What is melanin? Learn about the relationship with age spots and how to take care to prevent them
If you find it through the mirror, you will notice the stain. I hear that it is important to suppress the production of melanin in order to prevent it, but what is melanin in the first place? Maybe some people think that.
This time, I will explain the properties of melanin, the mechanism of spot formation, and the care method to prevent spots. Let’s use it for efficient stain countermeasures by knowing the cause.
What is melanin in the first place? Relationship with the mechanism that causes stains
Do you know what kind of substance melanin is in the first place? I will explain with the mechanism of making stains.
What is melanin?
Melanin is often regarded as a bad guy because of its image that is directly linked to age spots, but it is originally an important entity that protects the skin from ultraviolet rays.
When the skin is stimulated by ultraviolet rays, an enzyme called tyrosinase instructs the melanin factory (melanocytes) to produce melanin. The produced melanin absorbs ultraviolet rays on the surface of the skin and blocks damage from reaching the inside of the skin.
By the way, there are mainly two types of melanin, yellow to red pheomelanin and brown to black eumelanin (eumelanin), and the color of skin, hair, and eyes is determined by the amount and proportion of each.
Mechanism of spots caused by melanin
As I told you, melanin is produced to protect the skin from UV rays. It usually moves to the surface of the skin with turnover (the rhythm of skin reincarnation) and peels off as dirt.
However, if something goes wrong with the cells inside the skin, melanocytes may continue to give instructions for melanin production. Excessively produced melanin may not be excreted with turnover and may remain on the skin as spots.
Even if the amount of melanin is not excessive, it cannot be discharged properly unless the turnover is normal. There are various factors that disturb turnover, such as aging, dryness, ultraviolet rays, and friction, so it can be said that traps are lurking everywhere in our lives.
Measures before you can! How to care to prevent stains
Once a stain is created, it cannot be removed by self-care (home care). If you really want to get rid of existing spots, you need to get medical treatment at a medical institution. It costs money and time, so let’s focus on measures before you can.
Introducing specific care methods that you should be aware of to prevent stains.
Thorough measures against ultraviolet rays
As you can see from understanding how melanin and stains are created, it is very important to block UV rays first. Ultraviolet rays reach the ground regardless of the season or weather, so take measures throughout the year.
Don’t forget to use enough sunscreen and reapply every 2-3 hours. For the face, it is convenient to use face powder that has a UV protection effect. Please make good use of parasols and clothing.
Use whitening cosmetics
If UV protection is “defense”, using whitening cosmetics is “offensive” care. Use skin care that contains whitening active ingredients on a regular basis to reduce the production of melanin.
There are various whitening active ingredients, but for example, “kojic acid” is also a hot topic. A component derived from Aspergillus contained in miso, etc., which suppresses the action of tyrosinase and blocks the movement of melanocytes. It is a mechanism that suppresses the production of melanin and prevents spots and freckles.
Each whitening active ingredient has different characteristics, so please check the characteristics before choosing.
Of course, it is ideal to have a full line of whitening cosmetics, but if you want to take in one, beauty essence is recommended. Add whitening serum to your usual care and keep using it every day.
Refrain from friction
Tyrosinase directs the production of melanin when exposed to any external stimulus, including UV light. When the skin is rubbed, it can also overproduce melanin, as it does when exposed to UV light.
Friction that leads to skin problems such as dryness, wrinkles, and sagging is just a lot of harm and has no benefit. When doing skin care, be aware of the gentle touch on your skin.
Take care of your diet
In addition to external care, it is also important to prepare your body from the inside. A well-balanced diet is a major premise, but please try to incorporate the following nutrients to prevent stains.
・ Vitamin C: It has an antioxidant effect and leads to reduction of UV damage. Synthesizing collagen
Lemon, red paprika, potatoes, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi, etc.
・ β-carotene (vitamin A): Antioxidant, keeping skin and mucous membranes healthy
Lever, egg yolk, green-yellow vegetables, etc.
・ Vitamin E: Lipid
Almonds, vegetable oils (sunflower oil, vegetables), etc. that prevent the oxidation of and support blood circulation
Wheat, soybeans, carotene, etc. that have antioxidant activity and support metabolism , etc.
Originally, it is melanin that is produced to protect the skin, but after all it is worrisome when spots are formed. Once you can do it, you can’t erase it yourself, so let’s devote ourselves to preventive care. Why don’t you start by incorporating whitening cosmetics and reviewing your usual UV protection?
* Whitening refers to suppressing the production of melanin to prevent blemishes and freckles.