We’ve spoken lots about melasma – the most common skin pigment disorder – in all its various forms. Hyperpigmentation, chloasma (pregnancy-related) – you name it, we’ve covered it (and then some). And while there are countless effective treatments (many offered by us here at Lovoir), their efficiency relies heavily on targeting the underlying condition, too – especially if you want to get rid of melasma forever.
So just what are the root causes of melasma and how can you cure them? Allow us to explain!
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a condition that causes brown patches to appear on the skin as a result of hyperpigmentation (an overproduction of melanocytes – the cells that produce skin pigmentation). It is typically seen around the nose, forehead, chin, cheeks and around the mouth.
What Causes Melasma?
Unfortunately for those with melasma, most of the reasons behind this skin condition (apart from sun exposure of course!) are far beyond our control: Genes, hormonal imabalance, pregnancy, and certain medications.
Hormones and pregnancy, in particular, are worth breaking down further, especially because melasma affects more women than men. Here’s why:
The melanocytes are triggered by abnormal hormone levels, which also explains why pregnant women suddenly experience an unfortunate case of melasma.
Truthfully, there’s not much that can be done in the way of rebalancing hormones around the throes of pregnancy (although lots of ways to prevent melasma from getting worse which you can read about here).
For those who aren’t pregnant, one option is to talk to your GP about trying different types of contraception to balance out hormones.
Other health conditions like poor liver health, thyroid problems and stress can also be contributing factors to melasma, which can cured internally by other methods too.
All that said, let’s get down to business – how can you treat melasma internally? Surprisingly, there are several at-home tips you can do!
Melasma Home Remedies
1. Invest in skin care for melasma
First thing’s first: Sunscreen!
Since melasma (and dark spots in general) may also be triggered by sun exposure, it’s important to be diligent about daily sunscreen application. You can take it a notch further by applying makeup with SPF.
Next up: Creams and Serums!
You’ll find tons of creams and serums in the market that contain special ingredients known for targeting pigmentation and dark spots – like vitamin c, niacinamide, azelaic acid to name a few. Make sure to do your research first and trust professional skin care or dermatology brands over mainstream, hyped up products.
2. Commit to a diet for melasma
A healthy diet is one of the best ways to improve liver health, thyroid problems and stress. Just a few examples of liver-friendly foods/drinks include:
- Water and green tea
- Cabbage, avocados, tomatoes
- Leafy greens, such as spinach
- Reduced sugar, alcohol and processed foods
Thyroid problems can be mitigated with the help of:
- Dairy produce
Stress can be combatted by:
- Chamomile tea
Other diet-related things to consider include:
- Kojic acid. There’s a good reason we proudly offer DP Dermaceuticals Britelite as part of our melasma treatment products as it’s full of kojic acid, which helps to ‘mute’ pigmentation. But there’s no excuse for not including it in your diet, too! Kojic acid is created when certain foods ferment, so can be found in rice wine, sake and soy sauce. Time to start experimenting with Japanese recipes, we think!
- Vitamin C. Vitamins for melasma treatment, in general, are a must. This one, in particular, helps to ‘lighten, brighten and tighten’ the skin. Citrus fruits and other brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are great sources of this.
- Hydroquinone. While this powerful skin lightener – working by blocking the enzyme that converts dopamine to melanin – is a common ingredient in treating the condition and can bring about highly effective results, you should only use this in topical cream form as a last resort and when advised by a dermatologist as it can cause permanent skin discolouration if too high a concentration is used. However, it can also be found naturally in foods such as wheat products, berries, pears, coffee and tea.
- DIM (Diindolylmethane). Found in vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, this helps your body regulate hormone levels.
- Indole 3 Carbinol. Also found in vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, this also helps your body break down estrogen.
- All of the above can, of course, be taken in supplement form, too. Another hormone balancing supplement to look out for is zinc picolinate.
Read more about the importance of diet on skin here!
3. Improve your mental health
Ensuring you look after your mind is equally as important as physical health in combatting melasma – especially because of its link to stress. As a result, try to do the following:
- Keep calm.Yes, easier said than done – especially in relation to current events – but minimising stress can have a huge impact on your hormones. This is because hormones respond to stress by secreting cortisol, which is great when you’re in fight or flight mode but less so if it happens too often as this can lead to an imbalance of other hormones. Try meditation, deep breathing exercises or snuggling into the sofa with a Netflix boxset on the go – whatever works for you!
- Sleep. Anything less than eight hours’ sleep a night can also be a stressor, so do everything you can to switch off earlier – be it phones, lights or even domestic chores. It can always wait until tomorrow.
What is the Faster Way to Cure Melasma?
These practical tips are great things to incorporate into your daily lifestyle, hopefully making melasma more bearable and a lot less noticeable through time.
But if you’re looking for an instant fix for your dark spots from melasma, your best bet would be to try professional treatments from trusted day spas, beauty salons or skin clinics.
Instead of at-home, natural remedies, these professionals depend on science and technology to treat skin conditions as fast and as efficient as possible. Although keep in mind: it may cost you more than sunscreen and healthy groceries, but definitely worth it! Here are the best melasma treatments to look into:
Best Treatment for Melasma on Face
Melasma occurs layers deep into the skin, requiring treatments more advanced than your basic facial.
Here at Lovoir, we recommend our chemical peels, microdermabrasion or microneedling treatments for our clients dealing with hyperpigmentation. While they all make use of unique technologies, they are similar in triggering certain skin processes that renew the skin and lighten discolouration.
If you want a break down of each treatment, head over to our article on the best melasma treatment!
When you’re ready to explore professional help for your melasma, you can start by booking a skin consultation with one of our skin experts. We’ll conduct a thorough assessment of your skin and recommend the best treatment for you!
Sounds good? See you soon!
Visit our Beauty Salon & Day Spa at Lovoir The Crossing: