Melasma, also called ‘chloasma’, is a common skin condition of adults in which light to dark brown or greyish pigmentation develops, mainly on the face.
These brown spots are mainly the result of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which leads to an overproduction of melanin. Melanin is a pigment that produces color to our skin.
There are a number of reasons those pesky brown patches can appear on our skin. One of the main reasons is exposure to the sun. Melasma has also been associated with pregnancy, taking birth control pills, stress, anxiety, faulty thyroid gland, or an unfortunate side effect of some medications and cosmetics.
These brown spots can be distressing, marring your complexion. However, before you shell out hundreds of dollars on pricey creams and laser surgery, there are many natural remedies to try first.
Many of these natural home remedies you can make with the ingredients in your cupboard, costing you next to nothing. These natural remedies are often preferred because they are less invasive, rejuvenate your skin, and are easier on your pocketbook.
Lemon juice is nature’s bleach and often looked upon as the most effective treatment for melasma. The acidic nature of lemon juice exfoliates the top layer of skin off, peeling away the pigmented skin with it. The high vitamin C content found in lemon is also effective for reducing the pigment in the skin.
There are a couple ways you can use lemon to treat the sun damage on your skin:
Juice one fresh lemon. Apply it on the sun-damaged areas and gently massage it into your skin for a minute or two. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water. If you do this twice a day everyday, you should start to see results within 3 weeks.
Make a healing lemon and honey mask. Mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and honey and then smooth over the skin. Cover your face with a warm towel for 15 minutes. The heat from the towel will open up your pores and really allow your skin to absorb the healing effects of the lemon and honey. Once the 15 minutes are up, rinse off. Use mask as often as you like to help treat your melasma.
To make a healing paste, mix turmeric into the juice of one squeezed lemon. Apply the paste to your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Use this treatment daily to see results in 3 weeks.
Please be warned that using lemon on your skin for more than 20 minutes at a time can have an adverse effect on your skin.
Also, the use of lemon juice directly on the skin is not suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Turmeric is a known skin lightener that reduces the appearance of brown spots caused by melasma and also fades the tan caused by sun exposure. Curcumin, the active ingredient in the turmeric spice, contains antioxidants that help flush out toxins from the skin, also making it an effective acne treatment.
If you want to experience this double treat, make a delightful turmeric mask to cure your skin woes:
Mix 5 tablespoons of turmeric powder with 10 tablespoons of whole milk and stir until the mixture turns into a paste. It is recommended that you use whole milk because it contains lactic acid, which exfoliates and softens the skin.
To thicken the paste, add one tablespoon of gram flour.
Apply the mixture evenly to the effected area and allow to air dry for 20 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Apply this mask daily for best results.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of those miracle products you’re always reading about. It not only provides relief to your digestive tract and gives you luxurious hair, but it is also known for giving its users radiant, beautiful glowing skin. Apple cider vinegar contains raw enzymes and friendly bacteria that helps balance the pH of the skin.
When applied topically, the acetic acid found in the vinegar bleaches the brown spots on and creates a smoother, more radiant surface.
Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.
Apply the solution directly to the discolored spots on your skin and allow to air dry.
Rinse off with lukewarm water and then pat your skin dry.
Apply this treatment once a day, everyday.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is a skin savior, not only alleviating the pain of a burn, but also for lightening skin spots from aging, the sun, and melasma. Aloe Vera contains mucilaginous polysaccharides an agent that removes dark spots and helps to restore skin to its original color. Aloe Vera also contains antioxidant properties that protects skin from damage.
You can purchase Aloe Vera gel from any health food store or pharmacy.
Apply gel directly to the affected skin and leave on for about 15 minutes.
Rinse off with lukewarm water.
Apply twice daily for 2 weeks to see best results.