Melanin is a pigment that is responsible for providing color to skin, hair and eyes. Melanin is produced by certain cells called melanocytes which are present in the body. While every person has the same amount of melanocytes, people can have differing amounts of melanin due to various causes. A variation in the amount of melanin present in the skin is the reason why people have different skin tones. Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition that occurs when melanin accumulates in certain areas on the skin causing the skin to appear discoloured and patchy. Melanin is also responsible for dark spots and tanning. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, melanocytes in the skin are triggered by UV rays in the sunlight. These melanocytes produce melanin as a response to exposure to UV rays in the sunlight.
There are various causes for melanin production in skin, and one of the most prominent reason for melanin is the sun. Read further to find out how to reduce melanin which is caused by sun exposure:
How to reduce melanin caused by sun exposure
- Limit your exposure to sunlight by avoiding the sun as much as possible and wearing clothing that protects your skin against harmful rays of the sun. You should also try and avoid going out in the afternoon because the sun rays are at their strongest at this time.
- Always wear sunscreen before you go out. In fact, it is also advisable to wear sunscreen even when you are staying indoors to protect your skin against UV rays. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Also, consider using water-resistant sunscreen to prevent your sunscreen from being easily washed off.
- You could opt for professional treatments such as laser therapy to get rid of excess melanin in your skin. Laser targets and destroys the melanin in the skin using strong laser beams. Professional treatments are the most effective of all but they also come with a risk of side effects. Also, professional treatments to get rid of melanin in the skin are more expensive as compared to other forms of treatments. Find a treatment that’s suitable for your skin type and consult a licensed professional before choosing a treatment.
- You could use OTC-treatments to reduce melanin in the skin. Keep in mind that skin-lightening products are not for everyone and some ingredients should be used discreetly, under the guidance of a dermatologist.
- You can try using ingredients like Vitamin C, Alpha Arbutin, Azelaic Acid and Kojic acid. Most of these ingredients work by acting against the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. These inhibit the action of tyrosinase and thus hinder the synthesis of melanin in the skin. These can be an at-home solution in finding ways for how to reduce melanin in your skin.
- You can use chemical exfoliants like Glycolic acid or Lactic acid to help get rid of older cells that may be pigmented by loosening the bond between cells. Once the dead skin cells are sloughed off, newer skin cells are brought to the surface of the skin. Over time, Glycolic Acid can help get rid of older, pigmented skin cells.
- Using skin care products that bleach the skin is another way for how to reduce melanin in the skin. These products may contain ingredients like hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is harmful and not recommended for everyone because it attacks the melanocytes in the skin. Melanocytes are the cells which produce melanin as a response to exposure to UV rays in the skin.
- Home remedies may pop up in your mind when you think about how to get rid of melanin, while home remedies may not be as effective as other forms of treatment in getting rid of melanin, they can still show results. Turmeric, one of the most well-known skin lightening home remedies, may be effective in getting rid of melanin. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which may inhibit the action of the enzyme called tyrosinase.
- Look for green tea as an ingredient in your skincare products. Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate which helps in preventing the accumulation of melanin in the skin. This can make green tea effective in treating hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
- Lemon Juice can be used as a home remedy to reduce the amount of melanin in the skin. This could be potentially due to the high content of Vitamin C in Lemon juice. Vitamin C inhibits the activity of tyrosinase and helps prevent the formulation of melanin in the skin, thus reducing the amount of melanin in the skin. Even though lemon juice may be effective, it may be too harsh and cause irritation to the skin, so avoid using it before exposure to sunlight and make sure to dilute it if you choose to use it.
Melanin is a pigment that is produced in the skin by specialised cells called melanocytes as a natural response to the UV rays in the sunlight. Melanin is responsible for the disparity in the colour of skin amongst people. Various causes can cause an increase of melanin in the skin. You can opt for different treatments to reduce the amount of melanin in the skin and get your skin back to looking even- toned and clear.