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Newly Discovered Herbal Ingredients Could Provide Safer, More Effective Skin Whitening Cream

March 28, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists in Taiwan report that two active compounds derived from an evergreen herb used as a “cure all” in traditional Chinese medicine will make a safer and more effective skin-whitening agent. They will be testing the ingredients in clinical trials, and have applied for patents in the U.S. and other countries. The ingredients, from the evergreen bush Cinnamomum subavenium, can block tyrosinase, an enzyme that controls the synthesis of melanin, the dark pigment responsible for coloring skin, hair and eyes. Inhibiting tyrosinase is one of the major strategies for skin-whitening, the researchers said. Skin lightening products are especially popular among Asian men and women, but often cause unwanted side effects, such as itching, redness and inflammation. The researchers hope to market a cream based on the herbal ingredients within a year.
Hui-Min Wang, Ph.D., et al., "Safer, More Effective Skin-Whitening Creams from Ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine", Presentation,National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, March 28, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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