Tuesday, February 5, 2019

My 'Atomic Number' and Hyperpigmentation

Your Top Number One Question: Hyperpigmentation of the Skin and What to do!?

As promised I am checking off the list of your most asked questions in our natural beauty skin care adventure. When I launched BEE23 Natural Beauty due to my own intolerance to toxins in beauty products, it was a foundation by which to offer superior alternatives for every day care and education to my community. I never would have fathomed the journey it would take me on. I didn't just want to sell a product, I wanted my customers to look and feel better. I find it truly fascinating how one skin care concern or ailment can bring an explorer from lemon juice to the atomic table. I realize how mind boggling and overwhelming the depth, breadth and contradictory nature of so much information may seem. 

This is one of the positive elements I can bring to my customer base; the ability to sift through what seems to be an astronomical amount of fact, fiction and diction to find the key bits of knowledge that you may apply simply to your everyday natural beauty regimen. This is also only a collection of home remedies and not a replacement for proper dermatology care. And as we can see from the human experience in general, not to be taken as the complete be-all and end-all to what works and is useful! 

What's and Why's of Melasma or Hyperpigmentation

Melasma or hyperpigmentation is a specific skin condition characterized by patches of brownish skin that is caused due to uneven distribution of the skin pigment melanin in the skin. Melasma can affect both men and women but it is more common among women when compared to men, often a result from birth control hormones or pregnancy. Melasma can appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin and above upper lips and other body parts like forearms and neck.

This is a very common concern for many of you. I feel your frustration, dissolution and fear of fade creams and how this skin condition may affect your confidence level when heading out the door during your day. After perusing article after article, dermatology text, experts and chat rooms, I have put together the top noted natural prevention and home remedy recipes.

There is a wide array of factors that can trigger melasma or aggravate the condition:
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight 
  • Deficiency of vitamin D in the skin
  • Overuse of birth control
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy
  • Genetic predisposition of a person
  • People suffering from thyroid diseases
  • Damage to the skin like bug bites or pimples
  • Nicotine exposure
  • Shaving with razors and waxing
  • Body weight that causes friction between skin tissue
  • Stress – Overproduction of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH)
  • Allergic reaction to certain medications or cosmetics

Although a wide range of cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion is available to remove melasma, most of them have harsh effects on the skin. Home remedies are effective yet gentle.

Many of the natural remedies are time-tested. The results are not specific or immediate quick fixes. Patience and overall lifestyle consistency is necessary. Individuals that reported skin lightening and blemish reduction began to see results in about one to two months. In the chat rooms, individual results varied but the general feeling of using safe natural methods when they do work is overwhelming. The other statement that is repeated often, is that there is no miracle all in one product. Learning what works for your particular skin type is by trial. In combating the discolouration of the skin, it is best to follow a two fold beauty regimen of prevention and treatment.

Top Preventative Measures 

Step 1 - Take a look at the list of possible factors in the above list to see if you are able to add, limit or resolve any of these factors. 

Step 2 – Don’t pick at your skin! Do what you can to heal pimples and bumps but don’t pick at or try to pop pimples on your own. See a dermatologist if necessary.

Step 3 – Apply sunscreen every 2 hours. Dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when you are outside. Sunscreen alone may not give you the protection you need. Dark skin is especially susceptible to increased melanin from sun exposure, heat, even steam from a facial. This was a good learning curve for us when serving customers with dark skin. I am a huge advocate for steaming especially in urban settings, however it can cause darkening of the skin in such skin types.

Step 4 – Avoid the sun from the hours of 10 am to 4 pm. This is when the UV rays are at their worst. If you really want to go enjoy the sun, just make sure to put on sunscreen and a hat to protect your face, ears and neck.

Step 5 – Don’t wear heavy metals if they cause dark spots on your skin. Heavy metals are not used much anymore, but when they are they can cause pigment changes in the skin. Heavy metals include gold, silver, bismuth and mercury. It is believed that silver granules can get into the skin causing melanin to be produced.  

