I get a lot of e-mails asking about luxury products: Are they always better? (No.) Do they contain ingredients or delivery systems you might not get in lesser products? (Sometimes). Such is the case with the best-selling Chanel LeBlanc Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXCTM ($140.00, Amazon.com). A sensation in Asia since 2010, the concentrate promises to deliver “haute whitening: lighted up from within, transparent, even and radiant, as perfect as a fine pearl.” Considering that I love Chanel, I [mentally] covered up the label, put all bias aside, and broke this one down like a scientist:
TXCTM is the active ingredient in the Chanel LeBlanc line. A derivative of transexamic acid, TXCTM gets rid of age spots using a brand-new mechanism distinct from hydroquinone, kojic acid, or resorcinol. These ingredients all inhibit an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is necessary for the production of melanin within the skin. TXCTM also prevents melanin from forming, but does so by reducing levels of two other components necessary for melanin production: prostaglandins and arachidonic acid (Journal of Health Science, 2007).
In an open pilot study published in Dermatologic Therapy in 2007, injections of tranexamic acid were given to 100 women with melasma for 12 weeks. The treatments were well- tolerated, and 76.5% of the subjects reported lightening of their melasma. Unfortunately, there are no published studies to date in any scientific journals that show how well topical tranexamic acid works on the skin. In-house studies at Chanel show TXC™ delivers continuous action to keratinocytes cultured in vitro for 12 hours (Chanel.com), but still no in vivo human trials.
However, there is good news: In the first step of tranexamic acid action, it binds to plasminogen, which circulates in the bloodstream and adopts an open form when it reaches the cell surface. I assume, judging from the success of the LeBlanc line in Asia, topical application of transexamic acid is sufficient enough to cause skin lightening. To what degree, I don’t think the dermatological community can say for sure as of yet.
More Info about TXCTM for True Science Buffs!
For you science buffs out there, TXCTM prevents the binding of plasminogen to keratinocytes, which results in reduction of prostaglandins and arachidonic acid, the inflammatory mediators involved in melanogenesis.
Personal Use and Opinions
Chanel LeBlanc Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXCTM is suitable for all skin types, as it is not too hydrating for oily/acne-prone skin or desiccating for dry skin.
It was designed as an updated version of the former lightening serum, Chanel White Essentiel. Unlike White Essentiel, LeBlanc Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXCTM is not greasy or sticky, but rather velvety. It spreads over skin like silk and is instantly absorbed to a semi-matte finish on the skin.
Chanel LeBlanc Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXCTM is the first in America to contain the ingredient TXCTM, which fights hyperpigmentation by an entirely different mechanism than any of the others on the U.S. market right now. Though somewhat unproven by independent clinical trials, the way transexemic acid and its derivatives continue to sell out in Asia demonstrates: a.) TXCTM must be doing something to fight hyperpigmentation, and b.) dermatologists and skin scientists need to study this in comparison to other hyperpigmentation ingredients, stat.
Product Rating: 9/10 (High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients: 2.5/3. Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3. Value for the money: 2.5/3. UV protection: 1/1, because there is prevention of UV damage. Also, this product is better than an 8/10, so I “boosted” this one a little )
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