35 Home Remedies to Lighten Dark Skin
It’s not unusual for women to crave flawless and radiant skin. Much of this is down to the pigmentation of your skin. Skin pigmentation disorders can affect the coloring or tone of your skin – melanin, in particular, is the pigment which largely contributes to the pigmentation of your skin. If your melanin production becomes faulty, the appearance of your skin can change too. These home remedies will work best to lighten dark skin for people who are dark in complexion. If you are a light-skinned person looking to make your skin even fairer, check out our article 57 Home Remedies for Fair Skin.
Hyperpigmentation is one such pigmentation disorder which can cause your skin to darken. It can affect your entire body or just patches. Age spots are a good example of hyperpigmentation. This condition is usually harmless but it can leave people feeling self-conscious depending on how large the affected patch of skin is.
Pigmentation Treatment at Home
There are a number of ways that you can treat hyperpigmentation at home by lightning the darkened areas of your skin. While several of the remedies we share here are anecdotal, some research suggests their main ingredients work on skin pigmentation.
The Dangers of Skin-Whitening Treatments
Typically, the more common ingredients in skin-lightening products can actually stop the melanin pigmentation working correctly and could even prove toxic. Some can even cause premature signs of aging. There are, however, a number of natural remedies you can use to lighten dark skin without the use of harsh chemicals.
Home Remedies to Lighten Dark Skin
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help to lighten your skin pigmentation as it contains acetic acid. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal parts and apply this to your patches of darker skin. Leave it on for two or three minutes before rinsing off on with lukewarm water. Repeat this method twice a day for the best results.
Aloe vera is another natural home remedy to lighten dark skin. It works as a great, non-toxic treatment for hyperpigmentation. Simply massage a little aloe gel into your skin and leave it to sit overnight. In the morning you can rinse the area with some water and repeat daily until your happier with your skin pigmentation.
Red onion extract is actually often used in commercial skin and scar lightening creams. You can get the extract onto your skin by rubbing onion skin against the darkened patches of your skin. Or you can look out for creams that contain allium cepa (the scientific name for red onion extract).
Some studies have shown that green tea can help to depigment the skin, helping it to look lighter. Brew a green tea bag in some boiled water for approximately five minutes. Leave the tea bag to cool and gently rub it over your dark patches of skin. Doing this twice a day should start to have an impact on the pigmentation of your skin.
Like green tea, black tea can also help to lighten your darker patches of skin. Brew some strong, black tea for two hours. If you’re using tea leaves, you should strain the leaves from the water, otherwise, you can just remove the teabag. Soak a cotton wool ball or pad in the tea and apply this to your dark patches. You can repeat this method for six days a week over a four-week period.
Licorice extract contains a number of active ingredients that can be used to lighten your skin pigmentation. You can boil some licorice root in some water for ten minutes before straining and leaving to cool. After this, you can wipe the liquid over your skin. You can also find creams containing licorice extract in a number of stores.
Different types of milk including, buttermilk and even sour milk, have been known to help lighten dark skin pigmentation and rectify any discoloration. This is because of its high lactic acid content. Simply soak a cotton ball or pad in some milk and rub it over your patches of darkened skin.
A study from The British Journal of Dermatology identified tomato paste ability to protect the skin from long-term photodamage and therefore improve the pigmentation of your skin. This is because tomato paste is rich in lycopene.
Orchid extracts are rich in vitamin C which makes them a great home remedy to lighten dark skin. It is often included in creams and scrubs, so keep an eye on the ingredients list of your cosmetics shop. Apply the extract directly to your skin each day and you should start to see your skin pigmentation brighten.
Masks made from red lentils are great as a home remedy to lighten the skin. Red lentils are also packed full of antioxidants which are great for protecting your skin.
Simply soak around fifty grams of red lentils in a bowl of water and leave them overnight. Place the lentils in a blender and blend them to a paste. You can then apply this paste to your face in a nice, even layer and let it sit for twenty minutes. You can then rinse it with some cool water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
Lemon juice and orange peels are great natural skin bleaching agents. They’re high in vitamin C which supports your collagen fibers in keeping your skin firm. It can also help to moderate melanin production which can help to lighten your skin tone. However, after using these, avoid going out into the sun for at least half an hour, or else you may become sunburned.
