There is a flair for fair and light skin, especially, in Asian countries. It is a common sight to see many people queuing up for appointments with skin specialists to learn how to reduce melanin from the skin. They browse websites looking for both natural and artificial remedies while listing products that will help them lighten their skin gradually.
Another interesting fact which not everyone knows is that – melanin affects skin color. As per experts, it is the melanin deposits in your skin that lend you the dark color in your skin, eyes, and hair. For the unversed, the melaninpigment under the skin is responsible for your complexion. This means more melanin means darker skin. In some cases, the buildup of melanin in some areas under the skin can cause excessive darkening of the skin identified as hyperpigmentation by dermatologists worldwide.
What Prompts Melanin Production?
Removing melanin deposits under the skin takes time, especially, if you are opting for natural remedies. This means that you have to be patient while trying them out. Since the effect is ephemeral, it makes sense to continue their use over prolonged periods for maximum effects. To start with, you can avoid eating fruits and vegetables that act to supplement melanin content. Research suggests that the following nutrients when consumed may prompt your body towards melanin production:
Antioxidants: Foods containing these nutrients have shown potential as melanin supplements. The most common foods containing rich amounts of antioxidants include green leafy vegetables, dark berries, and dark chocolates.
Vitamin A: Though this nutrient is essential to overall growth, excessive intake of food items containing this vitamin can trigger the production of melaninskin pigment.
Vitamin E: This is an important vitamin necessary for skin cell growth. However, some research studies have indicated that Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and hence could boost melanin production.
Know How to Decrease Melanin in Skin Naturally
From time immemorial people have been relying on simple home remedies for reducing melanin in the skin though there is no scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. In addition to the aforementioned natural ways of lowering melanin pigment in the skin, you may try out the following products to lighten your skin.
reducing melanin food
Turmeric: This is the most common and popular item recommended for melanin treatment as the ingredient in turmeric lowers melanin synthesis, thereby, reducing the production of melanin in the skin.
Aloe vera gel: Too much sun exposure can trigger melanin pigment formation. It’s best to apply aloe vera gel for reducing melanin after continued exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Though research results are yet to prove its melanin reducing effects, users of this gel vouch for its lightening effects.
Lime juice: The use of lemon juice is commonly recommended to reduce the skin pigment melanin. This may be due to the high concentration of Vitamin C in the fruit that lowers tyrosinase activity, thus, reducing or preventing melaninproduction. Though lemon juice use is preferred for melanin treatment owing to its possible anti-pigmentation properties, however, you must dilute lemon juice with water to avoid its harsh effect on the skin.
Green tea: Ideally advised to lose weight, researchers claim that the epigallocatechin gallate in green tea can prevent the accumulation of the skin pigment melanin by blocking an enzyme needed for melanin production.
Tomato: Its rich Vitamin C levels inhibit the production of the enzyme much required for melanin synthesis. This is true of other citrus fruits like oranges and lemons too that are much sought after because of their anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Besides, you may also opt for Vitamin C tablets or supplements to control melanin production and lighten your complexion.
Avoid the Following Home Remedies
Not all home remedies must be deemed safe and must be avoided as these may cause dryness, rashes, itchiness, or redness, thus, causing skin damage. They are:
Using skin bleach
Using ammonia to brighten the skin
Use of hydrogen peroxide
How to Slow Melanin Production in the Skin?
You do not have to always resort to expensive medical treatments for lowering or reducing melanin production in the skin. Making simple changes in lifestyle habits can help lower the formation of the skin pigment melanin significantly.
Some of them are:
Lessened exposure to sun rays: The sun’s UV rays can cause much damage by tanning or darkening your skin. Melanin protects the skin from sun damage. Remaining exposed to the sun for prolonged hours may prompt increased melanin formation in the skin.
Sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 2 pm, so it makes sense to stay indoors then. Also, prefer wearing protective clothing with long sleeves and hats while covering your face with large sunglasses.
Wearing sunscreen: Applying sunscreen lotion works as a protective layer on the skin surface. Wearing sunscreen limits or slows down melanin production. Always remember to use a water-resistant sunscreen lotion with SPF equal to or greater than 30.
Avoid tanning beds: Lying down on tanning beds for long hours to get an artificial tan is a common practice. However, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from bulbs or UV lamps can result in faster melanin production compared to the suntan that many people prefer.
How to Reduce Melanin Deposits in the Skin?
