If you want to learn how to get rid of melasma then using herbs is something you should definitely consider. A lot of herbs are very beneficial to the skin and can be used externally and internally.
The best part is they can be used in a number of ways because they come in different forms like powders, creams, extracts, capsules, and oils.
Below we’ve listed some of the best herbs that can be used as a treatment for melasma. All of these herbs can be used on their own, but some of them work even better when they are combined with other herbs.
Before we get into these herbal remedies let’s talk about melasma….
Melasma is one of those skin conditions that many women experience in their life. When you have melasma you’ll notice brownish patches on certain areas of your face.
The most common areas that patches of melasma will show up include the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. Some people with this skin condition will even experience it on the upper part of the lips.
Even though us women usually fall victim to this hyperpigmentation condition, a small percentage of men will get melasma as well.
Women with Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI or those with dark skin is much more likely to get melasma compared to someone who is light skinned because they have more active melanocytes cells. More active melanocytes cells means more melanin production in the skin.
There are different factors that can lead to the development of melasma such as:
- Birth control pills
- Certain medications that messes up your hormone levels
However, the most common melasma causes are hormone imbalance and too much sun exposure.
Hormones that Cause Melasma?
The two sex hormones in us ladies that produce the appearance of melasma on the face are progesterone and estrogen. For example, when the ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin these 2 hormones will trigger cells in the skin to begin producing more melanin pigments for protection.
This increase in the production of melanin will cause the appearance of brown patches on your face.
Risks of Conventional Treatments for Melasma
Over the years many different treatments for melasma have been developed to help lighten skin. One of the most commonly used conventional melasma treatments is hydroquinone. This melasma cream works by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for producing melanin in the skin, which leads to browning of the skin.
However, hydroquinone is actually banned in some parts of the world like Japan and Australia due to its potential of acting as a carcinogen (a chemical that produces cancer cells). Also, some research has shown that this topical treatment for melasma can actually cause your skin to become darker instead of lightening your skin.
How to Get Rid of Melasma with Herbs
The good news is that there are natural alternatives to lighten skin without worrying about the risks associated with hydroquinone.
There are a number of herbal remedies that can be used to get rid of melasma forever. They work by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin in the skin. These natural cures for melasma work just as well as the synthetic versions out there without the dangerous side effects.
If you want to know how to get rid of melasma with herbs you have to find herbs that stop the production of melanin in the skin. Some of the best herbs to get rid of melasma naturally by inhibiting melanin production include:
This Chinese herb, which comes from the dried root of Sophora flavescentis plant in the Leguminosae family, has skin whitening properties that blocks tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is the copper containing enzyme in the skin that’s responsible for producing melanin.
How to Use – There are many studies that support the use of sophora root for getting rid of melasma on face. We suggest looking for creams that contain a high percentage of sophora flavescentis extract in it.
You can also get your hands on the actual sophora root make tea with it that you can apply topically on the melasma on your skin and drink it as well.
Licorice root is mainly found in the Southeastern part of Europe and Asia. The extract of this plant has been used for years to treat various health conditions.
For people wanting to know how to get rid of melasma licorice root is something you should be aware of because it contains natural properties that are known to lighten the skin when topically applied.
Glabridin is the active compound in licorice extract that gives this herb its skin lightening abilities. The tyrosinase enzyme that helps produce melanin will be stopped from being activated when licorice is applied, which will lead to skin lightening effects naturally.
Not only does the glabridin compound found inside licorice help whiten the skin, but it also helps absorb UVA and UVB rays of the sun and protect against sun damage. In fact, one study showed that Glabridin is so potent that it can stop 50% of tyrosinase without harming your skin.
How to Use – Look for facial creams or oils that contain a high percentage of licorice root extract as an active ingredient. We also suggest that you look on the web and local health stores for pure licorice extract.
Make sure you only use the high quality licorice extract for treating melasma. If you do find licorice extract of good quality mix it with a small amount of water and then gently apply it to the face.
It’s best to only use a small amount during the first application to avoid any potential irritation because it is a very potent herb.
Kojic acid is made from various plants like mushrooms and the same plant that is used to make sake. It is so effective when it comes to lightening skin pigmentation that it is listed as an active ingredient in many skin lightening creams.
When you use kojic acid topically on your skin it will inhibit the conversion of tyrosine to melanin by inhibiting catecholase activity of tyrosinase.
How to Use – Since kojic acid is so popular and widely used when it comes to melasma treatment it can be found in different soaps, lotions, and creams. However, we suggest you use a cream based kojic acid product to get rid of melasma.
How often you apply the kojic acid based cream on your face will depend on the directions of the manufacturer. However, most of our readers that have used kojic acid skin lighteners for their melasma find that applying it twice daily is most beneficial.
