By: Shahnaz Husain
Hyperpigmentation may seem like a summer thing and a nonissue during the winter months, but this isn’t the case
Dry weather, cold temperatures, and decreased humidity can cause dry patches on the skin and worsen skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and eczema, leaving behind persistent dark spots
Hyperpigmentation is basically a patch that looks darker in color than the normal surrounding skin due to the overproduction of the brown pigment melanin. . Hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration can affect areas of skin, including the face, arms, and legs.
Dark spots are basically the excess secretion of melanin on the skin. This can be brought about by a variety of reasons including sun exposure during winter. Dark spots can also be tied to hormonal imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, lack of sleep, age, and too much stress
The first aspect of the treatment is protection from the sun. Actually, as part of the treatment, one should try to avoid sun exposure as far as possible. Physical protection is the only answer, with an umbrella or hat, and also by applying sunscreen before going out in the sun. Select a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20. The sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure, to allow it time to be absorbed by the skin. It should be reapplied if you are in the sun for longer than an hour. The effects of the sun increase near water bodies and snow, as they reflect the sun’s radiation. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to protect the skin and re-apply the sunscreen after 20 to 30 minutes.
During winter, the skin should be kept moisturized at all times, especially if it is normal to dry skin. At night, after cleansing, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the skin with a few drops of water. This helps to improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
The use of scrubs and masks also helps to remove dead skin cells and their contained pigment. This helps the dark patches to gradually become lighter. External care, itself, can remove pigmentation permanently, provided protective care is followed afterward. Even when the pigmented patches disappear, one should continue to use sunscreen. In fact, the use of sunscreen has become an important part of modern cosmetic-care, to protect the skin from problems and premature ageing.
Here are some home remedies:
Scrub: Mix 3 tablespoons almond meal (ground almonds) with half a cup of yogurt (curd). Apply on the face and neck. Rub gently, especially on the dark patches, and wash off. It also helps to remove tan.
For dry skin, add half a teaspoon til oil to a little milk and apply on the face. Wipe off with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes.
For sunburn: Actually, cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, not only helps to soothe the skin but also keeps it soft. It also makes the skin color lighter over a period of time, if used daily.
For dark patches: Mix together a big pinch of coarse salt with a cream. Apply only on the areas with dark patches or spots and rub gently. Wash off. Then apply cold milk and wash off after 15 minutes. Do this twice a week.
For dark spots: Add a pinch of turmeric (Haldi) to curd and apply daily on the entire face. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Mask: Mix 3 teaspoons oatmeal with ripe papaya pulp and one teaspoon curd into a thick paste. Apply and wash off after 20 minutes. This mask suits both dry and oily skin.
Lemon Juice: Lemon acts as a natural bleaching agent. Mix equal quantities of lemon juice and water and apply it on the spots. Leave on for 10 minutes and then rinse.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is a powerful astringent and can be directly applied to acne spots.
Potato: Potato is a common skin-lightening and bleaching agent. Apply thin slices of potato to the skin and leave on for 20-30 minutes so that the juice is absorbed by the skin.
Turmeric and Milk: Apply the mixture of turmeric and milk on the affected area and leave it for 10 minutes before washing. Both milk and turmeric have bleaching properties and regular use makes the skin flawless.
(The author is an international fame beauty expert and is called the herbal queen of India)
Skin Pigmentation in Winter
By: Shahnaz Husain