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Would you spend $125 on bleach? I thought not. But what if you were in despair over stubborn dark spots and were told that a cream that costs a mere $125 would come to the rescue. You’d be tempted. But would you still be tempted if this cream amounted to not much more than bleach? A cosmetic company called elure thinks that you would.
The elure Advanced Brightening Night Cream is on sale for $125 and an active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide at a .012% concentration. This is basically bleach and is mostly used in stain removal, whitening pulp for paper production, laundry detergent manufacturing and wound disinfecting.
Now bleach will, of course, bleach the skin and when wanting to get rid of a dark spot or two, that could be considered to be a good thing. But consider also that hydrogen peroxide has been found to damage skin cells by causing oxidative stress. And what is a key factor in aging? Yes, oxidative stress. (source).
Surely, you are thinking, there has to be more to elure Advanced Brightening Night Cream than hydrogen peroxide. And, indeed, there is something that sent me off to do my research. It is called ligninase and it comes from a fungi. Ligninase is an enzyme that breaks down lignin, the support tissues in plant cells that are so tough that they do not biodegrade easily. This is handy if you want to break down tree bark (the fungi that produces this enzyme is known as white rot fungi).
However, the interesting thing about this enzyme is that it has been found to degrade melanin (responsible for those dark spots). Lignin peroxide (from the same fungi) has been found more effective, according to one study, than hydroquinone. As far as I know, it seems to be safe. The only downside that I came across is that it only breaks down melanin, but does not prevent its formation (source).
While lignin peroxide seems to an interesting alternative whitener, it isn’t enough for me to overlook elure’s use of bleach.