Many people inquire about how to stop melanin production. Melanin acts as a protective layer to the skin, which means that removing it completely can result in skin problems. The market is full of beauty ointments and skin whitening products that promise you that much wanted radiantly glowing skin. To start with, you may try using:
Topical Creams or Ointments
You can buy skin lightening creams over the counter. Yet, some are available on prescription only. These creams lighten the skin by acting on its melanin deposits. Most skin lightening creams contain the following ingredients that help to reduce the melanin content.
Topical cream application
These ingredients act to subdue the formation of tyrosinase, an enzyme needed to synthesize melanin, thus, lowering its production and resulting in lighter skin. Yet, all these topical products have a temporary effect and wean off on wash, which means that it takes more than just creams to have visibly brighter skin.
Also, many people complain of dryness, itchiness, irritation, and redness on applying skin lightening creams and hence must refrain from using them.
Skin specialists recommend using laser therapy to remove the top skin layer and reducing melanin pigment in the treated areas. The myriad kinds of laser treatment options include:
Ablative lasers: People suffering from several discoloration or hyperpigmentation problems can resort to this treatment method that involves the removal of the outer skin layers.
Non-ablative lasers: Used to treat discoloration problems, this treatment method to reduce melanin production is a mild version of ablative laser therapy. This method encourages collagen growth that allows new skin formation.
Among them, intense pulse light is one such treatment option that uses light energy to treat sunspots by heating and destroying the melanin in the skin, thus, removing the discolored spots.
Q-switched ruby laser: This method to treat melanin in the skin uses pulses of light energy to heat and dissolve the skin affected by darkening and discoloration.
Skin treatment using chemical peels is a common phenomenon. If you’re struggling to find ways on how to reduce melanin production, this treatment is a must-try. The chemical peel therapy helps you with acne problems, skin discoloration (due to high melanin pigment concentration), and getting rid of blotches on the skin. This treatment proves effective because acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid impact your skin subsequently decreasing the melanin content in your skin.
However, if you’re someone with sensitive skin, then undergoing chemical peels or laser therapies isn’t recommended. In many instances, people have complained of side effects like rashes, scarring, complete discoloration, and infection in the treated areas.
How to Decrease Melanin in Skin Permanently?
Not all have the same melanin level in the skin. The amount of melanin in your body depends on your genetic buildup, which means that if your parents have high melanin in their skin, it is quite likely that you will also have a high level of melanin in your skin. Sunlight prompts melanin production, which means that going out in the sun too often, may darken the skin color.
Many people afflicted with hyperpigmentation problems often search on Google about – how to reduce melanin in the skin permanently by eating nutritious foods? However, you must understand that while it’s possible to lighten the skin using natural and artificial remedies or treat hyperpigmentation problems using surgeries, getting fully rid of melanin skin isn’t possible.
It is not possible to lower the level of melanin in the skin without continued skin lightening treatments that may include the use of creams, bleaches, chemical peels, laser treatment, and eating fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C.
Melanin acts as a defense mechanism against the sun’s harmful UV rays, which means reducing melanin levels completely may result in the following problems.
Increased risk of sun damage: Less melanin content implies an increased risk of damage due to the sun’s rays, thus, raising the risk of wrinkles, rough skin, and discoloration.
High risk of skin cancer: The waiver of melanin protection from the skin makes it more prone to suffering from damage and developing skin cancer.
Feelings of irritation or lack of sensitivity: Chemical procedures involved in skin lightening can have a depleting effect on the skin quality resulting in rashes and uneven surfaces. Besides, such treatments also lead to side effects including redness, itchy feeling, and dermatitis.
The Bottom Line
Too much melanin content means darker skin while very little melanin results in a condition called albinism. Also, those with very low melanin content in their skin are prone to suffer from skin cancer due to the effect of the sun’s UV rays. While skin-lightening creams help to reduce melanin content by acting on the enzyme that affects its synthesis, it can also harm the skin’s upper layer.
Eating fruits and vegetables that lower the melanin content or wearing sunscreens before going out can have a mitigating effect of the sun’s rays on the skin. Besides, it makes sense to depend on natural remedies or opt for chemical procedures under the expert guidance of a dermatologist for a prolonged effect.
If you have hyperpigmentation problems, you can seek advice from reputed skin specialists practicing in the ClearSkin Clinic. Contact us to book a consultation now!