Does your skin look dull and dark? This could be caused by prolonged cosmetic usage, stress or even too much sun. We offer insights on how to lighten skin quickly and sometimes permanently, through home remedies and medical treatments.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably worked hard to improve the look of your skin. One of the best ways to keep your skin looking great is by limiting your exposure to sunlight. Use sunscreen on your face in ANY weather, and on any other body parts that are exposed, especially in the summer.
Sunscreens protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. If you’re headed to work or a special event, you may have discovered that some beauty products and moisturizers also contain a sunscreen, so use those types of products.
Minimizing your exposure to light will help to lighten your skin with the passage of time. You DO need the vitamin D found in sunlight, though, for the health of your body. Balance your sunlight exposure with respect to your choices for lightening your skin. You can also take vitamin D supplements to make up for what you lose by staying out of the sun.
You’ll find many solutions to lighten skin available, from lotions to creams and pills. The downside? They may include unwanted chemicals and a high price tag. So we also offer you some DIY remedies you can make at home.
Lightening Dark Skin Naturally
DIY remedies are easy to apply, and they can often be made with items you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. They work best if you exfoliate your skin regularly, to remove damaged skin layers. Some of the best home remedies include:
Lemon or lemon juice has ascorbic and citric acid. This makes it rich in vitamin C, which has properties that lighten skin. The procedures:
- Cut a lemon in half. Buff the face gently with the halves. After 15 minutes, rinse your face. Repeat the process at various times each day until you experience lightening.
- You may mix lemon with yogurt, too. Apply this mixture to your face once each day for 15 minutes and then wash off. This compound has mild bleaching agents.
- Lemon juice and egg whites can be heated until thickened, then placed in a jar for cooling. You can store the remainder in the fridge. Apply this mixture on your neck and face for 20 minutes a couple times a day and then rinse well. You’ll notice a bit of lightening every day.
- Lemon juice can be used with honey, too. Honey has antibacterial and soothing properties and helps to lighten skin. Massage this mixture into your skin for 15 minutes or so, and then wash it off.
This extract works well for skin conditions, including eczema. It helps in whitening dark spots and dark skin, because it reduces melanin production.
- Place extract in a small bowl and dip a cotton ball in it. Apply to your face, legs, hands and any other dark areas. Leave the extract on overnight and wash it off the next morning.
- In a cup with boiling water, add three tablespoons of dried flowers of chamomile. Allow the mixture to sit and then strain out the herbs.
- Add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of rosewater. Apply it on your skin. Rinse it off after 15 minutes or so. Any extra solution can be stored in the fridge until you need it again.
Everyone has milk in the refrigerator, right? It’s another option to look at when you’re determining how to lighten skin effectively. Lactic acid diminishes the pigmentation of the skin and brightens your complexion.
- Soak a lemon slice in cool milk for 15 minutes or so. Rub it onto the skin and leave it on overnight. Wash it off well the next morning.
- OR Pour milk into a bowl and soak a soft cloth in it. Wring out excess milk. Buff your face with the milk-cloth. Refresh the cloth when it becomes dry by dipping in milk and wringing out. Rinse off the milk after 15 minutes or apply it overnight. The effects should be noticeable after a few weeks.
This is one of the most effective ways for skin lightening, since it works to treat dark skin patches on any part of the body. This includes the knees and elbows, as well as the inner thighs. Leave it on for 20 minutes or so and rinse with clean, warm water (NOT hot water).
Lemon and turmeric both include bleaching properties, and these are very helpful in skin lightening. Turmeric may cause staining, so use gloves when you apply, and keep it well away from clothes. If you do happen to stain your clothes, apply a wet layer of ground sugar. This exfoliates turmeric stains from affected areas of clothing. Then you can just rinse the clothes off with cold water.
Vitamin C is an effective skin lightener. It is full of antioxidants and has supportive research for skin lightening properties. Lemon and orange juice are both high in vitamin C, so they are included in many DIY skin lightening home remedies.
Other Home Remedies to Lighten your Skin
The remedies above aren’t the only natural methods of lightening skin. We’ll include some more here.
