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Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine

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Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine is a derivative of phenylalanine, key amino acid of the melanogenesis process. This unique molecule has been vectorized to block the melanin formation process. It combats the appearance of hyperpigmentation to reveal a brighter and more even skin tone. It’s thought to achieve this by suppressing activity of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and beta-adrenergic receptor (β-ADR).1 Synergies may be achieved with AHAs and niacinamide to speed skin lightening effects and typical results are evident in 1-6 weeks.

α-MSH is vital in the melanin formation process. It binds to a receptor which begins the formation of pigment. Undecylenoyl phenylalanine can stop this binding from happening to halt the process in its tracks. β-ADR also plays a role in melanin formation. Stimulation of β-ADR on melanocytes in the skin results in increased melanogenesis.2 Undecylenoyl phenylalanine may function as a “beta blocker” and contribute to a decrease in β-ADR activity, and subsequently, melanin synthesis.2

[1] Katoulis, A., Alevizou, A., Soura, E., Mantas, N., Bozi, E., Gregoriou, S., Makris, M. and Rigopoulos, D. (2014), A double‐blind vehicle‐controlled study of a preparation containing undecylenoyl phenylalanine 2% in the treatment of melasma in females. J Cosmet Dermatol, 13: 86-90. doi:10.1111/jocd.12089
[2] Sivamani RK, Lam ST, Isseroff RR. Beta adrenergic receptors in keratinocytes. Dermatol Clin. 2007;25(4):643–x. doi:10.1016/j.det.2007.06.012


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