20% azelaic acid cream monotherapy versus a sequential therapy in the treatment of melasma in dark-skinned patients. Dermatology, p. 249–254.
Huang, H., Ho, Y., Lim, J., Chang, T., Ho, C. and Chang, T. (2015). Investigation of the Anti-Melanogenic and Antioxidant Characteristics of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Flower Essential Oil and Determination of Its Chemical Composition. International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Al-Mamary, M., Abdelwahab, S., Al-Ghalibi, S. and Al-Ghasani, E. (2011). The antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory activities of some essential oils obtained from aromatic plants grown and used in Yemen. Scientific Research and Essays.
Arung, E., Matsubara, E., Kusuma, I., Sukaton, E., Shimizu, K. and Kondo, R. (2011). Inhibitory components from the buds of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) on melanin formation in B16 melanoma cells. Elsevier.
Masuda, T., Odaka, Y., Ogawa, N., Nakamoto, K., Kuninaga. (2007). Identification of Geranic Acid, a Tyrosinase Inhibitor in Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). Journal of Agricultural And Food Chemistry.
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