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Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine

Also-called-like-this: Sepiwhite MSH
What-it-does: skin brightening


If you have pigmentation issues, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine is something to look at. It is an amino acid (Phenylalanine) derived molecule that is thought to hinder the pigmentation process in a unique way by being a so-called MSH-antagonist

MSH stands for Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone, and as you have probably guessed by its name, it is important in the process of melanogenesis, i.e. the generation of melanin pigments. MSH binds to a receptor on the melanocyte (the skin cell that creates melanin) called Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R), which kicks off a bunch of biological processes that result in the formation of pigment. Our guy, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine can hinder this binding and thus the whole melanin creation process afterward.  

The efficacy of the molecule is definitely promising. The manufacturer did several in-vitro (in test tubes) and in-vivo (on people) tests and found Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine to be more effective than a bunch of well-known skin-lightening molecules, such as arbutin, kojic acid or MAP (the vitamin C derivative). 

We also found two research studies that show that 2% Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine is effective both in the treatment of age spots (or sunspots, the pigmentation that comes with UV and age) and melasma (that comes at a younger age and is usually influenced by hormones). A third study done by Procter&Gamble examined our amino-derivative, combined with Niacinamide and found that the combination of 1% Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine with 5% Niacinamide is more effective than niacinamide alone

Show me some proof

  • Katoulis, A. C., et al. "A randomized, double‐blind, vehicle‐controlled study of a preparation containing undecylenoyl phenylalanine 2% in the treatment of solar lentigines." Clinical and experimental dermatology 35.5 (2010): 473-476.
  • Katoulis, Alexander, et al. "A double‐blind vehicle‐controlled study of a preparation containing undecylenoyl phenylalanine 2% in the treatment of melasma in females." Journal of cosmetic dermatology 13.2 (2014): 86-90.
  • Bissett, Donald L., et al. "Reduction in the appearance of facial hyperpigmentation by topical N‐undecyl‐10‐enoyl‐l‐phenylalanine and its combination with niacinamide." Journal of cosmetic dermatology 8.4 (2009): 260-266.

Products with Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine

La Shield Lite SPF 50+ & Pa+++ Sunscreen Gel Matte Pigment Control - Sepiwhite 2% sanfer Cremoquinona Día Aizen Whitifique Face Cream Circadia White Veil Brightener Lovinah Red-C Ampoule Aizen Sepiwhite MSH 3% Ultra Ampoule Azarine Pure Radiance Barrier Moisturizer Jiera Lip Infusion Kene Dark Spot Corrector Skintrium F&f Xf15 Exquisite Corrective Skin Whitening Gel Skintrium Fair And Flawless Esthetic Blend Gelato Corrective Moisturizing Gel Wardah White Secret Day Cream Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel Chuda Skin Perfecting Serum DR. SCHRAMMEK Vitamin C Beauty Flash ElsheSkin Radiant Advance Serum Environ Evenescence Clarifying Lotion Epionce Melanolyte Tx Mazton Lumexa Gel Skin Whitening Neova Serious Clarity 4X Complexed Brightening Serum TheSkinlist__ Advanced White Serum Azarine Niacinamide 5% + Moisture Sepiwhite Serum Bionike Defence B-Lucent Skin-Evening Concentrate Bright Diary Brightening Serum 5% Niacinamide Cipher Multi-Corrective Overnight Facial ELIXIR COSMECEUTICALS Retinext Advanced Corrective Serum IOMA 7 Illumine Dark Spot Concentrate OsmosisMD Perfection Ruruberry TURN Serum Skintrium Esthetic Blend Platinum Extraordinaire Corrective Facial Moisturizer Skintrium Fair And Flawless Face Lighten & Rejuvenating Fluid Skintrium Fair And Flawless Stay Flawless Sun Damage Prevention Emulsion Bio-Taches Serum Cipher Ctrl Z Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Smooth And Brighten Emulsion INGU 4d-brightening Booster Serum Dark Spots Antioxidant UV Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Kene Genwhite Dark Spot Corrector Olay Professional Prox Even Skin Tone Spot Fading Treatment Soul Apothecary Radiance Boost Soul Apothecary Radiance Boost Serum Venita Moisture Booster Anti-acne & Whitening Serum Farmona Professional Revolu C White Blemish Reducing Cream SPF 30 Fixderma Epifager Forte Cream Holy Snails Snow Shark KB Pure Tirosinol Serum La Shield Lite Sunscreen Medik8 White Balance Original Serum Regimen Lab Level Serum