Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- POPULAR REMEDIES
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Cod Liver Oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar, Onion Juice
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Baking Soda
- Beta Carotene, Oregano Oil
- Dermal Melasma
- General Feedback
- Glycolic Acid
- Grape Seed Extract, Vitamins
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Grapefruit Seed Extract, MSM
- GSE, MSM, Zinc
- Herb Tea
- Hormone Cause
- Horseradish, Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Kapalbhati Pranayam
- Melasma Creams That Don't Work
- Microdermabrasion Treatments
- MSM, Apple Cider Vinegar
- MSM, Gluthathione, Vit C, GSE
- MSM, Grape Seed Extract
- MSM, Vitamin C
- MSM, Vitamin C, Grape Seed, H2O2
- MSM, Vitamin C, Grapefruit Seed Extract
- MSM, Vitamin C, GSE, H2O2
- Multiple Remedies
- Multiple Remedy Success
- Onion Juice, Hydrogen Peroxide
- Prescription Drugs
- Remedies Needed
- Skin Lightening Remedies
- Ted's Remedies
- The Copper Link
- Vegetarian Diet, Beets
- Vitamins, Prescription Cream
- Website Scams
- White Vinegar, Raw Potato Juice, Vitamin E
"Melasma (also known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy when present in pregnant women) is a tan or dark facial skin discoloration. Although it can affect anyone, melasma is particularly common in women, especially pregnant women and those who are taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications. It is also prevalent in men and women of Native American descent (on the forearms) and in men and women of German/Russian Jewish descent (on the face).
The symptoms of melasma are dark, irregular patches commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upperlip, and forehead. These patches often develop gradually over time. Melasma does not cause any other symptoms beyond the cosmetic discoloration." (Wikipedia)
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
|Multiple Remedy Success||5 YEAS|
Apple Cider Vinegar
06/30/2012: Zoya from India, West Bengal: "Hi there, Well I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 1:1 ratio of water and Apple Cider Vinegar for a week. I also use flaxseed oil on my skin once in a day, my melasma on side of my cheeks has become lighter in colour but there is no peeling off the skin. I have read so much benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar on treating melasma and many people claiming complete removal of those dark patches.
Well my melasma is just a year old and its not very dark also but I dont see it going away. I will be continuing this mixture and lets hope for the best... Can anyone help me.... can I use Apple Cider Vinegar mixture during daytime? and what else can I do to treat my melasma asap."
06/12/2012: Zoya from Kolkata, India: "Hi there, Can anyone help me out with the dosage of Apple Cider Vinegar and how long it should be applied on skin to get better result? Today I have just received my package of ____ Apple Cider Vinegar because there is no store in my state. Please HELP ME... How long should I leave the mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and water on my skin? Today after opening the package I mixed 2tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with a glass of mineral water and drank... Tell me how does drinking Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water help curing melasma.... PLZ HELP."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 07/21/2010: Crazydogjack from New Castle, Pa, Usa: "Hello Everyone,
An update to my previous posts on my melasma condition. I was and still am using a product ____24. In addition I am still taking vitamins on a daily basis. Just recently my melasma came back with a vengeance. . . All my fault. I went on vacation to the beach and layed in the sun with sunscreen every day. I wanted a nice tan so badly. Well needless to say my melasma kicked in full gear. I came back to Earth Clinic for help. I tried the acv on my face in the evening before bedtime. This is only my second day and the spots are all fading! After I wash my face, I dip a cotton ball in water acv and put it all over my face. I cannot believe the improvement in just two days! Thanks Earth Clinic contributors! I will keep everyone posted on my progress."Replies
[YEA] 08/18/2010: Crazydogjack from New Castle, Pa, Usa replies: "This is in follow up to my post dated 7/21/10. Well I am happy to report that my melasma is gone. I also got rid of a little mole on my cheek. It only took 4 weeks to get rid of the melasma and only 1 week to get rid of the mole by using Apple Cider Vinegar on my face every evening before I went to bed. I still use the __ __ 24 cream during the day on my face as I am a big fan of this product. I also still take selenium, zinc and other vitamins that support thyroid function and hormonal imbalance since I believe this is why I ended up with melasma in the first place. My skin looks so nice now. Friends and relatives have noticed a huge difference and say I look younger and my skin looks radiant. I wish I would've know about the ACV 2 years ago when I went on my mission to get rid of this dreaded skin condition. I could've saved myself hundreds of dollars! The combination of the ACV daily wash and taking vitamins (healing from the inside out) that support healthy skin such as C and E are key. Best of luck to everyone!"
08/19/2010: Tracey from Gainesville, Fl replies: "Glad to hear of your success. Could you tell me what is in the 24 product and where can I get it? Also how much selenium & other vitamins? Thanks for sharing"
08/24/2010: Angel from Syracuse , In replies: "What is the name of the 24 cream you are using and what all vitiamins are you taking?"
12/31/2010: Kkd from Surrey, B.c. Canada replies: "What is the product 24 that is being referred to. I'm interested because I'm also trying to get rid of my melasma. Thx."
02/26/2011: Stephanie from Stafford, Va replies: "I went and bought ACV to try on my melasma. Do I need to dilute it or rince it off after?? I have suffered with this for almost 5 years! It's all over my cheeks and upper lip. I'm going to a Natural Health Store on Tuesday for some GSE and other supplements that I've seen here on EC. I also bought the book that is sold here on EC about ACV. I can't wait to read it!! Hoping this goes away soon!"
03/10/2011: Wowchic from Kingston, Jamaica replies: "I read all the stories posted here 2 nites ago and already my melasma is fading. I do hope it goes away. Can someone tell me how long b4 I c complete results and do I have to use continuously?"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 03/12/2011: Baby G from St.elizabeth, Jamaica replies: "This is so awesome! I visited this site 3 nites ago and I already see results, its fading. I just hope it goes away completely. Can someone plz tell me how long it actually takes to clear up totally? I will continue to use and keep you posted with my results!"