Deriving from the leaves of the bearberry plant bearberry extract is one of the best herbs to use for a melasma natural treatment. It’s antibacterial and antioxidant properties make it ideal for cleansing the skin and improving its appearance.
However, this is herb is very effective when it comes to lightening dark spots due to melasma. Arbutin is the compound naturally found in bearberry extract that helps lighten your skin by inhibiting the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme that produces melanin.
How to Use – The best way to use bearberry extract is to find creams, lotions, or serums that contain a high amount of it. Apply the bearberry extract directly on the affected areas on your skin a couple times daily to lighten the skin hyperpigmentation and get rid of the discoloration.
There are a ton of other herbs that can be used to get rid of melasma naturally. This article over on NCBI goes over some of the other naturally occurring substances in herbs that help get rid of melasma.
This is a Chinese herb that has very potent flavonoid compounds that help inhibit the production of melanin – thus reducing the effects of melasma. The roots of Scutellaria are the parts of this plant that are used for medical and cosmetic purposes.
Wogonin as well as baicalein are the 2 flavonoids that give scutellaria extract it’s skin lightening abilities. Not only does Scutellaria have a high level of flavonoids, but it also has high antioxidant levels that help this Chinese herb correct skin discoloration problems such as melasma.
How to Use – Look for creams that have a high percentage of scutellaria extract as an active ingredient.
Mulberry is a plant that grows primarily in the Middle East, parts of Europe, China and Africa. In Chinese medicine this herb has been used for years.
It contains antioxidants and nutrients that help lighten dark spots and even out skin tone by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase from triggering melanin production in the skin.
Sometimes white mulberry extract is combined with other herbal extracts known for their skin lightening properties like licorice, alpha arbutin, and kojic acid.
How to Use – If you want to know how to get rid of melasma using this herb go for creams that contain at least 0.4% of white mulberry extract in it. Apply to the skin at least 2 times daily for best results.
The burdock plant comes from the flowering perennials family and contains many valued properties that have made it a go-to herb for treating various health ailments. However, the extract from the root of the burdock plant has been known to have exceptional skin lightening benefits.
One way burdock root extract helps lighten skin due to melasma is by correcting hormonal imbalance. It does this by assisting your liver with the metabolization of hormones such as estrogen so that the hormonal levels in your body become normal again.
As we mentioned earlier irregular hormonal activity in your body is one of the most common causes of skin discoloration. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties in burdock root also help make it incredibly good for treating a wide range of skin disorders like melasma, and improving the overall health of the skin.
How to Use – You can look for burdock root extract as an active ingredient in creams and apply to the skin daily. You can also use burdock root internally by boiling the the root and drinking it as a tea throughout the day.
Also called French Maritime Pine Extract or pycnogenol, this herb is rich with antioxidants that can help reduce hyperpigmentation due to melasma.
Some studies have shown that it’s even more effective at getting rid of melasma than vitamin E and vitamin C. Not only does it help get rid of melasma, but it also helps protect your skin from UV radiation by the sun.
How to Use – The best way to use pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) is to take around 75 mg oral supplements of this herbal extract at least 1 time each day.
However, some of our readers have reported to us that taking just 25 mg of oral pine bark extract orally 3 times everyday helped clear their melasma within a month!
This plant is primarily found in India and it contains potent antioxidant and vitamin C properties that help lighten dark skin due to melasma.
Also called phyllanthus emblica, Indian gooseberry extract helps lighten the skin by blocking the activation of tyrosinase, and also helps prevent and reverse pigmentation brought on by UV rays of the sun.
How to Use – The best way to use Indian Gooseberry is to look for it as an active ingredient in creams and apply daily.
Gigawhite is a herbal skin lightening agent that’s created from several plants such as melissa officinalis leaf extract, alchemilla vulgaris extract, malva sylvestris extract, and achillea millefolium extract.
These plants used to make gigawhite were used because of they all contain properties that can help block tyrosinase and stop melanin production in the skin.
How to Use – Gigawhite can be found as an active ingredient in many different skin lightening creams. We recommend looking for creams that contain at least a concentration of 5% of gigawhite in it. Apply the cream as directed by the manufacturer.
If you want to know how to get rid of melasma then these herbs will definitely help. Remember you can combine these herbs to make an even more effective skin lightening treatment.
The skin lightening properties of these herbs not only help reduce the appearance of brown pigments that are already present on your skin, but they also help stop future brown patches from developing as well.
However, along with using these great skin lightening herbs you should also wear sunscreen protection that has at least 30 SPF everyday to help treat your hyperpigmentation. Exposure from the ultra-violet rays of the sun is a common cause of the production of melanin in the skin.