Melanin controls the release of pigment in the skin, and as such you may wish to learn how to reduce Melanin in skin permanently, so you don’t tan as dark or as easily. Although you cannot change your genetic make up by permanently stopping your body from producing Melanin, there are things that you can do which will affect the production of Melanin in your skin. Let’s have a look into it!
What Is Melanin?
Melanin is the polymer in your body that is responsible for pigmentation – that is, the colour of your skin, hair and eyes. Different people contain different levels of Melanin, depending on how much that particular race has been exposed to the sun during their history. Melanin protects the skin against the effects of the sun, which is why people who live in hotter countries tend to have more naturally occurring Melanin in their skin.
The amount of Melanin that your skin produces is caused by genetics, which means that, although you can lighten your skin, and temporarily prevent excess Melanin being produced, you cannot actually stop it being produced, on a permanent basis.
How To Reduce Melanin In Skin Permanently
You can help your body to lower its production of Melanin, by reducing your exposure to the sun. You can either avoid going out in the sun altogether, or cover up and wear a high factor sunscreen.
Another option is to undergo skin lightening treatments. These can be effective, but they can also cost you, and you may end up with unwanted side effects, such as irritation, redness, itching, and an increased sensitivity. You might also be more susceptible to sun damage in the future, and your skin may be more likely to burn. Because of this heightened sensitivity to the sun, you may also be more prone to serious issues such as skin cancer.
You can attempt to suppress your body’s production of Melanin by altering your diet; luckily the things which are used as Melanin suppressors are also generally really healthy foodstuffs, so you are winning by adding them to your diet, even if they don’t completely stop your skin producing Melanin!
Home Remedies To Reduce Melanin
The following methods have been shown to reduce Melanin and lighten the skin, but bear in mind that these are all temporary solutions, so you will need to keep using them for best effects.
The main compound of Turmeric, Curcumin, can inhibit the production of Melanin. You can up your Turmeric intake (this useful little plant is also very good for your body in general, so adding more of it to your diet can only do you good). These days, you can also buy moisturisers that contain Turmeric as an added ingredient, so there is another thing to consider.
This innocuous drink contains an awful lot of things that are beneficial to your body. Interestingly it also contains something called Epigallocatechin Gallate, which can inhibit the production of Melanin. There are always a lot of good reasons to swap your builder’s brew for a cup of green tea, and the benefits for the skin are definitely one of those!
Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, which is something that can inhibit the formation of Melanin. Plus it is a mild astringent, so applying it to your skin can cause skin lightening effects – but you should only use it on your skin in a diluted form, and avoid sitting in the sun after you have applied it to your face.
Aloe Vera Gel
When used after exposure to the sun, some of the compounds in Aloe Vera can reduce the things that help towards producing Melanin (in this case, it is the fact that Aloe contains Aloesin, which inhibits Tyrosinase, in case you were wondering!) Users of Aloe Vera gel lightens the skin, although the research on this gives conflicting conclusions.
Here is a video which explains a few other home methods to remove the effects of Melanin your skin:
Which Cream Reduces Melanin?
You can, if you like, go for an over the counter attempt to reduce the effects of Melanin production. Many of these contain whitening or bleaching agents, both naturally occurring and less natural, and you may find that some of the creams that you can buy will make your skin lighter.
Citrus extracts have been used for lightening skin for centuries, and many lightening creams contain extracts. Kojic Acid is also used as a Melanin inhibitor, plus it can have a lightening effect and improve the tone of your whole face. Hydroquinone is well known as a skin lightening cream, as it can actually beach the skin safely, and is often used in the fight against hyperpigmentation.
You can buy and use creams that contain these agents, but remember that their effects are not permanent and you will have to use them long term if you want to keep seeing the results.
Melanin production in your body is caused by your genetics, so you cannot actually permanently reduce the production of this polymer. You can suppress the enzyme that is needed to form Melanin, but you cannot actually permanently stop Melanin production in your body. And actually, you wouldn’t really want to! This handy thing is there to protect your skin from the damage that can be caused by the sun’s rays, so you don’t really want to fiddle around with it too much.
That being said, if you want to reduce the EFFECTS of Melanin production (such as dark, tanned skin), there are a few things you can do, listed above, to help with this.