skin lightening

Update on Topical Vitamin C Products

When I got asked last year if it was OK to crush up vitamin C tablets and rub them into your face via your moisturiser I thought it was a rubbish idea. I mean,  the vitamin C  in these tablets has been specifically formulated for good ingestion rather than good skin-absorption and although some of the chemical names are the same, the presentation of these actives can be very different. Therefore I advised against doing this. 

However, it seems that the desire to get vitamin C into the skin THROUGH the skin has not gone away (and nore should it).   Further, it is not enough to just get your ‘C’ dose in a normal anti-ageing moisturiser or serum, you want it NEAT. You want it brought to you as a little white powder and you want it to look all “sciency”.  Well,  in that case you will be wanting to try this by Dr Sebagh: 


It is not easy to get Vitamin C into a powdered format that will deliver skin benefits. Vitamin C is notoriously hard to work with as it breaks down (Oxidises) in air, with light and in water.  However, cosmetic chemists are always up for a challenge and so it wasn’t long before those problems had been overcome, patented and launched onto the market. 

The above Dr Sebagh product uses a patented blend of ingredients to protect the Vitamin C from environmental degradation. These ingredients include  a silica silyate powder – this is a hydrophobic (water hating) thickener,  Sodium ascorbyl phosphate for skin lightning and for its anti-oxidant properties, Nylon 6/12 used as a film former and absorbent agent,  Xylitol – an artificial sweetener that  has humectant properties (it can suck water into it), water and a couple of preservatives.  Basically the product can be re-wetted in […]

Lighter, brighter skin.

Why is  it hat it now seems almost impossible to go to the beauty counter without being offered some white out?

Historically speaking many cultures have seen lighter skin as a sign of wealth due to the relationship between sun exposure and skin pigmentation.  Ladies of English high society would whiten their faces with a lead or mercury based paint using a formulation that was probably made popular in Roman times. In Japan, Geisha were defined as much by their beautiful Kimono as by their powdery white faces and red lips. Again, the white face cream was originally lead based until it was found to be linked with poisoning after which it was based on a rice powder.  Another popular skin whitening trick across Asia was to crush up pearl sea shells and drink them. The Japanese saying “Iro no shiroi no wa shichi nan kakusu” translates to “A white complexion hides many defects”  (Japanese proverbs and sayings, Daniel Buchanan) says it all!

However, for western cultures this rule of thumb was turned on its head in when the jet set started to jet set in the 1920’s.  A glowing tan became a status symbol and a calling card for luxury. However, it seemed like the fun had only just began when the downside of too much sun started to ruin the party. The first sunscreen was probably made by Piz Buin in the 20’s but  it wasn’t until the second world war that sunscreen use became de rigueur, at least withing the combat zone.  Trench foot in WWI was replaced by desert nose in WWII although those not facing combat would have to wait until the 1970’s for their sun tan lotions to grow an […]

Pigmentation – Your Skins Colour Evolution!

The recent and untimely death of Michael Jackson has (among other things) brought skin colour to our attention. The speculation over Michael’s own skin will continue for many years as the media and fans remain locked in discussions, trying to ascertain whether the lightening was self inflicted or naturally caused.  Whatever the outcome in Michael Jackson’s case (and I am NOT going to be the first to know) the fact remains that uneven pigmentation affects many of us non-celebrities over our lifetime.

Our skin is coloured by melanin and genes determine the amount of melanin that your skin can produce.  Melanin is the skin’s protection against sunburn so it is logical that the skin produces more melanin when exposed to the sun, giving you a tan.  It is also logical that the genes for dark skin developed closer to the equator where the sun’s rays are strongest– although there is some discussion over the evolution of skin colour, this is for another day!  So, we get born into a world full of colour and for most of us, that colour is evenly spread out all over our body  – with a few moles (Nevi) ,freckles and a birth mark or two  as the exception.

As we grow, our skin is developing a relationship with the world around us, adapting as far as it can do deal with the conditions that we find ourselves in. However, our natural mechanisms can only take us so far and if that point is crossed, regularly, there can be implications in the form of ill health, skin pigmentation problems and cancerous growths.  You may be thinking that the environment is the number one cause of skin pigmentation issues. That may be […]