Before we discuss anything else, we must know what exactly melanin is and how does it work.
Melanin is a naturally occurring pigment that is responsible for colouration. Melanin not only determines skin colour but also takes part in the colouration of hair and eye. In biological terms, melanocyte cells, which are found in the outer layer of the skin, contains melanin. The melanocyte cells comprise a particular type of enzyme called tyrosinase which plays an instrumental role in melanin synthesis. In simpler words, the more melanin synthesis takes place, the more melanocyte cells produce a higher amount of melanin.
If your skin has a high amount of melanin, it is going to look dark. Similarly, skin that contains a lower concentration of melanin appears fairer. This is why people with high melanin concentration look for information on how to reduce melanin more often.
Reasons behind Excessive Melanin Production
As we discussed, the melanin synthesis rate varies from individual to individual. Now, you may ask why that happens. To answer this, we have to take a few factors into the account.
- On several occasions, melanocyte cells produce excessive melanin naturally. The excess portion of the melanin gets accumulated in a specific area, making it appear darker than other parts of the body.
- The natural process of triggering melanin synthesis is tanning. Ultraviolet Rays trigger melanocyte cells to produce more melanin. If you are exposed to sunlight for a long period of time, you look darker. This is because of the triggered melanin synthesis rate which produces more melanin than usual
- Another important player in determining melanin production is the pool of genes you carry. There are some genes that activate melanin production relatively more than the others and this passes on to the next generation hereditarily
Having said that, we must realize that melanin production is an entirely natural phenomenon. Not all the leopards are black panthers, only a few are. It is nothing but a higher concentration of melanin that makes a leopard appear black. The reverse of this, which is a scarcity of melanin, leads to albinism. People affected by albinism have pale skin or grey hair due to a lack of pigmentation.
How to Reduce Melanin
To attain a lighter tone of skin colour, people wish to reduce melanin production. You can achieve this with the aid of external chemical supplements. Laser treatment is also effective in melanin reduction. Sunscreen lotions are highly effective and widely used to prevent excess melanin synthesis owing to sunlight.
However, it is always good to know how to reduce melanin naturally. The following is a list of foods that help reduce melanin.
Best Foods to Eat for Melanin Reduction
Apart from creams and ointments to reduce melanin production, you can bank on certain food items to take care of the same issue.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which restricts melanin synthesis. Thus, it suppresses the melanocyte cells from producing excessive melanin.
- Lemon Juice: Vitamin C cures various skin related issues including excessive melanin synthesis. Lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C because of the presence of citrus acid. You can drink lemon juice daily to reduce melanin production.
- Green Tea: Similar to turmeric, green tea also contains a compound known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which limits melanin accumulation and hyperpigmentation. It inhibits the tyrosinase from synthesising an excess of melanin.
- Vitamin C Supplement: Although this is not a natural food item, yet you might give it a try to reduce melanin production. Apart from preventing excessive production of melanin, Vitamin C supplement also cures other dermatological diseases. Click here to know more about how to reduce melanin production.