Pearl is considered as a symbol of beauty, youth, and eternity. Pearl powders are used both internally and externally for beauty care purposes.
The Chinese Pharmacopoeia states that actions of the pearl involve “anchor the mind, eliminate corneal opacity, counteract toxicity and promote the growth of new tissues”.
Modern research discovered that pearl helps improve sleep, slow down the skin aging process, and lighten pigementation, making it a popular ingredient in cosmetic applications. Pearl contains aragonite (CaCO3) and small amount of the protein conchiolin. Conchiolin is an organic protein, which form the matrix of the shell, in which calcium carbonate is deposited.
Pearl powder is usually associated in beauty treatments, with its property of resistance to anti-aging. Its moisturizing effects work via enhancing the water-holding capacity of the skin and exhibiting antioxidant activity. Tyrosinase catalyzes conversion of tyrosine to L-DOPA, and further oxidizes this t dopaquinone, which is used later for the formation of melanin. Melanin is associated with skin darkness. Pearl powder acts as tyrosinase inhibitors, preventing melanin formation, which it is therefore widely recognized as skin whitening agents1.
ZS Dong, CK Wang et al. Comparison of hydration, tyrosinase resistance, and antioxidant activation in three kinds of pearl powder. J Cosmet Sci 2010, 61: 133-145