The scenario: You wake up with a dark patch on your check, forehead or gasp, above your lip. Is it dirt? You take a washcloth and scrub the offensive mark but it won’t budge. No, you probably didn’t sleepwalk into a pile of compost. It’s probably a case of hyperpigmentation and if this isn’t a hypothetical situation but your reality, we totally understand, it sucks.
WHAT IS HYPERPIGMENTATION
Hyperpigmentation occurs when a person’s pigmentation (normal skin color) produces too much melanin, resulting in a darkening around certain areas. Sun exposure, hormone changes (pregnancy or adrenal gland issues), and even certain drugs (antibiotics, birth control) can cause freckling, brown or age spots, and melasma. None are life threatening but it can be embarrassing, especially if you’re a female.
There are a variety ways to treat hyperpigmentation such as photofacial treatments and chemical peels. A dermatologist may proscribe a cream with hydroquinone, a skin lightening agent. However, all solutions are pricey and most insurance companies won’t cover the cost because they see hyperpigmentation as a cosmetic issue. Fortunately there are more economical solutions available. Better still, they’re natural. You probably have them in your kitchen cupboard.
It goes without saying that you should always wear a moisturizer with a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher, even when indoors. When going outside, sport large sunglasses, as well as a large brimmed hat. If your hyperpigmentation is a cause of prescription drugs or hormones, speak to your doctor about alternative treatments you can try that won’t negatively effect your skin. And in the meantime, try these natural DIY solutions to help your skin get back to its best self.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and has long been used for its medicinal properties, as well as for culinary purposes. One study found that it was effective in reducing the signs of hyperpigmentation by preventing the formation of melanin. Its powder can be found in most grocery stores.
-1 Tbsp of turmeric powder
-2 Tsp of lemon juice
In a glass jar add ingredients and mix into a paste. On a cleansed face, smear mixture onto dark spots and leave for 20 minutes. Refrigerate remaining paste. Use once a day.
Is there anything that lemon can’t cure? The citrus fruit is antibacterial and antifungal. Its citrus acid and Vitamin C can brighten skin and fade dark spots making it like a natural chemical peel. But a word to the wise, only do this treatment at night. The acid can have a negative effect when introduced to sunlight, causing burning or blistering.
Lemon Spot Treatment
-1 Tsp of lemon juice
-1 Cotton ball or Q-Tip
Wet ball or Q-tip in water and dip into juice. Apply solution to spots in a gentle rubbing motion. Allow to absorb into skin for 5 minutes before rinsing.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids which are often found in skin care products. What’s so cool is that in the vinegar these chemicals are naturally occurring. Always a plus! Like lemon, the acid in apple cider vinegar helps to brighten skin and removes dead skin cells while generating new ones.
Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
-Apple cider vinegar
Damp washcloth with warm water and splash with vinegar. Gently massage face with cloth, especially areas with dark spots. Rinse and apply SPF moisturizer.
HAVE YOU TRIED THESE NATURAL TREATMENTS? WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS?