Acne and prolonged exposure to the sun results in what is called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Spots left by healed acne and sun spots due to exposure to the sun without sunscreen become dark with the passage of time. PIH marks slowly fade away as skin regenerates itself but this process takes a lot of time. However, we can speed up this process if we pay attention to certain ingredients that have proven their effectiveness in the same.
Hydroquinone is a chemical substance present in many bleaching and lightening products. Hydroquinone works by blocking an enzyme that is responsible for the production of melanin which is responsible for providing color to the skin. Areas where melanin is produced in excess become dark and pigmented.
Hydroquinone can also be found naturally in certain plants. These products include Mitracarpus Scaber extract, Uva Ursi (bearberry) extract, Mulberry, White Mulberry and Paper Mulberry.
2Licorice Root Extract
Licorice has been used for many thousands of years to treat skin ailments from asthma, colds and sores to depression and menopause. Licorice also contains a compound called glabridin which is a phytoestrogen. It inhibits the activity of an enzyme called tyrosinase which is known to be a key enzyme in determining the colour of our skin and hair.
It is found to be successful at lightening the colour of skin. Studies have shown that glabridin also prevents UV-B induced pigmentation and exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Other studies have also found that topical application of phytoestrogens were found to reduce the depth of wrinkles and increase general tone and hydration of the skin.
Pure gel from the stem of the aloe vera plant is rich in vitamins E and C, collagen, and exfoliating enzymes and hence is an excellent treatment for hyperpigmentation. Apply the gel directly on the face as a mask for 15 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water.
Vitamin E is very beneficial for the skin and speeds up the skin healing process. You can use spinach juice on the face as a wash off mask. Vitamin E capsules are also easily available option. Use the oil from the capsules (by tearing the capsule) on acne and sun spots.
Turmeric contains a yellow pigment called circumin. Circumin is an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 , an enzyme associated with inflammation. Turmeric mask is very effective in curing inflammatory marks.
Take about half teaspoon of turmeric. Add 2-3 teaspoons of gram floor. Add half teaspoon of almond oil to keep the mask moisturized. Add half spoon of milk so that paste can be formed. Mix all the ingredients. Apply the mask on your face for 15 minutes. When the mask dries up, rinse it off with warm water.