Everybody desires flawless and younger-looking skin. The biggest hindrance in this quest is the skin damage caused by prolonged exposure to the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Your body produces a photoprotective substance called melanin that acts as a broadband UV absorbent. Sometimes the cells that produce this substance go into overdrive, leading to excess melanin in the skin that causes uneven patches and dark spots. Medically, the condition is known as hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is commonly found on the face, but it can affect other body parts, too. It is not harmful in and of itself and is usually more of a cosmetic concern that can be treated at home.
However, it can be a symptom of another medical condition or a side effect of medication. In such cases, consult your doctor.
- Causes of Hyperpigmentation
- Symptoms of Hyperpigmentation
- Preventing Hyperpigmentation
- Home Remedies to Treat Hyperpigmentation
- Method 1: Lemon Juice
- Method 2: Turmeric
- Method 3: Rosehip Oil
- Method 4: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 5: Aloe Vera
- Method 6: Vitamin C Serum
- Method 7: Manuka Honey
- Method 8: Vitamin E
- Method 9: Castor Oil
- Method 10: Potato Slices
Causes of Hyperpigmentation
Sun exposure is the primary cause of hyperpigmentation. However, it can also be caused by other conditions, including:
- Melasma, caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy or due to birth control pills.
- Lentigines, also known as liver spots or age spots. These spots are more prevalent in light-skinned individuals over age 60.
- Addison’s disease, which causes decreased function of the adrenal gland that can lead to greater melanin production.
- Skin injury, such as acne lesions, trauma, bug bites, psoriasis or burn marks. In such cases, it may be referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Skin care treatment for other conditions.
- Certain medications, including chemotherapy, antibiotic, anti-arrhythmic and antimalarial drugs that can cause this as a side effect.
- Emotional stress.
Symptoms of Hyperpigmentation
Dark patches or spots on the skin are the only symptoms of hyperpigmentation. The patches occur primarily on the face but can develop anywhere on the body.
- Do not pick at your skin. It damages the skin cells.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours to maintain UV protection.
- Take active measures to reduce your stress levels. Stress can cause your skin to become dull and dark.
Home Remedies to Treat Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is not difficult to deal with. There are certain natural ingredients that help speed up the process of reversing sun damage, getting rid of dark spots and giving you the clear skin you desire.
Here are the top 10 natural remedies you can use to get rid of hyperpigmentation.
Method 1: Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is the most readily available remedy that can reduce hyperpigmentation spots effectively. The high citric acid in lemons makes them an excellent natural bleaching agent. Lemons are particularly effective in treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Caution: If you have overly sensitive skin, you can dilute the lemon juice before applying it. Also, lemons make your skin photosensitive, so avoid going out in the sun for some time after using the remedy.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply lemon juice on the affected areas
- Soak a cotton ball in fresh lemon juice.
- Use it to dab the juice on the affected skin.
- Let the juice sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
- Since lemon can make your skin dry, remember to finish by applying a moisturizer.
Use this remedy 2 times every day. It will take at least 1 week to notice any considerable improvement in your skin tone. Continue using it daily for at least 1 month or until the spots are gone for good.
Method 2: Turmeric
While turmeric can leave a bright yellow spot on almost everything it comes in contact with, it is a powerful remedy to get rid of hyperpigmentation. It contains a potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant called curcumin that reduces the occurrence of blemishes, prevents skin infections and improves the skin’s texture. You can combine it with some honey, which helps moisturize and renew damaged skin.
Things you’ll need:
- Turmeric powder (anti-inflammatory) – 1 tablespoon
- Honey (renews skin) – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Combine honey and turmeric powder
- Put 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey to it.
Step 2. Mix well and apply the paste on the affected skin
- Mix the two ingredients well to form a spreadable paste.
- Apply it on the affected skin and leave it on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse it off with warm water and apply a moisturizer.
Use this remedy once daily for 2 to 3 weeks to reduce dark spots. Depending upon the degree of pigmentation, it can take 1 to 2 months to get satisfactory results .
Method 3: Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is another natural cure for hyperpigmentation. It contains essential fatty acids, such as omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids that help rejuvenate the skin. Rosehip oil also contains antioxidants, such as vitamin C, E and provitamin A that protect the skin from free-radical damage.
You can either apply it directly on your skin or mix it in extra-virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help you get spot-free skin.
Things you’ll need:
- Rosehip essential oil (antioxidant) – 5 or 6 drops
- Extra-virgin coconut oil (anti-inflammatory) – 1 tablespoon
Single-Step Treatment: Mix rosehip oil in coconut oil and apply
- Mix 5 or 6 drops of rosehip essential oil in 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Soak a cotton ball in it and apply the oil all over the hyperpigmented skin.
