During my teenage age, for some reason I wanted to lighten my skin, so I sorted after store-bought skin lightening creams. After few months of usage I got the result I wanted, but along the line I started noticing different patches of colours on my skin. It got to a stage where it was pretty obvious that my skin was burnt and filled with ugly discolorations. People started asking me different sorts of questions and my parents were curious to know what happened to me. In my own naivety I thought I could clean the discoloration with toxic chemicals and I ended up injuring myself. It took over 4 months for my wound to completely heal and took over 2 years for the discolorations to fade away. I hope you learn from my story and stay away from store-bought-skin lightening creams. There is nothing wrong in trying to lighten you skin but you just have to take precaution and do it the right way. Darker skin only means that your skin’s melanocytes produces more melanin. Most of us were born fair, but due to some environmental factors like exposure to sun rays and other environmental stress, leads to a darker skin. This remedy is mostly for those their dark skins are not due to genetic reason.
Home Remedies For Lightening Skin Naturally
Lemon Juice for Skin Lightening
The use of lemon as a skin lightener is as old as the hills. Even my grandmother knew about it. I have personally tried it too and can testify to its efficacy. When applied regularly on your skin is capable of lightening and exfoliating the top layer of your skin. Most skin types don’t just go well with lemon and might cause a slight irritation. To avoid this, simply mix one part of lemon to one part of water before usage. If you are wondering how lemon came about its lightening properties – know that lemon has astringent property which will tighten your pores there by reducing sebum secretion. Lemon is also rich in vitamin C, which leads to the production of new skin cells.
How to use lemon juice for skin lightening
- All you need to do is squeeze out the juice of lemon into a small bowl, using a cotton swab apply the juice on your face. Leave it for about an hour before washing off with warm water. Repeat this once daily. With time you will begin to see your skin lighten. If you are like me and can’t go through the stress of squeezing out the juice and using cotton swab. Simply cut the lemon into two halves and gently scrub on your face, let it stay for about 10-15 minutes before washing off.
- Lemon milk soak: If you want to make a more robust skin lightening treatment. Pour the lemon juice into ½ cup of milk and apply on your skin. The milk has enzymes that gently lighten and moisturizes the skin. You can also add honey to the mix for added potency.
- If your skin is oily, you can make a paste of 1 tsp of lemon, 2 tsp of rosewater and 1 tsp of fuller’s earth. Apply the paste on your face and rinse of after about 15 minutes. Alternatively if you have a dry skin, you can mix 1 tsp of lemon juice with coconut oil. Apply this mixture on your face, this should have a slicky sensation on your face. Leave it for about 15 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.
- Lemon juice can also be mixed with turmeric powder. Simply add 1 tsp of lemon juice to 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Apply this mixture on your skin and leave for about an hour. Wash off with water thereafter.
Please endeavor to wash off any traces of lemon juice on your skin before going under direct sunlight. This is because the reaction between UV light and photosynthesizing chemicals found in citrus can cause Phytophotodermatitis. Another point to note is that, if you have any open wound on your skin, do not apply lemon on it because lemon is acidic and can cause pain to your wound.
Yogurt for Skin Lightening
Yogurt is an excellent source of Lactic acid, which is also a mild alpha hydroxyl acid (AHAs). When applied on your skin acts as an exfoliate by peeling off dead skin cells and removing dullness from your skin. Therefore giving your skin a brighter look. The lactic acid present in yogurt helps bleach the hyperpigmented skin by suppressing the production of melanin. Please also note that plain yogurt is best used for skin lightening
Ways to use yogurt for skin lightening
- Simply rub a generous amount of plain unsweetened yogurt on your face and massage thoroughly. Leave it on your face for a couple of minutes, let’s say 15 minutes, before washing off. This should be done daily for best results
- Another way to use yogurt is to mix it with ½ tsp of honey. Apply the mixture on your face and neck. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing off with water. You can also make the paste thicker by adding lemon juice and oatmeal to the yogurt.
