What is Melasma?
Melasma or Chloasma are dark patches occurring usually on the upper cheeks, forehead, lip and chin and are a common skin condition especially in woman. Melasma is a regular occurrence in pregnant woman due to the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone when melanocytes are stimulated to produce more melanin.
Women from skin type IV – VI are more prone to having Melasma due to the natural increase in levels of melanin. Melasma is a tough skin condition to treat, even sun screen is not sufficient enough to prevent these patches from going darker in summer.
Keeping the skin’s pH acidic, through your toner, or doing regular light peels and using Vitamin A and Vitamin C are all topical solutions that can help to keep your skin looking more even toned.
"The word melanin is derived from the Greek word melas and means dark or black. Melanin gives us the brown colour in our skin. Melanin is produced via oxidization of the amino acid Tyrosine in Melanocytes which is located in the basal layer of the epidermis."
Two types of melanin that gives colour to our skin and hair are Eumelanin and Pheomelanin. Eumelanin is made up of two different types namely Brown Eumelanin and Black Eumelanin, while Pheomelanin gives hair a Red colour.
Another interesting fact is that skin is divided into different skin types or also known by Fitzpatrick Skin Types. Skin Type I and II are very light in colour and have little or no melanin present while III and especially IV-VI have more abundant levels of melanin present.
Melanin protects skin cells by dissolving 99.9% of UVB rays, therefore darker skin types are reluctant to get skin cancer.
We’ve decided to put together 5 natural treatments you can do at home when not getting a treatment. Here are 5 Natural ways you can treat yourself to lighten the appearance of Melasma Dark Spots on your face. (Prevention is usually not an option regarding Melasma as hormones play a major part on formation)
Cucumber Juice is a fantastic remedy for your skin as it helps to keep your skin hydrated and should be part of your weekly regimen, (atleast 4 times a week) as skin can easily dehydrate which makes it easy for Dark Spots to appear darker due to the increased level of stress in the skin caused by the lack of moisture.
How to prepare:
Juice 1 whole Cucumber, then use a swab of cotton to dip and apply the juice to your face. Make sure you leave it on for half an hour with the occasional touch up on dry spots. After half an hour wash and rinse your face in cold water.
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Oatmeal Puree is another fabulous remedy and is well known for it’s skin rejuvenating properties, as it has a vital mineral called “Selenium” which heals and repairs skin. In fact it’s probably also a good idea to include Oatmeal in your diet as well (Oatmeal & Banana are a good healthy combination for breakfast).
"The beauty of Oatmeal Puree for your skin is that it has a gentle exfoliating property along with it’s good minerals."
How to prepare:
Blend your oats in to a powder (around ½ a cup) and then add an equal amount of milk to the mixture (I use coconut milk blended from a young thai coconut as the soft meat/flesh helps restore oxidative tissue damage and is a good source of healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
You can get 2 spoon’s of flesh blended with ½ a cup of coconut water to make your milk).
I also add Honey & Cinnamon, (Honey has anti microbial properties and can fight acne caused by microbes, whilst Cinnamon can dry out pimples and also brings blood and oxygen to the surface). So add 1 table spoon of Honey with a small pinch of cinnamon powder and mix well.
Apply the paste to your face with a gentle massage and leave it on for 20 minutes until it dry’s out. Once it dries, wash your face with lukewarm water to remove the paste.
Lemon juice is one of the best natural remedies for Melasma and Dark Spots in that its a natural bleaching agent and can help to lighten the skin a little. Like Honey and Cinamon,
"Lemon is anti microbial and can help treat acne and is also good for blackheads."
This vitamin c rich fruit has natural acids which can do wonders for your skin.
How to prepare:
Squeeze one whole lemon in to a bowl, then use a cotton swab to dip in to the bowl and apply it to your face making sure to add any extra leftovers to your dark spots, massaging it in for a couple of minutes.
Leave this on for 20 minutes and then rinse your face with lukewarm water.
Almonds are rich in Vitamin E so it makes sense that we would want to add a healthy dose of almond puree to our face as a weekly regimen. This simple natural remedy is probably one of the most powerful Melasma treatments available.
How to prepare:
This is a similar mixture to the Oatmeal Puree, the only difference being that instead of Oatmeal, we’re replacing it with Almonds.
"Soak ½ a handful or 10 almonds for around 5 hours (this will activate the nut to start the germination process where it releases extra nutrients as it prepares to re-germinate)."
Peel the skin off all the nuts and then grind them to make a paste adding the coconut milk (prepared as shown in the Oatmeal Puree recipe). Also add a table spoon of Honey and then mix it all in to a nice thick paste.
Apply this half an hour before going to bed at night until it dries and then go to sleep with it on, washing it off in the morning with lukewarm water.
Aloe Vera Creme:
Do you have an Aloe Vera plant at home? One small leaf of this amazing plant is all you need to kick-start some powerful healing benefits for your face.
"Aloe Vera is anti inflammatory and is great for burns and wound healing, it’s well known to significantly improve skin elasticity and can reverse wrinkles, improve psoriasis, acne and eczema."
This one’s a no brainer and should be used regularly in your skin treatment regimen.
How to prepare:
It’s a bit of an art form in how to prepare Aloe Vera gel yourself, one easy way is to buy it from your local health store which could make things a lot easier, however if you have a plant at home and the patience.
Grab a small leaf (around 15 – 20 cm long). The leaf has a spiky edge, so be careful with it! You can run you knife along the edge to remove the spikes. Then place the leaf flat on the chopping board and use your knife to cut through sideways along the middle of the leaf.
Once you have 2 halves, you’ll see the gel inside and can run a spoon along inside to scoop up the gel and place it in a small bowl. Apply it to your face and leave it on for 1 hour making sure to rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Those 5 recipes are some of the best natural topical ointments you can make in your own kitchen.
If you’ve tried multiple things including these natural remedies and aren’t having any luck, we also offer an effective Treatment Plan with high success which you can try at Evolve Cosmetic Clinic to help resolve topical Melasma which includes:
Evolve skin care: Evolve repair gel ($119) and Evolve Vit C treatment cream ($99)