04/21/2011: Diana from Yonkers, Ny replies: "I' ve had melasma every since I started Seasonique about 4 years ago. I had melasma on both cheeks and in the winter is not noticeable but when I get in the sun... Watch out. I'm going to try apple cider vinegar and grapefruit seed extract and will let you know who it turns out"
04/28/2011: Maria from Tucson, Arizona replies: "I am hispanic 44 year old female and wish I could post pictures so you can see my dilema with melasma. I also have hypothyroid which has also been a nightmare to manage, I just recently had blood work done to check my levels since I am currently on Levothyroxine 112mcg, and I still feel bad. I have dealing with this for over 5 years and its progressively gotten worse over the years, they are dark brown spots on my cheeks only right now but if I look closely they are appearing on my upper lip now. I am fairly dark, so the spots look even worse. I have had numerous chemical peels, no laser was recommend since my pigmentation is fairly dark they feared it could get worse!! Omg.. So I only use sunscreen now since makeup does not work, believe me I have a drawer full of concealers and they all seem to make me break out so along with the patches I tend to get breakouts as well...
I am going to try the ACV today, since I only have white vinegar in the house I tried that last night. I am taking vitamin c, zinc, msm and Isegenix antioxidants. Is what other vitamins should I be taking? I know... I'm a mess!! But its heartbreaking and its the first thing people notice. So I try not to go anywhere except at night when its not as visible and its the only time the makeup will conceal it a little bit. Any tips would be helpful! I love all the posts, been reading them since last night. :)"
05/02/2011: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "I found this about melasma in one of my newsletters from Dr. Jonathan Wright (Washington state):
Both retinoic acid (a natural, acid form of vitamin A) and azaleic acid (a natural component of human skin) can lessen the abnormally heavy pigmentation of melasma, but in 2002 Chinese investigators reported another simple but effective remedy.
The researchers investigated the effects of pycnogenol (a standardized antioxidant rich extract of the bark of the French pine tree Pinus pinaster) against melasma in thirty women with the condition.
After standardized measurements of area and degree of melasma pigmentation, each woman took 25 milligrams of pycnogenol three times daily for 30 days. Both the area covered by melasma and the intensity of the pigment were significantly reduced. The "general effective rate" was 80 percent and no side effects were reported. Other symptoms also decreased during the 30 days, including fatigue, constipation, pains in the body, and anxiety.
The researchers wrote: "To conclude, pycnogenol was shown to be therapeutically effective and safe in patients suffering from melasma."
I hope this helps!"
05/03/2011: Maria from Tucson, Arizona replies: "Thanks Bess! I will give it a try, really can't lose right? I'm keeping a journal with photographs and notes. I'm hoping to see success and hopefuly this information will in turn help someone else. I love the sun and living in Arizona, its unavoidable so lots of sunscreens with zinc and hats but now I stay indoors as much as possible :( I will check in later this month to at least let everyone know my progress. Thanks again!!"
05/18/2011: Ellie from Mclean, Va replies: "Melasma caused by BHRT; I've been on BHRT to manage menopause symptoms. I started getting melasma on upper cheeks so my doctor said more estrogen is needed. Now it's just awful and has gotten bigger. I just stopped the hormones and feel awful, I'm doing a Master Cleanse to rid my body of all the unnatural stuff. I've started taking MSM, C, Zinc, Pycogenol, Selenium and Grapefruit seed extract. what else should I do?"
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 05/20/2011: Janet from Washington, Dc replies: "I am 30 and have had melasma for about 5 years. I think it is from taking birth control and spending a lot of time in the sun. It started as just a strip on my upper lip and now I have brown patches all over my face. I have tried IPL, the blue peel, chemical peels and microdermabrasion as well as many other expensive creams and treatments to get this under control. The results have all been temporary at best. I discovered this site about a month ago and have been taking 2,000 mg of MSM with Vitamin C everyday along with using ACV and hydrogen peroxide topically (not at the same time), taking 50 mg zinc picolinate, 15 drops of GSE in my water every morning, and drinking my own homemade kefir.
The MSM and ACV have made my skin very soft and my complexion has cleared up a lot, but I have yet to see a huge difference in my melasma. I have started using my Retin-A and I'm hoping this will help speed up the process. If anyone has any ideas or advice I would be very appreciative. Has anyone had luck with the pycnogenol? If so, where did you get it?"
[YEA] 07/27/2011: Imperialness76 from Orange Park, Florida, Usa replies: "I am happy to announce that after more than five years of suffering with melasma I am watching it quickly fade away. I came across this site, and tried ACV that same night. It burned a bit because I didn't realize I needed to mix half water and half apple cider vinegar. The next night I made the correct mixture. I have been putting it on my face every night before I go to sleep for six nights now.
My melasma is fading fast. I make sure to put sunscreen on every morning before going outside so I do not lose any of my progress. I am also planning on buying vitamins to fix it from the inside out. I will report back if it completely disappears. I want to add that I truly hope anyone who suffers with melasma tries apple cider vinegar and water. The Apple Cider Vinegar costs less than three dollars at your local grocery store, and is well worth it. Compared to the prescription creams and doctors visits it pales in comparison. Also, if it doesn't work on your melasma it can be used for other cures or you can eat it with salads etc. So it would not be a waste of money. :) Good luck to all."
07/28/2011: Willtryanythingonce from Long Beach, California, Usa replies: "I would like to thank everyone in this community for posting their stories! I am a 32 year old woman that has suffered from Melasma on her upper lip for 3 months. I know it's not nearly as long as anyone else but as soon as I noticed it, make an appointment with my doctor. I noticed it after being out in the sun for 10 hours without sunblock. I'm going to admit that I wasn't concerned about my skin. I don't even like the sun, but my child plays sports, so this day was longer than usual. I thought I was seeing things. I thought I had dirt on my upper lip! I tried over the counter lightening products to no avail. I was given prescription strength cream and I asked for Retin-A. I used it everyday. At times I thought it was going away, but it was still there! I started applying sunblock every 2 hours while I'm at the park. I apply sunblock when I get into my car. I've even bought hats and STILL it was noticeable.
