Skin Pigmentation and its Home Remedies
By: Shahnaz Husain
These days, skin infections are becoming quite common due to the ever-increasing problem of pollution, over exposure to sun, irregular sleep, hectic life style and hormonal imbalances .
Skin pigmentation is a common issue faced by most of us in form of sun spots, age spots, freckles, sun damage, or melisma making skin look dull , lifeless uneven and ruins its texture completely. It also starts drying out the skin making it darker and patchy.
It is caused by overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives you your natural skin tone. When this pigment forms a deposit in the skin, it causes brown or tan spots on the skin which is called pigmentation
In nut shell any discoloration of the skin is known as pigmentation which is completely harmless and faced by both men and women. Pigmentation can occur to anyone on face , hands or any other body part regardless of one’s gender, race , age or geographical locations.
In order to get rid of those stubborn pigmentation spots, we often resort to various BB creams, concealers and many other artificial creams. However, these chemical-based creams can do more harm than good to your skin.
While such skin isn’t easy to be repaired to a point where it starts glowing in a short span of time, when dealt with on your own. But experts opinion actually work wonders for such skin types. it is always better to go for natural ways while treating such skin conditions.
The first aspect of the treatment is protection from the sun. Actually, as part of the treatment, one should try to avoid sun-exposure as far as possible. Physical protection is the only answer by applying a sunscreen before going out in the sun. Select a sunscreen with SPF of at least 20. The sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before sun-exposure, to allow it time to be absorbed by the skin. It should be reapplied if you are in the sun for longer than an hour. The effects of the sun increase near water bodies and snow, as they reflect the sun's radiation. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to protect the skin and re-apply the sun screen after 20 to 30 minutes.
If the skin is dry, it should be kept moisturized at all times. At night, after cleansing, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the skin with a few drops of water. This helps to improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
The use of scrubs and masks also help to remove dead skin cells and their contained pigment. This helps the dark patches to gradually become lighter. External care, itself, can remove pigmentation permanently, provided protective care is followed afterwards. Even when the pigmented patches disappear, one should continue to use a sunscreen. In fact, the use of a sunscreen has become an important part of modern cosmetic-care, to protect the skin from problems and premature ageing.
During the change of season, after a harsh winter, a dry skin may become dehydrated, with rough reddish patches. Give the skin some nourishment. As a home remedy, you can try applying a little sesame seed (til) oil and pat the skin with a hot moist towel. Or, apply a little milk, with a few drops of honey, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and wash off with water. If you wish to make a cleanser at home, add 5 drops of oil to one tablespoon cold milk. Mix it well. Using cotton wool, use this mixture to wipe the skin. You will find that milk is very soothing to dry skin.
Here are some home remedies for pigmentation (dark patches):
- Mix one part honey with two parts lemon juice and apply. Wash off after 20 minutes.
- Mix ground almonds with curd and apply. Rub the mixture gently over the skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes and wash off with water.
- Mix rose water and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply on the dark areas. Wash off after 10 minutes, or once it dries.
- Mix besan (gram flour) and curd, with a little turmeric and apply on the dark areas.
- Take some rice flour, add a little curd and use it as a scrub on pigmented skin
Scrub: Mix 3 tablespoons almond meal (ground almonds) with half cup yogurt (curd). Apply on the face and neck. Rub gently, especially on the dark patches and wash off. It also helps to remove tan. Scrubs should not be applied on dry or sensitive skin.
For dry skin, add half teaspoon til oil to a little milk and apply on the face. Wipe off with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes.
For sunburn: Actually, cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, not only helps to soothe the skin, but also keeps it soft. It also makes the skin colour lighter over a period of time, if used daily.
For dark patches: Mix together a big pinch of coarse salt with a cream. Apply only on the areas with the dark patches or spots and rub gently. Wash off. Then apply cold milk and wash off after 15 minutes. Do this twice a week.
For dark spots: Add a pinch of turmeric (haldi) to curd and apply daily on the entire face. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Mask: Mix 3 teaspoons oatmeal with ripe papaya pulp and one teaspoon curd into a thick paste. Apply and wash off after 20 minutes. This mask suits both dry and oily skins.
The author is international fame beauty expert and is known as the ‘Herbal Queen of India’