If you look at your palms and soles, you’ll see that these areas are lighter than the rest of your body. It’s a physiological phenomenon unique to primates (that’s humans, plus apes and gorillas, to name a few). And it happens regardless of your skin tone.
There’s even a name for it: palmoplantar whiteness.
But it’s such a fact of life that no one seemed to have given it a second thought before – until the researchers at French skincare brand Sisley, who identified that a skin protein called DKK1 is responsible. It’s made specifically by the fibroblasts in your palms and soles – nowhere else in your body – and naturally inhibits melanin production. That’s why the palmoplantar regions are fairer. Fibroblasts make connective tissue for skin repair.
Taking inspiration from how DKK1 works in skin, Sisley looked into how it could reproduce this natural lightening action beyond the palms and soles. How? By stimulating the production of DKK1 in the non-Mpalmoplantar fibroblasts.
Says Jose Ginetar, director of Scientific Research at Sisley: “Sisley specialises in plant science rooted in nature. It makes complete sense for us to look into our own physiological peculiarities as inspiration.”
The brand uncovered a new active ingredient in the seeds of the Egyptian Myrobalan tree. The extract reduces melanin production by stimulating the fibroblasts to produce DKK1. The result is Phyto-Blanc Le Concentre, an all-round brightening serum that promises more luminous and translucent skin in two weeks.
It not only reduces melanin production, it acts on the four steps that lead to melanin formation in the first place, and then closes the loop by protecting skin from external aggressors (stress, UV exposure, pollution) that lead to the skin going overboard with its melanin response.
In Sisley’s in-house study, testers saw early results after two weeks: visibly clearer, more translucent and radiant skin, with less obvious pigmentation. After two months, testers said their skin was much more luminous, with an improved glow and a brighter complexion.
Two pumps each morning and night, applied after toner and before moisturiser, are what’s needed for the botanical ingredients in Sisley Phyto-Blanc Le Concentre Pure Bright Activating Serum ($430, 20ml) to make your skin more luminous.
WE TRIED IT
What happened to my skin when I used it for two weeks:
THE TEXTURE The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly, yet still feels substantial on my skin. I like the velvety finish – my skin feels softer after application.
AFTER TWO WEEKS I can see that my skin has a more consistent but subtle luminosity – friends even asked me about it. My skin tone looks more even and my old acne scars seem lighter.
THE BIGGEST BONUS: My skin is translucent and clear enough that I can get away with not using foundation and powder. A little concealer is all I need for skin perfection.
Phyto-Blanc – Sisley’s brightening ritual
To maximise Le Concentre’s effectiveness, add these complementary products to your skincare routine:
TO PURIFY Ultra Lightening Mask ($160, 60ml)
A purifying mask containing lemon, scutellaria and white mulberry extracts, it helps give you brighter, more radiant skin.
TO CORRECT Intensive Dark Spot Corrector ($170, 7ml)
Working on dark spots that form due ageing, sun exposure and skin imperfections, this spot treatment acts on the size and intensity of the spot to give your skin a more even tone. It contains extract of Barbary fig blossom and salicylic acid, both known for their gentle exfoliating properties.
TO PROTECT Brightening Daily Defense Fluid SPF50/ PA++++ ($370, 50ml)
This two-in-one powerhouse combines an anti-dark spot treatment with a potent skin defence system that shields against UV rays, pollution and free radicals. The 100 per cent mineral sunscreen is sweat- and humidity-resistant, and suitable for sensitive skin.
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