Well, on Monday(today is Thursday), I realized it looked darker! To the point where I'm actually embarrassed!! I was very upset!! I've googles this problem, but it wasn't until yesterday that I came across this site. I read EVERYONE'S posts. I was at the park and I couldn't wait to leave and go by every vitamin that everyone had recommended, but by the time I left, everything was closed. As soon as I got home, I exfoliated and applied organic ACV. I didn't dilute nor did I wash it off. I threw out my HQ cream, but still applied the Retin-A because it works well on fine lines. Well, I wake up this morning and it's actually lighter. I KNOW it's not in my head! There were times I looked in the mirror and gasped! Today, I didn't. I'm already peeling. Don't know if it's because of the microfiber cloth, Retin-A, or ACV, but the skin in lighter underneath. Thank you everyone!! I see a light at the end of the tunnel!"
08/16/2011: Morevilla from Westfield, Ny, Us replies: "I am a 45 years old Latin woman ( from Venezuela ) I had a little spot show on my face a few years ago and I treated it with Laser but didn't work.. It was very small so I ignored it and covered the little dot with make up and was all fine, few months ago I went on Birth Control Pills that caused it to grow and reproduce and it's now there is an ugly dark spot on each cheek... I came to this site last night while surfing the net on my iPod and as soon as I read about the ACV I jumped off the bed and ran to the kitchen, ripped the bottle of ACV from the counter and ran to the bathroom!!! I rubbed it on both my cheeks and then left the bottle in the bathroom where it belongs from now on.... I will keep you posted about how long will take to remove such ugly stains from my face!!! Good Luck all!! I'm sure this will make me very happy.. I have a great feeling about this!! Xoxo
11/14/2011: Josee from Trenton, Ontario replies: "Wow! I must say, I've tried and tried everything to get rid of my melasma. ($$$) I'm so excited to go home and try ACV. And vitamins to fix me from the inside out. It starts out small then spreads no matter what you do. I feel positive that this may work. Will take pictures and will repost. PROMISE!!!"
11/29/2011: Rin from Hk replies: "Thank you very much for all the posts on this site..
I have melasma since 3 months ago, 3 WEEKS ago I across this site and started using Apple Cider Vinegar and taking antioxidant and MSM, and using cream called ''skin success fade cream''.. I see the difference now, it's faded. I'll post it again soon when they gone completely. Thanks a lot."
03/11/2012: Micki from Omaha, Nebraska replies: "I am a light skinned latina and am 49 years old. I have been fighting melasma for 7 years. I have it bad on both sides of my face, brow bones, and now I see it coming in on my upper lip. I can't even say my cheeks because it is now approaching my jaw lines. I have spent thousands of dollars on make up, concealers, medications, and painful medical procedures. Nothing has worked. It is so depressing to look in the mirror, I feel like crying when I see my face. I get so embaressed when I see people I haven't seen for awhile and they ask what those brown patches on my face. I have never considered myself as vane but these patches are so ugly that it hurts my soul. I am going to try this and I hope it works. I feel so defeated. I have to put tons of make up on just to cover them and it really doesn't cover that well. I have never wore foundation til these patches showed up, now I don't leave my house without it on. I feel like I am wearing a mask and my face can't breathe. Please pray for me. Thanks, Hopeless in Omaha."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 08/12/2012: Mama_moni from Burnaby, Bc replies: "Hi there.. I'm so happy to have found this site. I am a 42-year-old woman who developed melasma 11 years ago shortly after giving birth to my third child. I developed it on my forehead, cheeks, upper lip and chin. I used Obagi and managed to permanently obliterate most of the the forehead and all of the upper lip, but after some time the patches on my chin and cheeks came back. Since then, I have used spent thousands on different creams. I was always fastidious about using sunscreen on my face, but could never make inroads into lightening or getting rid of the melasma.
I feel guilty in a way for being so obsessed about this; vain even. But like every woman, I want to look my best and realize that your face is what people see first.
So after studying all of these posts I purchased the following: Grapefruit Seed Extract (2 a day; 15 drops), Acidophilus (1 at lunch), Zinc (1 at lunch), Milk Thistle (2 before bed). I also use Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner (diluted) in the morning and before bed.
After two weeks, I am heartened at the changes I am seeing. My children confirm that not only is the melasma noticeably lighter but that it is breaking up on my cheeks and chin. You can actually see my normal skin colour coming through. The remaining spots on my forehead are stubborn but I will see this through.
09/30/2012: Nicole from Orlando, Florida, USA replies: "To: Mama_moni from Burnaby, Bc. I wanted to know if you have had continued success and if the parts on your forehead have started to break up?"
Apple Cider Vinegar, Cod Liver Oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid
[YEA] 08/21/2011: Devyn from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: "7 days ago, after reading some of the testimonies on this site I bought a bottle of _____'s unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar and started applying it twice a day in a 50/50 solution---half ACV, half tap water---to two stripey melasma marks on my cheeks. Those streaks (which were fairly large and looked like dirt) had been there a year and I was really starting to think they'd remain for the rest of my life, but they're practically gone aready! I'd also started taking Carlson's Cod Liver Oil, Alpha Lipoic Acid and NAC the same day, not to mention the cilantro/chlorella combination someone talked about, so it's hard to say which had the greatest effect really, but I'm assuming it was the apple cider vinegar. (My skin is already about twice as soft and smooth as it was a week ago too, and I've gotten several compliments on how healthy I apparently look... this was probably a combination of all the supplements taken).
Thank you so much for this site, I'll definitely be back regularly in the future!"
Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice
[YEA] 10/22/2011: Melasma Sufferer from Whangarei, New Zealand: "I have been trying the suggested treatment of an equal mix of lemon juice and cider vinegar every night and morning and I want to say thank you very much for posting that cure! I have had melasma for a long time now, and living in NZ it is almost impossible to avoid UV rays as we have such extreme levels. After 2 weeks, I looked in the mirror and I can hardly believe the difference. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."Replies
03/06/2012: Lorna from Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines replies: "Good day! When we use this mixture of apple cider and lemon juice, do we need to stop the cream treatment for the melasma? Thank you!"