Aloe Vera to Lighten Skin Naturally
Aloesin is a natural hydroxymethyl chromone compound isolated from the aloe vera plant which structure is similar to flavonols, inhibits tyrosinase activity, there by regulating the production of melanin in your skin. Thus eventually leading to a fairer skin. Aloe Vera makes your skin soft and smooth. Its cooling effect helps regenerate new cells and rebuild damage tissues.
Ways to use Aloe Vera for Skin Lightening?
- Cut out Aloe Vera leaf, slice it open vertically, using a spoon or knife – collect the gel. Apply this gel thoroughly on your skin and leave it for 30 minutes before washing off. Do this daily. After 20 days you can reduce the intensity of the application, let’s say 3 times weekly
Milk for Skin Lightening
Milk is another skin lightening agent and when applied topically on the skin, the lactic acid present in milk will help reduce skin’s pigmentation which results to a lighter skin tone. Milk also stimulates melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for producing melanin pigments. Since milk is high in calcium, it provides high calcium content to the upper epidermis of your skin which holds in the moisture content of the skin therefore preventing skin dryness which may lead to a darker skin. To get the best result, milk should be applied on the skin daily for at least 3 weeks, once the effect have been achieved, milk should be topically applied at least twice per week to maintain the result.
Ways to use milk
- Pour milk into a bowl, it can be cow milk or goal milk or any one you can lay your hands on, but not breast milk, lol. Please do note that your regular pasteurized milk don’t apply here. Microwave the milk for about 30 seconds to warm it a bit, soak a washcloth into the milk – remove and wring out some milk. The goal here is to make the wash cloth saturated with milk not dripping. It’s best to do a facial steam before applying the milk on your face. Doing this will allow the milk penetrate deeper into your skin. Once the wash cloth gets dry, soak it again in milk and repeat the process up to 3 – 4 times. This should be done daily, preferably after taking your bath. After a couple of weeks, reduce the pace to twice weekly.
Rice Powder / Water for Skin Lightening
You might be wondering what the hell is rice powder. Don’t let your mind wonder too far. Rice powder is simply uncooked rice that has been ground into a fine powder with water or milk added to it to form a consistent paste – which can be used to lighten the face. On the other hand, rice water is derived from soaking or washing uncooked rice. Both the rice powder and rice water can keep your skin youthful. Rice powder is known to contain high concentration of PABA, which is an excellent sunscreen and when taken internally raises the vitamin C levels in your body. Rice also contains two other sun protecting agents known as Ferulic acid and Allantoin.
Ferulic acid is an antioxidant, when added to Vitamin C and E doubles its sun protection ability. While Allantoin is a good anti-inflammatory agent that soothes sunburns and also promotes skin repair. When applied as a paste on the skin, rice powder has been shown to inhibit tyrosinase.
Make your own skin lightening ‘rice water’ toner
It’s a known fact among Asian woman that rice water can give you a fairer skin, don’t expect to become like Michael Jackson overnight, but your skin will become lighter within a month of steady application
How to use rice water to lighten your skin
- Soak uncooked handful of brown rice, white rice or red rice in water. Run your finger through the rice as if you are cleaning the rice. The water should begin to look cloudy. Before using the rice water on your face, I presume you have done your facial steaming or skin exfoliation. It’s now time to drain the water into another clean bowl. Gently splash the rice water over your face repeatedly. Leave the rice water on your face to air dry on its own. If done consistently for one month, you will begin to see visible results.
Make your own skin lightening rice mask
- Grind a handful of uncooked rice into a fine powder. Wondering how? Use a coffee grinder or simply use your mortar and pestle. Proceed to adding some milk to the rice powder and mix thoroughly to form a paste. Apply this paste all over your face and neck. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before washing off with warm water followed by cold water to close your pores. Do this daily at the initial start and reduce the pace after one week. Within a month, you will begin to see visible changes.