Oranges are loaded with vitamin C, which we have already established as a wonderful ingredient in skin lightening remedies. Oranges also include bleaching properties that allow you to lighten the color of your skin. Consuming oranges helps to improve your skin tone, and makes your skin more supple. In addition to eating oranges, the way oranges are normally used for topical lightening of the skin:
- Combine two tablespoons of OJ with just a pinch of turmeric powder. Apply the mixture on your face before you go to bed at night. You can also apply the mixture to your legs and hands. Allow the mixture to remain on the skin for about a half hour. Wash it off just before you head to bed.
This is a milk by-product that enriches the skin with many nutrients. It contains lactic acid, which has its own bleaching properties. You can use yogurt on any type of skin, from dry to oily.
- Rub yogurt gently on your skin surface. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes or so, before you wash it off. This can be done once each day for about a month, by which time you should notice your complexion lightening.
Honey is an excellent choice when you decide how to lighten skin with home remedies. It bleaches the skin and moisturizes it, at the same time. This helps in evening out skin tone. In addition, honey has antibacterial properties that make it excellent for fading acne scars and age spots, too.
- Apply honey on your face and leave it there for about five minutes. Wash it off using warm (NOT hot) water. Honey helps in the removal of dead skin cells, so it makes your skin look fresher and brighter. You can repeat the process one time per day.
Aloe Vera Gel
Gel from the aloe Vera plant alleviates the pigmentation of the skin, which helps in restoring its original color. It fights hyper-pigmentation, which can cause an uneven skin tone.
Aloe Vera also has a wonderful cooling effect when applied to the skin. It helps your skin to generate new cells and rebuild damaged tissue that needs to be healed in order that you can have healthy skin. This simple remedy uses aloe Vera to lighten dark spots on your skin and it improves your complexion. To use:
- Cut an aloe Vera leaf and squeeze out the thick gel from inside the plant.
- Apply the gel thoroughly on your skin.
- Allow the gel to remain on your skin for a half hour, before washing it off using cold water.
- This process can be repeated two or three times a day for about two weeks.
This is a wonderful ingredient, yet not as well known for its abilities to lighten skin, especially if your natural complexion is fair. It contains a variety of nutrients that are helpful in keeping your skin vibrant and healthy. If you use this remedy every day, it removes excess oil from your skin, which gives it natural moisture.
- Mix gram flour with a bit of water, to create a thick paste.
- The paste is then applied to your face, legs and hands.
- Leave this paste on the affected areas until it has dried. Then wash it off with warm water.
How to Lighten Skin Permanently
If you’re looking for medical options for lightening your skin more permanently, the options include chemical peels, laser treatments and bleaching creams. Be sure you consult a dermatologist to help in deciding which method will work for you.
The one agreed-upon TRUE agent for skin lightening is hydroquinone. This is available with or without a prescription. Stronger concentrations require prescriptions. It should be applied only to small affected areas, but you can’t use it as a full-body whitener.
In addition, users have discovered that due to the texture and health of the skin, some areas tend to lighten more than others. You can use a stronger dosage if a lesser dosage is not effective.
Permanent skin lightening is actually a medical procedure, and only recommended for patients that need the procedure for their health. Talk to your dermatologist to see if it is an option for you.
If your skin has flaws that cause irregular pigmentation, your immune system attacks the cells that produce the pigment in your skin. This causes a loss of pigment on patches over the whole body.
The issue with hydroquinone is that it also gets rid of the melanin in your skin, and it’s an important part of the skin. The procedure should only be done by physicians. Many products you can purchase over the counter may have unsafe ingredients that can even further damage your skin if you use them.
Skin Lightening Cautions
Dermatologists will not offer the most effective medical skin lighteners for simple, cosmetic reasons. The treatments may increase your risk for cancer. You should always speak to your dermatologist about any areas of problem skin you would like to have lightened. He or she will be able to recommend safe options that you can use for lightening of your skin. You may also be offered information that helps you see the beauty in your skin as it is, rather than using medication or chemicals.
Abusing your skin has huge consequences for its health. Some celebrities have had procedures that have gone horribly awry. The strongest skin lighteners, like hydroquinone in high doses, can lead to poor results, sometimes leaving the skin looking worse than it did originally. In some cases, the skin is even permanently darkened, and it becomes resistant to all medications, so you’re stuck with it.
Overuse of skin lighteners may cause your pigmentation to build up in your extremities, too. This means that your ears, fingers and toes may appear to be mismatched in color.
Check out this VIDEO on skin lightening!