8 Home Remedies for Skin Lightening and Brightening
Rifling through your kitchen cabinets in search of the best home remedies for skin lightening? You may need a skin lightener for any one of a number of reasons. Hyperpigmentation, more commonly known as dark spots, is commonly the result of an overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color.
Melanin tends to go into overdrive when the skin needs protection: from excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays or from damage due to a scar, lesion, or acne. Other causes for skin to darken are hormonal imbalances such as occur during pregnancy, air pollution, genetics, and age. Some people simply have an uneven skin tone, e.g., dark skin on the neck, fair skin on the face.
Often, people need a natural skin lightener because of a suntan gone wrong. You were sunning outside at an odd angle and ended up with a blotchy tan. You had a bad day with the tanning bed or from a spray tan fiasco. And maybe that self-tanner wasn’t exactly as “non-orange” as advertised.
Whatever the case may be, your skin needs to be lightened. Pronto. We suggest you treat your beleaguered skin kindly with gentle natural ingredients that lighten skin effectively and efficiently. Here are the best of them!
Surely, we’ve all heard about the health benefits of eating yogurt. Less well known are the many benefits to the skin when it’s applied topically, particularly its role as a natural skin lightener.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that is a natural bleaching agent and an exfoliant. While its bleaching properties are at work on your dark skin, yogurt gently dissolves the dead cells on the upper layer of the skin, uncovering the new skin and reducing discoloration. It also reduces redness and tightens the pores.
Yogurt is especially effective in treating and minimizing a sunburn, because it cools the skin as it lightens. Use it as a face mask by itself or by mixing it with one of the below home remedies for skin lightening!
Turmeric is the dried and ground stem of a plant in the same family as ginger. Its golden color and slightly pungent taste is highly valued as a seasoning in many culinary traditions. But it’s not just good for eating – turmeric is also one of the best skin lightening remedies you can get your hands on!
Turmeric lightens the skin by reducing melanin, thus helping suntanned skin return to its original shade. Its main ingredient, curcumin, inhibits the production of melanin by decreasing the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme that controls the production.
Tumeric is even more effective when mixed with the natural bleaching power of lime juice. To use, you can either get dried turmeric powder to mix into DIY face masks or opt for a ready-made facial mask that contains turmeric – this one’s our favorite!
Please note: Tumeric tends to stain. Wear gloves and protect your clothing when handling it…unless you want to have temporarily orange skin.
Lemon juice has a lot going for it in the skin-lightening arena. Not only is lemon nature’s best bleaching agent, it also contains vitamin C, which is nature’s purest antioxidant. Antioxidants that pure reduce the production of melanin when applied to the skin and used regularly. Lemon juice also contains citric and ascorbic acids that are antioxidants that exfoliate the skin.
Consistent exfoliation is needed to lighten the skin. You want to remove those old dead cells to unveil a fresh, glowing skin surface, that, of course, will be lighter. Use diluted lemon juice as a toner or mix it into your DIY face masks!
Legend has it that Christopher Columbus called papaya the “fruit of the angels.” You may call it that for its skin-lightening properties.
The “magic” ingredient in papaya is its highly concentrated papain, an enzyme responsible for lightening the skin. Together with alpha hydroxy acids, papain is a gentle exfoliator that dissolves inactive proteins and dead cells and hydrates the skin. Papaya is also rich in vitamins A, E, and C that aid in keeping the skin moist and protecting it from contaminants.
Rice powder has been used as a natural skin lightener in Asia for centuries. Japanese geishas started using rice powder on their faces in the 16th century to give their skin that famed porcelain glow.
Rice powder is uncooked rice that has been ground into a fine powder. When made into a paste, the rice powder inhibits tyroinase and that inhibits the production of melanin. Rice contains ferulic acid and allantoin. Ferulic acid is an exfoliant that speeds up cell turnover and, therefore, speeds up the fading of dark spots. Allantoin is an anti-inflammatory and skin-whitening agent that soothes sunburns and makes the skin smoother and fairer.
Rice powder exfoliators are gentle enough to use every day for a polished and fresh look to your skin.
Here’s another funky rhizome that makes for one of the best skin lightening remedies. Ginger, a distant relative of turmeric, is a spice that is also derived from the stem of a plant. It is one of the most effective natural skin lighteners, particularly in fading brown age spots.
Ginger contains gingerol, another antioxidant that suppresses tyrosinase. It also promotes a smooth and even skin tone by repairing the skin from damage done by free radicals. Ginger’s antioxidants, anti-flammatory properties, and its ability to stimulate circulation all benefit your facial skin.
A few slivers of ginger placed directly on your skin reduces dark spots, freckles, and discoloration.
Licorice is lots of tasty things: candy, liqueurs, a flavorful baking ingredient. Not as well known are its medicinal properties, even though it was used for its health benefits as far back as ancient China.
Licorice extract is used in over-the-counter cleansers, toners, face creams, and spot treatments, because it aids in fading dark spots and lightening the skin. It also reverses the darkening of scars, those fibrous tissues on the skin that remain from an injury.
Licorice contain glabridin, another agent that inhibits tyrosinase. Glabridin contains flavonoids that act to lighten the skin while blocking an enzyme that causes damaged skin to darken. Licorice extract’s anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its gentle non-toxic properties, are ideal for a natural way to brighten the skin.
How to use it? The easiest way is to get it in serum form, which makes it easier for your skin to soak it up!
Here’s one of the most beautiful home remedies for lighter skin: flowers! Chamomile flowers were used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks to treat many conditions and illnesses, including skin diseases. It was only recently that the modern world caught on. Studies done in Germany found that the flowers possess powerful properties that benefit the skin when used topically. For one, it is a natural skin lightener, while it also restores the skin’s natural moisture and leaves it radiant.
Chamomile possesses many powerful properties for in-depth skin care, including anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic agents. It also contains essential oils and antioxidants.
Two bonuses are that chamomile is hypoallergenic and it helps neutralize free radicals. Get organic dried chamomile flowers here!
Egg, Honey, and Orange Smoothie
Here’s a homemade remedy for dark skin that is also delicious.
The benefits of egg in tightening the skin have been known for generations. Honey contains antioxidants that repair the skin from the harmful effects of the sun, make it resilient, rejuvenate it, and accelerate restoration for tanned skin. Orange is famous for its vitamin C that moisturizes and brightens the skin, plus it restores collagen.
Whip up these three ingredients and enjoy!
And of course, there are a few more skin lightening remedies that at least deserve an “honorable mention” for their role in helping to lighten the skin:
- Potato has natural bleaching properties, plus it moisturizes. It’s also starchy, which leaves your face looking immediately whiter and matte. You can put a slice of potato directly on your skin, or you can apply potato juice made in a blender.
- Cucumbers’ specialty is lightening a suntan. You can rub freshly cut slices of cucumber on your skin. They also cool and soothe the skin.
- Mint in the form of a freshly ground paste works wonders in lightening the skin. It’s also brilliant for combating blemishes!
Now you have many home remedies for skin lightening to turn to – try them all and feel free to mix and match. Oh, and no more fretting over being plagued with dark spots and uneven skin tone!