Citrus Fruits Peels for Skin Lightening
It will amaze you to know that, the orange peel you usually discard after drinking your orange is a great skin lightening agent. The peels and membranes is an excellent source of hesperidin, which is a bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids have the ability to neutralize reactive oxygen species by donating one of their electrons, thus stabilizing the molecule and breaking the oxidative chain. This leads to a visible signs of healthy and vibrant skin. Numerous studies conducted on hesperidin has shown that hesperidin can effectively inhibit melanin synthesis without cytotoxicity. Research has shown that the bioflavonoid hesperidin has the ability to lessen the appearance of age spot and the capacity to provide a lightening effect for sallow and age-damaged skin.
How to make a mask for skin lightening with orange peel?
- Start by grinding your orange peel to get at least 1 tsp of its powder. Mix the orange peel powder with plain yogurt to make a paste. Apply this paste on your face and neck. Let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before washing off with warm water, followed by cold water.
Make Gram Flour Face Mask for Skin Lightening
Gram flour is also known as chickpea flour has long been used across South Asia and India as an exfoliate and homemade beauty treatment for skin lightening. During my stay in India my host usually use it to soften and lighten her skin. Also most brides in India were treated with sesame oil massage followed by a gram flour body scrub.
How to make gram flour face mask for skin lightening
You will need:
- 1 tablespoon of gram flour
- 1 tablespoon of milk cream
- 1/2 teaspoon of honey
- A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice (just 2-3 drops is enough)
Directions: Make a consistent paste by mixing all the ingredients together. Apply the paste evenly on your skin. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, this will give it enough time to dry up. Now, wash off with lukewarm water. Repeat this daily for about 3 – 4 weeks, after which you reduce the pace to once a week.
Alternatively you can make a paste of 2 tsp Gram flour, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, milk and lemon. Apply this paste on your face and neck. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Loosen the mask with warm water and wash off with cold water. Repeat this daily for a period of one month, then once a week.
Kojic acid is a compound commonly derived from various fungi and well used as a skin lightening agent because of its effect on a protein known as tyrosinase. According Dr. James, Kojic acid is effective for skin lightening and have similar effectiveness as hydroquinone, a commonly used skin lightening agent. The acid is known to prevent melanin formation by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. When the melanin production stops, darker skin naturally gets lightened.
Ways to use kojic acid for skin lightening?
- Start by cleaning your face properly. Mix 1 tsp. of Kojic acid and mix with your regular gel or lotion. Apply this to your face and neck. Do this twice daily for maximum of 1 – 2 months. Some people complain about Kojic acid irritating their skins – so it pays to do a patch test before using it.
Licorice Root Extract for Skin Lightening
Licorice extract is popular among several over-the-counter beauty products like, cleansers, toner and face creams. These products use licorice root extract as an alternative to the harmful chemical hydroquinone. Licorice contain potent antioxidant that fight skin-damaging free radicals. When used consistently can fade dark spots and blemishes while lightening skin. Many have used it to reverse severe dark scars. The sugary juice from licorice contains beneficial plant sterols which promotes skin elasticity – while fighting inflammation and wrinkles. Glabridin is a chemical compound that is found in the root extract of licorice which inhibits the enzyme that causes the skin to darken due to sun exposure. Glabridin also helps decrease melanin production as well as balancing skin cells.
Ways to use licorice extract for skin lightening?
Licorice extract can be found in mountain rose herb. You can still make your own licorice extract at home. Simply purchase the root and boil it. To use licorice on your skin, simply pour a few drops of licorice extract on a cotton swab and apply a thin layer of this extract all over your face and neck. Leave it overnight and wash off early in the morning.
Alternatively prepare a mask with the below ingredients
- Few drops Licorice extract
- 1 small Cucumber
- 1 tsp Fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp Sandalwood paste
- 1 tsp Tomato juice
Directions: Using a blender make a puree of cucumber. Add few drops of licorice root extract to the cucumber puree. Followed by 1 tsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp Sandalwood, and 1 tsp Tomato juice. Mix thoroughly and apply on your face and neck. Leave it on your skin for about 20-30 minutes till it dries off. Wash off with warm water followed by cold water. Repeat this twice weekly.
