Natural Remedies

Melasma Remedies

Apricot Kernel Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Carla (Summerland, Bc) on 08/24/2010

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)

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.

Replied by Janice
(London, United Kingdom)

Would you please tell me what is VCO? What sunscreen would you recommend? I currently use La Roche Posay, but that has chemicals too!

Replied by Carla
(Summerland, Bc, Canada)

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.

Replied by Francisca
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)

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!

Replied by Citygirl27
(Richardson, Tx, Usa)

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.

Avoid Hydroquinone

1 User Review

Posted by Kimberly (Santa Monica, CA) on 05/10/2009

A few months ago an esthetician at a skin care office recommended the obagi system to me a couple months ago for age spots on my cheeks. The program had retin-a, 4% hydroquinone and alpha hydoxhy acids. I didn't have any problems until I applied the hydroquinone. Immediately the lymph nodes in my neck became inflammed. I thought it was a fluke, waited a few days doing just the retin-a and alpha hydroxy, then applied it again. Same thing occured. I tried it ONE MORE TIME after a week's rest. Not a fluke at all, clearly a toxic substance. I then went online, which is what I should have done before shelling out almost $200 for this skincare line and read up on the hydroquinone. Happens to be banned in Europe, Australia and Japan because, quite simply, it's carcinogenic! Tied to leukemia in rat studies. The FDA wanted to ban hydroquinone a few years ago but came under sooo much pressure from dermatologists that so far, nothing. Apparently these skin "specialists" make an enormous amount of $ from selling it in packages like the obagi system. So the short of this story is, please be careful (not stupid like me) and research any products before you are talked into them by your doctor. That said, I am trying the grapefruit seed extract now!

Baking Soda

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Francis (Cocoa Beach, Fl) on 11/19/2012

Hi, my melasma is almost gone! After trying a lot of things (lotions, lemon, apple cider, etc, ) finally I found in youtube 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 and leave it 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 have 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!

Beta Carotene, Oregano Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sarahlynnlee (K.c., Mo, Usa) on 04/28/2011

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
(Modesto, Ca)

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

Castor OIl

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Cindy (Toledo, Ohio/usa) on 01/21/2011

Castor Oil for Melasma

I have used castor oil topically on dark spots on my legs. It has been the only thing that worked for me. I use a very small amount (dime-size) and topically rub it in the darkened spots. It may take a couple weeks before you notice a difference.

Replied by Dr Howard

For all: Make sure it is cold pressed organic and hexane free. Oil Expert Andreas in Oregon says this is vital. Most oil is processed and rancid! He made a machine that makes oil without heat up to body temp! No grinding seeds destroy DNA.


1 User Review
3 star (1) 

Posted by Newbee (Wisconsin) on 11/28/2016

I'm a newbee recently joined this website to battle melasma.. I have also tried cilantro as a green smoothie or juice every day .. I did found some improvement but I haven't tried for long.. hope cilantro helps with melasma.. now I have taking vit c, milk thistle, neem, thriphala.. I did not see much improvement. but when I was on cilantro diet I did see some improvement but I didn't continue long ..

Cod Liver Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Heather (Nj, Us) on 05/20/2015

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

How long did you take the cod liver oil before it started fading? And how long before it went completely away?

I used to take green pasture fclo years ago, but not for any specific condition. The melasma started after a bad episode on BC pills, so it is hormonal for me.....above my lip. :( It comes and goes over the past 3 years but never really fully gone.

Copper Connection to Melasma

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by ES (Newton, Nj) on 05/09/2010

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 Cn
(Houston, Tx)

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!

Replied by Rosie


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.

Replied by Jean
(Tampa, Fl)

Any updates on the cilantro cleanse and the effect it has had on your melasma?

Replied by Es
(Newton, Nj)

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:
10000mg MSM
1000mg vitamin C
50mg zinc
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

Replied by Akhan
(Long Island, Ny)

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.

Replied by Su
(Columbus, Oh)

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!

Replied by Es

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

Replied by Jtn_hopeful
(Bay Area, Ca)

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!

Replied by Nichole
(Johnson City, Tn)

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?

