Natural Tyrosinase Inhibitors: Role of Herbals in the Treatment of Hyperpigmentary Disorders

Mini Rev Med Chem. 2019;19(10):796-808. doi: 10.2174/1389557519666190116101039.


Cutaneous pigmentation plays critical role in determining the color of skin along with photo protection of skin from dreadful effects of ultraviolet radiations. Conversely, abnormal accumulation of melanin is responsible for hyper pigmentary disorders such as melasma, senile lentigines and freckles. Because of the visible nature of dermatologic diseases, they have a considerable psychosomatic effect on affected patients. Tyrosinase inhibitors are molecules that interrelate in some way with the enzyme to prevent it from working in the normal manner. Past many decades witnessed the quest for the development of natural tyrosinase inhibitors due to imperative role played by tyrosinase in the process of melanogenesis and fungi or fruit enzymatic browning. Mechanism of pigmentation is characterized by the intact process of the synthesis of specialized black pigment within melanosomes. Melanin is synthesized by a cascade of enzymatic and chemical reactions. For this reason, melanin production is mainly controlled by the expression and activation of tyrosinase. In the current article, we discussed tyrosinase inhibitors from the natural sources, which can be an essential constituent of cosmetics products and depigmenting agents for the treatment of hyperpigmentory disorders.

Keywords: Alkaloids; enzyme inhibitors; herbal; hyperpigmentary disorders; pigmentation; tyrosinase..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / chemical synthesis
  • Biological Products / chemistry
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemical synthesis
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / drug therapy*
  • Melanins / biosynthesis*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Skin Lightening Preparations / chemical synthesis
  • Skin Lightening Preparations / chemistry
  • Skin Lightening Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Skin Pigmentation / drug effects*


  • Biological Products
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Melanins
  • Skin Lightening Preparations
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase