How I Got Rid of Melasma Naturally

Do you have melasma or hyperpigmentation? In this article I talk about how I got rid of melasma naturally, just by changing my diet.

And no, I didn't have to go “raw vegan”. In fact, my diet is around 30-40% fat, made up of all the foods I love. I eat a lot of full-fat foods like butter, cream, and cheese, bacon and eggs. I also didn't have to go to the extreme of “paleo” or “low carb”. I still eat pizza, nachos, bread, and yes, sugar. And wine.

In this post, I break down the most critical dietary changes that helped me get rid of melasma.

How I Got Rid of My Melasma Naturally

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. I only recommend products I personally use and trust. If you purchase through one of my affiliate links, I will earn a small commission. This helps to keep me blogging — thank you for your support.

How I Got Rid of Melasma Naturally

When I was in my mid-thirties, I suffered from melasma. Melasma is “hyperpigmentaion,” or dark patches on your skin. I had melasma so bad, it looked like I had a mustache. (I really wish I had a “before” picture but I can't find one.)

Melasma is not something you can wax or bleach away or cover it with makeup — there's nothing you can do to get rid of it — or so I thought.

After my daughter Kate was born in 2007, and I was introduced to the Weston A. Price Foundation, I started drinking whole raw milk instead of low-fat organic milk, eating more healthy fats like butter, cream and coconut oil, and taking cod liver oil every day. I was also using bone broth in my cooking (in soups and stews and sauces) and I got a [easyazon_link identifier=”B003XELTTG” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]reverse osmosis filter[/easyazon_link] to filter our water for fluoride and other contaminants.

Within about 18 months, my melasma was 90% gone. It was definitely the change to a traditional food diet that completely reversed my melasma.

Pictures of My Melasma After Real Food

Before I get into what worked in detail, take a look at what I used to look like… These photos were taken about a year after I discovered “real food” — you can see the giant patch of melasma on the upper right side my forehead. Although it was a whole lot better than it was the year before I started eating real food (when I had a melasma mustache).

How I Got Rid of My Melasma Naturally

How I Got Rid of My Melasma Naturally


My Melasma Went Away After I Started Eating Real Food

Here's a recent photo of me taken in 2014, several years after I started eating “real food” in 2007:

How I Got Rid of My Melasma Naturally

You can see the melasma is gone from my forehead. Yes, I had makeup on in this photo — but makeup does not cover up melasma. Trust me, I've tried.

What Worked to Get Rid of Melasma

After having analyzed this, these are the most important dietary changes (not in order) that I believe helped erase my melasma:

  • Cod liver oil – Omega-3s are really critical to preventing or reversing melasma. People tell you to stay out of the sun to prevent sun damage and melasma. Omega-3s help to protect the skin from sun damage. Cod liver oil (specifically EVCLO or extra virgin cod liver oil) is my very favorite source of omega-3s. Just 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day is all you need (half that for kids). Omega-3s help to prevent and reverse sun damage. See my post on why we never use sunscreen anymore and how omega-3s protect our skin.
  • Eat more seafood – Seafood is your next best bet for omega-3s if for some reason you can't take cod liver oil. You need to eat a lot of it, though, to get the same amount of omega-3s. To get the same amount of omega-3s in one daily teaspoon of cod liver oil, you would need to eat 12 ounces of salmon per week, which means eating a 3-ounce serving 4 times per week. You don't save any money doing that, so you may as well take the EVCLO, since it has the added benefit of vitamin A. (I break the numbers down in this post: Can't Afford Cod Liver Oil? What To Buy Instead If You're On a Budget)
  • Grass-fed meat and dairy – If you can't take cod liver oil or eat a lot of seafood, you need to eat as much grass-fed meat and dairy as you can — they are much higher in omega-3s than conventional meat and dairy. If I didn't take cod liver oil and eat seafood, I would also cook everything in butter and ghee (ghee is great for deep-fat frying.)
  • Bone brothBone broth is made of bones, which are gelatin, same thing as collagen. Collagen is what your skin is made of! Instead of getting collagen injections or buying fancy collagen skin creams, you can just eat more gravy and enchiladas made with bone-broth. You can also add [easyazon_link identifier=”B00K6JUG4K” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]collagen[/easyazon_link] to your smoothies and shakes. Just make sure it's [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NLQXXDQ” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]grass-fed gelatin[/easyazon_link] or [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NLR1PX0″ locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]grass-fed collagen peptides[/easyazon_link]. Conventional gelatin is made from animals eating feed sprayed with cryolite, so it's very high in fluoride which is damaging to the skin (see below).
  • More healthy fats like butter, cream, coconut oil, eggs and bacon – Healthy cholesterol-rich fats feed our hormones. Healthy hormones mean beautiful skin. I eat about 30-40% fat (tracked on my [easyazon_link identifier=”B06VXC2FJP” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]Fitbit[/easyazon_link] dashboard. This is not something I try to do — just doing simple things make the difference, like switching from low-fat to whole milk or cream in your coffee, eating more cheese and butter, eating eggs and bacon for breakfast instead of toast or cereal. Here are some ideas for how to eat more fat.
  • Reducing fluoride by filtering our water and eating organic – Cryolite, a fluoride-based pesticide, is sprayed on non-organic foods, so I really think eating organic as much as possible is key. Why is fluoride bad for the skin? Well, for one thing, it gives you acne. For another thing, fluoride is an endocrine disrupter. We know that melasma is caused by adrenal exhaustion so we need to avoid fluoride to reverse melasma. Read my post on the biggest sources of fluoride (it's not your water or toothpaste) and how to reduce it. Also see my post on how to filter your water for fluoride. Iced tea and kombucha are also very high in fluoride, so I've cut those out as well.

