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Tyrosinase Inhibitors – What are they and Why are they important?

Danita - February 23, 2024 - 0 comments

What is a tyrosinase inhibitor and why are they important?

Posted by Sarah Kinsler-Holloway or. February 05, 202

A tyrosinase inhibitor in skincare is a chemical that slows down or blocks the production of melanin in the skin, Melanin is the pigment that gives our skin its color, but its overproduction can lead to hyperpigmentation issues like dark spots, sunspots, and melasma.

So, how do tyrosinase inhibitors work? They target an enzyme called tyrosinase, which plays a key role in the melanin production process. By inhibiting this enzyme, they essentially cut off the supply of melanin, preventing it from forming in excess.

Here are some benefits of using tyrosinase inhibitors:

  • fades dark spots and hyperpigmentation: As they reduce melanin production, they can help lighten existing dark spots and prevent new ones from forming.
  • Brighter, more even skin tone: By regulating melanin production, they can create a more even and radiant complexion.
  • Sun protection: Some tyrosinase inhibitors also have antioxidant properties, which can help protect the skin from sun damage and further


Here are some common tyrosinase inhibitors used in  skincare:

  • Kojic acid: Naturally found in some fungi, it’s a potent tyrosinase inhibitor that can be effective for fading dark spots.
  • Arbutin: A derivative of Kojic acid, it’s generally gentler and less irritating but generally less effective
  • Niacinamide: Although not a direct tyrosinase inhibitor, it can suppress melanin production and brighten the skin,
  • Vitamin C: Another indirect tyrosinase inhibitor, it’s an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from sun damage and can lighten dark spots.

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