Ancient cultures used botanicals and mineral compositions of various kinds to facilitate skin lightening. Several of these materials, researched in recent years, have been found to contain natural enzyme and hormone inhibitors, antioxidants and sunscreens. Curcuma longa (Turmeric) roots is one of these botanicals that have been used for thousands of years and now, advanced research has detailed understanding of how turmeric works to improve the skin.
Turmeric have curcuminoids comprised of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin that are naturally bright yellow in color. This yellow extract is hydrogenated to create a colorless mixture called tetrahydrocurcuminoids. Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (THC) and has skin lightening, cancer-reducing, and prevention properties. It is the principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family and is a natural antioxidant exhibiting a variety of pharmacological activities and therapeutic properties. It has long been used as a traditional medicine to brighten the skin.
Thanks to advancement in extraction methods, tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, the most effective component of tetrahydrocurcuminoids, has been successfully isolated. This superior compound provides more physiological and pharmacological activity than its parent molecule and is safe for topical use with no irritant or sensitization side effects.
Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, a natural blend is valued as a topical antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Free radicals on the surface of the skin, generated through exposure to ultraviolet radiation, chemicals or other environmental stress factors catalyze aging of the skin. Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane scavenges free radicals and prevents their formation. Clinical studies show tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane superior free radical scavenging and inhibition of lipid peroxidation as compared to vitamin E.
Clinical studies indicate that tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane efficiently reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanin synthesis. Melanin biosynthesis (melanogenesis) is influenced by genetics, environmental factors, diet and medication. The production of melanin by specialized cells called melanocytes (in the basal layer of the epidermis occurs through the action of the enzyme tyrosinase. The rate-limiting step in melanogenesis is the conversion of L-tyrosinase to melanin, through the action of tyrosinase.
In vitro studies indicate that tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane marketed as SabiWhite® efficiently inhibits tyrosinase, the rate limiting enzyme in the synthesis of melanin. Its efficacy is superior to that of commonly used natural skin lightening agents such as kojic acid, arbutin, and hydroquinone. Laboratory studies revealed that tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane offers topical protection against UVB induced inflammation and the resultant damage to the skin. These properties are particularly useful in anti-aging, skin lightening, sun care and after sun care formulations. Additionally, the free radical scavenging activity of tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane was found to be superior to that of the synthetic vitamin E analog, Trolox (Research report, 1998).
Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane can be found in LeCerre's Rapid Brightening Serum.