When I Slacked Off on My Diet, My Melasma Came Back

In 2013, I stopped taking cod liver oil. The main reason was the FCLO scandal. Corganic hadn't yet started selling EVCLO (I started taking it in 2014). But the great thing about stopping something for a while is you get to see what happens when you stop.

I think fluoride was also a big factor for my melasma. I neglected to change my [easyazon_link identifier=”B003XELTTG” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]reverse osmosis water filter.[/easyazon_link] I let it go a few years when I should have changed the filter. And I switched from eating 80-100% organic to about 50% organic, and buying more processed foods like cereal and canned beans. And I was drinking a lot more iced tea, which is high in fluoride.

And guess what happened? My melasma started to come back. It took a couple years, and it is not anywhere near as bad as it was before, but last summer I could definitely see it cropping up on my face around my hairline. It's very slight — not as dramatic as it was before — but it was still there.

How I Got Rid of My Melasma Naturally
My melasma recently coming back

How I'm Getting Rid Of Melasma Again

Last summer (2016), I decided to get serious about eating 80-100% organic again, and I started taking cod liver oil again. And I changed my [easyazon_link identifier=”B00I0ZGOZM” locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]water filter[/easyazon_link]. And guess what happened? The melasma has already lightened about 50%.

When I first started eating real food in 2007, it took a year and a half for my melasma to lighten by 50%. So I need to give it a while longer.

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep taking cod liver oil, keep filtering my water, and keep eating organic as much as possible. I'll post a photo again when my melasma is completely gone.

Where to Buy Cod Liver Oil

I only recommend one brand of cod liver oil: Rosita EVCLO. It's not available in stores but you can buy it online.

Best Cod Liver Oil: Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO)

See my post reviewing all the major brands of cod liver oil and why EVCLO is the best cod liver oil.

I've recently switched from the liquid EVCLO to the EVCLO softgels. Why? Because I am so bad at taking supplements.

4 Supplements I Take Every Day

With the EVCLO softgels, you can just put them in a [easyazon_link identifier=”B01N3BZX98″ locale=”US” tag=”cheeseslave0e-20″]vitamin caddy[/easyazon_link] which I keep in my purse or on my desk so I remember to take my supplements each day — they should not be stored in the fridge like the liquid EVCLO. So much more convenient, and critical for travel. Read my post: How to Store Cod Liver Oil.

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How I Got Rid of My Melasma Naturally

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

19 thoughts on “How I Got Rid of Melasma Naturally

  1. Hi Ann Marie,

    I read that there is connection between “pregnancy mask” (not sure if this is the same as melasma) and copper overload. I have some dark patches on my face and I definitely struggle with copper/zinc imbalance. I do take cod liver oil as well, but inconsistently. I need to get more consistent about it to see if it makes a difference. Thanks for the post.


  2. Hi,

    What dosage of Cod Liver oil did you take daily? After how long/months did you see fading of your melasma?

  3. Hey! What an interesting post. I have never heard of cod liver oil helping melasma before. I am going to go right out and buy some now. I have written about my struggle with this condition recently – – melasma suffers unite! You look great by the way! Clearly the cod liver oil worked wonders! 🙂

  4. Dear,

    I suffer from melasma for almost 5 years now and it’s making me very depressed. I am a 29 year old female with no kids.
    I tried cod liver oil before, with no remarkable results, so I stopped taking it. The problem is I don’t digest my food the way it should (I have severe gut dysbiosis)…so maybe I took cod liver oil without being able to absorb it completely. Any help with this?
    Much appreciated!

    1. Have you tried digestive enzymes? You can buy them online and they help me. Also try an elimination diet. Cutting back on eggs wheat and dairy helped my poor tummy. And raw veggies.

  5. Hi there.
    I am having melasma under my eyes Which disturbed my personality in the public and I avoided to go out often just because of this.
    It’s been 4 years and I have used different treatments from creams to tablets , from soaps to laser therapy and from injections to 100 UV sun mask..
    Last month I thought to try cod liver oil. It’s Natures Bounty U.S product. And I am feeling a big sigh of relief because its diminishing and the result is almost 40% in 25 days.
    I guess there is deep connection of cod oil with melasma..

    I am Male living in South Asia.
    Complexity wheatish white. Age 32 at the moment.

  6. Hi! Your post has given me much hope that I can heal my melasma. It’s mild but it bothers me soooo much!
    Do you find the CLO is still keeping the patches at bay? I also noticed you started drinking raw milk, which I am also planning on doing very soon as I already started to change my diet. Do you eat everything organic/ grass fed? My nutritionist recommended that I do but I don’t know if I can afford a purely organic diet right now. I should also note that I am 8 months post partum but just like you I had a slight “mustache” before the baby. Now it’s on my cheeks too.

    1. I think you wrote to me on Facebook too, right? No, I don’t think it was the cod liver oil anymore… I think it was FLUORIDE. Please watch my latest posts and/or follow me on Facebook — I am making lots of videos and writing articles about this!

      1. Yes ? I wasn’t sure if you checked your Facebook messages so I wrote here too. Thanks! I’ll keep following all the posts and videos about fluoride.

      2. Hi,how many of the vitamins of the cod liver oil do you take and what's the milagrams that you get and how many times a day. Thank you really need help with this melasma

          1. Hi,

            Do you take Maca to treat the melasma? I have melasma and I've tried everything to treat it, but no results. I don't have children and I stay out of the sun. I don't know what to do. Help!

  7. Thanks for the advice. This article is very helpful. Natural Treatment for Melasma will help you restore your skin color without side effects.

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