The secrets of melanin: origin, role and benefits

Les secrets de la mélanine : origine, rôle et bienfaits

Melanin is a brown and black color pigment, responsible for the coloring of hair, skin and eyes. White hair, pigmentation and brown spots on the skin are due to melanin deficiency. Often stimulated to fill its lack, melanin allows us to have resplendent hair as well as a radiant complexion.

How does our body produce melanin?

Melanin is produced by melanocytes and synthesized by tyrosine. The first are cells found in the hair follicles of the epidermis. The second are amino acids that are also present in skin, hair and eye coloring pigments.

Once produced, melanin diffuses into the layers of the epidermis and then migrates to the surface of the skin due to the permanent renewal of epidermal cells. It plays a determining role in the color of the skin. Each of us produces melanin but in a different way depending on our origins or even our genes. In all cases, melanin deficiency causes the same pigment disorders. These disorders can be manifested for example by vitiligo, this disease responsible for the depigmentation of the skin, causing white spots on the skin.

The main role of melanin is to protect the skin from various damages caused by UV rays. Indeed, when you expose yourself to the sun, this protective oil neutralizes the ultraviolet rays responsible for many consequences on the epidermis.

The harmful effects of UVA and UVB

Ultraviolet rays have very harmful effects on health. They cause discoloration of the skin, graying and whitening of the hair. UVA rays in particular penetrate very deeply into the skin. At first glance, they accelerate the signs of aging by promoting wrinkles and age spots. Worse still, they can damage skin cells, thus causing the risk of cancer.

However, the production of melanin is seen degraded over time, due to many factors such as age, pollution, climate, hormones and excessive exposure to the sun.

The lack of melanin causes colossal and quickly visible damage:

  • On the hair: we observe canities or depigmentation of the hair and the hairs which become gray or white. But in addition, they are dull and lackluster.
  • On the skin: you may see spots appear or suffer from vitiligo. In less severe cases, the lack of melanin makes any kind of tanning technique difficult.

Fortunately, there are repigmentation techniques for both hair and skin. You can opt for:

  • a superficial treatment with cream treatments or serums to be applied locally or
  • internal oral treatment in the form of a food supplement.

In any case, these two treatments are complementary in stimulating the production and synthesis of melanin. Your skin and your hair then gradually regain their color and their natural radiance. For the mildest cases, adopting a good beauty ritual to soothe depigmentation is key.

The benefits of melanin on tanning

White skin and black skin do not have the same types of melanins . Eumelanin in black or dull skin has a protective effect against UV rays. It combines protection and pigmentation of the skin. Indeed, when you expose yourself to the sun, your melanocyte cells produce even more melanin. Moreover, the latter migrate more quickly from the deep layer to the superficial layer of the skin to promote pigmentation. This is why it is called tanning pigment.

In fair and white skin, pheomelanins do not have photoprotective properties. On the contrary, it promotes oxidative stress and accelerates skin aging. This is also why fair-skinned people find it more difficult to tan. Anyway, it is always recommended to protect yourself with sunscreen adapted to your complexion when you are exposed to the sun.

Although melanins absorb the sun's rays to promote tanning in the stratum corneum, UV rays remain harmful to health. To optimize this process, we advise you to gradually expose yourself to the sun while making sure to protect your skin with suitable sunscreen .

Melanin to delay skin aging

As we age, the level of melanin in the skin, hair, body hair and the membranes of the eye decreases. In some cases, the pigments no longer cover the entire surface of the skin evenly. Hence the appearance of brown aging spots.

It is therefore important to optimize the production of melanin to delay the first signs of aging. Moreover, this pigment has an antioxidant power thanks to its component called Melaline. It thus makes it possible to fight free radicals at the origin of wrinkles and fine lines, loss of firmness and tone of the skin.

A good concentration of melanin then helps you to keep a unified and radiant complexion while repelling the first signs of aging.

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