Why the skin shows different colors of black, white and yellow, why some people have black spots on their skin, and some people have vitiligo, these are inseparable from the melanin of the skin. So what are melanin and how are they produced?
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Melanocytes – the manufacturing plants of melanin
In the deepest layer of the epidermis of the skin, the basal layer, there are melanocytes. As a secretory cell, melanocytes originate from the neural crest of the ectoderm and are embedded between the basal cells of the epidermis, with approximately 1 melanocyte in every 10 basal cells. And melanocytes are the factories that continuously produce melanin.
The melanin in melanocytes determines the difference in skin color. At the same time, melanin can absorb or reflect ultraviolet UVA, protect deep tissues from radiation damage, and protect folic acid and similar important substances from the decomposition of light.
The formation process of skin melanin includes a series of complex physiological and biochemical processes such as the migration of melanocytes, the division and maturation of melanocytes, the formation of melanosomes, the transport of melanin granules, and the excretion of melanin. From the perspective of biochemical reactions, the formation of melanin must have three basic substances: tyrosine is the main raw material for making melanin; tyrosinase is the main rate-limiting enzyme for the conversion of tyrosine to melanin, a copper-containing Ionic protein enzyme; tyrosine produces melanin under the action of tyrosinase, and the secondary effect is the oxidation process, which must be combined with oxygen to convert into melanin.
The currently recognized melanin formation pathway is: tyrosine dopa→dopaquinone→dopachrome→dihydroxyindole→ketoindole→melanin.
What is Glycyrrhizin
Glabridin is one of the main flavonoids in Glycyrrhiza glabra, a natural substance with outstanding whitening effect, which can only be extracted from the rare Glycyrrhiza glabra.
In 1000kg of Glycyrrhiza, only 100g of Glycyrrhiza can be obtained. The scarcity and extraction difficulty make 1g of Glycyrrhiza equivalent to 1g of physical gold. By detecting the IC50 value of inhibiting melanin, it was found that the whitening effect of glabridin was 232 times higher than that of vitamin C. At the same time, it shows a strong anti-free radical oxidation effect in the cytochrome P450/NADPH oxidation system, which can significantly inhibit the free radicals generated in the metabolic process in the body, so as to avoid oxidation-sensitive biological macromolecules (low density lipoproteins). LDL, DNA) and cell walls are oxidatively damaged by free radicals. Thereby, some pathological changes related to free radical oxidation, such as atherosclerosis and cell senescence, can be prevented and treated.
In addition, glabridin has certain effects of lowering blood lipid and lowering blood pressure. Italian studies have also confirmed that licorice has an appetite suppressant effect, which can reduce fat without losing weight. And through the US FDA test, it is a safe ingredient that will not cause irritation to the skin. The gold-level skin care value and price make Licorice a recognized \”whitening gold\”.
Three effects of licorice
Whitening, inhibiting melanin
The main mechanism of action of Glycyrrhizin to inhibit melanin is to inhibit tyrosinase. Human tyrosinase is an essential enzyme that can regularly produce melanin and turn the skin or eyes from brown to black. We know that skin exposure to UV light can cause some reactions (such as inflammation), and this histological change is manifested as erythema and pigmentation due to the destruction of the phospholipid membrane of skin tissue by UV-induced reactive oxygen species. Active oxygen is a substance that can cause skin pigmentation, so inhibiting its production can inhibit the production of melanin.
The anti-inflammatory activity of Glycyrrhizin was verified by experiments. The guinea pigs were irradiated with ultraviolet light to cause pigmentation, and then smeared with 0.5% Glycyrrhizin solution. It was found that Glycyrrhizin alleviated the skin inflammation caused by ultraviolet stimulation. Erythema on the skin is represented by a value. The degree of inflammation reduction can be calculated by recording the alpha value (colorimetric reading) of glabridin before and after irradiation.
The researchers studied the activity of glabridin to inhibit cyclooxygenase. Cyclooxygenase is an enzyme that converts arachidonic acid into prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory factors. Compared with the control group (using the current cyclooxygenase inhibitor, indenemethine), licorice can achieve the effect of inhibiting cyclooxygenase. It is believed that glabridin affects the production of arachidonic acid by inhibiting cyclooxygenase, thereby reducing inflammation.
People often rely on continuous breathing to obtain oxygen. However, when the human body is using oxygen to carry out certain metabolic reactions, it will inevitably produce some unstable substances, and these unstable substances are all \”transformations\” of oxygen. The personality is very active and likes to attack other beneficial cells. It is the destructive element of the human body. When the concentration of free radicals in the human body is not very high, our body has a complete system to eliminate these free radicals. However, if the concentration of free radicals continues to increase, the antioxidant system in our body will face a crisis of insufficient use.
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What happens to oxidized skin?
The oxidation process of apples is actually similar to that of human skin, which is why the face of the elderly will be wrinkled. Glycyrrhizin has antioxidant properties. It has been reported in the literature that licorice can also be used to reduce corticosteroids in infectious skin diseases and can enhance the effect of steroids.
Application in skin care products
Glabridin has excellent anti-inflammatory, bacteriostatic, anti-oxidative and anti-melanin-forming effects. It can penetrate deep into the skin and maintain high activity. It whitens and has high-efficiency anti-oxidation. It also has the effects of preventing skin roughness. whitening ingredients. It is widely used in anti-blackening care after laser laser operation, medical skin care products and various cosmetics.