Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Sheetal Rawal
Melasma is hyperpigmentation of skin thought to be caused in women due to a shift of the hormonal balance during childbirth and/or menopause. It can also be brought on by excessive sun exposure and usage of products with harsh chemicals that irritate the skin. Numbers show that it is more common in women than in men. However, all hyperpigmentation of skin is not melasma. Dark spots due to an injury, excess dryness, lack of a daily skin care routine, or acne are also very common factors.
Hyperpigmentation or melasma can also be a side effect of prescription drugs that affect the health of the liver.
In Ayurveda, it is said that the health of the liver is most important for the emotional and physical wellbeing of an individual. Hyperpigmentation or melasma can be a result of poor liver health. Aging slows down liver function and vitality and therefore liver spots are quite commonly associated with aging skin.
Harsh ingredients like hydroquinone in bleaching creams can do more damage than good. These are unfortunately still present in the prescription medications and many skin care products for pigmented skin. Likewise, glycolic peels and chemical peels are commonly recommended to reduce hyperpigmentation. These are so harsh that they can end up leaving the skin thin, dry, and on the defensive. The result is more chances of sun damage, lines, wrinkles, and skin irritation. Harsh chemical ingredients used at high percentages can definitely leave the skin more prone to inflammatory disorders like dermatitis, eczema, severe dryness and tenderness.
The fact is that nature offers many ingredients that are not only effective in reducing hyperpigmentation and melasma but also do this safely and without disturbing the natural rhythms of the skin.
In this article, I will list the top natural ingredients to help with hyperpigmentation. Some of these can be easily used at home while others are best as part of a high-quality natural product.
"[ROOP] has helped me a lot with the discoloration so I would really totally recommend the product to anybody who is interested in looking for it...It’s totally worth it."
1. Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice is much better than one that is old and has been sitting around for a while. It is the citric acids in the lemon juice that speed up the rate at which the top layers of skin are shed. This means
the healthier layers are able to surface quickly. You can dab on some fresh lemon juice on your skin 2-3 times a week. Wash in 15 minutes and always remember to use your serum and lotion right after to prevent any dryness.
2. Pineapple Juice: It is an awesome source of bromelain; an enzyme that loosens up the dead and darker layers of skin so that fresher and more even skin underneath can be revealed. To a tablespoonful of oat flour add enough fresh pineapple juice to make a thick paste. Apply on the pigmented areas of your skin and wash in 15 minutes. Follow with serum and lotion.
3. Fuller’s Earth: This one is simply magical! Filled to the brim with minerals and trace elements, this clay detoxifies the skin like no other. It also has mild skin bleaching properties so that means a reduction in hyperpigmentation of skin. Mix a tablespoonful in almond milk and apply on the skin 1-2 times a week. Wash when dry and use serum and lotion for your skin type right after.
In this video, Sheetal teaches you a simple potato juice home remedy to fade dark spots and pigmentation of skin. Enjoy and please subscribe to my YouTube channel!
4. Papaya: This amazing fruit has quite the reputation for brightening up the skin and helping in the reduction of melasma. It is a source of papain, an enzyme that digests the proteins that bind dead cells together. In the process, the darker upper layers are loosened and then they can be simply washed off. A face mask with papaya as the main ingredient is incomparable. Use it 1-2 times a week and follow with serum and lotion.
Get a tablespoonful of green papaya and puree it either with a fork or in a blender. Add 10 drops of fresh orange juice and massage this mix into your skin for 3-4 minutes. Leave on for another 10 minutes. Wash and follow with serum and lotion.
5. Tomatoes: Yep! You read that right. Tomatoes are a source of sulfur, an element that has keratolytic properties. What does that mean? It means that it deep cleans the skin while increasing the rate at which skin cells are shed. So greater chances of healthier skin to show up more rapidly. When cooking with tomatoes, you can not really go wrong with applying some juice to your skin. Wash in about 20 minutes and apply serum and lotion.
6. Licorice: Well this natural ingredient is simply astounding when it comes to hyperpigmentation. A study showed it to be equally effective as the harsh bleaching agent hydroquinone. It is harder to work with at home. If you are able to lay your hands on it then you can add 1/2 teaspoonful of licorice powder to 2 tablespoonfuls of oat flour. Add enough rosewater to make a paste. Apply on the skin. Wash when dry and follow with serum and lotion. Apsara’s premium ROOP Saffron Brightening Potion has very high purity licorice as an ingredient. Get more information about ROOP here.
7. Saffron: What can I say about this miracle of nature! The world’s most expensive spice and a miraculous one at that. The best is grown in Kashmir in India and this is the grade that is used in ROOP Saffron Skin Brightening Potion. This ingredient is pretty rare and hard to get in its purest form and therefore to use it in a homemade remedy might not be the most practical idea. It is known to be magical for brightening up
the skin, promoting even tone and texture and of course to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. This article describes the best ways to use saffron in homemade remedies.
8. Rosehip Oil: Another natural ingredient that delivers as promised. It is awesome for acne reduction as well as the reduction of hyperpigmentation. Its fatty acid profile is impressive and it is also a wonderfully rich source of antioxidants. Therefore it not only nourishes the skin but also helps fade hyperpigmentation. Apsara’s Rosehip and Citrus Nighttime Serum has many awesome natural ingredients for reduction of hyperpigmentation. Of course pure, high grade rose hip is one of them. At home, you can mix in 5 drops of vitamin E oil to 1 tablespoonful of rosehip oil. Use a few drops to massage into the skin at night before bed.
Feel free to share your thoughts about this article in comments below.
I would like to add that having a complete daily and weekly skin care routine for pigmented skin is the very best idea. If you would like to know what that routine is and how to use it, please fill out this form and I will help guide you.
Go natural. It is good karma!