The color of an individual’s skin is decided by the amount of Melanin produced in the body. People who produce more Melanin, have darker skin tones while people who produce less have lighter skin tones. Pigmentation is a skin condition in which the skin develops patches of darker or lighter color. If the patches are darker than the skin tone, it is called Hyper-pigmentation and if the patches are lighter than the skin tone, it is called Hypo-pigmentation.
While some forms of pigmentation are genetic, various external factors like sun damage, hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, birth control, side effects from medicines etc. can cause pigmentation. In these cases, the skin produces more melanin (or less) hence making the skin looking patchy.
The first step to hinder this process is to use sun protection and maintain a balanced diet. If you see some spots appear, immediately take steps to eliminate the things that you suspect are causing pigmentation.
There are a few home remedies that can blur the darker patches to make them appear lighter or vice versa. Home remedies can take up to 2 weeks to start showing visible results so it is always good to stick to a routine for a month while also working on preventing more pigmentation from affecting the skin.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel on the affected area and leave it overnight. If you do not want to leave it overnight, keep it on for at least 20 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water.
- Mix a pinch of turmeric powder in a few drops of milk to the affected area and rinse off after 15 minutes. Follow with a gentle moisturizer. Increase the quantity according to the affected area. You can choose to apply this paste all over the face too.
- In the case of pigmentation on the body, apply lemon juice on the affected areas before taking a bath and leave it for 10 minutes. It helps in lightening the skin.
- Grind a few mint leaves and apply the paste on the affected skin for 15 minutes. This remedy can show results in one week.
- Grate a raw potato and apply the juice to the affected area. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse off.
One of the things that I have done consistently to reduce tanning and sun spots is using #1 and#4. The mint leaves remedy has worked best for me and I saw relatively quick results. I use Aloe vera gel in my skincare routine.
To avoid any new spots from occurring, maintain a healthy diet and always wear a high SPF sunscreen when outdoors during the day. Neutrogena makes a great quality sunscreen (SPF50+) at an affordable price . Our lips are more prone to pigmentation because of the thin skin in the area so always wear a lip balm with an SPF during the day!