03/11/2012: Rolanda from Manila, Philippines replies: "For how long you did the lemon/apple cider treatment?"
Apple Cider Vinegar, Onion Juice
[YEA] 01/10/2012: Lisa from San Jose, California, Usa: "A commercial cosmetic product helped erase maybe 50-60% of my melasma. The rest wasn't responding to the commercial product, so I tried MSM, which helped somewhat, but the rest wouldn't go away. GSE didn't seem to work much. Hydrogen Peroxide was starting to help, but then I read it is an oxidant, so forget the H2O2!
I have finally found something that works: A one part to one part solution of onion juice and ACV. I found the recipe on the internet: just put some onion in the blender (I used a garlic press) to get some juice going. Add an equal amount of ACV to the onion juice.
Every evening, I've been pouring about 1 - 2 teaspoons into a little dish and applied it to affected areas with a cotton swab repeatedly until the juice is used up. This takes 10 - 20 minutes. After several days, I used the vinegary onion pulp as a facial mask - left it on for about 20 minutes.
It's been maybe 4 weeks and most stubborn brown spots have faded really nicely. The onion juice apparently helps lift the darkened areas off - and it has vitamin C in it - which seems like an overall healthy thing to be putting on your skin. I bought my second onion a couple of days ago and am looking forward to even an even clearer complexion!"Replies
05/16/2012: Liza from San Jose, Ca replies: "Every evening, I've been pouring about 1 - 2 teaspoons into a little dish and applied it to affected areas with a cotton swab repeatedly until the juice is used up. This takes 10 - 20 minutes. After several days, I used the vinegary onion pulp as a facial mask - left it on for about 20 minutes.
Hi Lisa I have a question about your recipe. Do you wash your face after? Thanks Liza"
Apricot Kernel Oil
[YEA] 08/24/2010: Carla from Summerland, Bc: "pigmentation disorder
Apricot Kernel Oil cured my blotchy skin! Use a few drops as your regular face moisturizer.1-2t imes/week for about 6 months worked for me :) I'm 22 and tan very well, but every summer when I would start showing colour the skin on my face would get terribly blotchy. Lots of people told me that it was just the pigment of my skin and there was nothing I could do. My sister who also would get blotchy tanned skin noticed that after using Apricot Kernel Oil as a moisterizer on her face no longer had the same trouble that year. I stared in January and I can gladly say its the end of August and this is the first summer my face has a wonderfully even tan! (I still use sunsrcreen everday of course)"Replies
08/25/2010: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Sunscreen is probably the last thing you should be using unless you have a natural one. The chemicals contained in most other sunscreens seem to cause skin cancer. It pays to be careful.... Nowadays I only use VCO. And if you use sunscreen you don't make Vitamin D."
07/29/2011: Janice from London, United Kingdom replies: "Would you please tell me what is VCO? What sunscreen would you recommend? I currently use La Roche Posay, but that has chemicals too!"
08/07/2011: Carla from Summerland, Bc, Canada replies: "Hello, and thank you very much for your concern. I definately only use natural sunscreen!! When I learned that sunscreen had adverse effects I started taking cod liver oil everyday as a natural sunscreen, and it is absolutely amazing! (it takes about 3-6 months) and I dont burn at all, but if im going to be out in the sun more than usual I put on a bit of natural sunscreen to be safe."
08/08/2011: Francisca from Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France replies: "Carla, before the summer last year I read about coconut oil and how good it is in the sun. As soon as it started getting hot I started rubbing it on my skin and I never burnt at all, the same this year! I stay in the sun the same amount of time, which is quite a bit as I am a Southern European, therefore I don't have very sensitive skin and I need more time to make a good amount of Vitamin D but before, at the beginning of the season I did burn a bit, not anymore! But the idea of the Cod Liver Oil is good as well.
My husband who is Welsh, fair skin, burns easily and even has a basel cell carcinoma on the top of one ear but he is now taking Cod Liver Oil although he hates taking anything at all. I will tell him that it can help with sun burns as well, he will be happy about that!"
12/27/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "VCO is virgin coconut oil. You make vitamin D everywhere else that isn't covered by sunscreen or something else, so appyling a mineral sunscreen (not a chemical one) locally where the discoloration is taking place will protect the area without compromising D production. Zinc oxide is probably the best mineral sunscreen, and zinc oxide formulas are sold by many of the natural/organic cosmetic lines. You can also buy pure zinc oxide powder in bulk online if formulas creep you out."
[YEA] 11/19/2012: Francis from Cocoa Beach, Fl: "Hi, my melasma is almost gone! After trying a lot of things (lotios, lemon, apple cider, etc, ) finally I found in you tube a girl that say that baking soda was good for brown spots, well, I was thinking why not try??, I make a paste with a little water and a little baking soda in my hand, put it on my spots an leave there all night (rinse in the morning), when is dry, it will fall off, you can make it a little more liquid if you like, in just 2 days I notice a difference! I been doing this for almost 3 weeks and is almost gone, even my husband told me he can hardly see it! I have olive skin, and my spot was really dark... Hope it works for you!"Replies
02/24/2013: Radha from Phoenix, Az replies: "I am also suffering from melasma since last 5 years and have started applying aloe vera gel. Did aloe vera gel worked for you or, the baking soda?"
Beta Carotene, Oregano Oil
[YEA] 04/28/2011: Sarahlynnlee from K.c., Mo, Usa: "Okay people, I have been battling melasma for about 2 years or so and it was getting progressively worse by the month! I want to tell you what is helping me. First of all, I have a food journal that I've been keeping for about a year and I write EVERYTHING in it that I eat and what I use on my skin so I can track the changes.
About 3 months ago I had a big patch of my melasma got dark and crusty and then completely went away to reveal normal skin. Then, no more of the melasma went away so I recently went through my food journal to find out what I was eating and what I was putting on my face. The only thing that I could find that I was doing then and not now was eating lots of raw carrots (not sure why). I'm not a huge carrot fan so I started looking online for beta carotene benefits and saw that a lack of beta carotene causes dry skin and other skin conditions. I bought some at the health food store, 25,000 IU and took it immediately. That was yesterday, and no joke today it is much lighter. BUT, before that I remembered reading that melasma might be a fungal condition and I gave my boyfriend a long time ago some oregano oil for something (I can't remember) that he was dealing with. He suggested to me that I try it on the melasma only because it is an anti-fungal oil.
So on the eve of Easter of this year, I took a couple of drops and started rubbing it into only the parts with melasma and OMG, it burned so bad at first, worse than ACV. The burning subsided so I left it on for about 30 minutes or so and washed it off really well. I have to tell you, you should maybe dilute it with another oil, I used argon oil after that painful experience and it helped but still burned a bit. Anyway, yesterday morning I used the oregano oil again in the morning with the argon oil and by yesterday evening, some of my melasma spots are dry and flaking. Before when I had that big patch that went away, it also dried up and fell off. So I think it is either the oregano oil or the beta carotene or both. I'm not going to pick the dry scaly pieces off, I'm going to wait until they fall off. I'll check back in as soon as I notice the difference. I'm hoping a couple of days the skin will slough off. This condition is awful and I too am on the hunt for a solution. I've tried EVERYTHING and I research this every single day. I also want to say that I'm doing the GSE, MSM, ACV and have not seen any real difference with those. Hope this works, I'll check back soon."Replies
07/16/2011: Fernanda from Modesto, Ca replies: "Hi just following up on oregano therapy could you let me know if your melasma has disappeared with the carotene and oil treatments.
thank you Fernanda"
07/25/2011: Sarah from Kansas City, Mo replies: "Well, sadly it has not worked Fernanda. My skin was flaking off but there was still melasma under it. I was so disappointed! I'm still struggling to find SOMETHING to get rid of this. I am taking silica because it is good for hair, skin and nails so I thought that it can't hurt. I'm also taking my vit. C, MSM, ACV, etc... and hopefully it will lighten.
This has been an awful experience for me as well as so many others out there. There has to be something out there that can get rid of this condition. One thing I will say about the silica is that it makes my skin feel soft but it's still too early to tell if it will help with melasma. I have only been taking it for a week or so. I'll let you know how it works. Thanks."
[YEA] 08/13/2011: Sansash from Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife replies: "Hi - I just wanted to share with you my 'cure' for melasma. My partner and I recently moved to Tenerife. I have very bad melasma on my upper lip and upper right arm. Since we moved here I have discovered the aloe vera leaf. I have been applying the gel from the leaf morning and night for the past week. The melasma on my upper lip has gone completely and the melasma on my upper arm has started to fade gradually and looks a 100% better than it did a week ago. I used to hide my arms but now I'm wearing short sleeved tops which I never, ever thought I'd wear again. You need the actual aloe vera leaf. Cut a slice off the leaf and slice it open to reveal the gel inside. Rub this on your melasma morning and night and it's really like a miracle the melasma fades gradually. I don't think aloe vera gel in a bottle will work alone as it's not pure aloe vera gel. The plant grows abundantly here on Tenerife but I'm told you can buy it in health food markets or online.. Good luck to you all."
04/13/2012: Lily from Honolulu, Hawaii replies: "Hi, I used to have beautiful olive skin, until I moved to Hawaii and started to breakout with acne. I went to a dermatologist who prescribed an acne medication that could produce sunspots as a side effect. I didn't think much about it until I developed two tiny sunspots on my cheeks. I tried everything to get rid of them, goji berry extract, retionol products, expensive photofacials. Nothing worked omly seemed to make them worse. Over the next two years theygradually grew to about the size of a quarter but not very dark and could be covered with makeup. My father in law mentioned oregano oil. So I decided to use it. I put it on my entire face, it burned really bad but I was determined to get the two sunspots off. This was one of the worst decisions I have ever made in my life. About three days afterwards I developed a horrible case of Melasma. I have huge dark brown spots on my upper lip, cheeks, forehead and nose. It has made me look 10-15 years older and my confidence has effected my social life. I went to the doc and she said that the heat from the oregano oil onsetted Melasma and there is no cure for it. The best thing to do for it is sunscreen, hats everyday and stay out of the sun. DO NOT USE OREGANO OIL it has ruined my face."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 05/09/2010: ES from Newton, Nj: "OK. You need to do a lot of detective work very thoroughly to figure it out, but melasma and copper overload are connected. Search around to find the scientific jargon for it, but copper plays a major role in pigmentation and melanin. Moreover, the copper levels in pregnant women, women on the pill, and when you are premenstrual are higher. Also, it rises with the estrogen. Hello, I've heard many women note what I myself noted. The melasma darkens before your period and lightens after. Copper levels are elevated so makes sense. Now, many people noted MSM, zinc and vit C help when nothing else did. Well, MSM helps purge the body of heavy metals by making cell walls more permeable and releasing toxins. Zinc and vit C are "antagonists" to copper. But that stuff works slowly. I have had mild melasma, darker in summer very light in winter, on upper lip, nose and forehead for past 4 years. Taking MSM recently (10 grams per day) I did notice two things, it didn't darken much in the sun anymore and a 3mm wide x 5 mm long splotch of it vanished from my nose, replaced by normal colored skin.
But this really isn't good enough for me.
So I read up on the copper link and you know, while for the most part I'm extremely strong and healthy, I have had some acne (under control now mostly) some hormonal imbalance, yeast infections, and a few other of the milder symptoms of copper toxicity. OK, well, now let's talk about getting rid of said copper excess.
I read a few people did this and their melasma's gone.
Cilantro - google it - rids the body of heavy metals, including lead, mercury, and copper.
I for one, took the pill at two points in my life for 3 years each time (threw my whole body out of whack for a few years after). I used a copper pan for a few years - RIGHT at the time this problem appeared. I drank tap water at the time too, who knows what's in the pipes, and I also smoked cigarettes and drank too much white wine. (Copper is used in process of making white wine). Anyway, I don't intend to never have a glass of wine, nor watch every morsal of food that has copper content, hello I like mushrooms and avocados. Besides, some copper is needed in the body. So thankfully there is a natural way to leech those heavy metals from your brain, blood and tissue.