Replied by Es

ES (formerly from NJ) posting to update here. It has been 5 years since I originally posted here, I've done nothing for melasma at all for years. It went away a few years ago (I had it for about 5 years). It went away when I stopped worrying about it and loved myself anyway. I'm now 6 months pregnant for the first time (at age 40). (Having a wonderfully easy pregnancy, BTW). Anyway, I go in the sun, I don't use sunscreen and I'm fine. I noticed occasionally a mild darkening of the skin on upper lip but it's very very very mild - NOT like it used to be AT ALL, and that would happen sometimes around my period and then just go away. Now, in my pregnancy, I'm fine. In fact, I just checked in the flourescent light of the bathroom here at work to make sure before I post this. I truly, TRULY believe it is mind over matter and our body's own ability to heal itself. But the more you worry and obsess and look at the spots, the worse they will get because your body can't heal while you are focused on having a problem. So... just my opinion... focus on loving your skin and self anyway. I know, it seems hard. I OBSESSED about this for years. But I finally gave up, figured I simply couldn't do any more to try to fix it, and I dropped it. And one day I realized it had gone away... and it stayed away. I'm healthy, but I certainly don't eat a perfect diet. I don't generally use sunscreen. I don't avoid the sun (I garden and ride a motorcycle all the time). But I don't sunbathe anymore either, but that's because I don't dig the wrinkles and also we just don't do the beach. ANYWAY... I used to search and search for hope online and found so little hope at all. So I'm here to share my story with you all and give you hope. IT CAN GO AWAY BY ITSELF. Also, yes I'm pregnant, and NO I'm not afraid of melasma, even though it's common in pregnant women. My body healed itself already so I'm not going to be afraid, I'll have faith in my body.

Best regards to you all!

Dermal Melasma

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)

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

Replied by Laurie
(New York)

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!

Replied by Amanda
(Toronto, Canada)

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.

Dietary Changes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Katuska (Los Angeles, Ca) on 09/01/2010

This is to Christa from Joshua Tree. I too sufferred from yeast infections, hair falling out, muscle problems and melasma which kept getting progressively worse. I did all kinds of research and finally went to a Dr. who practices Chinese medicine. He was amazing! He did diagnose me with having a chronic fungus in my stomach, Candida. It caused havoc to my system and subsequently deposited all kinds of toxins in the bloodstream where my liver became overwhelmed and cause the liver spots which he called them. He put me on a protein and green vegetable diet. He gave me a bunch of Chinese meds and had me drink water only and no no no carbs of any kind. Everthing has cleared up and so has my malasma/liver spots. That was my experience and I've tried everything. Hope this was useful.

Eliminating Wheat

2 User Reviews
5 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Lynnbenn (Raleigh, Nc) on 11/16/2014

I don't know what brought my Melasma on three years ago. I tried everything, I was so discouraged. I couldn't put anymore energy into it. I had already been eating very healthy for years (organic veg and fruits, grass fed beef, free range chicken....) I just by chance cured my Melasma on accident. I read the book Wheat Belly, stopped eating wheat right away. I also started taking vitamin D3 supplements. Actually it is a combination of Vit D, Calcium and magnesium (Trader Joes brand to be exact). I was dreading summer, because that's when it got the darkest. BTW, I had been using sunscreen for 2 years.

Looking back, I know it didn't help, just getting hot would bring it out! This is the first summer I noticed it Was diminishing. It HAS to be the diet change. I am convinced it was my gut health. If you've read anything on how unhealthy wheat is, you know it blocks nutrition absorption. The minute I stopped the wheat and took vitamins, my skin transformed. It can't be a coincidence. I don't even wear sunscreen under my makeup anymore. My friends and family noticed right away. FYI, I only use coconut oil on my face every night. I don't even wash it off. I rub all over, wipe with a tissue. I also use it to take off my mascara. I don't think the coconut oil cured my melasma though, I think I was missing vitamins and minerals that my skin desperately needed! Just had to share, possibly to help someone else :)

Replied by Need Help and Encouragement

I have done two rounds of paelo detox, working with a nutritionist on eating ketogentic and taking vitamins that are missing in my body for about 7 weeks now. Haven't noticed any fading on my cheeks. How long will it take and am I on the right track?

Fish Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Art (California) on 07/31/2022 2218 posts

In early June of 2022, I was having a conversation with a friend who I was already working with to try and resolve hyperpigmentation issues of her skin. Progress was slow and she was asking about different supplements that might be helpful. She mentioned that she was taking fish oil (FO) and it didn't seem to be too helpful, even though she had been taking it for years.

