Vitamins to reduce skin melanin

Updated July 19, 2017

We all want to look better, because to look better is to feel better. Nonsurgical anti-aging products available include herbal remedies and vitamins. Even skin tone is associated with a glowing complexion, and increased production of melanin can cause dark splotches, freckles and red spots to appear.


Melanin pigmentation, or tanning effect, is produced by melanocytes and melanosomes.Tyrosinase, an enzyme within melanosome cells, is released when stimulated, becoming melanin, and discharged into the skin, or epidermis. Natural cell renewal and ultraviolet rays cause concentrated keratinocytes, or epidermis cells, to form on the skin surface. As we age, hyper-pigmentation can occur, and age spots or freckles appear.

Vitamin A

Retin-A, the synthetic form of vitamin A, exfoliates the hyperpigmented dead layers of skin encouraging cell renewal. It is however, an expensive product and requires a prescription. Sun exposure should be limited due to increased sensitivity. Skin inflammation is experienced by most users and can result in swollen, peeling and reddened facial features. Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should avoid this product; Vitamin A has been known to cause birth defects.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays several roles in preventing hyperpigmentation. It is a water soluble product that can be absorbed into the skin to protect non water soluble molecules located within cell membranes. As a powerful anti-oxidant, topical applications of vitamin C can protect the skin from the sun's ultra violet rays and slow down photoaging. The ascorbic acid contained in Vitamin C is a tyrosinase inhibitor; it reduces melanin production and encourages cellular renewal through exfoliation.

Vitamin E

Free radicals, unstable molecular species, increase the aging process by limiting cellular rejuvenation. As an anti-oxidant, vitamin E can prevent free radicals from entering the skin and increase cell renewal. Although it does not reduce melanin production, it does exfoliate layers of hyper-pigmented dead skin. With a comparable SPF of 3, it should only be used as a mild sunscreen.

Vitamin K

Skin discolorations, caused by leaky or ruptured capillaries, can be remedied using topical applications of vitamin K. Absorbed directly into the capillaries, Vitamin K helps reduce dark circles under the eyes and can also help heal bruises. Vitamin K has also been used to reduce the ruddy complexion of people exhibiting symptoms of rosacea.

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About the Author

Deborah Edwards, a writer for two decades, has had articles appear in local newspapers, the “Sun Journal” and “Pamlico News,” online at Ehow, and a weekly United Methodist Church newsletter. She attended Craven Community College, earned her EMT-D certification at Pamlico Community College, and is pursuing an associate’s degree.