Buy fresh cilantro, take one quarter cup of it - I put in blender and add cold water and drink it as a juice. Apparently you must take "chlorella" an algae supplement (I take 10 capsules with my cilantro juice) because otherwise you will remove the heavy metals from where they are being "safely" stored and on the way through small intestine etc the metals will be re-absorbed into the body, and will be all over the place. So cilantro brings out the heavy metals but chlorella helps to flush it right on out.
You do this for 3 weeks, no more. It works very quickly. A doctor discovered this cilantro link, apparently something in the cilantro binds to the metal molecules and removes it, causing it to be excreted and flushed out in the urine.
So, I started this a few days ago and my marks are fading fast but I will post back later to let you know my progress because I know how it feels to have this condition, it SUCKS. I'm a beautiful woman, and thank god this year I refused to feel down on myself for this melasma, I now know I still am beautiful. But there's no doubt it sucks to have to wear makeup to cover it, and in flourescent light it still shows up.
I know many people have it much worse than me too.
By the way most copper testing is ineffective because it is often stored deep in tissues so may not show up in the test.
But please, be your OWN judge, go do your research on the following: Copper and pigmentation. Copper melasma. Copper cilantro and chlorella. Copper and estrogen. Copper and pregnancy. Copper and MSM, or heavy metals and MSM.
I hope that this will help people, no-one should feel bad about themselves. Prior to 4 years ago, my complexion was even-toned. I trust it soon will be again. Will let you know how it goes. And hey, whatever happens, I'm sure over the course of my 35 years of life I've stored up some excess of metals, so at least I'll purge 'em out.
PS - make sure whatever chlorella you order is pure and read up on it to find the best brand for you, you can order it online, and as with any supplement it should be processed properly in some way that doesn't mess up the properties (as with everything, I mean, even for example olive oil should be cold-pressed!) but do your research on that OK, I'm not a chlorella expert, I just googled and read up on it and picked what looked like a good product to me. The stuff isn't too expensive. Whatever works. Cilantro is, thank god, cheap! A buck or two for a nice bunch of it at the grocery store. Also, I thought eating that much cilantro would taste bad but surprisingly it doesn't taste like much. Not bitter, not strong, it smells strong but tastes mild. I like it in salsa but never dreamed of drinking a glass of it!!!
God bless (:
05/20/2010: Vedika from Kolkata, India replies: "Dear ES,
Please keep us updated on your progress. Also I would like to know how you are doing with Chlorella. After reading your post I was researching the internet and read some side effects specially for people with acidity problems. Using Chlorella increases sun sensitivity so use sunscreen regularly if you are not already doing that. I hope this works for you as well as people like me who are suffering with the problem.
05/21/2010: Cn from Houston, Tx replies: "I am a mother of a 8 yr old and a 3 yr old and on my last pregnancy started noticing more pigmentation on my cheek bone freckles. I consulted with my OB and she said it's normal with the hormonal changes and should return to normal after my hormones regulate themselves. To add to the insult, two years ago I bought pillow covers as well as towels made with COPPER, because they were really recommended by a person at work as anti-bacterial and beneficial to sleep on. Thanks to this blog, I can now trace the link of copper to my melasma! I am a very active 40 yr old mom and professional woman. I use SPF daily but my melasma has worsen and I can not go anywhere without three layers of make-up, I am self-conscious and embarrased by it. I will give the cilantro a try, luckily I like it. I will research the chlorella and will post my results asap. Thank you!"
05/26/2010: Hg from Bay Area, California replies: "Would love to hear an update from ES. How's the cilantro and chlorella working? Is the melasma gone? I've tried so many things,I'm open to trying this. Am concerned about possible side effects of chlorella, though. Please provide update!"
05/27/2010: Rosie from Uk replies: "Hi,
Please can somebody please help me with my treatment of this 'stuff' on my face!?! I believe it to be caused by a reaction to anti biotics (strong ones) about 2 years ago. I did buy Grapefruit seed extract juice but couldnt take the taste so I have tablet form now. I am unsure as to the dose of Vit C I should take as more than 1000mg per day is harmful and how many tablets or the mg of GSE I should be taking. I do wonder if what I have read about copper overload is true to me so I am taking 20mg of Zinc too.
Thank you in advance.
06/03/2010: Sumita from Akron, Ohio replies: "While researching Cilantro and Aloe Vera on the internet, I realized that wheatgrass Juice is a very powerful liver detoxifier and helps to flush out heavy metals from the body, without side effects! Side effects occur only when it is consumed in very high amount. Since I live in a small apartment, its difficult for me to immediately start it. Has anyone tried Wheatgrass Juice?"
07/27/2010: Jean from Tampa, Fl replies: "Any updates on the cilantro cleanse and the effect it has had on your melasma?"
10/05/2010: Es from Newton, Nj replies: "Hi - I promised to write again and it took a while but I wanted to make some changes and wait until I had progress to report. I now have BIG patches of healed normal skin on the forehead melasma splotch. Here is what I have done:
A) Quit smoking cigarettes 3 months ago. For those of you with melasma who smoke, I believe it can only help to quit. I quit with hypnosis, it was a cakewalk - I feel great and life is VASTLY improved - never goin' back.
B)I quit drinking alcohol also about 3 months ago - candida/copper/hormone connection. No good for melasma. Also quit via hypnosis, also a BREEZE.
