How To Reduce Excess Melanin From Skin?
Melanin is the skin pigment that gives colour to your skin, melanin pigment is essential for giving your skin a natural colour which is provided by the cells known as melanocytes found in the outermost layer of the skin.
The colour of the skin depends upon the number of melanocytes secreted from the body to the skin. If your body secretes a large number of melanocytes then your skin colour seems darker. Hyperpigmentation is also caused due to the secretion of a large number of melanocytes in the skin and thus wherever you observe dark skin, always confirm that the secretion of melanin is more in that area.
Every individual is different from the others only because of their physical appearance, nature, features, characteristics, and attitude to life. But the main difference that is noticeable among the individuals is skin colour. The skin tone of every individual is different from the others. Some have medium skin tones, some have lighter skin tones and some have darker skin tones. Thus skin tone depends only on melanin secretion.
Tips to lighten the skin or reduce melanin from the skin:
- Use sunscreen every day, even on overcast days, with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Avoid as much sun exposure as possible. When outside, stay in the shade and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Wear hats and scarves to protect your skin.
- Consume a healthy diet rich in carotenoids, flavonoids, and other anti-oxidants.
- Consider taking skin-lightening supplements or following a dermatologist-recommended skin care regimen.
- Consider getting a medi facial to brighten your skin.
Causes of Melanin in Skin
Various factors cause the production of melanin in the skin. A few factors are described below:
- A large number of melanocytes are produced in UV radiations, and when you are exposed to UV light or radiations the melanin is produced in excess quantity.
- The excess formation of melanin is produced depending on the genes of an individual. Melanin production is mainly dependent on the genes of an individual due to the different cultures of different people.
- As the colour of the individual’s skin depends on the production of melanin, it also depends upon the size of the melanin. The large the size of melanocytes the darker will the skin tone of an individual.
- The colour of the skin also changes due to some skin diseases when there is excess production of melanin. Albinism is a disorder that can change the skin tone of an individual due to more melanin secretion.
- Melanin changes are also caused due to many other factors like hormonal changes, hyperpigmentation, deficiency of vitamins, or any disorders in the body.
There are many ways to reduce melanin in the skin like skin brightening, laser therapy, bleaching and other natural home remedies. Let’s look at this article for some more ways to lighten the skin.
How to reduce melanin in the skin permanently?
There are numerous methods for reducing existing melanin deposits in the skin. For good advice on these approaches, it is advisable to visit a doctor.
Laser treatment removes the top layers of skin by using a pulse of light. It reduces melanin levels in the treated regions. Laser treatments come in a variety of forms, including
- Lasers with ablation - These remove the outer layers of the skin and are good for severe discolouration.
- Non-ablative lasers - These are less aggressive than ablative lasers. They stimulate collagen development, allowing new skin to form. One such therapy is intense pulse light (IPL), which uses light energy pulses to target sunspots by heating and dissolving melanin, hence removing the discoloured patches.
- Ruby Q-switched laser (QSRL) - A light pulse is used to heat and disintegrate the skin.
- Laser treatment, like any medical procedure, is not for everyone. It may also result in discolouration, scarring, and infection.
It is always recommended to consult a skincare expert or dermatologist before doing a laser treatment.
Topical Creams or ointments
Many skin-brightening and skin-lightening creams or ointments are used for reducing the melanin pigments in the skin.
Some skin-lightening ingredients like hydroquinone, vitamin C, retinoid, glycolic acid, etc.
The main enzyme that is needed for the synthesis of melanin pigment is the enzyme tyrosinase which slows the production of melanin in the body. When the production of melanin is slowed down the skin tone becomes lighter. But skin-lightening products also have many side effects like irritation, dryness, itchiness, and redness.
Using Sunscreen and Avoiding Sun Exposure
Applying sunscreen can also lower the production of melanin pigment in the skin as it protects the skin from damage from UV rays which are harmful to the skin and thus damage the skin and can also lead to tanning. You should also avoid direct exposure to the sun and always sunscreen whenever stepping out and always cover your whole body wherever you go in deep sun rays.
Many natural remedies also help in slowing down melanin synthesis and can be easily available at home. As you know, natural remedies take time to fulfil the purpose of the skin, so you may need patience for this purpose.
The active component in turmeric may suppress melanin formation, according to a 2012 research published in Phytotherapy Research. Curcumin is a chemical that operates by blocking tyrosinase. This inhibits melanocytes to produce the extra form of melanin.
Aloe vera gel
After sun exposure, aloe vera may inhibit melanin synthesis. In a research published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, aloesin, a chemical present in the plant, was discovered to block tyrosinase.
Lemon juice is also used to lighten skin discolouration. This might be because of its high vitamin C concentration. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, vitamin C may lower tyrosinase activity, which reduces melanin development.
Despite its possible anti-pigmentation properties, lemon juice may be irritating to the skin. Use only when diluted, and avoid direct sunlight thereafter.
When you use a skin-bleaching product, such as hydroquinone, you reduce the number of melanocytes in your skin. This may lead to lighter skin and an even skin tone.
Epigallocatechin gallate is a chemical found in green tea (EGCG). According to research, EGCG may help minimize melanin formation. It acts by blocking an enzyme required for the production of melanin.
Drinks that lighten the skin naturally
Fruit juices may naturally lighten our skin colour, allowing us to avoid costly skin-lightening cosmetic procedures and lotions.
Melanin is known to be the cause of a dark complexion. Orange, which is high in Vitamin C, may help to minimize melanin synthesis. Orange also helps to eliminate toxins from the body and promotes clean, smooth skin.
- To acquire radiant, gorgeous skin, drink a glass of orange juice every day.
- Apply honey and orange juice on the face.
- Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before washing it off.
