7 Ways How to Reduce Melanin Naturally and Medically

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How to Reduce Melanin Naturally and Medically – Melanin is also called a pigment (natural dye) that gives color not only to the skin, but also to hair and eyes.

High levels of melanin can be seen in people with dark skin [1,2].

The function of melanin is actually as a protection for the skin from sun exposure, which can damage and cause skin health problems [1,2].

However, if melanin is produced in excess, this is known as hyperpigmentation, where this condition triggers the appearance of dark patches on the skin [2].

If too much melanin is produced by the body, then the following are some ways to reduce melanin that can be considered.

How to Reduce Melanin Naturally and Medically

1. Eat High Antioxidant Foods

When there is an accumulation of excess melanin in the skin, a change in diet is one of the keys to reducing melanin naturally [3].

Intake of the following healthy vegetables and fruit is highly recommended [3] :

In order to reduce excess melanin production, consumption of green tea is also highly recommended so that glutathione levels (which reduce melanin levels) increase in the body. [3,4].

2. Using Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is one of the plants that are effective in treating skin and hair [6].

In fact, excess melanin production caused by sun exposure can be reduced by using aloe vera gel [6].

For the synthesis of melanin, a certain enzyme called tyrosinase is needed; when this enzyme is suppressed, melanin production will automatically decrease [6].

And according to a 2002 study in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Aloe Vera gel which has a component called alosin has been shown to be able to suppress tyronase which has an effect on reducing excess melanin production [6].

In addition, aloe vera gel is famous for not only moisturizing and making the skin much softer, but also brightening it.

3. Using Lemon Juice

Another natural ingredient that can be consumed or used as a spread for the skin is lemon juice [3].

Lemon juice is a high source of vitamin C which has been shown to reduce skin pigmentation or reduce melanin. [3].

This is because tyrosinase activity can be suppressed by vitamin C so that the risk of melanin formation in the body which tends to be excessive can be reduced [7].

This is demonstrated by a 2017 article in Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology [7].

However, the use of lemon juice should not be applied directly to the skin; mix with water or other ingredients that are safe and soothing for the skin and avoid sun exposure after use.

4. Using Turmeric

Spices like turmeric is also known to be effective at suppressing tyrosinase so that it can also suppress melanin production [8].

This is evidenced by the results of a 2012 study in Phytotherapy Research that the active component of turmeric will suppress melanocytes in excessive melanin production [8].

5. Skin Lightening Cream or Gel

There are several special skin lightening creams or gels that can reduce melanin; some have to use a doctor’s prescription and some don’t [3].

Some of the products in the form of creams or gels in question need to have active ingredients that are useful for reducing melanin, such as [3]:

  • Retinoids
  • azaleic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Kojic acid
  • Glycolic acid

These components are important for suppressing tyrosinase so that the formation of excess melanin can also be suppressed [3,.

If the production of melanin can be suppressed, the skin can become brighter [3].

However, the use of creams and gels that are useful for brightening the skin has side effects, some of which are

Therefore, even though you can buy these creams or gels without a doctor’s prescription, it is much better to consult with a dermatologist first.

The purchase and use of products with a prescription from a doctor will further ensure safety during use.

6. Using Sunscreen

Sunscreen is not a product that can reduce melanin in the skin, but at least it can slow down its production [3].

The main function of using sunscreen is to protect the skin from damaging sun exposure [3].

Melanin production is usually stimulated by exposure to sunlight so that the skin easily turns darker [3].

Therefore, sunscreen is highly recommended, especially those that are water-resistant and have an SPF of 30 and above [3].

7. Get Laser Therapy

Laser therapy is another way to slow or reduce melanin production if the natural methods above are not effective [3].

Laser therapy is a medical procedure using light that is directed at the upper surface of the skin (as the target) to reduce melanin in the targeted skin area [3].

Laser therapy itself consists of several types of actions, namely: [3]:

  • Ablative laser, which is an action to remove the top surface of the skin, including treating the problem of skin discoloration that is already very severe.
  • QSRL (Q-switched ruby laser), which is an action to heat the skin to reduce melanin.
  • Non-ablative laser, which is an action that increases the development of collagen in the skin regeneration process. Non-ablative lasers are also useful in removing discolored patches of skin.

Medical ways to reduce melanin have their respective drawbacks and side effects that need to be discussed with your doctor first.

If you can use natural methods, then try it first before finally deciding to undergo laser treatment.

Medical Research & Source
  1. Daniel I. Schlessinger; McDamian Anoruo; & Joel Schlessinger. Biochemistry, Melanin. National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2022.
  2. Erica C. Davis, MD & Valerie D. Callender, MD. Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology; 2010.
  3. Kalyani Hari & Dr. Zeel Gandhi. 4 Effective Ways To Control Excess Melanin In Your Skin. Vedix; 2022.
  4. Young Chul Kim, So Young Choi, & Eun Ye Park. Anti-melanogenic effects of black, green, and white tea extracts on immortalized melanocytes. Journal of Veterinary Science; 2015.
  5. Image: Pixabay
  6. S Choi, SK Lee, JE Kim, MH Chung, & YI Park. Aloesin inhibits hyperpigmentation induced by UV radiation. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology; 2002.
  7. Firas Al-Niaimi, MRCP(UK)(Derm) & Nicole Yi Zhen Chiang, MRCP(UK)(Derm). Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology; 2017.
  8. Cai-Xia Tu, Mao Lin, Shan-Shan Lu, Xiao-Yi Qi, Rong-Xin Zhang, & Yun-Ying Zhang. Curcumin inhibits melanogenesis in human melanocytes. Phytotherapy Research; 2012.
  9. Video: Stay Cool
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