Skin lightening or bleaching is a global practice. Skin lightening products account for nearly half of the cosmetics industry and are in high demand in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
According to Wikipedia, the 2012 sales of skin lightening creams in India alone totaled 258 tons and the global market for skin lighteners is projected to reach US $19.8 billion by 2018 based on sales growth primarily in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Arbutin is a glycoside; a glycosylated naturally occurring hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Melanin is a black pigment produced by our skin cells for defense against harmful UV rays from sun. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-lightening agent. Its mode of action resembles that of synthetic Hydroquinone (a banned substance by Kenyan authorities).
Arbutin is incorporated into lotions or creams in a special formula. We train how to do it.
Kojic acid which is gotten from fermentation of Aspergillus flavus is the best natural agent for skin bleaching. Kojic acid is chemically known as hydroxy-2-(R- thiomethyl)-4//-pyran-4-ones.
Besides freckles and melasma, there are many types of pigmentation problems that may be treated with kojic acid, because it stops the production of pigment. Kojic acid attacks the root of the pigmentation source by inhibiting the production of melanin. More specifically, kojic acid counters the antioxidant properties of the enzyme tyrosinase, which reacts with an amino acid called tyrosine to produce melanin. By stopping the production of melanin, kojic acid can reverse excessive darkening of the skin.
Some of the world’s popular brands of skin bleaching products in Kenya are Uba™ Kojic Acid Fairness Cream, Uba™ Kojic Acid Fairness Cream, Kojic Acid Staggernbotch Soap.