A quick note before I begin about MDHB: I am really very sorry about not writing for so long. I apologize if I have disappointed my readers! I finished my first Basic Science Class, Anatomy, with a final on October 13, and am now ready to invest more time back in my website (my next exam, in Cell Biology, is November 3). I am still learning to balance schoolwork with other responsibilities, so thank you very much for being patient and understanding with me. Now onto MDHB! :-) -Nicki
Methyl dihydroxybenzoate is the latest ingredient from pharmaceutical powerhouse Allergan. Released in Vivité Vibrance Therapy ($95.00, Amazon.com; MSRP $115.00), methyl dihydroxybenzoate reduces hyperpigmentation by interfering with the actual production of melanin (skin pigment). This is unique because current popular treatments kojic acid, arbutin and hydroquinone work by interfering with the activity of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme for the biosynthesis of melanin in epidermal melanocytes, according to Dr. Leslie Baumann’s text Cosmetic Dermatology. In addition, also according to the text, vitamin E as alpha-tocopheryl ferulate may also prevent hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosine hydroxylase activity in an indirect manner.
So how effective is stopping hyperpigmentation at the end (with actual melanin production) versus ceasing it towards the beginning (with tyrosinase inhibitors)? According to reports from Allergan, results with Vivité Vibrance Therapy are similar to those from using a 4 percent hydroquinone solution (the highest concentration of hydroquinone available without a prescription). In a company-sponsored eight-week study, two sets of women put Vibrance Therapy on one side of their faces and 4% hydroquinone on the other. In one group, effects with Vivité Vibrance Therapy actually surpassed those of 4% hydroquinone, with 70 percent reduction in hyperpigmentation versus hydroquinone’s 63 percent; in the other group, there was a 62 percent reduction for both.
So should you switch from hydroquinone to Vivité Vibrance Therapy? That depends. If you alarmed about hydroquinone use due to reports that large oral doses induce cancer in rats, a 2006 review in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Jacob Levitt, M.D. reports that topical applications of hydroquinone in standard product concentrations are not in fact carcinogenic to humans. So that’s not really a reason to switch. If, on the other hand, you are a darker-skinned individual and have concerns over the development of ochronosis (which has been linked to hydroquinone use), then you may want to try Vivité Vibrance Therapy. Of course, always speak to your dermatologist first.
With that said, I’m really happy to be back to blogging, and I’m going to do my best to update from now on, even with school commitments. And I’m especially glad to come back with a great find like Vivité Vibrance Therapy ($95.00, Amazon.com). Keep your awesome requests coming!