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How To Reduce Melanin Production in 3 Months?

30 Second Digest

  • “Melanin production in every individual differs on account of genetics, diet, skincare routine, and geographic location.”

  • “An increase in melanin pigment production on the skin where it is concentrated in some areas is called hyperpigmentation.”

  • “Popular for removing hair and stretch marks from the skin, laser therapy is a great solution to reduce melanin in your body through pulse light technology on the surface of your skin.”

  • “Sunscreen provides a shield to your skin through which it can prevent UV rays from penetrating your skin.”

  • “Be patient with home remedies because there is no proof of how long these natural remedies take to work.”

  • “Maintaining a balanced diet is key along controlled portions play a part to reduce excess melanin production.”

Introduction On How To Reduce Melanin Production in 3 Months?

The presence of melanin in our skin causes pigmentation on our skin, hair, and eyes. It is an integral part of our bodies that also acts as a defensive barrier against the sun. Melanin production in every individual differs on account of genetics, diet, skincare routine, and geographic location.

Hyperpigmentation from melanin is a common cause among individuals living near the equator and around tropical areas.

There are ways “on how to reduce melanin” concentration in your skin within 3 months by implementing some dietary and lifestyle changes, and also a new skincare routine.

Melanin: Overview

how to reduce melanin in 3 months: melanin overview

Melanin precisely provides pigment to your skin, hair, and eyes and is found in cells called melanocytes. Melanin production is present in every individual, although some people have more melanin production than others. More melanin production means darker skin.

It causes severe discoloration and pigmentation on your skin. How to decrease melanin? Increased melanin production can be spot-reduced through laser treatments, dietary changes, and also an intricate skincare routine.

There are three types of melanin in human bodies. These are Eumelanin, Pheomelanin, and Neuromelanin[1]. While Eumelanin and Pheomelanin are found in the epidermal skin cells, Neuromelanin is found in the brain.

What can cause Excessive Melanin Production?

how to reduce melanin: what causes melanin

An increase in melanin production on the skin where it is concentrated in some areas is called hyperpigmentation. This is when the melanin in your skin causes a change in your skin tone, and it looks darker. Here are a few factors that can cause excess melanin:

  1. Hormonal Imbalances

While you may not know it, imbalances in hormones cause hyperpigmentation and are mostly observed in women. This is because excess production of Estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, or while taking birth control pills causes more production of melanin on the skin[2].

Such imbalances in melanin production are caused by Estrogen production and lead to excessive melanin. It is usually prevalent in darker skin toned individuals since they naturally contain more melanin in their bodies.

  1. Inflammatory Causes

Skin inflammation also causes melanin production on the skin. Melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) are found in the epidermal layer of the skin. Stimuli such as UV rays, mechanical injury, etc., cause inflammation, which in turn affects the melanin production and concentration in the affected area[3].

  1. Vitamin Deficiency - Malnutrition

Although not deeply clarified, a deficiency in vitamin B12 causes an increase in melanocyte skin cells in our body[4].

  1. Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease is a rare endocrine disease, also an autoimmune disease that attacks the adrenal glands seated right above the kidneys. Adrenal glands are responsible for the production of cortisol and sex hormones.

On being struck with Addison’s, it is shown to increase melanin production on the skin[5]. Addison’s disease triggers the hormone adrenocorticotropic(ACTH), in which Vitamin C creates a chain reaction on the melanocytes in our epidermal layer of the skin, causing unbridled hyperpigmentation.

How to Reduce Melanin in Skin

An increase in melanin production on the skin where it is concentrated in some areas is called hyperpigmentation. This is when the melanin in your skin causes a change in your skin tone, and it looks darker. Here are a few factors that can cause excess melanin:

  1. Hormonal Imbalances

While you may not know it, imbalances in hormones cause hyperpigmentation and are mostly observed in women. This is because excess production of Estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, or while taking birth control pills causes more production of melanin on the skin[2].

Such imbalances in melanin production are caused by Estrogen production and lead to excessive melanin. It is usually prevalent in darker skin toned individuals since they naturally contain more melanin in their bodies.

  1. Inflammatory Causes

Skin inflammation also causes melanin production on the skin. Melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) are found in the epidermal layer of the skin. Stimuli such as UV rays, mechanical injury, etc., cause inflammation, which in turn affects the melanin production and concentration in the affected area[3].

  1. Vitamin Deficiency - Malnutrition

Although not deeply clarified, a deficiency in vitamin B12 causes an increase in melanocyte skin cells in our body[4].

  1. Addison's Disease

Addison's disease is a rare endocrine disease, also an autoimmune disease that attacks the adrenal glands seated right above the kidneys. Adrenal glands are responsible for the production of cortisol and sex hormones.

On being struck with Addison's, it is shown to increase melanin production on the skin[5]. Addison's disease triggers the hormone adrenocorticotropic(ACTH), in which Vitamin C creates a chain reaction on the melanocytes in our epidermal layer of the skin, causing unbridled hyperpigmentation.

