Last Modified on Apr 30, 2016
Natural treatment of melasma involves topical applications of natural substances as well as internal treatments. Natural supplements, including apple cider vinegar, are nontoxic and can safely treat skin conditions and hyperpigmentation.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a term used to describe a darkened or tan facial discoloration. The condition typically appears in women ages 20 to 50 years old and is more common in women with olive or darker skin tones. The cause of melasma is not known; however, it is commonly associated with exposure to the sun, oral contraceptives and pregnancy.
Melasma is defined by a single symptom, which is the appearance of symmetrical brown or gray discoloration on the face. The discoloration typically covers different parts of the face including the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, above the upper lip and chin. Seldom, the discoloration may appear on the forearms or neck.
Natural Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
Common treatment of melasma involves medical intervention; however, hyperpigmentation can be effectively treated using natural methods. Application of apple cider vinegar and apricot oil or the consumption of beta carotene can eliminate melasma as well as other dry skin issues. Maintaining a balanced diet and skincare regimen also helps eliminate the condition.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works to naturally balance the pH of the skin. Applied to the skin or even taken orally, apple cider vinegar eliminates darkness in the skin. Additionally, apple cider vinegar eliminates toxins and freshens the skin.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Derived from a stone fruit, apricot kernel oil is cold-pressed from the dried seeds of the apricot. The oil is natural, light-colored and rich in fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E. When applied to the skin, apricot kernel oil nourishes the skin and eliminates inflammation, soothing and healing melasma.
A member of the carotenoid family, beta carotene is a potent antioxidant. The compound also contains an extremely high level of vitamin. These two characteristics combined make it effective for treating the discoloration associated with melasma . Likewise, when applied topically, the compound alleviates inflammation of the skin.
Typically diagnosed by examining the characteristic facial darkening, melasma is often referred to as “pregnancy mask.” Topical application of natural substances and even oral supplements can cure the condition.
Remedies for Melasma
The Popularity of Melasma Remedies - Full List
Apple Cider Vinegar
32 User Reviews
| 3 YEA
| 3 BETTER BUT NOT CURED
| 1 WORKED TEMPORARILY
| 1 SIDE EFFECT
|BETTER BUT NOT CURED (3)||38%|
|WORKED TEMPORARILY (1)||13%|
|SIDE EFFECT (1)||13%|
[YEA] I had some melasma on my nose for a very long time so for awhile now I have been soaking the ACV or peroxide on cotton and leaving it on as long as I can............well I am so happy to report that the dead skin keeps peeling off and off .. It looks like it really had deep layers of skin to get off. (hard to explain) but the skin is getting lighter and lighter. It actually reminded me of a chemical peel.. Still have a way to go so will continue..
Thank you EC and everyone.........
Replied by Katie
Replied by Bee
Posted by Esmesan23 (Watsonville, Ca, Usa) on 06/20/2013
[SIDE EFFECTS] Hello, I am really desperate! I want to get rid of my melasma because I'm getting married in 3 months. I tried ACV and all I am seeing is red blotches on top of the melasma. I am feeling very discouraged and don't know what to do. If anyone has tried ACV and got the same red blotches please let me know if this is normal. I don't know if I should continue with ACV or move on to something else. If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it!
Replied by Sam
New York, Ny
Posted by Zoya (India, West Bengal) on 06/30/2012
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.
Replied by Ezzly
Replied by Erica
Posted by Zoya (Kolkata, India) on 06/12/2012
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.
Posted by Crazydogjack (New Castle, Pa, Usa) on 07/21/2010
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 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.
Replied by Crazydogjack
New Castle, Pa, Usa
Replied by Tracey
Replied by Angel
Syracuse , In
Replied by Kkd
Surrey, B.c. Canada
Replied by Stephanie
Replied by Wowchic
Replied by Baby G
Replied by Diana
Replied by Maria
Replied by Bess
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Replied by Maria
Replied by Ellie
Replied by Janet
Replied by Imperialness76
Orange Park, Florida, Usa
Replied by Willtryanythingonce
Long Beach, California, Usa
Replied by Morevilla
Westfield, Ny, Us
Replied by Josee
Replied by Rin
Replied by Micki
Replied by Mama_moni
Replied by Nicole
Orlando, Florida, USA
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Devyn (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) on 08/21/2011
[YEA] 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!
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Melasma Sufferer (Whangarei, New Zealand) on 10/22/2011
[YEA] 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.
Replied by Lorna
Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines
Replied by Rolanda
Replied by Christina
Replied by Saadia
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Lisa (San Jose, California, Usa) on 01/10/2012
[YEA] 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!
Replied by Liza
San Jose, Ca
Replied by Saadia
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Carla (Summerland, Bc) on 08/24/2010
[YEA] 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)
Replied by Francisca
Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France
Replied by Janice
London, United Kingdom
Replied by Carla
Summerland, Bc, Canada
Replied by Francisca
Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France
Replied by Citygirl27
Richardson, Tx, Usa
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Francis (Cocoa Beach, Fl) on 11/19/2012
[YEA] 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!
Replied by Radha
YEA (2) 100%Posted by Sarahlynnlee (K.c., Mo, Usa) on 04/28/2011
[YEA] 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.
Replied by Fernanda
Replied by Sarah
Kansas City, Mo
Replied by Sansash
Puerto De La Cruz, Tenerife
Replied by Lily
BETTER BUT NOT CURED (1) 100%Posted by ES (Newton, Nj) on 05/09/2010
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 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 (:
Replied by Vedika
Replied by Cn
Replied by Hg
Bay Area, California
Replied by Rosie
Replied by Sumita
Replied by Jean
Replied by Es
Replied by Akhan
Long Island, Ny
Replied by Su
Replied by Es
Replied by Jtn_hopeful
Bay Area, Ca
Replied by Nichole
Johnson City, Tn
Replied by Citygirl27
Richardson, Tx, Usa
Replied by Saadia
Replied by Es
YEA (1) 100%Posted by Heather (Nj, Us) on 05/20/2015
[YEA] If u have melasma pls try Fermented Cod Liver Oil. U order it online. I tried tons of stuff and spend tons of $$$. Hid in the house..but Horrible melasma mustache went away immediately after taking the FCLO and physillium husks capsules.
Replied by Ronda
Posted by Praying4us (Toronto, Canada) on 07/15/2012
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
Replied by Khava
Oxford, Pa, Usa
Replied by Laurie