Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 311, Issue 3, pp 183–191 | Cite as

Whitening effect of l-ascorbate-2-phosphate trisodium salt on solar lentigos

  • Yuko Ishikawa
  • Takao Niwano
  • Shinichi Hirano
  • Kayoko Numano
  • Kazunori Takasima
  • Genji ImokawaEmail author
Original Paper


Little is known about the anti-pigmenting effects of whitening agents on solar lentigos (SLs), which comprise ~ 60% of hyperpigmented facial lesions of Asian subjects. Lotions with or without 6% l-ascorbate-2-phosphate trisodium salt (APS) [test lotion (TL) and placebo lotion (PL), respectively] were applied twice daily for 24 weeks in a double-blind half-face study of 27 Japanese females with SLs on both sides of their faces. Pigmentation scores were evaluated using a photo-scale and the skin colors were assessed using a color difference meter and a mexameter for SLs and the non-lesional surrounding skin (NLS). Although the pigmentation scores were not significantly different between the TL and PL-treated SLs after 24 weeks, the L values of TL-treated SLs and NLS increased significantly with a significantly higher △L value in SLs than in NLS. In contrast, the L values of PL-treated SLs and NLS remained unchanged after the treatment. The number of subjects with > 2.0 △L was 7 of 27 (TL) and 0 of 27 (PL) in SLs and 3 of 27 (TL) and 0 of 27 (PS) in NLS. In contrast, the melanin index in TL-treated SLs and NLS significantly decreased with a significantly higher △melanin index in SLs than in NLS. Similarly, the melanin index of PL-treated SLs and NLS were significantly decreased with a significantly higher △melanin index in SLs than in NLS. These findings strongly indicate that APS has a weak but significant anti-pigmenting effect on SLs and a significant whitening effect even on normally pigmented healthy skin.


l-Ascorbate-2-phosphate trisodium salt Solar lentigo Double-blind half-face study Pigmentation L value Melanin index 



Solar lentigos


l-Ascorbate-2-phosphate trisodium salt


l-Ascorbate-2-phosphate Mg




Stem cell factor


Non-lesional surrounding skin


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors state no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ToutVert Co. LtdOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Center for Bioscience Research and EducationUtsunomiya UniversityTochigiJapan
  3. 3.Quines Square Dermatological ClinicKanagawaJapan
  4. 4.Ebisu Skin Research CenterInforward Co. LTDTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Research Institute for Biological FunctionsChubu UniversityAichiJapan

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