I have had melasma all over my face for about 5 years. I have tried all of the expensive topical treatments and peels with only temporary success. I discovered this website back in May and have since tried many of the remedies recommended here. I have also started seeing a Naturopathic Doctor, which has been very helpful (although quite pricey$$). She discovered I have a hormone inbalance and she thinks this is the reason I have the melasma (as well as some pretty bad PMS symptoms). I am taking vitex along with other supplements to correct my hormone inbalance (I am estrogen dominant). I am also taking Vitamin C, MSM, a multi-vitamin, Pycnogenol, Zinc, Copper, Probiotics, Fish Oil, and using ACV topically. I have tried the GSE, horseradish, hydrogen peroxide masks and Kefir, but that didn't do anything for me.
For me the fish oil and probiotics have been key to helping my skin. My melasma has lightened quite a bit, but I think this is also due to shifting my diet. I did a 2 week liver detox and have tried to stay away from sugar, wheat, dairy, red meats, alcohol and caffeine since then. I know that sounds like a lot and no fun, but it has made me feel a whole lot better and I think my skin is getting better. I have been eating mostly veggies, beans, fruits, grains and beans. I am not completely strict on this, and I still like to go out and have pizza and beer on the weekends, but I do notice that my brown spots look darker the next day when I do.
Another thing I have done is to shift my beuty products to all natural ones -ACV, coconut oil and natural makeups and SPF (look up EWG.org to find out if your products have irritating chemicals in them). I recently heard about topical niacinamide (vitamin B3), which is supposed to act much in the same way as Retin A by curing acne, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, but it is completely natural and is very inexpensive. Just google the natural spray form. I am definitely going to give it a try and I will report on my progress. Good luck to everyone else -this is a difficult battle! (I do have to put things in perspective sometimes and think -things could be a lot worse ;)
Grapefruit Seed Extract
I want to THANK everyone who have posted their experiences relating to Melasma on this website. I have had melasma mainly on my upper lip for about 5 years and I truly believe that it is associated with taking birthcontrol pills (bcp) in my case. When I decided to look for a natural treatment for my melasma I found this website. I began taking 15 drops of GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT in water, 3 times a day (and sometimes only twice a day) exactly 1 month ago. AFTER TWO WEEKS I could tell that my MELASMA was starting to LIGHTEN. Now today, 4 weeks later, it has not completely disappeared but it has lightened quite substantially and I am going to keep taking the GSE until it has vanished completed - I can't wait! :)
I really hope that everyone who has melasma is able to find a treatment that works for them. Good Luck!
Lisa B from Bermuda
PS: I truly believe that melasma should be treated from the INSIDE OUT because external treatments tend to be a temporary fix and fade creams can cause melasma to return darker.