C) Currently taking the following supplements daily:
1000mg vitamin C
10 to 15 drops GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract)
When I started the GSE a few days ago was when I started to see the big patches of healed skin appear literally overnight. Let me be accurate and clear here: I had a solid splotch on my forehead, a solid splotch down my nose, and shading on my upper lip. When I say "big patches of healed skin" I mean, the splotch of light brown pigment on my forehead is about 1. 5"x2" big. Now, splotches of regular healed skin appearing are varied sizes, a couple approx 4mmx3xmm, several 2mmx2mm, and several more measuring 1mmx1mm. This happened on my nose several months ago, making the whole solid mark down my nose disappear leaving only two small faint spots. Upper lip is somewhat faded. Also noticed today the white yeast on tongue vastly decreased. I'm sure I had inbalance of yeast. See the melasma magically appeared a few years ago, at a time when I was rather depressed and drinking alcohol almost every day, and smoking cigarettes. I cut down, but it was too late. Anyway, MSM and GSE are key. The healed skin becomes normal and no sunscreen is needed - the melasma doesn't come back on those areas when you get rid of them with MSM. I know, as my healed nose area melasma never returned even when I was in the sun without sunscreen this summer regularly. The skin that returns to normal remains normal. I will report back on progress but please be patient as I will wait until I have what to report. I do truly believe it is an internal issue and have not bothered with external treatments as I've heard horror stories about it worsening the melasma and I won't dare take any chances with that. I can say I've seen progress. Now lets see how much more progress comes. Hang in there people, sooner or later someone'll find a real cure for this. Staying positive also does help. I will try the cilantro again, but what happened was, I realized it was rather foolish to do the cilantro metal cleanse while continously re-introducing copper & heavy metals into my body with my nasty chainsmoking cigarette habit and several bottles of white wine per week. So I quit the junk completely, continued with the supplements, added GSE and NOW will try the cilantro cleanse again. Whatever works will likely be a combination. Healthy lifestyle, spirit, and mind are a huge plus. ES"
10/07/2010: Akhan from Long Island, Ny replies: "Can you please clarify if you are taking these supplement as described or X3. Also, did you mean to write 10,000mg of MSM? How long did you do follow this routine before you started to see the difference. I would really appreciate your reply."
11/05/2010: Su from Columbus, Oh replies: "Thank you, Es, I appreciate your comments. Please I would like to confirm if you mean 10,000mg MSM or maybe 1,000 mg. Thanks again!"
04/04/2012: Es from Ny replies: "OK, it is a long time since my first post. That awful melasma is gone completely from my upper lip (thank God) and the spot on my nose between my brow is gone, the marks over my brows are gone. I had a big splotch in the middle of my forehead, from the brow all the way up to the middle of my forehead. It is shrunk down to just a small spot, light, a few millimeters. Do you know what? IT JUST WENT AWAY. I stopped taking MSM and doing anything with cilantro over a year ago. Nothing was working. The only thing I can think is that I have been taking TURMERIC the spice every day, about a half teaspoon or a quarter of a teaspoon, and I do eat plain yogurt with fresh ground flax seed (one to two ounces of the seed, ground fresh) every morning. I DID quit smoking and drinking alcohol almost 2 years ago.
But seriously, I think what happened was, I stopped caring. I stopped obsessing over it. I started loving myself more. I believed my body could just heal itself and that paying attention to it was only making it worse. Anyway, it was there for, oh, maybe 5 years? I tried everything, almost. Seriously I write this to give hope to other people that it can really just go away. I realized it was going away a few months ago, but wasn't sure what would happen when warmer weather came. But I know now. I have been in the sun plenty of times without sunscreen. Also with sunscreen. I mean like daily hour long hikes on sunny days. I don't fear it anymore. It's just gone. I assume the last little spot on my forehead, maybe half an inch by half an inch will be gone soon enough - it's way shrunken down from what it was before - it's literally vanishing. Anyway, it just started going away by itself as far as I can tell. My body is just healing itself. Please don't obsess over it, tell yourself daily you love yourself anyway, ignore it. I am pretty healthy, I eat well, but I'm no fanatic. I think the more we worry the worse it gets. I think when we let go, and believe it can heal but don't mind anymore... it will just go away.
Good luck! ES"
05/15/2012: Jtn_hopeful from Bay Area, Ca replies: "ES, I am so happy for you!!!! Successfully getting rid of melasma stories are so far and few, I'm glad it worked out in your case. Hopefully, we all will just be as lucky! Thank you for giving us your update, this gives the rest of us still suffering some hope. Please post back periodically, esp when its finally all gone!"
06/13/2012: Nichole from Johnson City, Tn replies: "Hi ES, I am so happy to hear about your success. I have suffered from Melasma for two years now. It initally appeared on my upper lip and I went to the dermatolgist to see if it was from hair removal. They told me it was from a skin condition called Melasma. At the time, I had never heard or noticed anyone with it. They suggested I have a laser treatment at the end of the summer and I did. I had two. They faded temporarily but came back much darker as soon as I stepped in the sun even with sunscreen. I noticed last year that the Melasma was spreading. By the end of the summer, I had little splotches on my chin, cheeks, and forward. It didn't worsen in the winter but has gotten much worse this summer even though I am avoiding the sun like the plague. I have two young children that love to swim and play at the lake. I feel like this horrible skin condition is taking my joy. I am constantly looking in the mirror. I used to have beautiful skin.
I found this site about a week ago and started on the supplements. I have added a few vitamins each time I read. For about three days I am doing the following. Daily Vitamin, MSM, Vitamin C, Cod Liver Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Grapeseed Extract, MACA, and using ACV topically. I am praying that this will going away. If it does I am going to tell everyone I see so that I may help others. It's so good to hear success stories; it gives me a glimmer of hope. Can anyone tell me how long it should be before all this starts working?"
12/27/2012: Citygirl27 from Richardson, Tx, Usa replies: "Hi, are you drinking the GSE, like in water, or are you applying it to your skin? How long is it before you begin to see fading? On cilantro, would oil of cilantro work instead of pulverizing cilantro leaves yourself?"
07/15/2012: Praying4us from Toronto, Canada: "Dermal melasma is deep melasma underneath the skin and is blue/grey. Epidermal melasma is in the skin and brown in colour. How you treat dermal melasma is different from epidermal. Looking for anyone who has dermal or a mix of both melasma so that we can come together and fight this thing. Really, this is crazy. I have a dermal mustache and it's grey/blue. A lot of fun, can I tell you. If you have any leads on how to treat this please post. Luv"Replies
07/17/2012: Khava from Oxford, Pa, Usa replies: "Hi everyone, I am so happy to find a current thread on this forum! I've been researching this for so long, but mostly have only found older posts. I have Dermal upper lip melasma, it's horrible!! No matter what I do, it looks like I have a mustache. Nothing covers it, in fact it looks worse with cover up! I always feel the need to bring it up in conversation so that people don't think I forgot to wax!
