How to Reduce Melasma with Yogurt, Bananas, and Lemons
Many patients wonder if it is possible to reduce melasma with natural ingredients such as lemon juice. This stems from their concern about spots that have appeared on their face that give them an uneven skin tone.
Melasma is the darkening of the skin in the facial area. It usually affects pregnant women, although not only pregnant women can develop melasma.
It’s believed that melasma is caused by a combination of several factors, including, and above all, exposure to the sun.
Below, we’ll go into more detail on this skin condition, its treatment, and the home remedies that have been suggested for treating it.
What Is Melasma and What Causes It?
Melasma is a hyper-pigmentation of the skin on the face. It appears in the form of brown or dark spots on the forehead, cheeks, chin or even neck.
It occurs more often in women than in men. This is because the increase in female hormones causes increased melanin. Therefore, melasma is more common.
The origin of melasma is not clear yet. However, it usually appears after constant exposure to the sun without sunscreen.
Genetic factors are also among the causes, as well as irregular presence of female hormones. Because of this, it’s very common in pregnant women.
Using oral contraceptives and hormonal treatment with progesterone and estrogen also occurs with melasma. Thus, these are also possible causes.
Are yogurt, bananas, and lemons suitable remedies?
Treatment for melasma includes specific skin whitening creams and, sometimes, chemical peels. For this reason, there are those who consider that they can prepare lightening mixtures at home, with natural elements such as lemon juice, for example.
However, dermatologists don’t recommend resorting to home remedies, as these can further stain the skin and aggravate the problem, as well as cause irritation and lesions.
For the time being, it’s best to follow the instructions of the treating physician and apply sunscreen daily to keep the skin well protected.
Dr. Shinjita Das clarifies that “if the skin is protected from the sun, melasma often disappears after pregnancy or after stopping oral contraceptive treatment. In men, melasma rarely disappears”.
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A home remedy for reducing melasma
It’s important to note that the efficacy of this home remedy to reduce melasma is based on anecdotal data and not on scientific evidence. Therefore, before applying it, it would be advisable to consult a dermatologist.
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt (30 ml)
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (45 ml)
- Peel the banana, add it to the bowl, and mash it very well until it forms a puree.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt.
- Then, mix it until it’s a creamy paste.
- Finally, add the lemon juice and mix again.
How to Use It
- We recommend applying it a night. After washing and drying your face and neck very well, apply the preparation evenly on the affected area.
- Leave it on for a few minutues and then wash your face very well.
Care for your skin to keep the spots from getting darker
While applying lemon juice to lighted your skin isn’t recommended, if you decide to do so, at least try not to expose your skin to sunlight, as this could further accentuate the blemishes.
If your skin has traces of lemon and you expose it to the sun, it will generate a chemical reaction that could burn and stain the treated area.
Therefore, it is very important to wash your face with plenty of water and not to exceed the recommended time with the preparation on the area.
Also, after using it, you should apply a moisturizing cream or sunscreen if you go out of the house. Your skin will be more sensitive and even if you have washed it well and there are no traces of lemon, you should still protect it.
When should you see a doctor?
If you notice that you have dark spots on your face that are becoming more and more noticeable and you suspect that it is melasma, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible so that they can prescribe an appropriate treatment.
For this diagnosis, the doctor will use an instrument known as a Wood’s lamp. By illuminating your skin with this special light, they’ll be able to easily determine the presence of melasma.
If you’re pregnant, don’t leave the house without first applying sunscreen. This simple measure will help to gradually fade melasma.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Arora, P., Garg, V., Sonthalia, S., Gokhale, N., & Sarkar, R. (2014). Melasma update. Indian Dermatology Online Journal. https://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.142484
- Dessinioti, C., & Katsambas, A. (2017). Melasma. In Hyperpigmentation. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315162478
- Jeong, J. H., Lee, C. Y., & Chung, D. K. (2016). Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria and Skin Health. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2013.834874
- Kanazawa, K., & Sakakibara, H. (2000). High content of dopamine, a strong antioxidant, in cavendish banana. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf9909860