Skin pigmentation is caused by a natural pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced and distributed by melanocytes; a minor population of specialized skin cells found in the basal layer of the epidermis. The melanin is distributed to keratinocytes, which proliferate and move toward the skin surface, giving the skin its characteristic colour. Melanin can also be found in hair follicles and is responsible for hair colour.
Melanin is synthesized from tyrosine in melanosomes, which are vesicles found within melanocytes. The melanin synthesis is also known as melanogenesis. This process is catalysed by different enzymes, the critical ones being tyrosinase (TYR), tyrosinase-related protein (TYRP1) and dopachrome tautomerase (DCT).
Melanin is essential for UV protection of the skin. Sun exposure (UV light) triggers the production of melanin and is the main cause of uneven skin pigmentation, often referred to as hyperpigmentation.
Sings of hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a result of altered melanin production, which causes uneven skin pigmentation. It can be triggered by different factors, mainly sun exposure (UV light, which causes dark spots also known as sunspots), hormones (melasma), age (sun or age spots) and inflammation (post-inflammation hyperpigmentation - e.g. acne lesions).
Claims related to pigmentation
Measurement principles and instruments
Measurements are performed using Callegari 1930 Company - Soft Plus device, which is an instrument designed to assess a variety of skin parameters.
Evaluation of skin pigmentation (presence and size of dark spots)
Evaluation of melanin content
Evaluation of skin elasticity/firmness
Evaluation of skin hydration
Soft Plus device offers a specific programme, which enables the evaluation of the uniformity of skin pigmentation, combining visual comparison with images in the database and direct measurement of the number and size of dark spots.
Efficacy testing protocol is prepared for each product individually with close cooperation with the sponsor. Based on the claims, usage regime and efficacy expectations, we prepare a protocol that is suitable for the type of product and can confirm product efficacy. The studies can be performed over a different time period (from a few days to several weeks or months) depending on the claim and type of measurement.
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