Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
Intravenous skin lightening involves the infusion of a particular antioxidant made from amino acids (which we cannot name due to advertising regulations) and vitamin C. These antioxidants naturally occur in our bodies. The combination of 2 ingredients works powerfully together to simultaneously block the production of skin pigment (melanin) formation.
Amino Acids and Vitamin C
Amino acids and Vitamin C are given together via intravenous infusion over several sessions to lighten the skin.
This particular amino acid is a naturally occurring tripeptide amino acid well known for its antioxidant capabilities. In fact, it is referred to as “the mother of all antioxidants”. It works effectively to prevent the formation of melanin (skin pigment) along with inhibiting the action of the enzyme tyrosinase which is involved in the maturation of melanocytes (melanin-producing cells).
What are the mechanisms of action for amino acids and Vitamin C
There are several mechanisms of action that amino acids take to lighten the skin including:
- Preventing the cellular transport of tyrosinase to a site where it becomes a catalyst in the pigmentation production phase.
- Direct inactivation of the enzyme tyrosinase prior to catalysing the production of pigmentation. Once the enzyme tyrosinase is deactivated melanocytes are unable to reach maturation.
- Deactivating free radicals which activate tyrosinase.
- Depigmenting the skin by breaking down the melanocytes.
- Switches the production of eumelanin to pheomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for dark brown to black pigment in the skin and pheomelanin is a fairer pigment in the skin. Therefore, switching from eumelanin to pheomelanin results in a lightening of the skin’s complexion.
Vitamin C is co-infused with the IV infusion because of its ability to recycle the amino acid that is also infused. That is, it keeps the amino acid in its reduced state inside the cells where it does its work.
How long is the IV skin lightening treatment and how many are required?
Each treatment session will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes in the clinic. The treatment involves the insertion of the cannula into a vein. There is a risk of bruising at the injection site, similar to what you would experience when having a blood test.The vitamin C and amino acid combination is then slowly infused into the vein.
You will be provided with refreshments including tea, coffee, and water along with your choice of magazines we have on offer or the TV to ensure your comfort through your visit. At the end of the treatment, we will remove your intravenous cannula.
The number of treatments required varies and depends on the patients and their expected outcomes. Approximately 10 to 12 treatments are a recommended course, depending upon your skin’s response to the infusion. These treatments can be administered up to 2 times per week for accelerated results.
Timing is everything when it comes to achieving the best results. Our most commonly prescribed course of treatments is 10 sessions twice a week over the duration of 5 weeks. At these intervals, we are able to maintain high levels of amino acids and vitamin C within the system to continuously prevent and reverse pigmentation formation.
IV infusion Vs Supplements and Dietary intake of amino acids and Vitamin C
This particular amino acid is most effective in intravenous form as a result of its molecular make up. It is a chain of three essential amino acids (the basic building blocks) which find the stomach and gastrointestinal tract to be a hostile environment breaking it into three individual amino acids. Once their bonds are broken it fails to provide the antioxidant and skin lightening benefits you are expecting.
For this reason, whilst there are foods and supplements high in this amino acid, it is difficult to obtain sufficient levels through your diet and oral supplementation to achieve significant change within the body.
Thankfully, modern medicine has allowed the delivery of of this amino acid directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract, and remaining in an active state to create effective and positive change within the body.
Vitamin C can be increased by eating certain foods, including citrus fruits and vegetables, or by taking oral supplements. The gastrointestinal system does again play a significant part in the amount of vitamin C that can be absorbed through the gut along with high doses taken orally leading to digestive disturbances. Having the vitamin C co-infused with the amino acid intravenous treatment not only ensures there is the correct amount to support and recycle the amino acid in it’s reduced the state. In this reduced state, it continues to block the production of pigment and provide its beneficial antioxidant effects.
Absorption into the bloodstream:
This amino acid, when taken orally, is degraded almost 100% leading to an inefficient result. On a completely mirrored scale, intravenously it is expected to deliver 100% bioavailability in the bloodstream.
The percentage of Vitamin C absorption when taken orally through supplementation or dietary intake is dependent on the amount consumed and the health of the gut. It is expected that 70% – 90% is absorbed in doses between 30 – 180 mg a day. An oral intake of 1g or more per day sees a drop in absorption rate to 50% or less. Intravenous doses of vitamin C allow for higher doses to be delivered to the bloodstream without causing digestive disruptions and compromising the absorption rate.
How much does IV skin lightening treatment cost?
The cost per session can be found on this page;
What happens when I complete my course of IV skin lightening infusions?
Once the active ingredients of the infusion have left the body they no longer produce a lightening effect on the skin. As a result exposure to pigment causing factors, namely UV exposure, will see the skin begin to regain pigment and begin to darken again. Steps can be taken to reduce the level of increased pigment. Using a high SPF sunscreen, even on overcast days and during times of incidental exposure such as driving, sitting in a sunny window. Your practitioner can provide further tailored advice on how to maintain results.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of IV skin lightening treatments?
IV skin lightening is a treatment that our practitioners perform regularly. We provide a safe, pleasant and relaxing environment for you to have your treatment.
Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.
Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.