Step 6 - Friction, heat and trauma can produce a melanin formation in dark skin types. Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd, a renowned dermatologist, suggests either weight loss, powder or a slip to help with skin rubbing against skin, while laser hair removal is preferred over metal shavers or waxing.  She states, "Most people have a low-grade nickel allergy and since nickel is in shaving razors, most women experience darkened skin from the razor. So no longer shaving is another way to avoid darkened underarms." 

Top Treatment Suggestions 

There are several new "It" ingredients and cures but after following the chat threads through to the end and double checking reference points, I only included what continually claimed to work.

Step 1 - Cleanse your skin with a gentle exfoliating cleanser designed to even skin tone. Stay away from harsh cleansers with synthetic chemicals; they will only tighten and dry your skin out more making it susceptible to marks. I still swear by my oatmeal, honey and apple cider vinegar exfoliating cleanser that I have used for the last 20 years. To get the recipe check out our blog post, "Not to be an 'Anti Pioneer' but the Golden Rules Stay Simple." All of the ingredients included in this recipe have been specified throughout different sources as aiding in the reduction of hyperpigmentation. To properly exfoliate the skin, massage the exfoliating cleanser in an upward circular motion. This helps to remove dead skin cells to reveal a healthier complexion. You may leave the oatmeal exfoliating cleanser on as a face mask until it is dry for best results. Then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Step 2 - Use a natural skin toner to close the pores. Both aloe vera juice and apple cider vinegar are mentioned time and again as amazing natural toners. Take a cotton ball and dip it into the aloe vera juice and apply it directly to the hyperpigmentation. Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and skin irritation.

Apple cider vinegar is similarly suggested as excellent in reducing the appearance of dark patches. It has skin lightening as well as astringent properties that can help restore your skin’s natural color. Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. Use this solution to rinse the affected area. Leave it on for two to three minutes, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy twice a day for a few weeks. Alternatively, add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to half a glass of warm water. Then mix in one teaspoon of honey. Drink this solution twice a day, morning and night, for a couple of weeks until you notice improvement.

Step 3 - Apply pure vitamin E oil to the hyperpigmentation, using a cotton swab to apply the oil. This should be applied to clean skin twice a day to help reduce hyperpigmentation. Vitamin E has been proven to have several health benefits, including but not limited to reducing hyperpigmentation, reversing the signs of aging and diminishing fine line and wrinkles. Vitamin E contains antioxidants that protect the skin from sun damage, which increases hyperpigmentation. We use high quality vitamin E in all of our recipes and no doubt this one of the reasons why customers have reported diminished fine lines as well as an evening of the skin tone after using our facial and body balm line.

Step 4 - Apply a skin lightener to the area where you want to reduce hyperpigmentation. Shea butter is mentioned by sources as a great natural alternative to hydroquinone, a chemical used in fade creams. Hydroquinone is a commonly prescribed medication used to treat discolorations but it can cause allergic reactions and rashes. According to recent scientific research hydroquinone has also been associated with risks of liver, kidney and thyroid damage, and with leukemia. It may be dangerous to fetuses and nursing babies. Furthermore, instead of brightening your skin, hydroquinone has been found to have the side effect of darkening the skin under heavier sun exposure as well as tanning lamps.

Alternatively, Shea Butter is a safe, all-natural alternative treatment to even your skin tone. It has the ability to help discolored skin by:

1. Neutralizing free radicals that damage and age your skin, contributing to brighter clearer skin tone
2. Working to heal and regenerate your skin
3. Protecting it against ultraviolet light, drying, cracking, burning and wrinkling

Shea butter is known for its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in improving skin clarity and overall health of the skin. This is why it is such an important element in our facial and body recipes aiding in the dramatic impact on the overall health and look of our customer's complexions. 

