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Natural Remedies Hyperpigmentation and Melasma



Alright folks, let's talk about the two troublemakers in the skincare world: hyperpigmentation and melasma. These sneaky little skin issues can be a real pain to deal with. Actually they are some of the most difficult conditions I have to treat, one more than the other (we’ll get into the difference). But here’s the guide full of natural remedies for hyperpigmentation and melasma that I’ve made for my clients based on 30 years of treating these tricky, tricky, issues.


First, what’s the difference between hyperpigmentation and melasma?


Hyperpigmentation and melasma are both conditions characterized by dark patches on the skin. They often get confused or lumped together but they differ in a few key ways:


Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin due to an excess production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. Factors include sun exposure, inflammation, hormonal changes, skin injuries, or certain medications.


Melasma on the other hand is a specific type of hyperpigmentation mostly triggered by hormones, although sun exposure and genetic predisposition can play a role. It is super common for women during pregnancy to develop melasma due to hormone shifts, hence its nickname "the mask of pregnancy." 


But the good news is, either way, I treat them the same.


There’s also periorbital hyperpigmentation, aka those pesky dark circles, under your eyes. Those are actually a bit different and related to genetics, allergies, or sometimes, truly, just a lack of sleep.  For these, nothing topical will really work, despite what the internet tells you. The trick here is hydration and blood circulation.

To treat periorbital hyperpigmentation: 

1. Drink a lot of water (you can see my formula for how much water you should be drinking every day in this article)

2. Find a trampoline and bounce. Blood movement is key for dark under-eye circles. Weird but it works.

What’s the best natural remedies for hyperpigmentation and melasma?


1. Stop using lasers and peels.


Yep, you heard me. Basically everyone will tell you laser help with hyperpigmentation. And maybe they are right because they do help to clear the dark sports. 


But guess what? It’s actually pouring gasoline on the fire. Laser treatments work by targeting pigment in the skin, which is great for breaking up existing pigmentation. However, in some cases, the heat generated by the laser can actually stimulate melanin production, leading to an increase in hyperpigmentation. 

Lasers are like "pouring gasoline on the fire."


In my decades of experience, lasers make things worse over time. You have to keep going back to them over and over again because the spots increase. It’s a dangerous road to go down.


The same goes for peels. Peels make hyperpigmentation and melasma worse in the long run.

 "Peels make hyperpigmentation and melasma worse in the long run."

Chemical peels work by exfoliating the outer layers of the skin, which can leave the skin more vulnerable and sensitive to external factors like UV radiation. If proper sun protection measures are not taken post-peel, the skin's increased sensitivity can lead to sun damage, which in turn can exacerbate hyperpigmentation.

"Chemical peels leave the skin more vulnerable and sensitive to UV radiation"


2. Get your hormones in check


Melasma in particular is hormone-related, which is why it’s tricky to treat. Hyperpigmentation can also have a hormonal factor. Obviously, when you’re pregnant ‘balancing your hormones’ is next to impossible, and often melasma dissipates after birth. But in those who aren’t pregnant, looking at supplements and foods that can help balance your hormones is a good place to start. As I often say, glowing skin starts from within. 

 "Melasma in particular is hormone-related"

3. Think about your location


Hyperpigmentation or melasma can often act up more in warm, humid climates. Heat and humidity can exacerbate these skin issues, making them even harder to deal with. I often work with my clients before a trip to help prevent the hyperpigmentation or melasma from worsening on the trip because the tricky thing about this skin condition is while you can improve the appearance, you actually never can fully get rid of it beneath the surface so it can come back out if you aren’t cautious. 

"Heat and humidity can exacerbate" hyperpigmentation and melasma.


My travel tips for skincare are all in this article, along with a handy packing list.


Jenny Jewel

While I said no peels, there’s an exception to every rule. I’m obsessed with the Biorepeel. This treatment is 33% TCA however it’s lipophilic and hydrophilic. This means it’s a very controlled peel, meaning very little peeling and very little downtime. It’s essentially a delightful concoction of amino acids and B vitamins that help lighten pigmentation, improve texture, reduce scars, and revitalize skin. This is available at Saving Faces. We offer this and lots of other natural remedies for hyperpigmentation and melasma in our custom ficials.

Another pro tip: Eat hydrating foods in warm weather climates can boost skin hydration. Think of local tropical fruits while vacationing. Pineapple, mango, watermelon, and coconuts can nourish skin from the inside out. Here’s a list of 25 foods for glowing skin.


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