A bright, glowing complexion is one of the traits we identify with youth and beauty. Today, a light and clear complexion is one of the most sought after traits for women of all ages.
In this article, we discuss how to naturally lighten skin with home remedies. We also highlight a few drugstore products you can use as alternatives.
When we talk about lightening the skin, we refer to treatments that brighten the complexion and treat problems like sun damage, acne, age spots, and dullness to bring out your natural skin tone.
This article does not cover skin bleaching treatments or products.
What causes the skin to darken?
The color of your skin depends on melanin, which is a pigment produced by your melanocyte cells. The more melanin your body produces, the darker your skin will be.
Other factors that can lead to darker skin include:
- Environmental pollutants
- Sun exposure
- Hormone imbalance
- Use of harsh cosmetics
- Dry skin
- Unhealthy diet
- Harmful habits like smoking and drinking
Skin lightening home remedies
I love trying out home remedies. More often than not, they are more effective or just as effective as your average drugstore product.
Some benefits of home remedies vs drugstore products:
- It’s a fun thing to do with the girls
- You are in control of the ingredients
- They are inexpensive
Coconut oil for skin whitening
Coconut oil is a natural whitening agent that can diminish scars and pigmentation issues. Coconuts contain medium-chain fatty acids like caprylic acid and lauric acid that boost your immune system, help prevent bacteria and fungi that can cause irritation and skin infections, and lock in moisture for increased smoothness.
Coconuts have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can sooth irritated skin and help damaged skin heal faster.
Here’s how to do it: Using your fingers, apply cold-pressed coconut oil to affected areas. Massage the oil gently into your skin. Leave the coconut oil on overnight and rinse in the morning. Repeat this treatment each day unti you achieve the desired effects.
Method 2: Coconut oil and lemon juice
This method is even more effective when it comes to lightening dark spots on the face and thighs. Mix 2 tablespoons coconut oil with a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Stir the mixture, and use a cotton ball to apply to affected areas.
Rinse after 15-20 minutes. Repeat once daily for best results.
Apple cider vinegar for skin whitening
Like kale and quinoa, apple cider vinegar is somewhat of a fad in the health world. I see the stuff advertised as being able to do everything from preventing cancer to helping you lose weight.
I don’t know if I believe apple cider can help prevent cancer, but here’s what I do know: it’s a great choice for at-home skin lightening and it tastes absolutely awful.
How it works: The vinegar contains glycol, which can help clear up your complexion. There are a few other foods, like pineapple, that contain glycol – but apple cider vinegar takes the prize when it comes to content.
Vinegar also has a high acidity, which means it can eliminate impurities while maintaining the skin’s acidity. Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to make the skin softer and to reduce the appearance of age spots.
Here’s how to do it: There are several ways to use apple cider vinegar for skin lightening.
- Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and use as a cleanser; or dab on face with cotton ball and use as a toner.
- Apply apple cider vinegar directly to age spots 2x per day to diminish spots and enhance pH balance.
- Mix apple cider vinegar with lemon juice (another natural whitening agent) and baking soda for an effective exfoliator.
- If you struggle with dry skin, mix apple cider vinegar with honey and wheat for a mask that moisturizes and helps prevent acne-causing bacteria.
Aloe vera for a brighter complexion (this one is my personal favorite)
Aloe vera is famous for its soothing effect on sunburns, but did you know it is also a natural remedy for hyperpigmentation?
Aloe vera is my go-to treatment when my skin needs a little love after a weekend in the sun or a night of too much drinking. I also love this treatment because it’s quick and easy.
You can leave the aloe on your face while you do other things around the house, and you don’t have to microwave, grind, stir, or blend any ingredients.
Here’s how to do it: Apply a thick layer of pure aloe vera gel to your face. Aloe vera can irritate your eyes, so make sure to leave the area around your eyes alone.
Wash it off with cool water after 30 minutes for a brighter, refreshed look! I recommend doing this once every 1-2 days.
How to get glowing skin overnight
The following two face brightening masks will help you achieve glowing skin virtually overnight!
Turmeric and yogurt brightening mask
In a small bowl, mix ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 2 teaspoons yogurt. Make sure you’re using plan, full-fat yogurt.
This mask is gentle enough for daily use, but we recommend doing it 3x per week. Make sure not to use too much turmeric, because it can stain the skin yellow.
Benefits of this mask include:
- Cleaner, brighter complexion
- Increased hydration
Papaya and yogurt brightening mask
Begin by mashing half a cup of papaya into a paste. Mix in 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon yogurt. Apply the mixture to your face and rinse after 10 minutes.
Both papayas and yogurt are natural whitening agents that brighten dull skin and diminish dark patches.
Whitening skin products
There’s nothing wrong with choosing drugstore products over home remedies. Here are a few products we recommend for a brighter, lighter, and clearer face:
- Origins “Never a Dull Moment” Skin Brightening Face Polisher with Fruit Extracts ($29)
- Obagi Nu-Derm Clear ($99)
- Rephase D-White ($60)
- Clean & Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Face Scrub ($8)
Keep in mind you may achieve your best results by combining drugstore products with home remedies.
Click here to learn more about home remedies for irritated skin.