By Ghazal Alagh
For moms-to-be, the mask of pregnancy or Melasma is a nightmare in their beautiful pregnancy journey. This is hyper-pigmentation of the skin where dark spots usually appear over the forehead or cheeks due to increased production of hormones. Apart from the face, these blotches of dark skin may also appear elsewhere on the body. Since being pregnant restricts expectant mums from undergoing high-end beauty treatments, it is advisable to turn to natural remedies which are safe and free from side-effects.
Some effective home remedies to beat the devil which takes the glow of pregnancy away are:
Turmeric and Lemon Juice
Applying a mix of 1 tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder on the affected areas and washing off after five minutes with cold water helps in reducing the pigmentation significantly.
Aloe Vera Gel
Apply aloe vera gel for 15 to 20 minutes and wash it with warm water to see the magical effect on the dark spots. Results can be seen immediately if applied daily.
Almond and Honey Paste
Make a paste of almond and honey and apply it on the affected areas and leave it for 15 minutes to get a soothing effect and even skin tone.
Papaya helps in lightening dark spots and is very effective in treating skin pigmentation. Using a face pack which consists of papaya helps in reducing pigmentation. Take 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp papaya, and 1 tbsp aloe vera pulp and mix to make a pack. Apply it on affected areas and wash it off after 30 minutes. This mask will not only treat pigmentation but also helps in breaking down dead cells.
Potato is a wonderful agent for reducing pigmentation. It can be used on a daily basis by gently rubbing a cut portion on the skin. Grated potato mixed with lime juice can also be applied to get have a remarkable difference in the skin tone.
Mint leaf paste
Apply the paste of mint leaves mixed with water on the darker skin portion and rinse off after 15 minutes. Use this paste twice to get noticeable results.
Dry orange peel and grind it to make a fine powder. Mix raw milk in this powder to make a paste and apply it for about 20 mins. Rinse well with cold water and see the tone of your skin lightening gradually.
Oatmeal & Tomato Mask
Oatmeal is known to be a good exfoliating agent and tomato has natural bleaching properties. Take 2tbsp oatmeal, ½ tbsp tomato juice, and 1 tbsp yogurt and mix well. Apply this mask and leave it for 15-20 minutes, wash with cold water for blemish-free skin.
Include antioxidants rich foods the diet. For example, pomegranate, citrus fruits, berries, nuts, and papaya, are some of the food that prevents hyper-pigmentation. Fruits with high Vitamin C content like kiwifruit, lemons, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, blackcurrants and cranberries are also helpful. Food rich in carotenoid, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and apricots proves to be beneficial.
Though these home remedies are meant to provide relief to hyper-pigmented skin, if the situation aggravates, consult a dermatologist immediately to keep skin health under control. Keep in mind any potential allergies as well and start by dabbing a little at first to check. To say bye bye blemish and enjoy even skin tone during pregnancy, apart from eating healthy and using natural remedies, it is also advisable to use products with natural extracts. For instance, Mulberry Extract, Organic Daisy Flower Extract, and Vitamin C, etc helps prevent melanin synthesis and reduces pigmentation by restricting the melanin deposit appearing as dark spots, patches, and hyper-pigmentation, giving soft and glowing skin.
Such nature-based extracts also have antibacterial and antifungal properties and get absorbed by skin quickly. Make sure that the product being used has no harsh chemicals and is free of SLS, parabens and mineral oil.
(The writer is Co-Founder, MamaEarth.)