You can also make a face mask of half a cup of buttermilk, two tablespoons of ground oats and a few drops of lime and lemon juice. This mask, when applied 2-3 times a week for 20 minutes, removes the excess oil from the skin and helps regulate the level of sebum.
Grapes and Apples
Both grapes and apples contain various vitamins and acids that exfoliate, brighten and nourish the skin. To make a grape and apple paste, cut half an apple into small pieces and blend it with 4-5 medium sized grapes. Do not peel the fruits as the highest concentration of precious nutrients is just below the skin.
If the paste comes out too runny, you can add half a teaspoon of oats. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of lime juice. Apply the mask on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. If you have dry skin, you shouldn’t use this mixture more than two times a week as the acids may dry and irritate your skin.
Tomatoes are like large pills packed with vitamins and nutrients. If you want to enjoy even-toned, rejuvenated skin for a long time, you should increase the number of tomatoes in your diet. To use tomatoes topically, blend one tomato and apply it to your skin three to four times a week. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water and finish the treatment off with a gentle moisturizer, preferably based on aloe vera.
We know that onion doesn’t necessarily smell like an expensive spa product, but red onion works miracles on the skin. Just blend it and put it on the black spots to let the acid from the vegetable reduce the discoloration. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it off. Make sure it doesn’t get into your eyes as it may cause irritation. This treatment is obviously not recommended for those who cry like babies when they cut onion.
Pharmaceutical and medical treatments
If you’ve tried it all and none of the home remedies brought satisfactory results after two months of regular treatments, it means that the hyper-pigmentation is contained in deeper layer of the skin and you might need to either take medicines that will help you break the accumulated melatonin or undergo a special treatment aimed at deep skin abrasion and rejuvenation.
There are many creams that contain either alpha-hydroxy, beta-hydroxy acids or retinoids. All of them penetrate the skin, remove its top layer of dead cells and enhance the regeneration of the dermis. They are available only by prescription so you need to speak with the doctor before you start using them.
Remember that during the treatment with this type of creams you should avoid exposure to the sun and wear a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen every day. In the case of retinoids treatment, you also have to be extra careful to not get pregnant because they can severely impair the fetus development.
The ingredients of the creams mentioned before are also used in high concentration in some chemical peeling treatments. Deep chemical peeling can be performed only in cosmetology clinics as some treatments aimed at very profound skin penetration or wrinkles correction are performed under anesthesia.
A less invasive, but more time-consuming procedure is microdermabrasion. It’s performed in many beauty salons as it’s a relatively simple treatment in which tiny crystals are used to physically exfoliate the top surface of the skin.
To achieve visible results you need to repeat the treatment 3-4 times or more, with 2-week breaks between the session. The epidermis normally takes 3 weeks to regenerate so the following session needs to be repeated before the end of the regeneration cycle in order to have an effect on the deeper layers of the epidermis.
It is vital that you use a good sunscreen during the treatment and three to four weeks after it’s finished. Failing to do so will make you prone to more hyperpigmentation.
IPL or Intense Pulse Light uses a beam of light focused on the dark spot to break up the concentration of melanin and boost skin regeneration. The skin cells affected by hyperpigmentation absorb the light, disintegrate and get absorbed by the body, then flushed out.
Laser treatment is quite expensive and may be slightly painful, depending on the zone where you need the procedure to be performed, but it guarantees good permanent results.
When you check the price of laser treatment in a beauty salon, remember that stronger discoloration normally requires 4-5 sessions before it comes off. IPL is, however, the only quick and effective method to get rid of older dark spots that have been visible on the skin for more than 18 months.
How to avoid black spots
If you have never had a problem of skin discoloration or just recently finished a long-lasting or costly treatment aimed at brightening the skin, you must follow some basic rules that will let you maintain the skin even-toned.
No matter whether it’s a sunny day or a gloomy winter morning, always put sunscreen on the areas of the skin that get exposed to the UV radiation, i.e on your face, neck, cleavage, and hands. Sunscreen protects you from skin discoloration and premature aging. SPF 15 is the minimum level of protection your daily cream should guarantee.