The Story behind Cysteamine

Cysteamine is a natural biological active ingredient that reduces the level of melanin in human skin. It removes brown spots, treats pigmented marks and produces a uniform and light skin complexion. Long established as very safe and potent, it was never applied to skin depigmentation – until Cysteamine Cream®. Discover the story behind.

Naturally present in human cells

Cysteamine is naturally present in human cells as well as in human milk. The cysteamine molecule acts as an intrinsic antioxidant and is known for its protective role against ionizing radiation. Cysteamine content is highest in human milk compared to most other food sources and can be called as the anti-oxidant of human milk.

In the 1960's, a group of researchers led by Dr. Chavin discovered the very potent depigmenting abilities of cysteamine. These researchers found that an injection of cysteamine into the black goldfish skin turned that skin white. Later in 1968, other researchers led by Dr. Pathak and Dr. Bleehen confirmed the efficacy of topical cysteamine as a depigmentation therapy and demonstrated that cysteamine was significantly more effective than hydroquinone for skin depigmentation.

The first and only topical treatment with cysteamine

However, all efforts for making cysteamine into a topical cream for human use were fruitless due to its fast oxidation once in contact with the air. It would turn red, loose its depigmenting function, and produced a very unpleasant « skunk odor». This resluted in the abandonment of researches into cysteamine, despite its high depigmenting efficacy and safety profiles.

Fifty years later, Scientis Pharma resumed researches into cysteamine in our laboratories and made a significant discovery: we developed a technology that stabilized cysteamine molecules and significantly reduced its odor in cream conditions. Cysteamine Cream® is the first and only depigmenting treatment containing cysteamine as its active ingredient.

The research findings

"Considerable efficacy in the treatment of epidermal melasma"

April 2013, the American Academy of Dermatology publishes results that set Cysteamine Cream® as the new standard for epidermal melasma treatment. Since then, the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research, the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and the British Journal of Dermatology published results demonstrating the potent depigmenting action of Cysteamine Cream® by significantly efficacy in decreasing melanin content in epidermal melasma lesions. Results are confirmed significant efficacy of Cysteamine Cream® both by investigator’s and patients’ viewpoints.

The series of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials were conducted by independent groups of researchers..


Cysteamine has consistently shown superiority to hydroquinone, which was previously considered to be the most effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. Unlike hydroquinone, use of which has become more and more controversial and restricted due to reports on its cancer producing effect, cysteamine is also known to be an anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic agent.

Cysteamine Cream® is intended to replace current options for the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders and to provide a better alternative for patients wishing to lighten and unify their skin tone.



The novel biological depigmenting treatment for hyperpigmentation concerns

Cysteamine Cream®
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