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Skin lightening

Important Chemical Components:

Also known as diarylpropane oxygenase, diarylpropane peroxidase, ligninase I, and LiP, lignin peroxidase catalyzes the following reaction: 1,2-bis(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl) propane-1,3-diol + H2O2 ⇋ 3,4-dimethoxybenzaldehyde + 1-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)ethane-1,2-diol + H2O. The molecular formulae for lignin are C9H10O2, C10H12O3, C11H14O4.

Origin Classification:

This a naturally occurring enzyme derived from one of the most abundant organic polymers that is highly processed for commercial use.

Personal Care Category:

Depigmenting, toning

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:



Derived from the white-rot tree fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium, lignin peroxidase is a naturally occurring enzyme identified as the enzyme responsible for breaking down lignin in decaying trees, resulting in rapid decolorization.1 Lignin peroxidase emerges extracellularly during submerged fermentation of the P. chrysosporium fungus and is then purified from the fermented liquid medium.2,3


The enzyme lignin peroxidase was first identified in 1984, and has been studied for many years as a potential agent to break down lignin in order to whiten wood pulp in paper production.4 It was subsequently found to break down eumelanin, which has a similar chemical structure to lignin. The development of lignin peroxidase as a skin-lightening agent resulted from these discoveries.3,5 In 2004, Woo et al. published the first report indicating that lignin peroxidase/hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) had the capacity to eliminate the pigment in synthetic melanin.1,3


Lignin, an organic polymer found in the cell walls of plants, is similar in molecular structure to melanin as well as coal. In 1994, P. chrysosporium was found to cause decolorization and depolymerization of low-grade coal in culture conditions conducive to mineralization of lignin.3,6 Recent research has verified that lignin peroxidase has the potential to break down or depolymerize melanin.3


This agent is for topical use only.


A trademarked (by Syneron of Israel) lignin peroxidase formulation, Melanozyme is a glycoprotein active at pH 2 to 4.5, above which it is inactive (5.5 is the normal pH of skin, with some variation between 5.0 and 6.5), that identifies epidermal eumelanin and breaks it down without suppressing tyrosinase or affecting melanin biosynthesis. Melanozyme, produced in liquid form by Lonza of Switzerland in a proprietary, high-yield production process that produces a commercially concentrated formulation, is available only in the new skin-lightening product known as Elure.

The two-sided product includes Melanozyme on one side and an activator containing H2O2 0.12 percent that oxidizes, thereby activating the lignin peroxidase to lighten the skin ...

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