derma e Skin Lighten: Natural Fade and Age Spot Creme: A Review
Natural Skin Lightening
The Primary Purpose of the Skin Lighten Product
"Skin lighten is a naturally powerful blend of vitamins and herbs designed to visibly fade age, liver and dark spots on all parts of the body." derma e
Neither the packaging nor the website mention words like cholasma, melasma, or hyper-pigmentation in regard to this product (at least any I could find). However, several reviewers on their site, on Amazon, and other selling sites do mention improvement for these issues. There are also several positive reviews from cancer survivors on how it benefited their skin after chemotherapy.
Review: A Snapshot of Skin Lighten
- Brand: derma e (dermae.com)
- Product: Skin Lighten
- Line: Therapeutic Topicals
- Purpose: Yes, this product did achieve its purpose for me. Skin Lighten is a natural fade and age spot cream. "This therapeutic herbal treatment contains ingredients shown to lighten the complexion, fade age and liver spots and even out skin tone."
- Price: $24.99 for 2 oz. at derma.com. Although I wish this was closer to $19.00, it is well worth the price. This product is available between the prices of $16.26 - $27.99 at various online stores.
- Stinging: None
- Absorption: Glides on easily and absorbs nicely. No sticky residue. Blends well with daily and evening moisturizers. Did not interfere with foundation.
- Ingredients: All natural and includes a variety of clinically proven skin lighteners. !00% vegan. (scroll down for ingredient glossary and studies)
- Breakouts: None
- Internet Response: Positive. I scanned and researched a variety of reviews and product selling sites, a significant amount of the reviews for Skin Lighten were positive and above average. Most consumers ranked the product between 4.5 - 5 stars. Many new users reported seeing results within the first 2-3 weeks of use, I certainly did (see before and after picture below). The majority of consumers said they would continue buying the product and would recommend it to a friend. Note: I did find a nice handful of cancer survivors stating this product was useful in removing "the mask of chemo."
- Cons: I personally did not identify a con for this product. However, it would be nice if this was infused with a broad spectrum SPF.
I will definitely buy this product again.
derma e, Skin Lighten - Before and After: 2 Weeks
A Note About the Photos and My Skin Regimen...
I took these photos myself and they are of my own skin (I wish I had a better camera). These pictures are not enhanced, they are simply cropped and aligned to show the same area. My skin was freshly washed for the photos and I was not wearing any skin products or foundation at the time of the photos.
Important: is not the only product I am using in my current regimen, this would not be realistic. I have recently started aggressively targeting my melasma with natural treatments and over the counter products. However, I strongly feel Skin Lighten has played a significant role in evening out my complexion as I use it a minimum of twice a day. I have sincere confidence in the clinically proven ingredients in this product and I cannot wait to update the photos with my results. Skin Lighten
derma e Products Are 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free
derma e products are:
- 100% vegan
- mineral oil-free
- gluten free
The Primary Skin-Lightening Ingredients
- C-ester (Vitamin C)
- Milk Thistle
Ingredients in derma e's Skin Lighten Creme
Note: I have highlighted the primary lightening ingredients in bold print
Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, Zinc Oxide, Alpha-Arbutin, Ascorbyl Palmitate (C-Ester), Glyceryl Stearate and Peg-100 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate.
Ingredient list source: dermae.com
How Does Skin Lighten work? A Closer Look at the Ingredients
Here are descriptions and supporting studies for each of the skin lightening ingredients in Skin Lighten.
Licorice: Inhibits Melanin Production
Names and Derivatives:
- Glycyrrhiza glabra
- Glycyrrhizic acid
Topical licorice is a skin lightener and has been used to treat atopic dermatitis. Licorice is a perennial plant with purple flowers. The licorice plant also produces a fruit in the form of a pod with seeds. Most of the world's supply of licorice comes from Southern Europe and parts of Asia.
Key Point: Licorice inhibits melanogenesis, the production of melanin. Melanin creates the pigment in our skin. Excessive melanin accumulation can be caused by sun exposure, hormones, an inbalance of the endocrine system, and medications.
Bhushan P., et al. "Licorice: Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn. Used for Dermatitis." Bioactive Dietary Factors and Plant Extracts in Dermatology. Humana Press, 2013. 433-438. Results: Glycyrrhiza glabra, found to be effective for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and associated signs. Glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizic acid have a significant inhibitory effect on melanogenisis.
