Friday, August 26, 2016

Ingredient Spotlight! Phyto-Melanin

Photo Credit: Viktor Hanacek

This was scheduled to be a totally different post, a guide to product order and when it's best to put on your various lotions and potions. But, as often happens when I start diving in, it turned into a bit of a monster that seemed a little hard to digest. So while I figure out how to make that post a bit more manageable, here's some info on a fantastic little ingredient, with our modern lifestyle in mind. Why is there a photo of a person in front of a computer screen on a skin care blog? All will be explained below. :)

Phyto-Melanin (Liposhield® HEV)

What is it? A synthetic melanin made from plant-derived amino acids. It is used in skin care and cosmetics. Liposhield® HEV is the trade name. On the product label, you will see melanin or phyto-melanin.

Claims: Phyto-melanin's claim to fame is its ability to protect the skin from the damaging effects of High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) What is HEVL? It's light from a range within the visible spectrum and is emitted by everything from smartphones to flat screen TVs and tablets. (Not to be confused with UV light.) Phyto-melanin absorbs the HEV before it can penetrate the skin and cause oxidative stress, resulting in free-radical damage, premature skin aging, lines, and pigmentation.

Concerns raised: I can't find any concerns raised about this skin protectant! (Yay!)

What I've found: Its chemical structure appears to mimic our own bodies' protective melanin and also is effective in low concentrations (0.2%-0.5%). There are a number of studies referencing the damaging effects of visible light on the skin all referenced at the end of this post.
From the lab Lipo Chemicals, where this ingredient is produced:

"Lipo has conducted a study analyzing the changes in skin’s gene expression when exposed to HEV light. This study’s results indicate that HEV light may significantly affect the skin’s inflammatory cascade and its progression to healing, its barrier recovery, cell cycles and melanogenesis. Our results may explain the variety of previously described effects of HEV light on skin and shed new light on the understanding of what is believed to be the harmful impact that leads to accelerated skin aging. 

Our conclusion, based on this study and other research group’s studies, is that in order to maintain skin’s health; the skin must be shielded from these wavelengths. As a result, we have developed a novel patent-pending compound that acts as an “umbrella” to shield the skin from HEV light, Liposhield® HEV Melanin."

Bottom Line: I'm a big fan of this ingredient! If you spend any time in front of a screen, this is truly a great addition to our ingredient arsenal.

Find it in: Total Age CorrectorEye Serum
This duo is a special promo through the end of August. Find it here.

1. Zastrow L., Groth N., Klein F., Kockott D., Lademann J., Ferrero L. Detection and identification of free radicals generated by UV and visible light in Ex Vivo human skin. IFSCC Magazine 11(3) (2008) 297-315.
2. Besaratinia A., Kim S.I., Pfeifer G.P. Rapid repair of UVA induced oxidized purines and persistence of UVB induced dipyrimide lesions determine the mutagenicity of sun light in mouse cells. The FASEB Journal 22(2008) 2379-2392.
3. Denda M. and Fuziwara S. Visible radiation affects epidermal permeability barrier recovery: selective effects of red and blue light. J. Invest. Dermatol. 128 (2008) 1335-1336.
4. Lee J.H., Roh M.R., Lee K.H. Effects of infrared radiation on skin photo-aging and pigmentation. Yonsei Medical Journal 47(4) (2006) 485-490.

Is there a skin care ingredient you'd like to hear more about or one you have concerns with? Let me know!