You know how it is. Some days, you’re truly sick and tired of spending an extra five to ten minutes in front of the mirror just to cake on makeup to conceal those unsightly dark spots on your face. And yet, there’s no way you’re going to walk out of the house looking like the human personification of a giraffe. Hyperpigmentation haunts many of us but they’re not necessarily unavoidable or an impossible fix! Believe it or not, certain natural foods, easily obtainable from the nearest supermarket, can aid in reducing their appearance and help even out your skin tone. Let’s take a look at seven of them.
There’s a very good reason why aloe vera has stood the test of time in skincare. Besides its natural cooling effect when applied topically, aloe vera contains a compound that can remove pigmentation called aloin. Simply purchase a bottle of pure aloe vera gel and apply a thin layer to affected areas on your skin before heading to bed. Rinse it off with water the next day before you begin your usual skincare routine in the mornings.
Tea lovers, you have a new reason to splurge on even more tea now! Black tea, in particular, has been found to effectively lighten dark spots. To give this one a go, begin by boiling distilled water and adding it to a cup with a tablespoon of black tea leaves. Do make sure the leaves are fresh. Next, allow it to steep before removing the black tea leaves a couple of hours later. After that, use cotton balls to soak up the tea water and gently apply to affected areas. Do this at least twice a day and stick to it for a few weeks.
Citruses such as oranges and lemons can be a major game changer where your skin is concerned. Studies have shown that they can prevent hyperpigmentation from worsening. As some of the richest sources of Vitamin C, these fruits can make a difference to the production of collagen in your skin, helping your body regenerate skin cells. Vitamin C in these fruits can also slow down the production of melanin, too much of which can lead to the production of those dark spots. Try applying orange peels to affected areas.
Spinach is more than just a classic cartoon character’s natural power-up source of choice. These dark leafy greens contain a natural antioxidant known as zeaxanthin, which can help even out your skin tone. They are also rich in zinc, which may also be able to prevent acne and combat inflammation. Plaster whole spinach leaves on your face like a mask — just kidding. All you have to do is eat more of them, really. Try combining them with other vegetables and strips of chicken breast in a salad. Together with some feta cheese, spinach also tastes amazing when baked in a pastry.
Citruses aren’t the only source of vitamin C, of course. Get more vitamin C into your life by adding bell peppers into your diet! Stir frying may not be your best bet ever if you want more vitamin C from these vegetables though. This vitamin is easily destroyed by heat so they’re much better eaten raw. To ensure you get as much of this vitamin as possible, avoid cooking them and perhaps eat these bell peppers as part of a salad. Also, if you’re wondering if the colours make any difference, red peppers contain about 1.5 times more vitamin C than green. Try eating them with some hummus or low-fat ranch dressing for an extra burst of flavour.
While you’re at it, add some tomatoes to your salad as well. Tomatoes are not only rich in vitamin C, but they also contain lycopene, a phytochemical compound that can combat the hyperpigmentation. Lycopene can also prevent your skin from being damaged from ultraviolet rays, making them an excellent addition to your diet. Cooking doesn’t destroy lycopene, though, so you can still reap their benefits when you incorporate tomatoes in your dishes.
If you’re not inhibited by a strict no-meat diet or allergies, try eating more fatty fish to ensure that you get as much omega-3s as possible. Salmon is a great example, containing plenty of omega-3s that can do wonders for your skin. Like vitamin C, omega-3s even out skin tone. However, if you find that they’re far too expensive to consume on a daily basis, try investing in cod liver oil. The taste of cod liver oil might take some getting used to for most people, but they’re an excellent way to ensure that you get enough omega-3s. On top of that, cod liver oil also contains vitamin A, which plays a major part in maintaining healthy skin cell production.