As skin studies continue, inflammation continues to influence so many skin irritations. My skincare products are formulated to remove as many of the inflammatory ingredients as possible. My products try to stay away from Sodium Lauryl Sulfate for one. So many over the counter product use this ingredient. Sadly, it was developed to clean garage floors!
The relationship between inflammation and pigmentation is a solid fact, and visible skin discolorations often accompany inflammatory reactions. A fascinating study by Papa and Kligman showed that when the skin is irritated/disrupted (they used Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a surfactant known to disrupt skin barrier integrity), and inflammatory signaling molecules release, the amount of DOPA+ and melanocyte cells double in number, and their size increases. Melanocytes are very defensive cells and will pump out melanin (as a protective mechanism) in an inflammatory milieu. ANY topical strategy to target unwanted pigmentation MUST focus on the underlying inflammation driving pigmentation, as well as targeting all the molecular and cellular pathways influencing melanogenesis. The more you know about formulating great products and providing them to clients, the better the skin will be.