How to Reduce Melanin in Skin

Can you lose melanin? Yes. It is possible to reduce melanin production in the skin through different methods which we will look at one by one.

But, the first question you should be asking is “How to remove melanin from skin?”. Again, the answer is positive. You can do so through skin lightening treatments such as laser treatments and the application of topical creams.

Laser Treatments To Reduce Melanin

Popular for removing hair and stretch marks from the skin, laser therapy is a great solution to reduce melanin in your body through pulse light technology on the surface of your skin.

There are three levels of laser treatments through which you can reduce melanin which is existing in your body. These include:

  1. Ablative Lazer Technology - Meant for severe discoloration cases, ablative laser technology removes the outer layer of the skin, which removes the existing melanin deposits from the skin pigmentation to reveal lighter skin.

  2. Non Ablative Lazer Technology - This laser treatment is used on mild hyperpigmentation cases, and leads to collagen growth after the treatment. This affects melanin production in the future, unveiling better, hyperpigmentation-free skin.

  3. QSRL ( Q Switched Ruby Lazer) - This is a more abrasive measure to reduce the body's melanin production by heating and dissolving the affected area of the skin.

With this information, it is imperative to know that laser therapy is not for everyone. It can cause invasive side effects like discoloration, infection, and scarring, so consult your physician before venturing into laser therapy.

Active Skincare Ingredients To Reduce Melanin

This is where building a new skincare routine that will heal your skin from excess melanin production and reveal healthy skin with a natural glow comes in. It is time you introduce active ingredients in your skincare.

You may find the following active ingredients in topical skincare products or over-the-counter medicines. They are all readily available online or in pharmacies near you:

  1. Vitamin C - Popularly known as ascorbic acid, vitamin c has properties that decrease melanin on the skin. Melanin synthesis is the reason for the increase in melanin levels on the skin, and ascorbic acid is responsible for inhibiting such synthesis through the downregulation of tyrosinase enzyme activity.

A Vitamin C plus Hyaluronic Acid serum brightens the skin and provides hydration. Apply it in the mornings followed by a broad spectrum SPF

  1. Kojic Acid - Tyrosine in your cells is responsible for melanin production in our bodies. Kojic acid creates a barrier against the formation of tyrosine in our skin, thus revealing a lighter skin tone.

Use kojic acid serum once a day, preferably at night followed by a ceramide moisturizer to lock in the acid.

  1. Glycolic Acid - An effective skin lightening acid, it reduces melanin production on the skin by acting as an exfoliating agent which removes the outer layer of pigmentation and dirt build-up.

Glycolic acid is found in AHA serums and must be used 2 times a week for effective results.

  1. Azelaic Acid - This skincare product is dominantly used in the treatment of acne. However, it is an effective skincare ingredient to reduce melanin production on your skin by eliminating the multiplication of discolored cells.

The Azelaic acid and niacinamide combination in serum is a great night serum for treating acne and hyperpigmentation.

  1. Lactic Acid - Much like glycolic acid, lactic acid inhibits tyrosinase activity in your body to reduce melatonin production. It is more suitable for dry skin people. Use twice a week for best results.

This is another AHA acid serum that is used as an exfoliant.

  1. Retinol - Retinol is an effective active ingredient to reduce epidermal melanin. It hinders tyrosinase activity, initiates desquamation, and accelerates epidermopoiesis (cell-turnover)[6].

Use a retinol serum every alternate night in your skincare routine. Use the sandwich method where you first slather a layer of ceramide moisturizer, a layer of retinol, followed by another layer of ceramide-induced moisturizer.

Build an effective skincare routine that includes these active ingredients to help you balance your melanin levels and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Note: Before you curate your own skincare routine, you must know your skin type. This will allow you to pick out the right ingredients and products for your specific skin type. Hence, visit a dermatologist first before you take matters into your own hands.

Warning: While majorly effective, using skin lightening products can cause dryness, irritation, redness, and itchiness if not paired with the correct moisturizer and SPF.

Can you Slow Down Melanin Production on the skin?

More melanin production equals more hyperpigmentation and melasma. Here sunscreens play an integral role in reversing such damage. You may probably be tired of all the instructions on wearing sunscreen every day (even when you are indoors), and still not understand why.

Let's just say sunscreen is your holy water to protect yourself from the devil that is hyperpigmentation. How?

When you step outside on a day without SPF, you are vehemently exposed to the harmful UV rays of the run, which in excess amounts can result in skin cancer. The harmful sun rays cause more melanin production than necessary and result in melasma and other skin diseases. Sunscreen provides a shield to your skin through which it can prevent UV rays from penetrating your skin.