Kojic acid has used in Japanese natural remedies for centuries and is highly effective at reducing skin discoloration. It inhibits the function of the key protein responsible for melanin production. It also has antioxidant properties which help to protect your skin cells.
Bearberry extract can be extracted from the leaves of the Bearberry plant, not from the fruit itself! It contains a number of compounds which can help to lighten your skin tone in a short space of time. It has been known to help lighten dark spots in the skin and is considered to be as effective as commercial options. It’s also great because it acts as a sun filter and can protect your skin from UV rays, slowing the signs of aging and reducing the rate of tanning.
The extract from Indian gooseberries (also known as amla) is packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C. It also has anti-microbial properties. The extract helps to protect the skin from hyperpigmentation and sun damage. Crush some amla to release the juices and rub it on your age spots or darker areas of skin once a day and over time you should start to notice a difference.
White Mulberry Extract
The white mulberry tree is known to have many health benefits. It can help to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and can help lower cholesterol, but it also makes a great home remedy to lighten dark skin. This is because it contains enzymes which inhibit the production of melanin to prevent the skin from darkening past your natural skin tone.
Lots of foods can help to lighten and brighten your complexion. Papaya is one of them. It’s packed full of antioxidants which help to protect your skin from sun damage and thus helps to reduce the sun’s darkening effects. It also helps to remove toxins and impurities which would otherwise cause your skin to look darker. You can eat papayas to enjoy their skin lightening benefits, but you can also make a face mask with the papaya fruit to apply its benefits directly to your face. Blend the papaya flesh into a paste and apply it to your face for five minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water. You could add a little lemon juice to your face mask for a little extra kick.
Turmeric has often been used to improve skin quality and lighten your skin tone. It has high antioxidant properties which make it a great home remedy to lighten dark skin and repair a damaged complexion. You can apply a paste made from turmeric and milk and rub this on your skin. Make sure the paste dries before you wash it off with some warm water. Doing this for a couple of weeks should see an improvement in the condition and tone of your skin.
Cucumber is another popular food that offers a number of health benefits for the skin. It can help to lighten your skin tone and any darkened patches of skin. Slice some cucumber and leave it on the darker areas of your skin for fifteen to twenty minutes. Do this twice a day for a few weeks to see an improvement in the state of your skin.
Oatmeal is well known for its abilities to help improve your skin quality. Mix some oatmeal with some tomato juice to make a paste and apply the paste to your skin. Leave it on for about twenty minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. This can help to repair damaged skin and reduce the appearance of darker spots.
Yogurt has strong healing potentials. It can help to nourish the skin and repair damaged skin cells. When skin cells get damaged a darker pigment is likely to be noticeable, so by repairing that damage, yogurt helps to lighten your skin’s appearance.
Gently rub a little yogurt onto your skin twice a day and leave it on for a few minutes. After that, you can rinse it off with some lukewarm water.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
This essential oil is well known for its ability to lighten your skin. This is because it inhibits the melanin production which prevents your skin from reacting to the sun and becoming darker.
Honey has a bleaching effect on the skin which helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigments. It’s also moisturizing properties which help to nourish the skin and repair any damaged skin cells. You can either include more honey into your diet or apply it directly to your skin to see the benefits. For the best results though, you should make a paste with some honey, lemon juice, and almond oil. You can apply this to the darkened areas of skin and leave on for five minutes before rinsing off with some lukewarm water.
Whilst you may not think of potatoes as particularly juicy, their juices are packed full of vitamin C! This helps to heal damaged skin cells and so reduces the appearance of dark spots, helping to give your skin a lighter tone. It also contains antioxidants which add an extra layer of healing properties to your skin.
Slice and peel a potato and rub the slices against the darker areas of your skin to really cover them in the juice. Leave your skin covered in the potato juice for twenty minutes before rinsing off. This should help to lighten your skin over time.
Rice Flour and Milk
Rice flour and milk mix together to make a great home remedy to lighten dark skin. Make a paste by mixing half a cup of rice flour with 3 tablespoons of milk. You can then apply this paste to your skin and rinse off after a few minutes. This will help to lighten your skin if you follow this method several times a week for a few weeks.
