A split-face evaluation of a novel pigment-lightening agent compared with no treatment and hydroquinone

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Lignin peroxidase is a cosmetic skin-lightening alternative that breaks down plant cell walls and melanin.


This research examined the topical efficacy of lignin peroxidase in pigment lightening.


Sixty women aged 18 to 65 years with mild to moderate facial dyspigmentation were enrolled for 12 weeks in 2 cohorts. Cohort 1 applied lignin peroxidase to 1 randomized side of the face and nothing to the opposite side. Cohort 2 applied lignin peroxidase to 1 facial side and generic hydroquinone to the other. Investigator, subject, and dermospectrophotometer measurements were obtained.


In cohort 1, improved skin texture (P < .001), roughness (P < .001), and overall appearance (P = .002) was noted at week 2 with lignin peroxidase versus no treatment. By week 12, there was a decrease in spot size with lignin peroxidase versus no treatment (P = .014). This was confirmed by a statistically significant reduction in melanin scores with the dermospectrophotometer on lignin peroxidase–treated side at weeks 4, 8, and 12 (P = .003) and a similar reduction in Melasma Area Severity Index score. Cohort 2 demonstrated parity between lignin peroxidase and hydroquinone, but lignin peroxidase was statistically superior in skin texture and roughness.


The sample size was limited.


Lignin peroxidase might be an over-the-counter skin-lightening preparation with efficacy parity to hydroquinone.

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