Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin starts accumulating an excess of melanin – a natural colour pigment that is produced by specialised melanocyte cells located in the bottom layer of the skin epidermis. Melanin is an essential part of our identity, as it is responsible for giving a unique colour to our skin, eyes, hair, and lips. However, external factors can sometimes cause parts of the skin to produce more melanin than usual, making some parts of the skin look uneven and darker than others.

In Ayurveda, hyperpigmentation and dark spots are described as minor skin diseases that can be treated with simple herbal remedies, dietary interventions, yoga, and lifestyle modifications.

Here are some simple Ayurvedic treatments to reduce pigmentation and dark spots. But first, let’s look further into the causes of pigmentation.

What causes hyperpigmentation and dark spots?

Hyperpigmentation is generally associated with Pitta imbalance and is, therefore, more prevalent for this dosha type. However, anyone can develop hyperpigmentation because overexposure to the sun is identified as one of the major reasons.

When skin is exposed to sunlight and excess summer heat, melanocyte cells become overactive and start overproduction of melanin. This is a part of the body’s natural defence mechanism, as protecting the skin from UV rays is also a function of melanin. Sometimes, irritable or inflamed skin conditions can also trigger excess melanin production.

Here are some other factors that may cause the formation of dark spots.

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Harsh skin products
  • Aggressive and excessive exfoliation
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Excess heat in the body due to poor diet and lifestyle

Ayurvedic Lifestyle Recommendations for Preventing Pigmentation and Dark Spots

1. Eat for your dosha

Eating seasonal and choosing local, organic foods suited to your dosha constitution are some simple yet highly effective lifestyle modifications that can often solve many health problems and skin imbalances, including pigmentation and dark patches. Discover your elemental makeup, and head to our journal for advice on the dosha diet best suited to your needs.

2. Get the right nutrients 

Include some prime sources of vitamin C in your diet to naturally boost collagen production. Collagen controls excess melanin production and promotes new cell regrowth, thus effectively reducing dark spots while also preventing further pigmentation. However, be cautious of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruit (which are some of the commonly known sources of vitamin C), as sour taste can further elevate Pitta. Instead, take our Organic Triphala Booster. Besides being an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids, Triphala has tridoshic energetics – which means it balances all three doshas and aggravates none. Vitamins A, B12, and E are some other important nutrients to look out for when trying to reduce pigmentation.

3. Replace caffeine and alcohol with calming drinks

Caffeinated beverages and alcohol-based drinks have warming energetics, which can increase the fire element in the body and, therefore, potentially aggravate Pitta dosha. Limit your caffeine intake as much as possible; instead, try sipping some calming drinks like cooling herbal teas, fresh fruit juices, coconut water, or rose-based beverages. You can also try replacing your evening cup with our soothing, dosha-pacifying herbal blends.

Vata dosha: Surrender Vata Infusion

Pitta dosha: Serenity Pitta Infusion

Kapha dosha: Spirited Kapha Infusion

4. Exfoliate once or twice a week, and no more

Exfoliate your skin regularly with Radiance Exfoliant & Mask to help break down pigmented skin and increase cell turnover. Prepared from ayurvedic skin clarifying actives, including turmeric, saffron, sandalwood, and rosehip, it gently removes darkened cells from the outer layers of the skin and helps reduce the appearance of dark spots. Routine skin exfoliation is extremely important from a preventive point of view as well, as it keeps the pores clean, smoothens texture, boosts blood circulation, and increases collagen synthesis that can also promote hydration and skin elasticity. Most importantly, regular exfoliation helps your skin make the most of other skincare products, as natural oils can now penetrate deeper layers of your skin, delivering their biochemical compounds directly to cells. Our Radiance Exfoliant and Mask is gentle enough to clarify, but not so much as to be harsh. That being said, a twice-weekly ritual is enough and certainly sufficient.

 

5. Be mindful of stress triggers in your life

Stress can trigger a number of hormonal and chemical changes in the body, which in turn, can affect your skin health. Elevated stress levels have been linked with increased sebum production, inflamed skin conditions, clogged pores, eczema, and hypopigmentation disorders (white patches). Practising mindfulness can help identify your stress triggers and avoid their negative outcomes. Paying attention to your body and mind, spending some time alone with yourself, and small acts of self-love and gratitude can do more to your health than you think!