Lemon juice contains citric and ascorbic acid, both of which are good sources of Vitamin C; hence, lemon juice is an excellent cleaner for the skin. It is a kind of natural bleach. Lemon also helps to regulate the ph level of the skin and make it shine.
- In a glass of water, combine the juice of one fresh lemon and one teaspoon of honey.
- Consume regularly to get fair and glowing skin.
- Combine a tiny amount of lemon juice with some yogurt.
- Use it once a day. It functions as a moderate natural bleach.
- Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with a sprinkle of turmeric powder.
- After 15 minutes, wash your face with it.
'An apple a day keeps the doctor away,' is the line that is always used. Apple not only keeps you healthy, but it also gives you gorgeous skin. Apple juice is an excellent natural skin lightener.
Apple juice contains anti-oxidants that help erase fine wrinkles, decrease acne, and defend against free radical damage.
- You may either eat an apple every day or create juice from it to ingest for fairer, brighter skin.
- Apply a small slice of apple on your face.
- Alternatively, apply apple juice on your face and wash it off after 10-15 minutes.
Mango juice is high in vitamins A and C, which assist to tone and rejuvenate the skin. Mango juice contains anti-oxidants that battle skin-damaging free radicals. Mango juice, being high in vitamin C, decreases melanin formation and promotes natural skin fairness.
- Apply mango juice to your skin, or combine it with a few drops of honey and apply it to your face. Wash off with normal water after 10-15 minutes.
- One glass of mango juice every day results in smooth and fair skin.
Foods that Decrease Melanin Content
Regular use of specific foods might gradually reduce excess melanin levels in your body, resulting in naturally excellent skin.
- chia seeds
Eating fruits rich in high-quality proteins, vitamins, and fibres promotes good skin and decrease melanin levels. Watermelon, kiwi, papaya, dry fruits, and any raw fruits or vegetables.
Avoiding meals strong in vitamin A and eating a lot of green leafy vegetables boost melanin formation. To prevent high melanin content, avoid consuming foods strong in anti-oxidants in excess, such as dark berries and dark chocolate.
List of melanin Rich foods for skin
Eggs contain a lot of protein. They also include betaine and choline in them, which help to regulate your cells and protect your heart. It also contains the lipoprotein HDL, which helps to preserve your body's "good protein," the anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to keep your eyes healthy, and amino acids, which help to sustain your body's cells.
Eggs also include Vitamin D and Vitamin E. In terms of Vitamin E, many people are unaware that if you decide to tan and want a more radiant glow, you should take Vitamin E as well as apply Vitamin E oil to your skin. Because it is a vitamin that "triggers" the formation of melanin in your system.
If you like cooking with red peppers, this recipe is for you. They are an anti-oxidant-rich vegetable that burns calories and is also beneficial if you are pregnant or attempting to conceive a child due to the folate and Vitamin B6 content.
Bell peppers made the list in terms of melanin due to all of the Vitamin C they contain. Vitamin C is another recognised substance that boosts melanin formation in our bodies.
Peas include Vitamin C, which aids in the production of melanin. Also, owing to the folate (folic acid) in peas, you may slow down the loss of melanin in your hair strands, which is common with age or even premature graying.
Green tea's components may also assist to control melanin synthesis in your system, which will help to maintain the colour of your hair, skin, and nails in balance.
Expert Advice on Melanin
Dr Nivedita Dadu says:
Melanin is the pigment responsible for the colour of human skin. This is a pigment generated by a certain kind of skin cell. When these cells are damaged, melanin synthesis suffers. This causes skin discolouration, which is known as pigmentation. Pigmentation may appear in a variety of ways. Excess melanin production, excessive sun exposure, pregnancy, and Addison's illness can contribute to darker skin.
On the other side, insufficient melanin synthesis causes skin whitening. Vitiligo is another name for this illness. Albinism is a medical disorder in which the skin colour is light due to hereditary factors.
How is Pigmentation managed?
Pigmentation may be treated with a few sophisticated skin care techniques. Please check with a dermatologist before undergoing any of these treatments.
- Laser Facial Rejuvenation:
- Laser Facial Resurfacing
- Chemical Peels
Melanocytes create melanin on the skin's surface, which gives it its colour. Each person's skin has a varied quantity of melanin.
Melanin levels in the skin may fluctuate based on circumstances and environmental variables.
We reviewed many methods for reducing melanin levels in your skin. However, all treatment alternatives should be reviewed with a healthcare practitioner. If you have hyperpigmentation always consult a dermatologist and go for better options as per your skin type and skin condition which can make your skin tone better than before.
But we would say that skin colour does not matter and even physical appearance does not matter if you are confident in yourself and your work. Love yourself for who you are!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Which vitamin decreases melanin?
Vitamin C and vitamin B12 play an important role in decreasing melanin in the skin.
2. What causes an increase in melanin?
Sun exposure, hormonal effects, aging, and skin injuries or inflammation are the most common causes of an increase in melanin synthesis.
3. How can I reduce melanin naturally?
Using natural remedies like turmeric, aloe vera, tomatoes, potatoes, and cucumber.
- Young Chul Kim, So Young Choi, Eun Ye Park, Jun 2015, Anti-melanogenic effects of black, green, and white tea extracts on immortalized melanocytes
- Firas Al-Naimi, MRCP(UK)(Derm) and Nicole Yi Zhen Chiang, MRCP(UK)(Derm), Jul 2017, Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications
- S Choi 1, S-K Lee, J-E Kim, M-H Chung, Y-I Park, Sep 2002, Aloesin inhibits hyperpigmentation induced by UV radiation
- Cai-Xia Tu, Mao Lin, Shan-Shan Lu, Xiao-Yi Qi, Rong-Xin Zhang, Yun-Ying Zhang, Feb 2012, Curcumin inhibits melanogenesis in human melanocytes