How to Remove Pigmentation from Face Permanently at Home
Hyperpigmentation is the result of too much melanin being released by the skin cells in a particular area of the skin. There are a variety of different causes for these abnormally dark patches, including excessive sun exposure, acne and more.
Hyperpigmentation is extremely common and, in the vast majority of cases, poses no threat to a person’s health. Nonetheless, if given the chance most people would choose to remove these areas of pigmentation, and that is what we are going to look at here: how to remove pigmentation from the face permanently, at home.
What is Pigmentation?
Melanin is produced naturally by the body and determines how dark – or pigmented – a person’s eyes, hair and skin will be. In some instances, melanin is released in excessive amounts in small areas of the skin producing dark or discoloured spots known as hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is not a disease, although in some very rare instances, it may be passed on genetically in the form of familial progressive hyperpigmentation.
What Causes Pigmentation?
Areas of excessive pigmentation can have a variety of causes. Here are some of the most common:
Overexposure to the sun
The body releases melanin as a way to defend your skin against sun damage. You can see the effects of this process in a person who has slowly developed a tan during the course of the summertime. However, when a person overexposes themselves to the sun melanin production can become erratic and dark blotches can appear on the skin. In older people, we call these “age spots”. In most cases simply staying out of the sun or wearing adequate sunscreen can prevent that from happening.
As the skin heals itself after insect bites, burns, acne outbreaks and cuts two things happen: the healing process causes inflammation, and melanin is released. The end result is that the affected area can become darker than the surrounding skin. In many (though not all) cases this sort of pigmentation will fade with time. However, scratching bites or wounds can sometimes aggravate the situation and create permanent dark patches.
During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels can fluctuate to a significant degree. This can cause melasma which is characterised by brown and sometimes blue-grey patches or spots that resemble freckles. Melasma is often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy” because it has a tendency to manifest on the face. No one knows for sure if other factors contribute to melasma but it is thought that genetics, UV light and perhaps even oral contraceptives may play a part.
Medical conditions or medication
While hyperpigmentation itself is not a medical condition it may be brought on by certain conditions including Addison’s disease. There is also evidence that some medications can either cause or contribute to hyperpigmentation including antibiotics, NSAIDs (acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc…), some psychotropic drugs (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, heroin etc…) and some chemotherapy drugs. Pigmentation caused by chemotherapy drugs will usually fade 10 to 12 weeks after therapy ends.
How to Remove Pigmentation Permanently
In some cases, skin pigmentation may resolve itself, but in other cases, you will either have to learn to live with it or take steps to remove the pigmentation yourself. Before we get into home remedies for skin pigmentation let’s look at some ways you can prevent dark spots from appearing in the first place.
As much as you might be tempted to scratch that mosquito bite or scratch and pick at a cut that is healing, don’t. Scratching and picking only increase the amount of inflammation which, in turn, increases the odds of creating an area of hyperpigmentation.
Keep your skin moist
The skin craves water but many people simply don’t drink as much water as they should. This weakens the skin and makes it more susceptible to pigmentation issues. Also, using a high-quality moisturizing agent with hyaluronic acid or retinol will bolster your skin’s health and make it less likely to produce dark spots in the future.
The bad news is that overexposure to the sun is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation. The good news is that you can prevent sun-related spots by always applying sunscreen before you go outside. Most dermatologists recommend using SPF 30 or greater, particularly on those days when the sun is most intense. A wide-brimmed hat can also be useful in keeping the sun off your face.
How to Remove Hyperpigmentation From Your Face Permanently at Home
Now that we have a better idea of what skin pigmentation is and some of the steps you can take to prevent it, let’s look at some natural remedies.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Research suggests that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can be useful in reducing the appearance of dark spots on the skin. Vinegar is essentially acetic acid in diluted form, but even so, you may want to dilute it a bit more before applying it to your skin. So mix apple cider vinegar 1:1 with water, dip a cotton swab in the diluted solution and dab the dark spots twice a day.
Vitamin C has natural bleaching properties that can, in theory, reduce the appearance of dark spots on your skin. So make sure you add plenty of foods that contain vitamin C to your diet including oranges, strawberries, lemons and even potatoes.
Papaya is also believed to have skin bleaching properties when the fresh juice is applied directly to dark spots. Simply mash some ripe papaya in a bowl, dip a cotton ball into the juice and dab it onto the dark spots you want to get rid of.
People have used aloe vera for centuries to treat sunburn and to generally make their skin look and feel better. But there is also evidence that it can be used as a pigmentation treatment. Either store-bought aloe vera gel or juice squeezed from aloe vera leaves should be applied directly to the pigmented areas.
Most people are surprised to discover that onion juice can be effective in helping to remove skin pigmentation on the face and elsewhere. It is thought that onion juice interferes with the enzyme involved in melanin production and formation. Just squeeze out the juice and apply using a cotton swab.
Milk or Curd
Milk and curd contain lactic acid, antioxidants, protein and vitamins A, D, E and K all of which are thought to help lessen the appearance of skin pigmentation. Either (or both together) can be used to create a face mask that may help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation as well as melasma.
Turmeric is another natural remedy that is rich in antioxidants. If you would like to try turmeric on your dark spots, mix turmeric powder with lemon juice and milk until it forms a paste and then apply that directly to the spots you want to lighten. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes then rinse with water.
Oatmeal is similar to turmeric in that it is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Simply mix some oatmeal powder with honey and yoghurt until you have a thick paste and then apply to the dark areas. Leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse. Repeat 2-3 times per week.
How to Remove Face Pigmentation Permanently FAQs
How can I fade my pigmentation fast?
Anyone who tells you their product will remove your dark spots in just a few days is not being honest. While it is possible to reduce and in some cases eliminate areas of hyperpigmentation you will need to be both patient and persistent in your efforts. If all goes well it is possible that in 4 – 6 weeks you may see a significant reduction in your dark spots. Order our high-performing, natural serum designed to reduce hyperpigmentation and start seeing the benefits.
What about OTC skin brightener?
If left untreated pigment can move into the underlayers of the skin, so the earlier you catch hyperpigmentation the easier it will be to remove. Over-the-counter (OTC) skin brightener can be useful in eradicating spots before they have a chance to set in, but again, don’t expect miracles in a few days.
That said, if you’re going to try this method, look for a skin whitener with azelaic acid, retinoids, glycolic acid and vitamin C. In order to avoid skin reactions to cheap ingredients make sure you buy a high-quality whitener from a trustworthy brand.
Does pigmentation go away naturally?
While it is not terribly common there are cases when hyperpigmentation will go away on its own. Most of the time it depends on the cause of the pigmentation. If, for instance, the areas of hyperpigmentation were caused by a medication, the spots may clear once you stop using that particular medicine. Hyperpigmentation related to cuts and insect bites will also often clear on its own, as long as you don’t aggravate things by scratching and itching.
Can pigmentation be removed completely?
Yes, pigmentation can be removed completely in some cases, but as we said you will need to be patient and persistent. The best approach is to simply make your anti-pigmentation efforts part of your daily routine and don’t put a time limit on the process.