Hello, for nearly 10 years I suffered melasma and in addition to my freckles, my skin was horrible looking. People have asked if I was a man. Others have asked if I had sharpie marks on my face. Some called me black sesame face. Anyway, that was the past. About 5 years ago I did the whole body detox and changed my diet, eating mainly fish, chicken, raw greens, fruits and lots of water and staying away from beef, tofu, sugar and salt.
Besides my diet, my daily oral supplements include MSM, GSE, ACV, Matcha-green tea. MSM and GSE are very bitter if not taken correctly. The trick to taking those two with the bitter taste is to have the MSM powder in a spoon, squeeze some GSE drops on top of the powder and place the whole thing in your mouth then immediately wash it down with OJ or Grapefruit juice. OJ or grapefruit juice is packed with Vitamin C and vitamin C helps absorb MSM better.
Topically, I cleanse and exfoliate my face twice a day with regular facewash and a toothbrush. I am using O--y regenerist and an old, soft bristle toothbrush. First, I wet my face with warm water to open up pores and then apply face was to the toobrush and work in circular motion on my face for a good 5 minutes and rinse, pat dry and apply vitamin E oil. I don't put alot of vitamin E oil since it is heavy and oily. I am only using 1-2 drops, rub it in my hands and apply to both my face and neck.
For daytime, I am also using physical suncreen after vitamin e oil. There are 2 types of suncreen, chemical and physical. Make sure it is physical, which contains Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium. These are the ingredients that can prevent melasma from getting darker when exposed to sun.
For nightime, I exfoliate then apply a cream for melasma and vitamin E oil. One thing I forgot to mention. I also drink 1 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil a day. This is excellent for hair and skin. I hope someone can benefit from my remedies and good luck! :)
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.
I suffered from dark upper lip for ages before finding a remedy. I am 24 now and when I finally decided enough was enough, I had to get rid of this 5 o clock shadow which showed despite concealors, I approached the problem in 2 ways: (a) get rid of hair for good so you are not irritating or damaging the skin (as that could have been the cause of my dark shadow ). (b) Sunblock application. First, I checked with a dermotologist and found out that I didnt have hirutism and needed no hormonal remedies for upper lip darkness. Which also meant that there was no cause within body responsible for this, and the problem may be superficial over the skin only. I decided to get laser therapy ( costing $100 / session, costs may vary) to get rid of hair and between the sessions I tried to avoid hair removal unless extremely necessary in which case I threaded.
Secondly, I took up sunblock religiously. I apply avene emulsion 50 15/30 before sun exposure without fail. If I have to go out again and its been arond 2 hours, I reapply. If I can avoid the sun, I do.
Its been 3 laser sessions ( I might need 2 more ) and 4 months of sunblock use, and voila I have seen amazing results. The progress may be slow to completely rid of darkness but you will notice changes in skin color immediately after 2 weeks with sunblock application alone. Keep at it and you will be soon as happy as I am. :)
I am Anna Farahmand (researcher you can find me on the web) and you answer how to stop melasma in brief:
1- Fresh lemon juice dry fast, so best cheap composite to brightening skin is a mixture of fresh lemon juice with equal amount of glycerol. Also you can eat lemon juice as syrup as well as vinegar to intake enough vitamin C.
2-copper can make pigmentation. So it is good remedy to get rid of gray hair. Nutrition copper bomb is walnut. It can reverse aging if you take 6% of your calorie intake from this nut and make your hair better but also make hyper pigmentation.
3-spinach and onion are best to clear your skin from inside. Onion has enough MSM. Although you can take small amount of MSM medically.
4-nuts have much all minerals you need which are critical for your skincare.
5-if you notice, melasma is mostly visible on your face and your paw, it is because of sun. That's why Muslim women who wear scarf have a better skin, in the other hand they don't go out much time. But if you have pigmentation on all of part of your body without going exposure to sun, you can't heal it. Small size of melasma can be disappeared with laser therapy in many cases
I have been using a combination of the follwoing and it seems to be working:
Grapefruit seed extract extra strength, three drops in water with a little juice twice a day. I have found this at most health food stores. With regular strengh you would want to use about 15 drops.
A prescription cream derived from vitamin A every other night on very dry skin. You wash, moisturize, wait 45 minutes to an hour and then use the cream to avoid irritation. It comes in cream and gel. I prefer gel as I am very oily.
On alternate nights I use a prescription hydroquinone cream that also contains some sort of acid and some steroid cream. I use this only on the brown spots and I do the same as with the other cream... wash, moisturize and wait 45 minutes to an hour. It's gotten a bad wrap, but it works for me. You MUST avoid the sun when using it or they will get worse! I plan to taper off and discontinue this cream when the spots are totally gone. I will report back and let you know if they come back. I know that this cream can't be used for extended periods of time.
IMPORTANT: I use a sunscreen containing a physical block EVERY SINGLE day. I say this is important because prior to using this sunscreen the spots would fade and then come back. It's a bummer, but you have to use sunscreen every morning. A physical block sunscreen will contain something like zinc, a physical block, rather than a chemical block. My doctor specializes in melasma and she suggested this. It works. Also, if you are gardening or hiking or at the beach, you MUST wear a hat. It's just part of your life now. You must accept it. Learn to love it.
Also, I discontinued the birth control pill which I believed started the whole thing in the first place. I had been on it for about twenty years with no problem and then I woke up one morning with brown spots all over my face. A giant one across my forehead. I believe my hormones shifted as some other thngs started happening like migraines, etc... these have stopped since stopping the pill. I now use a hormone-free IUD. It works well for me. But it does have copper and some people believe copper causes melasma for some people.
