Who doesn’t love their skin? We all love our skin and do care for that. It’s a universal desire to have flawless skin. Yet, sometimes we find ourselves at a stage where we struggle to meet our skin expectations. Hyper pigmentation, undoubtedly is the most common skin issue that is faced across the world especially, in most of the women in their 30s. Hyper pigmentation isn’t necessarily a condition but the change in the colour of the skin which is usually harmless.
The colour differences of the skin in humans are mainly due to the natural pigment granules present and the amount of the melanin produced. Melanin is pigment which is made by the cells in the skin which provides coloration to the skin and is responsible for the hyper pigmentation too. The light and the dark skin complexion depend on the amount of the melanin produced in your body. Moreover, it protects the human skin from the UV light radiation.
What is hyper Pigmentation?
Pigmentations means the patches of skin that gets darker as compared to the surrounding area. This happens when the skin generates more melanin. All types of the skin are affected with this. There are a lot of factors that could cause skin pigmentation which include Genes, Skin damage, Injuries, Acnes or disorders. (Which foods can help to get best skin for lifetime?)
You will be surprised to know that the secret remedies for hyper pigmentation are right in your kitchen. Although, this might sound quite skeptical but your skin health depends a lot on what you consume. Scroll down to understand the scientific lens of pigmentation and know more about the foods and remedies for pigmentation.
Types of Pigmentation:
The common skin pigmentation types are mainly divided into 4 depending on the cause.
This is ubiquitous among women. It is also called the “Mask of Pregnancy”. This type of pigmentation occurs deeper in the skin dermis. The probable causes include hormonal changes which may develop during pregnancy. This can become worse when there is a high amount of sun exposure, stress or medication. These pigments are large brown patches (darker skin) and tend to appear mostly on the stomach, forehead and face. These patches have indistinct borders which can be a way of identification of this type.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH):
PIH is a type of pigmentation that occurs as a response to any skin injury, inflammation, acne, eczema, burns, frictions or some clinical treatments. Darkened skin or patches or maybe even spots show out as a result of this. This remedy is usually treated with tropical products. PIH can be improved with time although it can recur. They appear most of the time on the face and neck.
Sunspots are also known as Solar Lentigines or Age spots. This occurs when the skin is exposed to sun in excess over the period. Sunspots are more of an age defined pigmentation which appears on hands, face or the areas overexposed UV. The spots, here, vary from light brown to black as the degree of the colour depends on how much these melanin pigments are exposed to UV light. If seen on a larger scale, these pigmentations must be monitored as there are probable chances for that to develop into melanoma or skin cancer.
The most prevalent type of pigmentation is Freckles. This occurs commonly with people having fair complexions. These are the tiny little dots that appear on your face due to the repeated exposure to sunlight. Freckles, to some extent, are influenced by heredity. They are more prominent in the summer and become light during the colder weather.
Causes of hyper Pigmentation:
As discussed earlier, the basic and the most common cause of skin pigmentation is the excess production of Melanin pigment. In addition, certain medications, pregnancy, hormonal changes can also result in pigmentation. The areas affected by skin pigmentation majorly include face, neck, hands, knees and elbows. There can be the various causes for the occurrence of skin pigmentation of which few are listed below –
- Excess sun exposure
- High production of melanin
- Heredity of skin pigmentation
- Inflammatory Diseases
- Pregnancy or hormonal causes
- Chemical or physical injury
- Frequent exposure to some cosmetic product
Remedies for Pigmentation:
Pigmentation on skin causes loss of confidence in many of them. So, apart from the cosmetic procedures and creams for the treatment of hyper pigmentation, there are numerous ways in which you can lighten the skin pigmentation at home using natural remedies. Few of the remedies are anecdotal, but research suggests that the actives present in the ingredients work on hyper pigmentation. If a person wishes to try any home remedy, first they should always try it on a small patch of the skin to know the suitability. Mentioning, some of the remedies for pigmentation below-
Apple cider vinegar:
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one of the admirable skin lightening agents for unwanted pigmentation. ACV consists of acetic acid and polyphenols. The former part acts as a mild chemical peel in some cases and the latter one acts as an antioxidant that helps protect skin cells. The remedy can be used as – Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and apply it to the pigmented area. Keep it for 3-5 mins and rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid contact with the eyes and use higher concentrations.