I asked her how many milligrams of FO she was taking. She mentioned that she was taking a 1000 milligrams a day of combined DHA/EPA. I mentioned that that might not be the optimal dose for her based on effective dosages used in studies of FO in humans and suggested she consider upping her dose to study levels of EPA/DHA of 3 to 4 grams per day in order to optimize the benefit to her skin and heart. This would be 3 to 4 times the amount she was already taking. It is the total amount of EPA/DHA in a given FO soft gel that is important, not the total amount of different oils. So even though a FO soft gel may say 1200 mg, the actual EPA/DHA level may only be half that amount. It is important to read the label carefully to know what you are really getting.

Obviously the heart benefit will not be readily apparent other than through testing, but I told her that any additional benefit to her skin should be readily apparent within two months or so. I also reminded her that FO at therapeutic dosing such as she was now taking can absolutely have blood thinning effects and as such she should notify her doctor and have him/her add that information to her medical records for safety. I further told her that the high dose FO, because of its anti inflammatory effects should be additionally beneficial to her anti hyperpigmentation regimen as localized inflammation is a contributing factor to skin hyperpigmentation.

This past week, my friend texted me to update me on how she was doing as it was approaching the 2 month mark at her new increased FO dosing level. She said the following, it appears to be additive to her anti hyperpigmentation regimen as she could see increased fading of dark spots which she said had previously slowed to a crawl and she felt that if the current rate of lightening continued she might be "clear" in 3 months or so. She further said that the increased FO dosing schedule had eliminated "all of her dry skin" issues which she said had been a major problem for her for years. She went on to say that "stretch marks, keratosis and scars" that she has had for years had either faded, significantly diminished or both.

Overall she was very happy and looking forward to continued improvements and she said the improvements are helping her to diligently stick to her current regimen with no slacking. I told her that was good that she is applying her regimen consistently because that is needed in order to obtain the results she is getting and wants.

She told me she would update me later and when she does I will update this thread to update on her progress.

I know this is not of very much importance to many people, but it does offer a significant boost to her self esteem which, imo, is very important in trying to improve your overall quality of life, plus the added health benefit that the therapeutic FO dose is having to her heart is great, especially as we age! It is important to highlight the benefits of FO at useful dosing levels as many studies spotlight a multitude of health effects associated with sufficient intake of EPA/DHA, even for the brain!


Folic Acid

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Catherine (Wellington, New Zealand) on 05/04/2010

MELASMA: From what I have read on this site it seems to me that melasma might be another name for pregnancy cap. This is what (in the "old" days) we called the brownish grey pigmentation that covered the faces of some pregnant women. I have seen the same thing on a niece of mine when she was going through fertility treatment and it is still in evidence some years after. What I do know is that Adelle Davis indicated this to indicate a deficiency in folic acid..perhaps this should be investigated.. Adelle also warned all those years ago about spina bifida and folic acid deficiency. Such a tragedy her information was neglected by the medical profession until now.

Glycolic Acid

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Aufia (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) on 01/13/2013

hello everyone... I'm Dr. Aufia

Thank God I saw these comments on treatment of melasma... and I really feel blessed to help u out of this stigma on face...

leave everything else aside n go to a medical shop n get 15% glycolic acid and a sunscreen with spf more than 40... N apply over the whole face daily for 2 weeks... n then come back n reply my comment...

ok bye c ya.. Ol d best

Replied by Nafila

Hi all has anyone tried glycolic acid for melasma, please reply

2218 posts


In darker skin tones in some people, glycolic acid can sometimes worsen the pigmentation issue because it can create an inflammatory response which can result in post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


Glycolic Acid
Posted by Roseyposey (Youngsville, Nc, United States) on 12/19/2011

I've tried all the cures and then some. My melasma is on both sides of my neck and was horrible looking! I found some glycolic acid online and ordered that and it worked beautifully on my face but not on my neck. So I found some TCA acid online and ordered that and IT WORKED! One side of my neck is completely clear and the other side may need 1-2 more applications. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! CHOOSE WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU! BE CAREFUL AND FOLLOW ALL THE DIRECTIONS! Also, amazon. com has some really good info on these peels as well...

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