I do have another theory though. I got the brown spots basically overnight after getting an immunization shot for typhiod fever before going to Egypt. I have heard theories that certain medications like anti-seizure medication and anti-malaria medication can cause melasma. I have always wondered if this immunization caused the problem, but I don't know.
I have also improved my diet. It's not strict, but I eat less sugar and starches and more vegetables and fruits. I also consume less dairy now. I try to give my liver a rest now and then and not drink alcohol, but I do like my wine.
My melasma is almost completely gone. I am getting the compliments I used to get on my skin before the brown spots. This combo is what is working for me. I think it takes a lot of dedication to get rid of melasma, but I think the changes made are good for you anyway. It's a pain to wear sunscreen every single day and not get a tan, but you won't wrinkle or get skin cancer, so look at it that way. I was on the pill for a long time, but now I am wondering how good that was for me. And a healthy diet is always a good thing.
I think a combo of interior and exterior will fade the melasma in many people. Just one or the other probably won't work as well and just exterior probably won't do much for long if the interior problem is still there... like you keep taking the BC pills or going in the sun.
BTW, I did try several IPL treatments. Although they made my skin look good for a while I don't think they did anything for my melasma really. They probably aren't worth the money. not for me anyway.
Anyway, good luck!
I found the biggest improvement with Mandelic/Malic acid. I first used Nucelle's SPA System and saw big benefits, but because the price, I switched to Mama Lotion.
Still, I didn't get rid of the melasma completely. I was having other problems too, such as acne, stomach problems, numbness and migraines, etc. so I saw a nutritionist who put me on a food plan to cleanse my system. It was only $120 to see the nutritionist and I've been on this plan for a couple of months. I notice HUGE improvements overall. I feel wonderful! She suggested fasting, but I haven't done it yet.
I pretty much cut everything out of my diet (wheat, dairy, sugar), I have great recipes to follow which contain mostly fruits, vegetables, brown rice or brown rice pasta and raw nuts (some lean meats). I try to buy mostly organic when I can afford it. I have my fruit in my morning smoothie and I add Nature's Plus Source of Life daily and KYO green. At night I take flaxseed oil, milk thistle and probiotics.
I think you not only have to treat the skin on the outside, but on the inside too! I wish I could share my food plan with all of you!!!
Hi, I have tried numerous suggestions from this site to help my melasma. I have had this for over 12 years now. I have had The Fraxel laser done and it lightened it, but came back this past summer. I use SPF 45. I am taking MSM 3 x a day, along with 2 Vit. C. and drinking Grapefruit Extract 3 x a day. Not sure what helped, good news is it has lightened and not become darker. I recently purchased a product called Environ their Evenescence line of products is for Melasma. This product would be $83.00 from my Dermatologist. I bought it at Firstforskincare.com for $45.00. This product is working. I highly suggest trying this product and within 2-4 weeks you will see a difference. I hope this helps. Thank you to everyone for all the great ideas.
I have a very sensitive skin. I suffered from acne "infestation" in my teen-age years, and left some marks of tiny craters on my face. In short, my pores are visible to others at a few-feet distance.
I have read most of the articles posted here and other websites about brown spots / melasma / age spot. I have been suffering from this skin disorder due to over sun-exposure which happened more than 10 yrs ago. Like everyone else, I have tried a lot of treatments with the exception of laser cure because I can't afford it. I have NOT stopped looking for the best possible therapy that would help at least fade my blemishes which are very visible on cheeks. I am thankful for all the contributions made in this site, and I have tried few of them. I came across this website in May, and since then, became more EAGER to find possible ways, and cure for my brown spots. Knowing that you are not the only one suffering from this skin disorder somehow made me more hopeful than discourage. I've wanted to write and share something since May, but I waited until there was a visible sign of change on my face. This is the account of my 3 months self-therapy:
Every night (as always), I sleep with a clean face. Since May, I have tried using Organic ACV (with Mother) on my face as my toner. On the first month, I diluted ACV with water and apply the mixture on my face using cotton. During the 1st month, my skin peeled off. For few weeks, my facial skin was so tender because of ACV, that it became a mild sore. To my amazement, the portions of skin that were peeled off remained my true skin color without the brown spot after it got healed (from being tender). When my face got used to the ACV, I stopped diluting it. Every night, I still apply undiluted ACV on my face. My friends who didn't see me for at least 3 months noticed that the brown spots were lighter. I also tried making my own moisturizer using Organic at least 98% Organic Aloe Vera, Vit. E, and few drops of Organic Tea Tree Oil, and Lavander Oil. From time to time, I replace the oils with Jojoba. Orally, I am taking Glutatione which is according to my research is considered the best, and mother of all anti-oxidants. I eat as much as possible organic food, and drink ACV tonic regularly 3x a Day (I use the brand _____). If I could, I avoid eating pork, junk food, and too much processed food. I rather eat room temperature food than have it warmed in microwave.
I am also using Juice Beauty moisturizer with SPF 20 during day time. So far, this is one of the best products I have tried with more than 90% organic ingredients. Sometimes, labels say organic, but the percentage is another thing. (This also applies when I am looking for food label. So, be careful). I put on Bare Escentuals Mineral Foundation/Powder to matte my oily skin. Some researches mentioned that whatever we put or apply on our body, about 60% or more is absorbed by our skin - meaning that's what comes in our body.
For the last three months, my skin and health has improved a lot. I cannot ascribe the improvement to ONLY one thing. I guess it is a combination of all of the above. I am happier with what I see, and feel. I guess there is no short cut to everything good. We just have to be patient. Most of all, we have to have a positive and good mental attitude. The spiritual side of my life helps me a lot in achieving a positive and healthy attitude in life. Remember, what we see on the mirror is just skin deep. The true beauty lies inside us - our soul and spirit.