Skin Whitening and Pigmentation

Skin Whitening and Pigmentation

Human skin pigmentation is related to the metabolic activity of a lineage of cells known as melanocytes. Melanocytes extend dendrites from the cell body and create contact with the surrounding keratinocytes. Melanocytes produce the pigment melanin and transfer it via their dendritic processes to keratinocytes. Within melanocytes, melanin synthesis occurs in specialized membrane-bound organelles termed melanosomes, characterized by four stages of maturation along with they gradually become pigmented. Disturbances of its synthesis lead to abnormal pigmentation of the skin (lack of skin pigmentation or skin patches).

Fontana-Masson stain of melanosomes

In cosmetic field, biologically active substances of skin whitening, contrast to skin pigmentation, with scientifically proven efficacy are already among the stars of the market for skin care ingredients. Skin whitening products are popular that are used not only to overall lighten skin tone, but also to reduce hyperpigmentation caused by skin ageing. In vitro safety and efficacy testing of skin whitening agents becomes increasingly important for cosmetics and dermatological industries.

Your needs

  • To screen cosmetic formulations for skin whitening
  • To evaluates the skin whitening efficacy of active substances/compounds or cosmetic products including creams, gels and lotions
  • To understand better of the abnormal pigmentation of the skin (lack of skin pigmentation or skin patches)
  • To find CRO to perform efficacy tests related to skin Whitening and Pigmentation
  • Need a customized in vitro skin model or efficacy tests related to skin Whitening and Pigmentation

Our Capability

In vitro 3D Pigmented Skin Model available

  • Reconstructed Human Pigmented Epidermis
  • Pigmented Skin explants (ex vivo)
  • Melanocyte cell lines (B16, etc.)

Histological characterization revealed that our model had a similar morphology as normal human skin, expressed keratinocyte differentiation as well as basement membrane markers, and showed a high degree of pigmentation.

Fontana-Masson stain of melanosomes Fig. 1 Fontana-Masson stain of melanosomes

Efficacy and Screening Tests available

  • Evaluates the skin pigmentation and whitening efficacy of active substances/compounds
  • Any efficacy tests related to Skin Whitening and Pigmentation
  • Customized tests according to customer’s needs


  • Cell viability
  • Tyrosinase activity and expression
  • Melanin synthesis
  • Assessment of melanocyte proliferation and migration
  • Premelanosome protein - PMEL17


  • qPCR, qPCRarray, RT-PCR
  • Specific immuno-labeling
  • Histology (Fontana/Masson staining)
  • RNA extraction
  • Protein extraction
  • Macroscopy

Assay Examples

Skin Whitening and Pigmentation

Fig. 2 A) Melanin quantification; B) TYR expression

Skin Whitening and Pigmentation

Fig. 3 Tyrosinase activity inhibition by a tested compound

Related Products and Services

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In vitro Skin Models:

For research use only. Not for any other purpose.