I also have it on the entire center of my forehead which goes down in between my eyebrows. That's where it started about 6 1/2 yrs ago, my youngest were 8 yrs old, so not pregnancy and haven't been on pill since before they were conceived, I was 38, so not postmenopausal. It began as a small diamond shape between brows and then grew! I used to think that was unattractive, but once it appeared on my upper lip, I realized how much worse it was to have it there! I've read that it is a different hyperpigmentation above the lip, apparently the skin is different, anyway it's the hardest to treat, of course, the most embarassing place to have it is the hardest to get rid of.
The only thing I've read about that works sometimes is MSM. I tried triluma a few years ago, but it did nothing, also recently a new dermatologist put me on tretinoin & a 4% hydriquinone, but I stopped using it as summer began, I was told by a makeup artist that it's not a good idea to use the bleaching during the more intense sun. In addition, the hydriquinone is known to be unsafe as well as many online have said that it makes the patches darker, as well as laser. So, I'm not sure that I will continue with it even after summer.
I'm also afraid of the tretinoin as the dermatologist said that skin is more sensitive to the sun while using it, it's crazy so many of the treatments make even "regular skin" more sun sensitive, so why would we want to put our melasma that's already sensitive to the sun, at risk for becoming even darker!!
I figured I'd save up for laser, but after everything I've read, it doesn't sound worth the money I don't have, it either doesn't have an effect or makes it worse. I believe that it is definitely a (hormonal) internal problem, so it should be treated internally. Most seem to have luck with the MSM, so I think I will try that, I'm just trying figure the right combo of supplements, the most popular seem to take it with gse, but many use other supplements with it as well. It's all so overwhelming. I would really love all suggestions and any information that any of you have to offer.
Overall, I know that I'm very fortunate that this is only cosmetic, in fact I feel shallow thinking about it too much, when there are so many others that have problems much worse than this. I try to keep things in perspective, thinking of others and remembering how lucky I am, really does give you a better attitude about dealing with melasma. Luckily, I have great friends, that helps too, and a wonderful family that I am so grateful for, they also keep me busy not giving me too much time to worry:)
I'm so happy to finally have people to talk to about this! Looking forward to hearing from all of you!! Khava"
07/17/2012: Laurie from New York replies: "Hello, I also have melasma and have tried many different treatments over the years, including the msm and gse combination. I did not have much luck with it but I still encourage you to try it because many others have. My melasma is related to hormonal imbalances as well, I started to enter menopause at the age of 38. I just turned 47 and the problem has lessened over the last few years but is not completely eliminated. I also use tretinon and find that it is better for wrinkle prevention than melasma - not a bad perk :o) I would like to suggest lactic acid peels. I have been doing a 55% peel at home once a week for the last 2 months and have seen improvement. Its very mild it will not make your skin peel and is safe for home use. Another good option is mandelic acid, also great for hyperpigmentation, and very safe. I sometimes alternate them. Another factor is consider is cleaning up your diet by removing sugars and just do your best to eat "clean", no junk. You have a great attitude, which is half the battle, I wish you the best of luck!"
08/16/2012: Amanda from Toronto, Canada replies: "Hey sorry for the late reply, I'll try and check this weekly. Still climbing up the battle hill.
Researching MSM, a lot of people had limited success according to a thread by author Vanessa Wild, who wrote a book on msm for melasma. I am still hopeful. Msm has helped me the most because my skin is sensative so i'm staying away from acids. It has helped my melasma quite a bit and I still have more to go. I still see improvement and as long as thats the case, you never know!!!! I did email with one person who has had full success with MSM and dermal mustache. I used to use msm internally but I took a break as it is recommended for your body and still see improvements so i'll wait a little while before going back on because I was on a high dose, like 10,000 mg. I use msm topically. First, I wash my face and dry it really good. Then I just mix it with some water, put it on a tissue and lay it on top of 'mel' for a minute.
Also, i'm on a cleanse, cutting out a lot of sugar for my candida, especially processed. Candida is linked to melasma. Depending on what website you look at some people recommend cleansing and then adding some low-sugar fruit on an empty stomach to your diet so it's your call. Also, antifungals and probiotics. Also linked to melasma is high copper in the body. Hormone levels. Sun. I think it is important to rebalance your body and it helps to fight the melasma, otherwise the melasma will keep coming back.
Anyhooie. Blessings and prayers. Will check back. It's good to have some persons respond who are on the current journey/struggle. Let's help one another. Believe you me, I am praying for us."
11/20/2012: Laura from Ottawa, On Canada: "Hello I read something about a cream called "mother... " something but I can't recall the name and have searched and searched but can't seem to find the posts where I saw it. It is used to treat melasma. I believe it is sold by this site. Am hoping someone can help me with this, please. Thanks, Laura"Replies
11/20/2012: Mmsgs from Somewhere, Europe replies: "Laura, what you read might have been about ACV (= apple cider vinegar) with the "mother" which means that hazy cloudy thingy floating in it if it's the real vinegar."
02/04/2013: Alison from Toronto, On replies: "I thinks it's mama cream. I tried the serum only and it was really sticky in couldn't sleep at nite cuz my face kept sticking to the pillow!"
10/18/2011: Anu from Cleveland, Ohio Usa: "Hi I am Anu. Can my melasma be cured with doing kapalbhati and anulom velom prayanams? I have melasma 3 years back. It is on cheeks and I'm also using aloe vera gel pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee help me"
08/07/2011: Ana from Pasadena, Ca: "Melasma: I was glad to see that I am not alone although I do not know anyone that has the melasma problem. Mine is all over my face, but the one on my upper lip really depresses me. I guess tomorrow I will buy the apple cider vinegar and grapefruit seed extract. We'll see... I have also spent tons of $$$$ and I am very depressed about it."
06/23/2011: Stacy from Melbourne, Australia: "@Gita from Ghaziabad, Up, India how does kapalbhati pranayam yoga help cure melasma?"