Aloe Vera is the king when it comes to skin. Aloin or Aloesin is the active ingredient that is present in Aloe Vera. This active could work effectively in reducing pigmentation over time. Moreover, it is also responsible for soothing and moisturizing the skin. The Fresh Aloe Vera or the Aloe Vera gel must be applied on the pigmented areas twice a day. The skin absorbs the actives and makes the skin soft. (How to treat heat rash?)
Yogurt or milk:
Another natural product that you may find in your kitchen is dairy products. Milk, Yogurt and even buttermilk contains lactic acid which tends to be effective in lightening the skin colour. As it is a dairy product, it also helps to rectify the Ph imbalances. The usage of any of these to reduce pigmentation is quite easy – Soak a cotton ball in the dairy product you wish to. Rub it over the pigmented skin twice a day. Let it rest for 10 min and rinse. You can also add honey or turmeric to it for better results.
Papaya is considered as a natural exfoliant as it contains fruit acid and enzyme, papain being the major one. It helps in breaking down the skin cells in and improves the skin by breaking the topmost layer of the skin. Papaya is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which helps reduce the age spots on the skin. Grate the papaya or blend it and apply the juice on the skin, rest it for 15 mins and rinse. Apply daily for a month to notice the changes. (Which foods can help to keep liver healthy?)
Together, lemon and cucumber are great ingredients for skin pigmentation. Vitamin C plays the major role here. These exfoliate, lighten and moisturize the skin. This combination is also suitable for oily skin. First, blend the slices of cucumber and add a few drops of lemon into it. Apply it to the skin and leave for around 20 mins. Usage of this remedy, twice a day for a month can leave your skin amazing.
Turmeric has been used to treat skin disorders since ancient times. The major active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It has antibacterial properties and acts as a bleaching agent. Besides, to some extent it’s been shown to reduce the melanin production in the skin thus reducing the skin pigmentation. Daily apply turmeric mixed with lemon juice or raw milk on the skin for 20 mins and rinse with cold water. (How to use immunity powder?)
Nutrition, Diet and Hydration:
Nutrition, diet and hydration plays an important role in skin nourishment. Proper diet including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and adequate hydration results in improving skin tone, skin cell turnover and texture.
Dark Green Vegetables:
Time to add dark green veggies in your cart. Dark green veggies such as kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, zucchini and other leafy vegetables contain a good number of vitamins and minerals. They also contain carotenoids that help in reducing the oxidative stress and act as a filter to UV radiation which helps in reducing the pigmentation. (How to overcome from iron deficiency?)
Citrus fruits are the savior! Fruits such as lemons, orange, mandarin grapefruits are all packed with high amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A. They act as antioxidants and help reduce the free oxygen radicals in the body. Furthermore, they assist melanin production that can help fight discoloration. (Which food is powerhouse of vitamin C?)
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which help reduce skin inflammation and melanin production in the skin. You can either add green tea to your regular diet or make a paste out of a spoonful of green tea and water to be used as a face mask. (Why do we need antioxidants?)
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts and seeds are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, Magnesium, zinc and Vitamin E. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and also act as a preventive measure for acne. They regulate the hormones thus helping in reducing the skin pigmentation of its kind. (Why it is Importance to include protein in kids diet?)
Sweet potatoes and carrots:
Carrots and sweet potatoes, both contain a good amount of beta carotene or provitamin A. These compounds when consumed, gets combined into your skin and acts as a natural sunblock.
Heard about water being the secret for healthy skin? Yes! It’s true. Drinking adequate water helps to flush out the toxins from your body, including your skin cells. This in turn helps in keeping the skin cells hydrated so that they can resist the sun exposure. (Summer drinks for kids)
Face mask for Skin Pigmentation:
A lot can work as a remedy for hyper pigmentation. Face packs are one of those. But Simplicity works at its best. In simple terms, the number of the ingredients in the mask doesn’t matter but the ingredient. Sharing a simple and day-to-day face mask. Make sure you try it first on a small patch of the skin to make sure it’s suitable for your skin.
All you need:
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1-2 tablespoon raw milk
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 3-5 tablespoons of red lentil flour (You can use chickpea flour as well)
How to make: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and make it into a paste. Add water if required. Apply it on the affected areas. Let it rest on the skin for 15 mins. Once dried, dampen your skin and start scrubbing off the pack gently. This exfoliates the skin and reduces the pigmentation. Rinse your face with cold water. Apply suitable moisturizer or Aloe Vera gel.
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