Ivosevic-Zaper, Julijana, et al. "Topically applied glycyrrhizic acid causes hair removal in rats." Pharmaceutical biology 0 (2014): 1-4. Results: After 3 d, 20–30% of the treated areas were free of hairs. After treatment for 6–12 d, 90–95% of the hairs were gone. Findings suggest glycyrrhizic acid as an interesting molecule for treating hypertrichosis in humans.
Alpha-Arbutin: Inhibits Tyrosinase
Key Point: Human melanocytes exposed to arbutin showed decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content. Also showing positive results in inhibiting melanoma.
- Melanocytes are the pigment (melanin) producing cell.
- Tyrosinase controls the production of melanin.
- Melanin is the actual pigment.
Names and Derivatives:
- Arbutin is extracted from the bearberry plant and is closely related to hydroquinone. It is also found in cranberries, blueberries, wheat and pear skin.
- Alpha-Arbutin is the synthetic form of Arbutin and is highly effective in controlling melanin production.
Funayama, Masataka, et al. "Effects of alpha-and beta-arbutin on activity of tyrosinases from mushroom and mouse melanoma." Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 59.1 (1995): 143-144.
Sugimoto, Kazuhisa, et al. "Inhibitory Effects of. ALPHA.-Arbutin on Melanin Synthesis in Cultured Human Melanoma Cells and a Three-Dimensional Human Skin Model." Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 27.4 (2004): 510-514.
Polnikorn, Niwat. "Treatment of refractory dermal melasma with the MedLite C6 Q-switched Nd: YAG laser: two case reports." Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy 10.3 (2008): 167-173.
C-Ester (Vitamin C) is an anti-aging agent
What does c-ester do?
- produces collagen
- it is a well known and scientifically proven antiaging cream
- proven to correct discoloration from sun damage
- improves uneven skin tone
- improves skin texture
- brightens skin tone
- induces a healthy glow (reduces dullness)
Msika, Philippe, and Nathalie Piccardi. "Depigmenting or brigthening cosmetic composition comprising at least one oxazolin as an active ingredient." U.S. Patent No. 8,722,023. 13 May 2014.
Valazquez, Alice B. 98 Beauty Treasures Of The 21st Century Women: Look Attractive And Beautiful Everyday With This Complete Beauty Guide And Discover Ultimate Health And Beauty Tips For Women Of The 21st Century. KMSPublishing, 2014.
Milk Thistle: Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant
Milk thistle has show positive results in a variety of dermatology based studies and is one of a few effective agents available for topically treating melasma.
"Silymarin showed tremendous improvement of melasma in a dose-dependent manner, and was effective in prevention of skin damage caused by U.V. sunlight." Altaei, Tagreed. "The treatment of melasma by silymarin cream." BMC dermatology 12.1 (2012): 18.
What is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle is an annual and is native to Asia and Southern Europe. Milk thistle extract comes from the seeds and has been used in herbal medicine for decades, centuries even. It is commonly used for treating liver disease and hepatitis.
Milk thistle extract is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory liquid, it also aids is sun damage prevention.
Names and Derivatives:
- Milk Thistle
- Saint Mary's Thistle
- Marian Thistle
- Lady Thistle
Katiyar, Santosh K. "Silymarin and skin cancer prevention: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects (Review)." International journal of oncology 26.1 (2005): 169-176.
Mamalis, Andrew, et al. "The active natural anti-oxidant properties of chamomile, milk thistle, and halophilic bacterial components in human skin in vitro." Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 12.7 (2013): 780-784.
Uliasz, Annemarie, and James M. Spencer. "Chemoprevention of skin cancer and photoaging." Clinics in dermatology 22.3 (2004): 178-182.
Ginseng: Inhibits Melanin
Ginseng has shown promising results in pigment studies: "The ethanol extract of ginseng seed showed an excellent inhibitory effect on melanin production" Lee, Y., et al. "Inhibitory effects of ginseng seed on melanin biosynthesis."Pharmacognosy Magazine 10.38 (2014): 272.
Lee, Y., et al. "Inhibitory effects of ginseng seed on melanin biosynthesis."Pharmacognosy Magazine 10.38 (2014): 272.
, Wenyuan, and Jie Gao. "The use of botanical extracts as topical skin-lightening agents for the improvement of skin pigmentation disorders." Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. Vol. 13. No. 1. Nature Publishing Group, 2008.
Binic, Ivana, et al. "Skin ageing: natural weapons and strategies." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).
Ong, Michal WS, and Howard I. Maibach. "40 Skin Whitening Agents."Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology (2014): 423.
