Throughout history, women (and men, too!) have sought to lighten their skin to create a fair, even complexion. As far back as the 1500s in Elizabethan times, makeup has been used to create this effect, and today fair skin is considered a visible sign of skin which is free from sun damage and environmental pollution. Drug stores and big box retailers sell a plethora of expensive bleaching products for the face and other parts of the body, but did you know that lightening your skin can be as simple as using products you can find at home or in the grocery store?
Avoiding exposure to the sun, a proper skin care routine and the daily application of a moisturizer containing sunscreen is the best way to achieve and maintain a fair, healthy complexion. But the tips and recipes below can show you how to lighten skin naturally at home using every day grocery items.
Lemon juice contains high amounts of citric acid, a natural bleaching agent. Using lemon juice on your skin daily will help to even your tone and lighten skin naturally.
- Use the juice of a whole lemon, or pour from a bottle. (Be sure it’s 100% real lemon juice)
- Dilute the juice with equal parts water.
- Using a cotton ball or cosmetics sponge, apply lemon juice evenly to your face.
- Leave on your skin for 15 minutes, avoiding sun exposure during this time.
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.
Yogurt is not only a tasty snack, but it also contains lactic acid, a natural skin lightener. Use yogurt daily for one to two weeks to lighten your skin naturally.
- Measure 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt into a small bowl.
- Add 4 to 5 drops of lemon juice to the yogurt, and stir.
- Apply this mask to your face, allowing it to dry; about 10 minutes
- Using a soft cloth and warm water, remove mask from your face.
Honey is famous for its antibacterial properties, and can be applied directly to lighten skin naturally or combined with other ingredients to make a mask. A honey oatmeal mask will nourish your skin, moisturizing it and removing dead cells, allowing for regeneration of healthy skin. New skin will contribute to a lighter, brighter complexion.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of real honey into a small bowl. Be sure to use real honey, not a honey blend.
- Add enough oatmeal to make a thin paste; you may add water if necessary to assist in spreading the mask.
- Apply the mixture to your face and allow to dry for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water
Aloe vera is one of the most versatile plants for skin care. It has a cooling effect and is extremely helpful in getting rid of razor burn and sunburn, and can be used as remedy to lighten your skin by reducing hyper pigmentation. Aloe can actually be left on your skin all day, but may cause a sticky sensation on your face, so we recommend rinsing it after 30 minutes. This is up to you; the goal is lighter skin and your comfort.
- Break off one leaf of the aloe vera plant. You may use over the counter aloe, but this may contain drying alcohol products so if you already have dry skin stick with the plant option.
- Spread a thin layer of aloe vera gel over your face, as liberally as desired.
- Leave the gel on your face, or rinse after approximately 30 minutes, remove with a soft cloth and warm water.
As with any ingredient, but particularly with turmeric, test a small amount of the powder on your skin to check for redness or an itching sensation before use. Turmeric is an antiseptic ingredient which is known to assist in building up melanin in your skin, causing a more even skin tone. Apply a turmeric mask daily to your face, and notice a visibly more even skin tone in just a few weeks.
- Measure 2 tablespoon of turmeric powder into a small bowl.
- Add enough milk or cream to make the consistency of a thin paste. This amount may vary depending upon how finely ground the turmeric powder is.
- Apply the mask to your face, and allow to dry, about 15 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water and a soft cloth.
Widely used for reducing puffiness and redness of the eyes and for cooling the skin, cucumber can also be used to lighten your skin’s tone naturally. It cools the skin and promotes the production of collagen, creating the appearance of healthy skin. You may choose to simply place thin slices of cucumber over the face, or to make a mask, as described below.
- Peel one whole cucumber.
- Remove any large or noticeable seeds, and place the cucumber in a blender with 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Blend to combine the ingredients, then apply the mask to your face.
- Leave mask on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes
- Rinse with a soft cloth and warm water.
While any of the above remedies will work well for creating the appearance of lighter, healthier skin, remember that you should always test for allergies and consult with your doctor or dermatologist before beginning any skin care routine. Once you’ve found a safe routine and you’re cleared to begin, have patience! There is no remedy which will lighten skin naturally overnight. Finally, remember to eat a healthy diet and avoid overexposure to the sun. In a very short time, you’ll have a lighter, more even complexion.