More highly recommended natural skin lightening home remedies:

1. Lemon. Lemon contains citric acid that helps bleach the skin, making it a popular home treatment for hyperpigmentation. This natural bleaching agent can effectively fade dark blemishes on your skin.

Recipe: Extract fresh lemon juice and rub it on the skin using a cotton ball. Leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash it off with water. Follow this remedy twice daily for a few months until you notice improvement. Alternatively, you can prepare a facial mask with equal amounts of lemon juice and raw honey. Mix the ingredients well and then apply it to the affected skin. Cover the skin with a warm towel for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this once a week for a few months.

Note: Those who have sensitive skin must dilute the lemon juice with a little water before using it.

2. Raw Potato. So funny it all comes back to potatoes for me. I have already wrote about using grated potato for a skin flare up in, "'Wait a Minute' and Other Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes 'even if your face blows up like something unearthly!'" Raw potato works very well to help lighten hyperpigmented skin as well as other spots and blemishes. Potatoes contain catecholase, an enzyme that is believed to help lighten skin tone.

Recipe: Peel a potato and cut it into thick slices. Put a few drops of water on the surface of a potato piece and then rub it on your skin for 5 to 10 minutes. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this three or four times a day for at least a month. Alternately, grate one medium-size potato and squeeze the juice out of it. Add an equal amount of lemon juice to it and mix well. Apply the solution on the pigmented area and leave it on for about 20 to 30 minutes before washing it off. Do this twice daily for a month.

3. Turmeric. Turmeric is a time-tested cure for pigmentation on the face. Curcumin, the active ingredient existent in turmeric has strong antioxidant and skin lightening properties, and it also helps in reducing melanin pigmentation. It also flushes out toxins from the skin and helps cure acne and pimples.

Recipe: Make a thick paste by mixing 5 tablespoons of turmeric with 10 tablespoons of milk. You can also add 1 teaspoon of gram flour to thicken the paste. Apply this paste on the skin affected by hyperpigmentation and let it dry out completely. Then rinse your skin with lukewarm water while massaging gently using a circular motion. Repeat this cure daily for best results.

Caution: Turmeric tends to stain. So apply with gloves. Also avoid staining your clothes. Several exfoliates were suggested to remove the turmeric from your skin but always gentle, gentle, gentle, nothing harsh on your facial skin.

4. Orange Peel. Next time you eat an orange, keep the peel. It contains citric acid that has bleaching properties and can help get rid of dark patches on skin.

Recipe: Add one teaspoon each of lemon juice, milk and honey to one tablespoon of dried orange peel powder. Mix all the ingredients well to get a smooth consistency. Apply the paste on the affected skin. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, and then massage gently. Finally wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow this treatment at least three or four times a week to encourage cell renewal and reduce dark skin patches.

5. Avocados. Enriched with fatty acids, vitamin C and oleic acid, avocados can effectively help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Plus, the various enzymes and high amount of vitamin E in avocados can also reduce pigmentation.

Recipe: Mash one ripe avocado into a smooth paste. Apply the paste on the affected area. Leave it on for half an hour, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy twice daily for at least one month to get positive results. Alternatively, mash half of a ripe avocado into a smooth paste and mix in two teaspoons of honey and one teaspoon of milk. Apply the paste on the affected area. Allow it to dry on its own and the rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this once daily for a month.

6. Milk. Cleopatra had it going on with the milk and honey! When you apply it topically, the lactic acid in milk works to gradually diminish the skin pigmentation to brighten the complexion.

Recipe: Soak one slice of lemon in 1/2 cup of whole milk for about 15 minutes. Rub the milk onto your skin and leave it overnight. Wash your skin thoroughly in the morning. Alternately, pour any milk into a bowl. Preferably use goat’s or cow’s milk. Even better is buttermilk as it has extra benefit to make your skin supple and smooth. Soak a soft cloth in the milk. Make sure to wring out the milk, so that the wash cloth is not dripping. Buff the milk onto your face and neck with the wash cloth. Keep refreshing the washcloth with the milk when it dries out. Rinse it of after 15-20 minutes. You will start noticing that your skin is lightening up after few weeks.

