Efficacy of hydroquinone-free skin-lightening cream for photoaging


Correspondence: F Dreher, Neocutis, Inc., 3053 Fillmore Street #140, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA. E-mail: frank.dreher@neocutis.com



Hyperpigmentation and solar damage remains a difficult problem to treat with topical agents.


To evaluate a novel skin-lightening complex (SLC) comprising four actives targeting melanin formation at multiple levels, namely disodium glycerophosphate, l-leucine, phenylethyl resorcinol, and undecylenoyl phenylalanine, in an oil-in-water emulsion cream.

Patients ⁄Methods

Skin-lightening complex was evaluated in 80 female subjects of skin types I–III with at least moderate mottled hyperpigmentation. After a wash-out period of 1 month with a sunscreen, the subjects added a cream containing the SLC for 12 weeks twice daily to entire face and continued the sunscreen use.


Whereas there was no significant change during the wash-out period, the primary endpoint mottled hyperpigmentation decreased by 32% after the 12-week treatment period with the SLC cream. Secondary endpoints such as severity and number of lentigines, skin tone, and skin brightness also improved. In all, 57% of the subjects showed at least a moderate response, 17% did not improve, and 3% got worse after the treatment.


The SLC cream was well tolerated, in particular when comparing with exfoliating or peeling agent containing skin-lightening products. When used with a daily sunscreen, this study confirms that the SLC represents an alternative to hydroquinone, retinoids, and many other skin-lightening actives.