Everything You Need To Know About Reducing Melanin In Your Skin Permanently
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Many people believe that to lighten skin, all you need to do is stay away from the sun and wait for your skin to renew. Others recommend using a peeling or exfoliating product to speed up the natural renewal process. While all that might work to brighten and clear up the skin, they’re not exactly effective in lightening skin permanently. For more long-lasting results, your focus should be on reducing melanin — the pigment that gives us our color.
The Importance of Melanin
In cosmetic dermatology, melanin is often discussed as part of whitening treatments, or to get rid of blemishes or skin discoloration. Yes, melanin is what’s responsible for our skin tone. But, it has more critical functions than what we consider when it comes to aesthetics.
Melanin is critical to UV protection. It is this pigment that blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun and minimizes our risk for DNA damage and skin cancer. According to a study authored by a cancer research training fellow from the National Cancer Institute, skin cancer incidence is significantly lower among people of color than Caucasians. That leads us to believe that lighter skin makes you more vulnerable to skin cancer. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple since the same study shows that, while there are fewer skin cancer cases among people of color, their mortality rate is higher because conditions are often discovered at a later stage.
With all that said, it’s still difficult to ignore that lighter and even-toned skin is important to society’s standard of beauty. But given melanin’s protective benefits, it’s crucial to approach skin lightening with proper information and guidance. Often, natural home remedies are safe enough to do on your own. But if you want to do anything more serious, it’s always best to consult a licensed dermatologist.
Available Treatments for Melanin Reduction
To reduce melanin for permanently whiter skin, you can opt for natural remedies, at-home treatments, or in-clinic treatments. All options vary significantly in terms of price and the time it takes for visible results. However, they’ve all been proven effective. Choosing the best treatment option for you really depends on your budget and preferences, one of the top cream for this is Meladerm, check out of Meladerm review for more information.
Melanin-Reducing In-Clinic Procedures to Permanently Lighten Skin
1) Clinical-Strength Chemical Peels
Chemical peels force the top layer of your skin to fall off. When that happens, you expose fresh and lighter skin. This is an exfoliation process that works quickly. Depending on the treatment, it could involve one of a variety of acids used for skin whitening. Some of the most common are high concentrations of TCA, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.
Cost: The average price of a chemical peel treatment is $669.
Like chemical peels, microdermabrasion is an intense exfoliation process. However, instead of using acids, it relies on a device that essentially scrubs the top layer of skin off. That exposes fresh skin, which would be smoother and less pigmented.
Cost: A microdermabrasion session costs $131 on average.
Laser treatments work by using concentrated light to speed up collagen production and minimize hyperpigmentation. That makes it effective not just in permanently whitening your skin but also in erasing blemishes and reversing signs of skin aging. Ablative procedures are some of the most technologically advanced options, but non-ablative laser treatments are incredibly effective as well. The better choice between the two would depend on your preferences and specific condition.
Cost: Depending on the type of procedure, laser skin resurfacing averages anywhere from $1,144 to $2,071.
4) Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Skin Whitening
IPL is much like the laser skin whitening treatments that have existed for over half a century. But with advancements in technology, this procedure now involves multiple wavelengths to address a variety of skin conditions. It works by using concentrated light to remove old, damaged skin and encourage new skin cells to surface. New skin will be fresh, with fewer pigments, and consequently leads to fairer skin tone.
Cost: The average price of a single IPL treatment is $391. Total treatment cost depends on the treatment area, the number of sessions required, and the professional fees of the administering doctor.
*Average cost figures are based on the 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeon.
At-Home Skin Lightening Treatments to Reduce Melanin
Hydroquinone is the active ingredient found in most skin bleaching creams. When absorbed by the skin, it slows down melanin production and causes permanent skin whitening. While the FDA has approved its use in small doses, some people prefer to avoid it due to controversies regarding its safety.
2) Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a skin whitening agent commonly found in lightening creams and soaps. However, it is also available in topical gel form. Kojic acid is a naturally-derived ingredient that is typically taken from fungi. It offers long-term whitening effects because it inhibits melanin production and also speeds up the skin’s natural exfoliation process.
Retinoids are used to treat a variety of skin conditions. For skin lightening, it works by speeding up the renewal of skin cells. That leads to younger-looking and even-toned skin. It also offers remarkable anti-aging effects by boosting collagen production.
* Costs: At-home skin lightening products vary in cost based on several factors including formulation and branding. On Amazon, you can get facial skin whitening creams anywhere from $6 to $750.
Natural Skin Whitening Remedies for Melanin Reduction
Potatoes are rich in antioxidants and enzymes that encourage the growth of healthy skin cells and eventually leads to a whiter complexion. To use this home remedy, you can make a paste using mashed raw potatoes and apply it to your skin. Or, you can rub sliced potatoes on your skin directly. This is safe enough to do every day.
2) Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains high doses of citric acid and vitamin C. That makes it a potent ingredient for reversing hyperpigmentation. Apart from slowing down melanin production, it speeds up the natural exfoliation process and also stimulates collagen production. To use this skin whitening remedy, you can let pure lemon juice sit on your skin for 5 minutes before washing it away. Or, you can mix it with an equal portion of honey and apply it as a mask. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it off thoroughly. Do this no more than two times a week.
Tomatoes are filled with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that stimulate the growth of new and healthy skin cells. It also offers protective properties as well as potent anti-aging effects. To use tomatoes for skin whitening, mash a ripe tomato and apply it onto your skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it completely. Repeat this at least twice a week.
* Cost: Skin whitening home remedies cost next to nothing. The cost you really need to consider is how long it takes to get satisfactory results.
Reducing melanin in the skin is the only way to lighten skin permanently. But, to do so safely, you need to do proper research before deciding on a treatment option that’s right for you. Although most of the available choices have been proven to be safe and effective, consider consulting with an experienced dermatologist for the best course of action given your specific condition.