We know a lot about skin and skin care at Skintrium, and we’d like to share it with you. Let us know if this helps, and what else you’d like to learn about!
Melanin, the pigment in skin, is produced by cells called “melanocytes” in the deep layers of the skin. These cells are stimulated not only by sun, which causes tanning, but also by heat, inflammation, injury, and even hormones. They may produce all-over color, or blotches or spots.
Pigment has a purpose, which is to shield skin from harmful rays of the sun. That’s why people whose ancestors lived in sunny climates near the equator in Asia or Africa tend to have more pigmentation. If you were born with darker skin, it will be a continual process to keep skin light; it is not a one-time fix. Anyone who wishes to keep a lighter tone will also need to wear sun protection to keep from stimulating the melanocytes in their skin, and to protect skin from damage by the sun.
Tyrosinase—the pigment enzyme
A molecule called “tyrosinase” in the pigment-forming melanocyte cells is critical to the formation of melanin. Most lighteners and brighteners work by stopping (or “inhibiting”) tyrosinase from making the first molecule in the sequence that ends in the formation of new melanin.
Melasma is a stubborn condition in which large patches of skin become darker, often over the forehead cheeks, chin and upper lip. It’s most common in women who have an Hispanic background. Although it is sometimes clearly related to hormones (as in pregnancy) the cause is not always known. Melasma is harder to treat than sun damage, and may require both a rigorous home skincare regimen and professional treatments.
Melanin is protective. It is very good at absorbing UV-radiation from the sun and turning it into harmless heat. That helps reduce the possible harm that UV can do to skin. When you deliberately lighten your skin, you MUST protect it with sunscreen.
Please know that there is no such thing as a sun “block”. If you are in the sun, even with a sunscreen that has a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) you are getting some sun. You can’t expect a thin film of chemicals to completely hold back the powerful rays of the sun! When treating your skin with lightening products, be extra careful about sun protection, both to keep the results you want and to keep your skin safe and healthy.
As skin ages
We’re all born with plump, smooth skin. But, as we all know, with age skin becomes softer, more fragile, drier. Wrinkles form. Skin sags. Partly this is a result of damage from the rays of the sun, which is why your always-hidden bottom stays younger looking than your sun-exposed hands or face. But in part it is also a result of an all-over reduction in a protein called “collagen”.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals and forms connective tissue in the muscles, joint and skin. After about 30, production of collagen starts to slow down. So to keep skin younger, it’s important to support collagen production. You can do this with a diet that is rich in vegetables and protein, avoid smoking and alcohol, stay out of the sun, and get enough rest. Sound familiar? All these approaches will also boost overall health.
At the surface of the skin, collagen production can be encouraged with proper pH and by offering the skin important building blocks it can use to produce more collagen.
Older skin also needs to be encouraged to slough off dead cells and bring younger new ones to the surface. Regular exfoliation (twice a day) can make a big difference in the look and feel of skin.
Finally, as we age, the skin produces less moisture and oil, so hydration becomes essential too. It’s important to choose products with excellent pH balance so that delicate older skin doesn’t become overwhelmed with dense oils and creams.
Special concerns of darker skin: sun, acne, product reactions
All skin contains melanin, the pigment that gives it color. There are two kinds of melanin. People with lighter skin mostly produce pheomelanin, which is red to yellow in color, while those with darker skin mostly produce eumelanin, which is brown to black. Each of us produces different amounts of melanin, and different combinations of each type.
Darker skin is often very sensitive, and responds to sun, acne or injury with more drama than paler skin. What’s more, products formulated to address the needs of paler skin types can actually cause more damage to darker skins.
Dark skin often reacts to sun, skin products, or hormones with more pigmentation, developing dark spots or blotches that stick around for months or years. Acne can cause melanin to accumulate at the site of the blemish, so bumps turn into long-lasting spots. If you have acne, it’s also important to know that many acne products (such as benzoyl peroxide) that work well for lighter skins can actually irritate black skin and make the problem worse.
All of this means that if you have darker skin, you must treat it with extra care and products that are designed to nourish and support it.
Skintrium products handle darker skin with the tender, balanced care it needs for velvety texture and glowing health—while gently brightening and lightening tone all over.
Curative, restorative and corrective care
Curative skin care addresses surface damage from the sun, wind, dryness. We think of our curative products as “brightening” the skin. They help skin achieve an even tone and overall glow, erasing freckles and tan, hydrating and helping to ease away surface wrinkles. By removing discoloration and surface tanning, they will give skin a slightly lighter appearance, but they don’t address the DNA-driven skin tone beneath.
Restorative care goes a little deeper. These products will restore a more youthful, resilient elasticity and address other signs of age. Skin is restored to a healthier appearance.
Corrective care products let you correct your tone to an even shade. These creams and gels ease away superficial melanin and address melanin in the deeper layers too. Of course, like the curative and restorative products, our curative products are also richly nourishing, enhancing skin’s vigor and creating an even glow.
Fair skin and flawless skin
“Fair” skin is pale skin. It contains less melanin than darker skin. People whose ancestors come from places on the earth where the sunlight is weaker, such as northern Europe, tend to have fair skin.
“Flawless” skin is even and glowing.
People with fair skin may have all kinds of flaws—acne, freckles, melasma, blotches, scars and pits, rosacea, eczema, and wrinkles. Many fair skinned people use and love curative Skintrium products, including products in the Skin Soho collection and the Enhance Suntan Removal Cream, to achieve the overall healthy, flawless skin they dream of.