Most of us get it one-way or the other. That’s pigmentation. It’s just those darker spots and patches on the face and body. What causes the pigmentation in the first place? Is it natural? Is it a sign of ill health? The pigment cells under the epidermis layer starts producing melanin, a pigment that makes your skin appears as skin discoloration.

There are many reasons for the skin discoloration. Some called it an aging process that’s always happening in the body. As age catches up, our hormones can malfunction too partly due to hereditary reasons or due to our very own lifestyle habits. Frequent exposure to the sun can also accelerate the production of melanin in our skin. Which is why experts never fail to recommend a good natural sunblock especially for the face. Beneficial nutrients that can help in preventing pigmentation include the important vitamins A, B (B2, B5,B6, B9, B12), C, E and minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium. Alpha-Lipoic acid is also helpful.

Of course, there are many skin care products that claim to lighten the skin and reduce further production of the dark spots. Such topical application contain bleaching substances that can lighten the skin but if you are constantly expose to the UV rays, pigmentation will return, creating a darker appearance than before. One can also find whitening tablets that work within the body to inhibit the activity of melanocytes that produce the melanin in the epidermis layer. Just know what their real natural ingredients are before using them. Before we look at natural remedies, let’s get into the facts of using bleaching substances first. A report that appears on CNN (November 26, 2007) mentioned that a banned substance called hydroquinone is easily found in whitening creams, soaps and solutions sold in the United Kingdom. Experiments carried out on animals, did not rule out the hazards of hydroquinone as a potential cancer risk in humans though still legal in other countries.

This leads us to try some safer home remedies from your own kitchen to get rid of the pigmentation? Here are some suggestions that may be helpful. Use of natural bleaching substances from organic fruits and vegetables makes good substitutes to reducing dark spots and pigmentation. Blend a ripe tomato with some lemon juice and apply on the affected areas is one simple remedy. Lemon juice has been shown beneficial in skin exfoliation to give you a lighter complexion. Cucumber, potato, parsley, and grapefruit juices are also means of harmless bleaching to improve and lighten skin. One caution though is not to overdo the application process and leave them on the skin for too long as it can result in dryness of the skin.

10 to 15 minutes each time is sufficient for it work to well on the skin. On last note to remember is that skin pigmentation is a natural process of the skin to protect itself against the UV rays that we are exposed to. One can’t eliminate this natural process but we should not forget the basics to stay healthy and well - eat right and live right.

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