Aging gracefully is one of the more important results we expect to derive from our skincare regimens. Apart from leading a wholesome and happy life, one should age gracefully. No one wants to look old, but no one has control over the process of getting old. You can blame the environmental factors if you’re experiencing discoloration or dark patches on some body parts. However, the root cause of it is melanin.
Skin is the largest organ of our body, and nothing should please us more than achieving our skincare goals. We often try remedies or treatments in our quest to have flawless, blemish-free, and spotless skin. This result is often affected by issues like patchy skin, dark spots, and under-eye spots. However, excess melanin pigmentation is the barrier that stands between our skin care goals and ours.
Sometimes the production of excess melanin in the body leads to a much darker appearance of the skin. It usually results from excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays but there may be many such reasons for it. It is perfectly natural to get tanned skin due to prolonged exposure to the sun, but it can also be reversed. The key is not to force the issue or use skincare products enriched with harmful chemicals or toxins.
Knowing a Little About Melanin
Melanin is the pigment in our skin that provides natural color to skin, hair, and eye color. The amount of melanin in our skin can vary depending on race, ethnicity, and other related factors. It can be due to genetics, prolonged exposure to UV rays, pollution, nutrition levels, and sleep cycles.
Produced in the skin’s lowest epidermis layer (Stratum Basale), specialized cells are called Melanocytes. These cells produce small packages, or granules called melanosomes. The higher the melanin levels in the skin, the darker your skin tone will be.
Every living body on the earth contains melanin in varying degrees. This pigment is naturally produced in different parts of the body, such as:
- The innermost layers of the skin
- Pupils and Irises
- Parts of the brain, adrenal glands, and inner ear
What are the Types of Melanin in our Body?
Overall, three types of melanin in the body contribute color to different body parts. Let’s take a look at them:
- Eumelanin: There are two types of Eumelanin produced by melanocytes: brown-colored and black-colored. People with brown or black hair have different amounts of brown and black melanin.
- Neuromelanin: This type of melanin majorly controls the color of neurons.
- Pheomelanin: This type of melanin provides colors to the pinkish parts of the body, such as lips or nails.
What purpose does melanin serve?
Besides offering color to the skin, the skin pigment melanin in our body offers additional benefits to promote skin health. Following the benefits we should be aware of:
- Offers protection from UV rays: Melanin absorbs ultraviolet radiation and thus acts as a protector from the sun’s high heat. It also offers long-term protection against UVA and UVB lights. When skin is exposed to harsh UV rays, the production of melanocytes increases in the skin cells. This often causes skin darkening.
- Treats free radicals: Various environmental factors cause oxidative stress and cellular damage in the body. Normal melanin production in the body supplies the skin with the required antioxidants and minerals. As a result, it targets harmful free radicals caused due to prolonged exposure to UV rays, pollution, and a sedentary lifestyle.
- Retains moisture in the skin: Healthy melanin helps retain moisture in the skin by preventing the negative effect of free radicals. The presence of melanin and its normal production in the body helps hydrate the skin and makes it softer.
- Prevents skin disorders:
Normally the skin starts secreting excess melanin in the body during certain conditions like pregnancy, prolonged exposure to UV rays, etc. Excess melanin production can prevent skin disorders such as Vitiligo, Albinism, Melasma, and other related skin disorders.
What causes Increased Melanin Levels?
While prolonged exposure to the Sun is a widely famous cause, there are other reasons to blame for excess melanin levels. Some of the other factors that lead to an increase in the production of skin pigmentation (melanin) are:
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Skin Inflammation
- Malnutrition (vitamin deficiency)
- Addison's disease – A rare endocrine disease that causes hyperpigmentation on the face, neck, and hands.
- Ill-advised lifestyle habits
- Using chemically-enriched products
How to reduce excess melanin in the skin?
Excess melanin production can be encouraged in the body due to various reasons. But these deposits in the body cause skin darkening by opting for natural remedies and changing diet intake.
- Ayurvedic treatments:
It would be advisable to opt for Ayurvedic herbs such as Chandan, Sita, and Manjishta for maintaining melanin levels in the body. These herbs are loaded with natural properties that stop the tyrosinase enzyme from producing excess melanin in the skin.
- Yoga and Workout:
Meditation and physical exercises are the most effective for skin brightening. Yoga and workout enhance the oxygen supply into your bloodstream, which helps increase blood circulation. In addition, it clears out skin impurities by detoxifying the skin and balances out the skin's conditions. You may try Yoga poses, including Surya Namaskar, Pranayama, and Shavasana.
- Water treatment:
Every living body requires a sufficient water intake to maintain the basic health of its biological processes. It ensures the supply of oxygenated blood to organs and removes toxins from the system. Keeping your skin hydrated is always crucial for glowing and healthy skin. It balances hormones and regulates factors that trigger the melanin pigment in the skin.
- Home remedies:
One can also try kitchen ingredients to reduce melanin in the skin, such as potatoes, tomatoes, turmeric powder, etc. But first, let's check out some home-based face masks.
- Mix a spoonful of honey with one spoonful of lemon juice and apply it to the tanned areas of the skin. Wash it after waiting for 15-20 min.
