If you’ve experienced pregnancy, you may have developed a darkened patch on your face, known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. This is caused by hormones that surge or recede during pregnancy and generally goes away once your body has settled into its new way of being. Other causes of what’s known as melasma include taking the contraceptive pill, synthetic HRT, or sometimes thyroid medication. There is also a genetic component to this type of darker pigmentation.
AN EFFECTIVE REMEDY TO CURE PREGNANCY-INDUCED SKIN PIGMENTATION IS TO APPLY A PASTE OF CHICKPEA FLOUR, TURMERIC POWDER, YOGHURT, AND LEMON JUICE. ADD ROSE WATER TO THE MIX FOR EVEN BETTER RESULTS.
Tanning happens because the sun’s UV rays stimulate the production of melanin – the ensuing bronzed effect actually protects the deeper layers of your skin from sun damage. But, that’s not to say you should rush out for a tanning session. Sun damage is also responsible for clusters of melanin cells being activated – that’s what causes what’s known as ‘age spots’. But, just getting older can also cause some of those cells to gather together and produce more than the usual amount of melanin.
THERE ARE NUMEROUS OVER THE COUNTER LIGHTENING CREAMS THAT DO WORK. NOTE THAT CREAMS CONTAINING HYDROQUINONE MAY CAUSE SKIN IRRITATION. INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR IN A LIGHTENING CREAM ARE GLYCOLIC ACID, DEOXYARBUTIN OR KOJIC ACID.
To reduce the effects of tanning and skin blemishes, and for natural radiance, make this mask at home: Mix one tsp of milk powder, a tsp of lemon juice, a tsp of honey and half a tsp of almond oil into a thick paste. Apply this on the skin and leave for 15-20 minutes, before rinsing with cold water. This helps reduce the effects of tanning and skin blemishes, and also gives your skin a natural radiance.
did you know?
Everyone has pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. These cells produce melanin pigment that’s fed to keratinocytes, the skin cells that form the outer barrier of the skin, which protects you from sun damage.
Just like sun damage, an injury like a blister or a scratch can affect the melanin cells in that particular area, causing them to either increase or decrease production. But, the effect is often not permanent, so your skin will usually manage to heal itself.
APPLY A PASTE OF GREEN PAPAYA – IT CONTAINS THE ENZYME PAPAIN, WHICH EXFOLIATES AND CLEANSES AND CAN RELIEVE SKIN PIGMENTATION.
While pigmentation problems don’t indicate a health problem (although always take note of differently coloured spots as they may be melanomas), it can affect you psychologically. Not feeling your best or always trying to cover up not-so-beautiful spots can make you feel insecure. While treatment is possible, if you want to go completely natural, try the following two ayurvedic recipes:
DAILY TOMATO, OATMEAL & YOGURT MASK:
1 tomato crushed
2 tsp oatmeal
½ tsp plain yoghurt
Push the tomato through a sieve to extract the juice and mix in the oatmeal and yoghurt with the juice.
Use: Apply to your problem patches and allow to dry naturally for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water.
NIGHT-TIME TURMERIC POWDER & LEMON JUICE MASK
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp lemon juice
Mix well to a paste
Use: Apply to the affected areas and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water.
Tip: Don’t expose your skin to the sun immediately after using this mask and preferably apply at night, before bed.
COMMON PIGMENTATION CONDITIONS
Melasma - Dark brown, symmetric patches of pigment on the face. To prevent it becoming worse, avoid sun exposure. Creams to lighten the face can be effective.
Skin damage causing pigment loss - Following a burn, blister or infection, pigment is sometimes not replaced in the area. Generally the use of cosmetics to cover the lighter area are sufficient.
Vitiglio - Smooth, white patches of skin – this is caused by loss of melanocytes in the affected area. These patches are very sun-sensitive. There’s no cure, however dyes can mask the area, or skin lightening can be done on surrounding areas.