Melasma is a skin condition where dark, brown, grey, and discolored patches show up commonly around the cheeks, nose, forehead, upper lip, and chin area due to excessive sun exposure, hormonal imbalances, and also during pregnancy. But the most common culprit is sun exposure which can trigger excessive melanin production, so wearing a sunscreen is a must because melasma relapses and flares up when guards are lowered since it is a chronic condition. Though laser and cosmetic procedures promise permanent removal of melasma, the truth is that, relapses do happen, and that’s why maintenance is your best option. Rather than opting for expensive laser treatments, here are some home remedies that youc an try to reduce melasma and dark spots.
What Causes Melasma?
1. Hormonal Imbalance: Elevated estrogen level and a drop in progesterone can cause melasma.
2. Facial Waxing: Sometimes waxing can trigger excessive melanin production.
3. Sun Exposure: UV exposure makes melasma and hyperpigmentation worse and that’s why you should absolutely wear a good sunscreen every single day. Melanin pigment is produced in skin cells called as melanocytes and this pigment is then carried to epidermal and dermal layer where it shows up as dark spots and melasma patches. Harmful rays of sun activates production of melanin in melanocytes and a good sunscreen can effectively block this trigger.
4. Harsh Skincare Products: Fragrance in skincare products, harsh skincare, and low-quality makeup products can trigger inflammation and trigger melasma.
5. Improper Diet: A diet which lacks essential nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, and folate can trigger melanin production.
5 Homemade Remedies For Melasma and Dark Spots:
So, let us look at some effective homemade remedies to tackle melasma, reduce discolored patches, and prevent recurrence and relapse.
1. Aloe Vera, Turmeric, Yogurt, and Almond Oil Mask: Yogurt contains vitamins B12 and B2, along with lactic acid that fade away dark spots. Aloe vera moisturizes and hydrates skin, and nourishes it from within. Almond oil contains vitamin E, retinol, and vitamin K. These ingredients make this a potent mask to treat melasma and hyperpigmentation. To make this mask, mix one tablespoon of yogurt with 3-4 drops of almond oil and a pinch of turmeric, and add 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel. Mix everything well, apply on dark spots. Let it stay for 20 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water. Apply daily till you achieve desired results.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment: Dilute a few drops of apple cider vinegar in 2 tbsp of plain water. Apply to melasma and dark spots and wash off after 20 minutes. The acetic acid in ACV is believed to lighten pigmentation and marks. You can also use ACV with honey as a mask.
3. Vitamin E and Olive Oil Mask: Olive oil has the ability to heal the skin. It naturally improves your complexion or lighten the appearance of dark spots on your face. Squeeze in 2 vitamin E capsules (Evion) into 2 tsp of olive oil. Mix well and apply on the face. You can keep it on for 20 minutes or leave it overnight. Rinse off by using only a mild cleanser.
4. Potato and Cucumber Pack: Potato has a host of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as zinc, potassium, and cucumber is a natural skin skin-lightening ingredient. The best thing about this mask is that you can use it every single day. Take equal quantities of potato and cucumber juice, mix well, and apply on spots and patches with the help of a cotton ball. You can also leave this mask as an overnight mask.
5. Rosehip Oil Treatment: This oil has known skin-lightening properties and evens out skin tone with its rich vitamin C and antioxidant properties. This oil also improves collagen production. Do remember to massage this oil every day to improve the texture and clarity of the skin.
6. Topical Application of Wheat Germ Oil: This oil has high vitamin E and fatty acid content. It helps in increasing skin cell turnover and reduces hyperpigmentation and scars with regular use.
Most importantly, a healthy diet (find such diets on Rati Beauty app) would supply the body with antioxidants, vitamins like C and E, and other nutrients that would help fight melasma by inhibiting excessive melanogenesis from within.