Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Take Herbs for Skin Lightening and Discoloration

How to Take Herbs for Skin Lightening and Discoloration

Overview

Skin discoloration is a common problem with various causes, including sun damage and aging. To achieve a more balanced skin tone, many women turn to bleaching creams and other potent chemically based products -- a potentially dangerous decision, given the numerous products deemed toxic. To ensure skin health and safety, talk to your doctor about products you're considering, particularly if you plan to use them long term.

Step 1

Consult a dermatologist to rule out medical conditions before you use herbs to correct skin discoloration. Although skin spots generally appear with age -- hence the term "age spots" -- some people experience skin discoloration as a side effect of a skin condition, such as vitiligo -- a skin disorder that affects up to 1 percent of the population and causes pigment loss, according to the National Vitiligo Foundation.

Step 2

Select a skin cream that contains licorice extract, a centuries-old herbal remedy for skin brightening. The herb has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. As a topical medicine, licorice has a slight skin-lightening effect and is shown to reduce bothersome symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis, as evidenced in a 2007 study published in "Cutis: Cutaneous Medicine for the Practitioner."

Step 3

Apply a cosmetic that contains active herbal ingredients for a smoother, more even complexion. Products that contain active ingredients -- including soy protein, arbutin, paper mulberry 1 percent and aloesin, a derivative of the aloe plant -- have been shown to inhibit melanin production, thereby promoting skin lightening.

Step 4

Use your herbal creams and cosmetics in conjunction with a balanced diet for best results. Antioxidant-rich foods offer protection against skin-damaging free radicals, which can contribute to age spots and skin discoloration. Among the best foods for skin health are blueberries, carrots, apricots, green leafy vegetables, fish and nuts, says Mayo Clinic dermatologist Lawrence Gibson. If you're having trouble consuming hearty portions of these foods daily, consider using an herbal supplement for additional support.

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