Blueberries are powerful antioxidants and can help to heal your cells and boost your immune system. Crush a few berries and mix them with a little yogurt and apply this mixture to your skin. Not only is this super gentle on sensitive skin, but it can also help to reduce the appearance of dark spots and lighten the appearance of your skin. Let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes before rinsing off with some warm water.
Baking soda is an age-old home remedy for a number of issues, including lightening your skin. Simply add two tablespoons of baking soda with some water to form a paste and apply this to your skin. The gentle exfoliation of the paste will help remove dead skin cells and leave your skin looking brighter and lighter.
Rose oil has been shown to heal damaged skin cells and calm eczema, acne and darkened skin. Mix a few drops of oil with some cold milk and wash it across your skin. It can be irritating to those with sensitive skin though, so this isn’t a home remedy for everyone.
While it might be surprising, activated charcoal can actually be used as a home remedy to lighten dark skin. All you need is a teaspoon of activated charcoal and mix it with a little water. This should form a paste. When it does massage it into the darker patches of your skin and let it sit for ten minutes. The abrasive qualities of the activated charcoal will help to remove dead skin cells and give your skin a lighter appearance. Avoid getting any charcoal on your clothes as it can be difficult to get out and could leave a stain.
Sugar is often one of the most effective ingredients of home remedies to lighten dark skin. Like many of the home remedies in this list, sugar has an abrasive quality. This helps to open up your pores and remove any toxins and dead skin cells.
Mix a tablespoon of sugar with equal parts of olive oil, and lemon juice. Once mixed together you can massage this mixture into your skin for three to five minutes. This will help to remove any dead skin cells and give your skin a lighter appearance.
The external application of mint helps to reduce the appearance of acne scars and existing blemishes. It can also help to reduce recurrence of further blemishes. It also contains high levels of vitamin A which helps to nourish the skin and remove any excess oil and blackheads.
Mix a tablespoon of yogurt with a tablespoon of mint paste. You can also add some lemon juice for added effects. Leave this mixture on your skin for twenty minutes before washing off with water. Over time you should start to notice a difference in the brightness of your skin.
Applying pineapple to your skin on a regular basis can really help to improve your complexion and lighten your skin. In fact, it can help to nourish and cleanse your skin by reducing your risk of developing blemishes and acne. It can even ward off wrinkles, blemishes, moles, and warts.
Simply slice the pineapple into small pieces and blend into a paste. Add a little honey and apply to the darker areas of skin. Do this on a daily basis and over time you should start to notice an improvement in your complexion.
Kiwi has a super higher concentration of vitamin C, even higher than oranges. This means it can protect your skin and keep it healthy, as well as remove dead skin cells to give your skin a lighter appearance.
Peel and puree a kiwi and add a tablespoon of yogurt and a teaspoon of honey to make a creamy paste. Apply this paste to the darker areas of your skin and let it sit for twenty minutes before washing it off.
Egg protein plays an important role in repairing and tightening skin tissues and tightening the skin. Its high vitamin A content helps it to remove dead skin cells, control acne and moisturize skin.
To make a skin lightening mask, mix the white of one egg with half a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of turmeric powder. This will make a spreadable paste which you can spread over the patches of dark skin and leave it to sit for twenty minutes. After this, wash it off with warm water. This will help to reduce the signs of aging, including darkening skin.
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids which help make skin bright and fair. It exfoliates the skin and helps to remove dark spots, acne, wrinkles, and dry skin. Blend three to four strawberries in a blender and mix in a tablespoon of milk powder and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply this mixture to your skin and let it sit for twenty minutes then wash it off with some water. After repeated uses, this should help to lighten your darker patches of skin.
Pumpkin is packed full of antioxidants and exfoliating acids which help to protect and cleanse the skin. By cleansing the skin of toxins, pumpkin can significantly help to reduce dark patches.
Mix two teaspoons of pumpkin puree, half a teaspoon of milk and the same amount of honey to make a paste. Apply this to your skin and let it sit for twenty minutes. Rinse it off with warm water. Try doing this before you go to bed, two or three times a week. If you have a dairy allergy you can substitute out the milk for some aloe gel.
Which of these home remedies will you try to lighten your dark skin? Comment below!