This article contains sponsored links from my favorite brand Mountain Rose Herbs. I love their high quality organic/fair trade products, and am blown away by their commitment to zero waste.
Hyperpigmentation is no fun! There are natural ways to reduce dark spots or dark pigmentation in the skin without the harmful ingredient hydroquinone. You of course can also make many of the products yourself without spending a ton of money on commercial chemical products.
Hyperpigmentation can be created very quickly and then take what seems like forever to get rid of. The more melanin in your skin the darker the pigmentation can appear and be very frustrating to deal with. I’ve noticed that if I have a breakout, that even a small blemish can become a scar. Using products daily that are skin brightening and also blemish reducing has been a life savior.
10 Ingredients To Naturally Fight Hyperpigmentation
1. Raw Honey
There is a reason why I wash my face with raw honey daily. It keeps the skin glowing and free of bacteria without disrupting the moisture levels of the skin. Raw honey is antibacterial with moisturizing amino acids, and antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage. Raw honey also has gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid responsible for honey’s acidity. Raw honey is more nutritious to the skin still containing all of its healing properties that have not been pasteurized or eliminated with high heat temperatures.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has a high vitamin C content which brightens the skin as well as citric acid which exfoliates and speeds up the treatment of acne also lightening acne scars and blemishes. I remember during summer breaks when I was in college, I would slice a lemon and rub the lemon up and down my legs for soft even skin. It tingled and itched so much that I would just go outside and run around the block to distract myself from the ridiculous sensations. I then would come back inside and rinse it off.
I know now that lemon juice straight is too acidic for skin’s natural pH balance. I will instead mix fresh lemon juice with more soothing ingredients. Lemon juice is still a perfect ingredient for evening out the skin and brightening dark elbows and knees.
(UPDATE: Lemon juice can cause photosensitivity for some so must be used with sun protection. It is also not pH balanced for skin, so I would definitely advise that it is diluted with water. Please use with caution especially those with sensitive skin.)
Rhassoul clay has a higher ratio of silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other trace minerals compared to other clays, therefore it is very nourishing to the skin. It balances skin’s natural oil production by being hydrating to dry skin and calming to oily skin. It greatly improves skin clarity and brightness, removes dead skin cells, and smooths skin’s overall texture.
I’ve raved about rhassoul clay for skin and hair because it works so well for both. I love versatile ingredients because it saves me money. Rhassoul clay is my favorite clay to use daily.
Lactic acid, lactic acid, lactic acid! Yogurt is outstanding for skin brightening and evening out the skins complexion. Using plain yogurt for skin care masks will soften, brighten, and clear up blemishes and hyperpigmentation. I believe simple yogurt masks are gentle enough for daily use and such an inexpensive easy to find remedy for clear skin.
The regeneration properties that tamanu oil provides is out of this world! Tamanu oil is used to miraculously heal the skin of burn victims. Although it has a strong natural scent, it is worth every drop of natural goodness that this oil provides. I came across tamanu oil on my honeymoon in Hawaii. This oil is very rich in antioxidants and is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory.
Wheat germ oil is very high in vitamin E as well as contains vitamin A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, D, and F, essential fatty acids, lecithin, protein, and minerals. Wheat germ oil is good as a health supplement, and also amazing for skin and hair. It moisturizes and maintains moisture in skin and hair like no other oil I’ve ever tried to date. Its vitamin and mineral rich content is wonderful for healing and regenerating skin. (Update… Wheat germ oil isn’t the best choice for acne prone skin although still a wonderful carrier oil).
Rosehips seed oil has become more popular for its use in anti-aging products. It is a more expensive carrier oil, although it is one of the best oils for skin rejuvenation. When applied daily for up to four months it has been known to reduce wrinkles and age spots almost completely. This is one oil that I have overlooked in the past, yet no longer! You can read more about why I love this oil so much here.
Aloe vera has a natural salicylic acid perfect for keeping skin clear in the first place with a divine pH of 4.5. The healing properties in aloe vera contain over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, and amino acids. Use pure aloe vera gel or juice as a supplement to heal the body from the inside out, or as a toner/skin gel serum under your moisturizer. Aloe vera is also a wonderful pH balancer for hair which is why I use it in so many of my DIY hair care recipes.
Amla is traditionally used in Ayurvedic health and beauty care. Amla fascinates me in that it is brightening for skin, yet also keeps hair dark and lustrous. It is 20 times higher in vitamin C than an orange and full of full of proteins, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. Amla is a proven antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, yeast inhibiting, nematicidal, anabolic, anti-hepatoxic, anti-hyperhidrosis, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-spasmodic, hypolipidemic, and hypotensive relieving properties.
You can use amla in its herb or powder form. Creating a simple amla paste with amla powder with water can do wonders on the skin or even infusing the herb in a nourishing carrier oil is even better. I prefer slow herbal infusions in a mason jar in sunlight for 1-2 months.
10. Raw Sugar Cane
Sugar produces a natural glycolic acid which is gentler on skin than chemically derived glycolic acid. This natural alpha hydroxy acid easily exfoliates the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are known for their anti-aging properties for stimulating collagen production while reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation.
3 DIY Skin Savor Recipes on Minimalist Beauty
This exfoliating mask includes lemon juice, raw honey, and raw sugar cane. It is so easy to make and so effective. Also it doesn’t burn like fresh squeezed lemon juice or rubbing lemon juice slices directly on the skin. Natural citric, gluconic, and glycolic acid work in synergy together brilliantly.
This mask includes raw cacao, rhassoul clay, and honey. It’s almost edible and smells divine!
This healing oil contains coconut, wheat germ, and tamanu oil. It is an amazing combination of nourishing and healing oils. Although I love coconut oil you can always use a lighter carrier oil such as jojoba oil, and even add a bit of rosehips oil.
Gaining and Maintaining Healthy Looking Skin
Some people genetically have beautiful skin, and others actually work hard for it. Regardless of which category you fall into, taking good care of your skin from head to toe will make you feel good about yourself. It is good for your health to take care of your skin because your skin is your largest organ that protects the rest of your body. You do not need to spend $100 a month or more on good skin care. I used to spend that much, yet now I am so thankful to have discovered the power of DIY skin care, herbs, and simple ingredients.
1. Begin your mornings drinking as much water as you can and continue drinking water throughout the day. Some days I’m on this, and other days I fall off completely. I usually can see a major difference in my skin either way. Drink half your body weight in ounces daily.
2. Develop a skin care regimen that fits your lifestyle and budget. It doesn’t have to be extensive, complicated, and definitely not expensive. Incorporating just a few of the 10 ingredients above will improve your overall brightness and clarity in your complexion. If you spend a lot of time outside or are using fruit, lactic, or sugar acids in your skin care, I suggest wearing a zinc oxide based sunscreen daily. Read more about good natural sunscreens here. If you are not big on sunscreen, wear protective clothing and of course a fabulous sun hat whenever outdoors.
3. Patience, patience, patience! I’m enjoying repeating words three times as you can see. Hyperpigmentation can occur quickly, and take a long time to brighten and smooth out. Lovingly care for your skin, and speak positive affirmative words about your skin and yourself. I believe uplifting words, consistent gratitude, and positive energy helps to heal the body quicker than all the topical ointments alone on the market, DIY or not!
Many times hyperpigmentation is caused by dreaded acne. If you are acne prone and would like to know what I believe to be a major culprit in acne, then you definitely want to read about oils for acne prone skin! Also check out this article specifically about acne and hyperpigmentation.
(Image by sbeulah.onsugar.com)