Ingredient Glossary for Skin Lighten
- Water (Aqua)
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: an emollient derived from coconut oil. Also an anti-inflammatory and known to aid in repair of the skin's surface.
- Stearic Acid, saturated fatty acid commonly used as a softening agent.
- Cetyl Alcohol, fatty alcohol, commonly used as a moisturizer. Good for skin irritations such as rash, burns and radiation therapy.
- Stearyl Alcohol, fatty alcohol derived from fatty acids. It is usually derived from coconut oil and shea nuts. It is a multi-purpose ingredient and functions as an emollient, humectant and emulsifier.
- Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, aids in lightening the skin through the inhibition of melanogenesis.
- Silybum Marianum (Milk Thistle) Extract, aids in lightning the skin through the inhibition of melanogenesis. It also serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and an antioxidant.
- Zinc Oxide, best known as a significant ingredient in calamine lotion (the other being iron oxide). Zinc Oxide aids sunscreens as a UVA and UVB reflector.
- Alpha-Arbutin, aids in lightening the skin through the inhibition of melanogenesis. Arbutin is derived from the bearberry plant and is clinically proven to prevent the formation of melanin.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate (C-Ester), an anti-aging antioxidant and fat-soluble form of Vitamin C. Promotes the production of collagen and reduces blotchiness.
- Glyceryl Stearate and Peg-100 Stearate, an emulsifier derived from glycerin. Aids in creating stability across ingredients.
- Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), an antioxidant. Multi-functional: protects skin from UV damage, reduces free radicals caused by sun exposure, prevents cell membrane damage, and protects natural moisture and oil barriers within the skin.
- Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), an antioxidant and retinoid.
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract, an antioxidant and a skin lightener. Inhibits melanin. Showing positive results in anti-cancer studies.
- Dimethicone, an emmoliant.
- Phenoxyethanol, a preservative. Occurs naturally in green tea.
- Ethylhexylglycerin, a preservative and skin conditioner.
- Potassium Sorbate. a preservative.
My Personal Melasma Targeting Skin Care Regimen
My regimen includes:
- Daily use of the SonicDermabrasion brush with the PCA Pigment Bar*.
- I follow all cleanings with Skin Lighten and either Olay Regenerist Night Cream** or derma e's DMAE Skin Firming Cream***.
- I occasionally use glycolic acid and I treat excessive peeling with a dab of Manuka Honey. (I did not use glycolic acid during the two week review period.)
- I treat excessive dryness with Avocado Oil.
- Sun Protection: Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 100+.
There are specific ingredients in these products known to aid in cell turnover, skin lightening and skin tone.
- *Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid and Niacinmamide.
- ***DMAE, Alpha Lipolic Acid, C-ester, Panthenol and Vitamin A.
Therapeutic Topicals: Natural Remedies: Scars, Itching, Eczema, Psoriasis
Current products in derma e's Therapeutic Topicals Line
There are currently 23 products in the Therapeutic Tropicals line:
- Skin Lighten Natural Fade and Age Spot Creme
- Scar Gel
- Tea Tree and E Antiseptic Creme
- Vitamin E Intensive Therapy Hand Creme
- Vitamin E 12,000 IU Creme
- Tea Tree and E Face and Body Wash
- Psorzema Creme
- Cracked Skin Relief Creme
- Skin, Hair and Nail Oil
- Vitamin E Intensive Therapy Body Balm
- Tea Tree and E Oil
- Itch Relief Lotion
- Psorzema Body Wash
- Clear Vein Creme
- Vitamin E Intense Therapy Lotion, Fragrance Free
- Skinbiotics Treatment Creme
- Vitamin E Skin Oil 14,000 I.U.
- Stop Itch Creme
- Anti-Acne Creme: Herbal Pain Relief
- Intensive Therapy Foot Creme
- Vitamin E Intensive Therapy Body Lotion, Naturally Scented
- Skinbiotics Treatment Oil
Therapeutic Topical products are available at derma.com
Tell them MissOlive sent you...
Additional Resources for This Review (Reviews, Ingredients, and Studies)
American Academy of Dermatology
This review was an independent review and was unsolicited or funded by derma e. Skin Lighten products were purchased by the reviewer. The analysis of the ingredient list was researched and assessed by the reviewer. The ingredient glossary was created by the author through a three-point research process. Related studies for skin lighteners were cited if they were beneficial to the primary purpose of the ingredient and were listed at the author's discretion.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Marisa Hammond Olivares