- Another face mask is – Mix turmeric powder with curd and rose water into a bowl and make it a paste. Apply it onto the affected areas and leave until completely dry. Then, rinse with lukewarm water.
- Prepare a thick paste by blending a tomato with a few drops of rose water, and apply it to your skin. Massage it for some time and leave it for a while. Rinse with water after 20 minutes.
- Over-The-Counter Topical Treatments:
Some over-the-counter treatments also work. You may look for OTC creams and ointments containing ingredients such as Retinoids, Kojic Acid, Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, etc. They help neutralize the effect of the tyrosinase enzyme. For example, you can consider applying the best, safe, and toxin-free Mamaearth Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream.
It helps reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and blemishes. Loaded with Mulberry Extracts, Licorice Extracts, Daisy Flower Extracts, and Vitamin C, it works well for treating hyperpigmentation. It also corrects spots and acne marks, reduces hyperpigmentation, and evens skin tone.
- Better diet intake: If you want to reduce pigmentation caused due to melanin, you should eat nutritious food. It would be best to add Tomatoes, Milk, Eggs, Cheese, Carrots, Yogurt, Oatmeal, Ginger, watermelon, kiwi, papaya, and dry fruits to the diet. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals will help you see faster results.
Dos and Don'ts to Reduce Melanin in Skin
- Always apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily, even at home.
- To avoid melanin pigmentation, avoid prolonged sun exposure as much as possible. If it is unavoidable, you should wear a wide hat and glasses.
- Consume a healthy diet containing carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants.
- Consider applying natural and safe oral-lightening supplements.
- To reduce melanin in skin pigmentation, you should avoid scrubbing your skin too vigorously.
- Avoid applying harsh exfoliants.
- Avoid smoking or excessive intake of alcohol.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to harmful sun UV rays.
Building a skincare routine for even skin tone
Growing up, we need to learn how to effectively maintain the levels of pigments or elements in our skin. But, when we cross teenage, we face various skincare issues as it affects our looks badly. The only way to treat your pigmented skin is through a proper diet and a healthy skincare routine. This skincare routine can be maintained for both; your face and your body.
Step 1: Washing your skin: Clean and clear skin is essential to achieve healthy skin, as it will help you remove dirt and excess oil build-up from the face. Do keep in mind to maintain the AM-PM skin routine.
You can pick a natural, toxin-free face wash, such as Mamaearth Vitamin C Face Wash. It is loaded with the natural goodness of Vitamin C and Turmeric, which makes your skin brightened and even.
Step 2: Clearing the skin pores: Scrubbing the facial skin twice a week helps in removing clogged dust particles or dead skin cells in the skin pores. If you want to remove excess melanin in the skin pores, you can use a gentle and toxin-free face scrub such as Mamaearth Ubtan Face Scrub. Loaded with Turmeric and Walnut, it helps remove excessive sun tan by gently exfoliating and improving the skin tone.
Step 3: Provide beneficial nutrients: Treat your facial skin with the goodness of a face mask. You should use it to treat your skin of dark spots and acne marks. Loaded with the goodness of Saffron and Turmeric, this Mamaearth Ubtan Face Mask helps you have glowing skin, removes tan, and makes the skin healthy.
*A healthy skin care tipIf your skin feels dehydrated during the day, you can rehydrate your skin by applying a thicker hydrating lotion. We recommend using a toxin-free and natural face gel such as Mamaearth Aqua Glow Face Gel Moisturizer. You can also apply Mamaearth Aloe Vera gel to keep it hydrated and moisturized.
Step 4: Tone your skin: A deeply-cleansed skin will always stay healthy and bright. Without toning your skin, a skincare regimen isn't quite complete. A face toner clears the skin pores, tightens the pores, and backs your skin with essential nutrients. In addition, it also helps efficiently restore the skin's pH levels.
Step 5: Never forget to moisturize your skin: Applying a hydrating body and face moisturizer on damp skin after the shower is the best way to reduce melanin production. It locks the water content in the skin and makes it soft, supple, and healthy. It also protects the skin from UV rays, one of the primary causes of dark spots on the skin.
We advise you to opt for Mamaearth Vitamin C Moisturizer for your face, which is loaded with natural ingredients. It helps restore the radiance of the skin.
We all have melanin in our skin as it gives color to our skin and hair. It helps protect us from sun damage. However, tanned skin is melanin-affected as it gets collected in a particular skin area. To balance the melanin production in the body, you can opt for several at-home remedies, an effective skincare regime, and a healthy lifestyle.
We advise you to carefully pick the hair care products after examining the ingredients. Then, we advise you to choose a skincare brand that is home-grown and natural such as Mamaearth. It is Asia's 1st MadeSafe Certified Brand that formulates natural ingredients and helps get healthy and glowing skin.
- What is melanin?
Melanin is a type of pigment that gives color to humans and animals' hair, skin, and eyes. It also acts like the skin’s defense system and protects biological functions from radiation. The more it is secreted by the melanocytes, the inner layers of the skin. The more it is secreted, the darker the skin becomes.
- Where does melanin come from?
Melanin is produced in melanocytes. These cells are located in different areas of your body, including your hair and the innermost layer of your skin.
- Does melanin make skin dark?
Yes. If your body makes excess melanin, your skin gets darker.