Bearberry Extract for Skin Lightening
Bearberry extract is used in most over-the-counter beauty products. It contains an active agent known as Arbutin. Arbutin lightens and brightens the skin naturally by inactivating tyrosinase, an enzyme known for the production of melanin. It’s a natural form of hydroquinone – a highly effective synthetic skin bleaching agent. Synthetic hydroquinone used in over-the-counter skin lightener is carcinogenic but the natural occurring ones from bearberry extract has antioxidant suitable for skin cleansing and making skin brighter.
How to use bearberry extract for skin lightening?
Bearberry extract can be found on mountainroseherbs. To use it, mix it with your lotion or moisturizing cream. Alternatively you can dilute it with glycerin and water and apply on your face. This solution should be used twice daily for best results. You will find bearberry extract with different concentration of arbutin. Full strength bearberry extracts should be diluted before applying to the skin. You may dilute the extract with your regular lotion or moisturizing cream. Alternatively, dilute the bearberry extract with some glycerin and water and then apply to your face. You should use this extract at least twice day for required results.
Coconut water for Skin Lightening.
Coconut water is a natural skin lightening agent, and when used regularly helps even out patchiness on your skin. It contains cytokinins which can heal the skin and renew the skin cells. It’s also rich in antioxidant, which helps remove free radical damage from the skin.
Ways to use coconut water
Simply dab your cotton swab into coconut water and apply on your skin. Leave it overnight and wash off with luke warm water upon waking up. Alternatively you can mix 2 tsp of coconut water to 1 tsp of cucumber juice and 1 tsp of raw milk and apply on skin.
Potatoes Juice for Skin lightening
Potato contains a skin lightening agent called catecholase and also contains high quantities of vitamin C. Potato peels can be rubbed on freckle or simply apply raw potato juice on age spots, this will help lighten mild skin discoloration. Repeat this frequently in order to see any significant results.
Tomatoes for Skin Lightening
Tomato is suitable for oily skin/blackhead because of its natural acidic composition. Tomatoes have a natural bleaching and skin lightening property. They are known to be rich in vitamin and have cooling and astringent properties that makes it perfect for acne-prone or oily skin. It contains anti-oxidant properties which fights against free radical damage while maintaining your youthful glow.
Ways to use tomatoes for skin lightening
Direction: Take small tomato and grate it to form a puree. Apply the puree on skin and leave it to dry up, then apply another coat of tomatoes puree on top. Repeat this cycle for about 20 minutes. Then wash off.
- You can also add 2 tsp of yogurt to the tomatoes puree and apply on your skin. Leave it for 20 minutes before washing off.
- Another way to use tomato is to add a few drops of lemon juice to it. Apply it on your face and neck. Leave it for 15 minutes before washing off.
- Another way is to add 4 tsp of buttermilk to 2 tsp of tomato juice. Apply this to your face and neck with the aid of cotton swab. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before.
Other Facts to Note
Quit smoking: If you are a smoker, please do yourself a great favor and stop smoking. Smoking makes your skin to become sallow and can lead to early wrinkles.
Wear sunscreen everyday: Sun is an enemy to your skin and can cause severe damage to your skin. For this singular reason, it’s imperative to wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin from direct sun light.
Drink lots of water: Keeping your skin hydrated is very important for a healthy skin. If your skin is hydrated it can easily rejuvenates itself and shed old layers while forming new ones. This allows old pigmented layers to fade away and reveal fresh new ones underneath.
Follow a healthy diet: A diet rich in vitamin and nutrients is necessary for a healthy skin. So endeavor to include plenty of fresh vegetable and fruits – more especially those rich in vitamin A, C and E which nourish the skin and keep it hydrated.
Always remove your makeup before bed to avoid breakouts and clogged pores.
Avoid skin products containing mercury as it causes skin darkness.
Always cleanse your skin regularly twice daily either using a foaming cleanser or a mild soap. Additionally, apply a good moisturizer or exfoliate your skin 1 – 2 times weekly to clear dead skin cells.