Given the chance, most people prefer to take care of their problems directly. Involving a professional requires research, time, and money. Unfortunately, some of those things are hard to come by. Most of us turn to Doctor Internet as often as possible simply because we can. But if you’re looking for skin care remedies, how do you know you’re not damaging your skin by mixing together your own skin care cocktail? If you’re tempted to try a home remedy to treat your discoloration, age spots, sun spots, or healed acne marks, then read on. There are a few things you should know that will save your skin and your wallet.
What Causes Dark Spots?
The strange thing about dark marks is that they seem to show up overnight. Some women get dark patches, known as melasma, while pregnant, but hormones and birth control pills can also trigger it. Other spots are years in the making and occur as a result of sun exposure. The body’s melanocytes spring into action and produce pigment as a way of fighting the sun’s UV rays.
How Do I Get Rid of Them?
Unfortunately, excess pigment doesn’t fade evenly, and those little dots are rarely flattering. A quick Google search for “lightening sun spots at home” delivers nearly 5 million results, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the advice you’ll find is something you should follow. For instance, many home remedies recommend rubbing lemon slices on your face. While the acid in the lemon juice may cause your skin to exfoliate a bit, you’re more likely to end up with skin irritation than a spot-free face. The same goes for buttermilk. Lactic acid is a great exfoliator, but you’re better off using that buttermilk in a recipe than a remedy.
Natural remedies are well-intentioned (we hope), but most of them fail because they do not address the basics of skin and absorption. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and its main job is to act as a barrier. Very little penetrates the surface, and we mean that quite literally. Think small—really, really small. In order for any product, natural or otherwise, to change the skin’s physical structure, it must be able to get through the barrier while still strong enough to do its magic.
Where Home Remedies Fail
As much as we would love to be able to spritz ourselves with pigment-blasting lemon juice and watch the dark spots disappear, it simply doesn’t work. The molecules are too large, and the ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) isn’t concentrated or stable enough to effectively reduce pigmentation. Lemons aren’t all bad, though. They’re just better in a beverage than a skin care treatment.
What Products Work?
Fortunately, properly formulated skin care products can lighten dark marks over time. L-ascorbic acid is the preferred form of vitamin C, and research suggests it is most effective when used “in the range of 10 to 20 percent.” Over-the-counter products rarely list the percentage of vitamin C in them, so choose medical grade serums, such as Citrix 15% L-Ascorbic Acid Collagen Rejuvenation System, that clearly list concentrations on the label. Niacinamide, azelaic acid, and arbutin can also help.
~ ~ ~
While home remedies are disappointing, it’s nice to know that there are effective treatments available. Getting rid of hyperpigmentation takes time, but we can guide you toward product choices that truly make a difference. Just ask.
To brighter, more even skin,
Did you enjoy our post? If so, please share it with friends on Facebook or via email. Thank you for reading!