- Let your skin fully absorb the oil blend. You do not need to wash it off.
Use the oil blend twice every day. This remedy can take 1 to 2 months to show significant reduction in spots but will improve the quality of your skin immensely. Be patient and continue using it to get rid of hyperpigmentation once and for all.
Method 4: Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that have great skin-healing properties. The acids present in it work as skin-lightening agents by exfoliating the skin and bleaching dark spots.
Caution: Apple cider vinegar can be harsh on sensitive skin, so it is best to dilute it with water before applying it. Also, it may burn a little, which is okay. However, if the burning is too discomforting, wash it off immediately and try using another remedy.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply diluted apple cider vinegar on spots
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal quantity of water.
- Soak a cotton ball it in and dab the liquid on the affected skin.
- Let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
Repeat this remedy twice daily for 6 to 8 weeks to get rid of hyperpigmentation.
Method 5: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera stimulates fibroblast cells that produce collagen, resulting in the regeneration of skin. It also contains antioxidants that protect against sun damage as well as free radicals. It also contains auxins and gibberellins, which are hormones that aid skin healing.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply aloe vera gel on the dark skin blotches
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected skin.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Wash it off the next morning.
Use it every night for 6 to 8 weeks to make the dark spots disappear. You can prepare a batch of aloe vera gel at home and refrigerate it for everyday use.
Method 6: Vitamin C Serum
Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants that not only protect your skin from external damage but also help in the skin renewal process. Vitamin C also works as a bleaching agent, due to its acidic content. In the form of a serum, vitamin C can prove effective in treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply vitamin C serum every day
- Apply the serum on the affected skin.
- Allow the serum to dry, then apply a moisturizer.
- If going outdoors, apply a sunscreen. The UV rays break down the acid in the serum, rendering it ineffective.
Use it once or twice every day for at least 2 months to get even-toned and brighter skin.
Method 7: Manuka Honey
Manuka honey helps your skin to retain moisture, aiding faster recovery from inflammation. It also releases hydrogen peroxide that helps in regeneration of the skin and reducing the spots.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply manuka honey on the dark spots
- Using a cotton swab, apply manuka honey on the affected areas.
- Leave it on for 1 to 2 hours, then rinse your skin with water.
- Follow it up with a moisturizer.
Using manuka honey daily will show improvements within weeks. Continue using it until all the dark spots are visibly reduced.
Method 8: Vitamin E
Vitamin E has rightly been termed as the ‘skin vitamin’. Its antioxidants help protect and repair your skin. With regular use, it also helps reverse sun damage, revealing wrinkle-free and spot-free skin.
Since vitamin E oil is quite thick to apply directly, you can mix it in a carrier oil (olive or castor oil).
Things you’ll need:
- Olive oil (carrier oil) – 1 tablespoon
- Vitamin E oil (regenerates skin cells) – 1 capsule
Single-Step Treatment: Apply an oil blend of vitamin E oil and Olive oil
- Puncture a vitamin E capsule.
- Add its contents to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Mix the two well.
- Use your fingers to apply the oil blend on all the affected areas.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Wash it off in the morning.
Reapply every day until you get rid of the hyperpigmentation.
Method 9: Castor Oil
Castor oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help in rejuvenating the skin, thereby reducing hyperpigmentation. The antioxidants present in the oil also protect the skin from environmental damage.
Use cold-pressed castor oil for this remedy, as the extraction technique helps preserve the essential nutrients.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply cold-pressed castor oil on spots
- Pour some cold-pressed castor oil on a cotton ball.
- Smear the oil on the affected areas.
- Massage the oil in upward circular motions, then leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Wash it off with a mild cleanser and pat dry.
- Follow with a moisturizer.
Use it twice daily until you get the desired results.
Method 10: Potato Slices
Potatoes can also get rid of hyperpigmentation. They contain high levels of catecholase that works as a natural skin-bleaching agent.
Single-Step Treatment: Rub a potato slice on the hyperpigmented skin
- Rub a raw potato slice on the affected area for 1 to 2 minutes, until the juice is transferred onto the skin.
- Let the juice sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off.
Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until the spots fade away.
- If none of the home remedies have helped you, check with a dermatologist for chemical peels or microdermabrasion.
- Limit your exposure to the sun and do not fail to apply a sunscreen when going out.
- Keep your skin well-moisturized for quicker recovery from any kind of inflammation. You can use extra-virgin coconut oil for this purpose. It is light on the skin and does not lead to breakouts, even if you have oily skin.