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Why EVERYONE Should Use a Tyrosinase Inhibitor

Posted by GlyMed Plus Education Team on

Inside our skin, specifically the epidermis, we have different layers. One of these layers is called the basal layer and this is where our skin cells form and divide to create the outer layer of our skin. In the basal layer, there is a cell called a Melanocyte. A Melanocyte is a dendritic cell, meaning it has branch-like legs that reach up through the layers of our skin. It is responsible for transporting melanosomes that contain pigment (melanin) to give us the color of our skin, hair and eyes.

We all roughly have the same number of Melanocytes, but the amount of melanin produced is what gives our skin its color. For example: Someone with fair skin has about the same number of melanocytes as someone with dark skin. However, their melanocytes produce less pigment (melanin) than the person with a dark skin, resulting in a paler complexion.

What is Tyrosinase and why are we trying to control it?

Alongside the melanocyte, in the basal layer, there is an enzyme called Tyrosinase. This enzyme converts an amino acid called Tyrosine to oxidize and essentially create the pigment (melanin) to be transported. This is a natural process but it is also a defense mechanism against Ultraviolet Rays (UV rays)

Many factors play a part in how our skin cells are affected but UV rays are one of the most common. When we are exposed to UV rays, our melanocyte will produce more pigment (melanin) to protect us from the harmful rays. This can be damaging to our cells, especially if it results in a sunburn. When cells have been damaged, the Tyrosinase enzyme will send a “misfire” of oxidation to Tyrosine which will result in overproduction of pigment. This is called hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation comes in many forms such as freckles, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, dark spots, age spots and melasma. This is an uneven skin tone usually presented by a brown darkening of the skin.

What is a Tyrosinase Inhibitor and what does it do?

We can protect our cells from being damaged and from the misfire of pigment resulting in uneven skin tone with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and skincare products that contain Tyrosinase Inhibitor ingredients. Tyrosinase Inhibitors will prevent the enzyme Tyrosinase from “misfiring” or over-oxidizing Tyrosine so there is no overproduction of pigment in the skin. Tyrosinase Inhibitors are not only for those who have Hyperpigmentation, but also for clients that have healthy, even skin. We have all heard the saying “it’s easier to prevent than it is to correct” and that saying applies here. You might have a beautiful, even skin tone now, but we want to make sure it stays that way. Using a Tyrosinase Inhibitor will help protect your skin and prevent you from forming hyperpigmentation and oftentimes hyperpigmentation is lying underneath the skin and will surface later-on in life. You can prevent this hyperpigmentation from happening or from surfacing altogether.

There are different types of Tyrosinase Inhibitors and they are usually listed in two (2) categories - Prescription Lightening Agents and Natural Lightening agents. The most common, and FDA approved, prescription ingredient is Hydroquinone which offers the strongest form of prevention and correction against Hyperpigmentation. Then you have Natural Tyrosinase Inhibitors such as bearberry, licorice root, ascorbic acid, kojic acid, 1 Methylhydon-2-imde, arbutin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and many others that are usually derived from a plant source or synthetically made to help reduce the overproduction of melanin in the skin.

Tyrosinase Inhibitors will correct hyperpigmentation and prevent it from forming but it does require continued use. Our skin has a memory and once it’s been damaged hyperpigmentation can come back, especially if the cells are left unprotected. Using a Tyrosinase Inhibitor with the addition of GlyMed Plus high-quality broad spectrum SPFs you will help to protect the cells from damage.

To learn more about GlyMed Plus amazing Tryrosinase Inhibitors and our high-quality sunscreens please call one of our friendly licensed Master Aestheticians at 800-676-9667 or email us at