How I Got Rid of Melasma Naturally
Do not read this if you are looking for an overnight cure for melasma.
Do not read this if you are looking for a “magical cream” that will make your melasma disappear.
But DO read this if you are willing to make a few lifestyle changes. Do read this if you are looking for a natural way to reduce your melasma. Do read this if you have the time and patience to really care for your skin and body. You can get rid of melasma, you can! (p.s – scroll down and read tip #1 for the most powerful serum to treat melasma!)
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The picture on the left was about a year after my son was born. When I saw this picture, I wanted to burn it. I always had a few freckles sprinkled around my face, but those are not freckles on my forehead – they are patchy brown spots of melasma. My right cheek, close to my mouth, had a big round patch that I was so self-conscious about. Around the time that picture was taken, a friend commented about “the dirt” on my skin which made me want to crawl into a hole.
The picture on the right was taken in July 2016. My true freckles are showing (I always had that little cluster on my upper right cheek) and I’m standing in the sun with just sunscreen on my face, no makeup. I still have my imperfections, but I am much happier with the way my skin looks now and my melasma has pretty much disappeared. There are no filters on either one of these pictures by the way!
So what is melasma?
Well, if you’re reading this you probably have it and I don’t think I need to explain it – but just in case you are a supportive friend or husband, check out this article for the straight up facts about melasma. (Basically brown patches on your face that “could be” caused by pregnancy/hormones.)
What this article doesn’t tell you is how devastating it is to go from a clear complexion to brown patches all over your face. What’s worse is there is no concrete, set in stone cause of melasma, just as there is no concrete, set in stone cure for melasma. We know it’s hormone related, but no real why or how. Sucks, doesn’t it.
I did search around for a miracle cure for a while, but I never tried creams with Hydroquinone or Laser treatments because the results didn’t sound too promising. The kicker is they work for a while, but then your melasma may come back even worse. Yikes.
So how did I get rid of melasma?
I attribute it to a combination of ditching conventional skincare products and making my own, changing my diet and changing my mindset. My healing process took about 3 years. And another baby later, my melasma never came back. My skin looks better than ever! I can still see a little hyperpigmentation, but it is very easy to cover using a little concealer (most days I don’t).
Alright, let’s get to it. What did I do?
1. DIY Skincare
I was using some pretty fancy skincare products, hoping they would work miracles on my skin – but guess what? They didn’t. I decided it was time to ditch all of the conventional skincare products and make my own.
I started out simple by using an organic facial oil (I started with Argan Oil and I still love it!) and adding a drop or two of essential oils at night (usually Lavender and Frankincense). This absolutely did not cure my melasma overnight, but my skin just started to look better. It became much more balanced and glowy. Enhancing the overall appearance of your skin will help you to not focus on the dark spots, I promise!
Back when I was researching how to get rid of my melasma, there wasn’t much info on the internet or blogs to read about it. I stumbled upon a natural skincare blog and found Argan Oil, but I wish I knew how powerful Rosehip Seed Oil is for melasma and hyperpigmentation (I still love Argan don’t get me wrong!).
2. Beauty Detoxing with Food
After I cried my eyes out over the no “miracle cure” for melasma, I got it together and started to do some research on the back end. I started reading about how what we put in our bodies affects our skin and usually if there is a problem on the outside, it’s because there is a BIG problem on the inside. Since a BIG reason for melasma is hormones and pregnancy, and most research says it goes away after pregnancy (um, hello? It didn’t), I knew there had to be a bigger problem.
Enter Kimberly Snyder’s book, The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted. I read through it twice at first and although she doesn’t focus on melasma, her main thing is what you eat and digest affects your skin. Eat healthy, beautiful, plant-based foods and your skin will thank you.
“Digestion is the key that can elevate our beauty to the highest levels, or adversely take us down, by sucking up precious energy that could be used for other processes.” – Kimberly Snyder
Other processes such as hormone function? Adrenal fatigue? With the strong relationship between melasma and hormones, this really made sense. I highly recommend reading her book, even if you don’t have melasma, just to get an idea of how your diet might be affecting your skin.
This is a gradual process and your face won’t change overnight, BUT your skin will get better over time. A healthy glow will take over and your melasma will become less noticeable (seeing a pattern here?) After a while I didn’t even care if my melasma was looking really awful, I just felt so much better, and the best part was I wasn’t running to the mirror every second to check my face. It gradually got better and better. Baby steps.
3. Stressing Less
This is a biggie and it’s SO hard to do! It really should be number one on the list. Stress has a major effect on our skin. There’s so much research coming out about the skin/brain connection and it really makes so much sense.
I didn’t wake up one day with melasma all over my face. It was a gradual process. The more I noticed it, the worse it got. Stressing over it was now full-blown. Then I started stressing over being stressed about melasma! You get the gist.
Stressing over my melasma didn’t make it any better, it only made everything worse. Stress has a major effect on hormones and we can’t ignore the hormone-melasma connection.
What helped me stress less was listening to beautiful skin meditations deep breathing, saying affirmations, and using essential oils that are known to help with stress and anxiety. This might sound woo-woo to you, but it was super helpful for me.
I put my headphones on and listened to this meditation before bed or in the morning and it was the best thing I could do for my mind.
You can also try yoga, deep breathing or say a few affirmations to yourself every morning as I mentioned above – anything so you can stop stressing and thinking about melasma.
My favorite affirmations are:
Each day my skin becomes more and more radiant and beautiful.
I am happy with my appearance.
I am so grateful for my glowing, perfect skin.
My inner beauty shines through my skin
You got this girl!
Other Tips to Reduce and Get Rid of Melasma
Go clean with your makeup routine.
All the toxic chemicals in makeup probably aren’t making your melasma worse, but they aren’t helping it either. Try switching to a clean makeup brand. I absolutely love RMS Beauty and the un-coverup is what I use on all of my remaining dark spots and any pimples that show up from time to time. Their ingredients are super clean and the makeup gives you the ultimate glow!
Go natural with your sunscreen.
According to the EWG, “Laboratory studies indicate that some chemical UV filters may mimic hormones, and physicians report sunscreen-related skin allergies..” Hormones again! I stay away from the chemical stuff and stick with this awesome CC cream from Juice Beauty, which is actually good for your skin and BIG bonus it gives you a little bit of coverage!
Find a support group.
Alright so this won’t exactly get rid of your melasma, but it will make you feel a whole lot better. Melasma is tough to deal with, I know from experience. There are groups online that offer support or get in touch with me and we can chat. It always helps to talk to someone who has been there.
It’s a mental game
Having melasma or any skin issue is really, really hard to deal with. After I started to notice my melasma getting a little bit better (or maybe I was just more skilled at using my concealer), I had a major bout of hormonal acne show up on my chin (from detoxing too much too fast – don’t do what I did, take it slow).
So on one hand the melasma was clearing up, but on the other hand I had huge pimples on my chin! I started focusing on the acne so much, that I didn’t even notice the melasma anymore. Did that help it go away? I really believe it did! I stopped stressing over it and bam, it was disappearing. Stress is a biggie, I’m telling you!
I decided to handle acne the same way as melasma, I stopped focusing on it so much. I used Tea Tree Oil and Frankincense on the pimples. I stopped analyzing them every morning and night. Guess what? They started to go away. This really confirmed for me that it’s a mental game.
All of the other things I mentioned will help to reduce your melasma, but you also need to get into a place where you are okay with it. I know your skin looks great. Remember, no one scrutinizes your face the way that you do. Avoid the mirror for a few days. Give yourself some grace. You are beautiful.