The recognized American Academy of Dermatology calls out the factors that create the perfect SPF:

  • Water-Resistant - especially in humid areas

  • Broad Spectrum - contains protection against UVA and UVB rays and a Pa+++ label

  • SPF 30 and above - 

How to Reduce Melanin in eyes

There are a few ways to reduce melanin in eyes. One way is to use a bleaching agent such as hydroquinone. This can be applied topically to the skin around the eyes. Another way is to use a laser to remove the melanin. This is a more invasive procedure and should only be done by a qualified professional. In the anterior layers of the iris, brown melanin is eliminated by laser surgery.

Home Remedies To Reduce Melanin Production

If you are a DIY person, apart from an adequate skin care routine and SPF, there are some home remedies you can try. However be patient with these, because there is no proof of how long these natural remedies take to work.

  1. Turmeric - The active compound curcumin present in turmeric is responsible for inhibiting tyrosinase, used to produce melanin in our body[7]. Make a face pack with turmeric powder and curd. Make sure to not use more than one teaspoon, otherwise, your skin will turn yellow.

  2. Aloe Vera - Aloe vera gel is a potent skin-lightening plant that may reduce melanin production post-sun exposure[8]. Aloe vera also calms the skin naturally and treats sunburns and inflammation.

  3. Lemon Juice - Lemon juice is a rich source of ascorbic acid, and hence can brighten the skin[9]. However, since it has bleaching properties, use a very less quantity of it, and avoid using it before stepping out in the sun. It will do more harm than good.

  4. Green Tea - A study proved that green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which prevents the accumulation of melanin in our skin[10].

Caution - Don't use any skin bleaching products as home remedies for decreasing melanin content in your body.

Excessive Skin Lightening Consequences

  • Higher sun damage chances because of less melanin

  • Higher risk of skin cancer since melanin is not there for sun protection

  • Irritated skin from using too many abrasive lightening products

What Foods Reduce Melanin?

How to Reduce Melanin from foods

Here are a few regular food products you can incorporate into your diet on a daily basis to reduce melanin production in your body.

  • Tomatoes

  • Milk

  • Eggs

  • Cheese

  • Carrots

  • Yogurt

  • Chia seeds

  • Oatmeal

  • Ginger

What Are the Vitamins that Reduce Melanin Production?

Vitamin B12 as said earlier reduces melanin in the body. Avoid excessive consumption of food with a high content of Vitamin A, dark chocolate, and dark berries as they tend to increase melanin production in your body.

Instead, indulge your taste buds in rich green leafy vegetables as salads to every meal to reduce melanin levels in your body.

How to Reduce Melanin in Skin Permanently by Eating

Our body produces melanin every single day in unmeasurable amounts. The quantity of production is based on genetics and cannot be controlled through the aforementioned remedies. While  you can not permanently reduce melanin in the skin. While some foods may be beneficial for overall skin health,

Only their spread and production can be curtailed. However, it is not possible to remove melanin from the body permanently, since it is an integral part of our body and provides us with the much-needed protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Additionally, it is important to remember that melanin is a natural and necessary part of the skin's defense system. Therefore, attempts to permanently reduce melanin production could have negative consequences for overall skin health.

Maintaining a balanced diet is key along with controlled portions. Studies have shown that high protein and rich fibrous food enriched with vitamins disrupts melanin production in the body[11]. Such food includes:

  • Watermelon
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Dry Fruits

Conclusion 

Thus, melanin production is completely dependent upon genetics and increases and decreases due to environmental factors and lifestyle changes. Although we can curtail its production through some remedies, we cannot permanently remove it.


FAQs On How To Reduce Melanin

Which foods reduce melanin?

Foods like tomatoes, milk, eggs, cheese, carrots, yogurt, chia seeds, oatmeal, ginger, watermelon, kiwi, papaya, dry fruits, and lots of green leafy vegetables reduce melanin.

Can you lose melanin?

Our body produces melanin every single day in unmeasurable amounts. The quantity of production is based on genetics and cannot be controlled through the aforementioned remedies. Only their spread and production can be curtailed.

What vitamins reduce melanin?

Vitamin B12 as said earlier reduces melanin in the body. A deficiency in vitamin B12 causes an increase in melanocyte skin cells in our body.

Can vitamin C reduce melanin?

Popularly known as ascorbic acid, vitamin c has properties that decrease melanin on the skin. Melanin synthesis is the reason for the increase in melanin levels on the skin, and ascorbic acid is responsible for inhibiting such synthesis through the downregulation of tyrosinase enzyme activity

What is the best drink to reduce melanin?

Green Tea is most effective when it comes to reducing melanin production. A study found that EGCG, an enzyme present in green tea, can control melanin accumulation. 

You May Also Like

  1. Azelaic or Salicylic Acid: Which Is The Ultimate Acne Fighter For Your Skin?

  2. Skin Complexion Types with Skincare Tips

  3. Can You Use Niacinamide With Vitamin C And Retinol?

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459156/

  2. https://www.wellandgood.com/hyperpigmentation-hormones-connection/

  3. https://encyclopedia.pub/10289

  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163934/

  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636818/

  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17014483/

  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21584871/

  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12372097

  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605218/

  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483495/

  11. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160527090638.htm


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