Hyperpigmentation refers to the darkening of skin in patches, resulting in blotchy skin. The patches may be small or large, on any area of the skin. It can be anywhere on the body, including the face. It is caused by the production of excess melanin, the pigment which gives skin its color.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by many reasons, the most common of which are:
- Too much sun exposure – This results in sun spots or tanned skin that is too dark in some areas than others
- Pregnancy – This pigmentation is called Melasma that occurs due to hormonal fluctuation
- Thyroid Disease
- Birth Control pills
- Injury – burns, acne or skin treatments
Hyperpigmentation on its own isn’t dangerous, unless it’s a symptom of an underlying disease. In most cases, a few simple home remedies can help to get rid of hyperpigmentation.
Home Remedies to Clear Hyperpigmentation
Lemon and citrus fruits in general have a high Vitamin C content along with citric acid which is known for its bleaching properties. Lemons are also a natural astringent and remove excess oil from the skin. One way to use this is to simply dip a makeup pad or cotton ball in lemon juice and rub it all over your face. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off. This might be a bit drying for dry skin, so an alternative is a mask of 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp honey. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off.
Avocados are high in Vitamin C and oleic acid, which help to repair pigmented skin effectively. Mash a ripe avocado into a paste, ensuring it is smooth. Mix a tablespoon of milk and a tablespoon of honey into the paste. Apply the paste over the pigmented areas and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash off with cool water. Repeat everyday to see results.
Potato starch contains an enzyme called catecholase which helps in de-pigmenting skin. It also helps to get rid of scars or puffiness. You can simply rub potato slices over your face or make a mask. Grate a potato and squeeze out any excess water. Mix in about 2 tbsp lemon juice and apply all over the pigmented area. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
Turmeric is a traditional remedy for improving skin tone and preventing bacterial infections and acne. Mix turmeric and milk in a 1:2 ratio to make a paste. Apply this paste on pigmented skin, massage for 5 minutes and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing off. Turmeric can also be mixed with lemon juice and applied all over the face. Be sure to use pure, organic and unadulterated turmeric.
The gel of the aloe vera plant is perfect to rejuvenate and refresh dead skin cells. It also works on hyperpigmented skin to restore it back to its normal tone. Mix two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and enough honey to make a paste. Apply this paste over pigmented skin and let it dry, before washing it off with lukewarm water.
Almonds contain healthy and natural fatty acids that nourish skin well, and get rid of pigmentation. Together with milk, which promotes skin lightening, almonds can restore skin to its natural tone. Soak almonds overnight, peel and grind with milk. Apply over the pigmented regions of skin and leave it on for 20-30 minutes before washing.
Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which helps in exfoliating skin and encourages regeneration of skin cells. Mash up the flesh of a ripe papaya and apply all over skin and let it dry before washing off. You can also mix a little honey to increase the effectiveness of the mask.
Vitamin E is an ingredient present in several skin care products because of its numerous benefits. Vitamin E helps to repair sun damage on skin and protects from further damage as well. Vitamin E oil can directly be massaged onto the pigmented area for good results. Else, you can mix the contents of 2 Vitamin E capsules with another mask like Fuller’s Earth, or a fruit mask before applying onto the skin.
9.Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is a great astringent, and apple cider vinegar has many benefits that include taking care of hyperpigmentation. However, vinegar is acidic, so never use it directly on facial skin. Dilute vinegar with equal parts of water and rinse the pigmented area with it. For sensitive skin, try diluting with more water or try another method if the vinegar irritates.
Sandalwood is well known to improve skin’s tone and to even out any pigmentation problems. It also has cooling properties which help to refresh tired, dull skin. There are two ways of making a sandalwood mask: one is to mix sandalwood and enough rose water to make a paste, the other is to mix 2 tbsp sandalwood powder, 1 tbsp turmeric and enough milk to make a paste. Apply this paste on the pigmented parts of skin and leave it to dry. Rinse off with cool water.
While the home remedies is something that you need to opt for, it is also important for you to
It is very easy to avoid hyperpigmentation by following some basic precautions.
- Ensure adequate protection from the sun – Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, and reapply on especially hot days.
- Cover the face with large sunglasses or a hat when you step out.
- Eat healthy – What you eat will reflect on your face, so stick to lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Where possible, pick organic produce.
- Avoid processed food – Stick to natural foods and avoid processed foods as far as possible. The preservatives and additives in processed foods can wreak havoc on the skin.
Even though hyperpigmentation isn’t dangerous as such, it can lower a person’s self esteem and make him feel self conscious. If the pigmentation doesn’t subside in spite of all these remedies, it’s best to consult a doctor and find out if there is any other underlying cause.
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