7. Frankincense Essential Oil. We love frankincense! Best known for its effective scar treatment, frankincense essential oil is also good for reducing hyperpigmentation on skin. It has been burned as incense in Arab homes since ancient times for its powerful antiseptic and healing properties as well as the glorious aromatic scent. It is best used to brighten dull skin and get rid of dark hyperpigmentation. Apply only a few drops in a carrier oil.

8. Rose Essential Oil. We consistently rave about rose oil, another important ingredient in our recipes for face and body. Rose essential oil has been used in skin care since ancient times. It is used to heal a myriad of skin issues including acne, pimples, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions, sagging skin and so much more. It also rejuvenates and brightens dull and discolored skin, so it can also be used to even out hyperpigmentation. Apply only a few drops in a carrier oil. We only use therapeutic grade rose essential oils in our product blends.

Our products that use frankincense and rose essential oils:

9. Geranium Essential Oil. Geranium has many beauty benefits for the body including fighting acne, clearing skin congestion and healing skin inflammatory conditions. Effective in lightening scars, blemishes and dark spots, geranium essential oil is one of the top essential oils for hyperpigmentation. Check out our Hotty Balm Normal to Oily and Mango Mornings Hotty Body Balm with geranium, lavender and mandarin.

10. Almonds. I always wondered why I consumed so many almonds. Being a rich source of vitamin E, almonds are good for skin and especially hyperpigmented skin.

Recipe: Soak five almonds in water overnight. Next day, remove the almonds from the water and grind them, adding milk to get a fine paste. Add one teaspoon of honey and few drops of lemon juice to the paste and mix well. Spread the paste over the affected skin before going to sleep. Wash it off in the morning with cold water. Follow this remedy every night for two weeks, and then do it twice weekly. You can also eat almonds on a regular basis to minimize hyperpigmentation.

To check out our entire product line customers are raving about go to www.bee23.ca "because we all want to stay hotties naturally!"

We love to hear from you! If you have any personal stories or suggestions about any of the recipes in this post or your own please take the time comment. Stay awesome, stay beautiful!

Main References 

Earth Clinic http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/melasma.html

Hello Beautiful http://hellobeautiful.com/2013/04/02/ways-to-treat-hyperpigmentation/

Dermascope The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics & Spa Therapy http://www.dermascope.com/hair-removal/the-skin-care-of-waxing#.VyDVA1YrLIU

Ebony http://www.ebony.com/photos/style/beauty-101-9-black-dermatologist-recommended-dark-spot-treatments-405#axzz472U4VqYp
Indiatimes http://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/skincare-get-rid-of-skin-pigmentation-naturally-243117.html

The Fit Indian http://www.thefitindian.com/home-remedies-for-melasma-pigmentation/
totalbeauty.com http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/slideshows/hyperpigmentation-ingredients-140127/page6

Acne.org http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/186417-you-guys-know-about-niacinamide-right/?page=1
beautymunsta http://beautymunsta.com/9-effective-essential-oils-for-hyperpigmentation/

Shea Butter https://sheabutter1.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/shea-butter-for-discolorations-uneven-skin-blotchy-skin/

Desired Diva http://blog.desireddiva.com/the-best-natural-ways-to-get-rid-of-hyperpigmentation/

Top 10 Home Remedies http://www.top10homeremedies.com/how-to/get-rid-hyperpigmentation.html/3
Lemon Health Benefits and Natural Cures http://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/lemons.html#ph
Natural Beauty Tips http://naturalbeautytips.co/how-to-get-rid-of-hyperpigmentation-effectively/

Heavy Metal Induced Skin Pigmentation http://www.healthcentre.org.uk/cosmetic-treatments/skin-pigmentation-heavy-metal.html

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