We love naturally dark skin. However, at times, prolonged exposure to bright sunlight or polluted air, ageing or hormonal fluctuations may cause patchy skin darkening making your skin look unhealthy. While cosmetic treatment is a probable option, it is generally not recommended except in a few extreme cases; by the regular use of a few simple home remedies, you can deal with darkened skin in the comfort of your home.
One of the simplest and safest bleaching agents you will find, lemon juice can work wonders for darkened skin. The ascorbic acid or vitamin C present in lime juice acts as an antioxidant and this action helps to lighten the colour of the skin. All you need to do is squeeze the juice from half a lemon and apply this with a cotton ball onto the area where the skin has darkened. Or you could even directly rub a cut lemon over the affected area to allow the juice to stick to the skin.
Leave on for at least an hour and then wash with water. But make sure you avoid exposure to sunlight when you have applied the lemon juice onto your skin or your skin will only get darker than before.
Besides using lemon juice alone, you could also try combining it with turmeric powder or tomato juice. Mix about 3 teaspoons of lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder; apply this paste and leave it on for half an hour; then wash with water. Or make a puree from 2 medium-sized tomatoes and mix this with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and apply this to darkened skin for about 20 minutes. Lemon slices too have various benefits. Read about beauty benefits of lemon for your skin.
Milk contains a compound called lactic acid and this has been found to help with lightening the colour of skin. Use a cotton ball to apply a little raw milk to the darkened skin; allow to dry and leave it on overnight; wash the next morning with a little warm water. Also read malai or milk cream’s amazing, ancient beauty secret.
Since it is made of milk, yogurt also contains lactic acid and this gives it bleaching properties. You can also add in a little lemon juice and some oatmeal into the yogurt to make a thick paste and apply to the darkened skin. According to Ayurveda, the regular application of buttermilk (the thin liquid left behind after removing the cream from milk in the form of butter) on darkened skin can help keep the skin cool and refresh it. Curd also has other benefits. Read how to make home-made curd packs.
Like lemon juice, orange juice also has bleaching properties and can be used to lighten skin tone. Some people also find good results when they use a paste prepared by combining about two tablespoons of orange juice with a pinch of powdered turmeric. This paste can be applied onto the skin before going to bed and washed off the next morning. Potato too can help get rid of tan and dark spots.
When honey is applied to the face either alone or in combination with ingredients such as lemon juice and olive oil, it helps to remove the layer of dead cells on the outermost layer of skin. As a result, your skin appears brighter and fresh than before. Besides, honey also contains enzymes that help to make the skin soft and glowing. If you have sensitive skin and want to try honey on your face, make sure you try it out elsewhere – say on the arm – and check how your body reacts to it before applying it to your face.
Even better than using honey alone is to combine it with an equal quantity of lemon juice and milk powder and a little paste obtained from soaked almonds. Honey is also good for your hair.
Aloe vera gel
The gel from the aloe plant can help to reduce the skin tone. Cut the outer layers of the aloe leaf, squeeze out the thick jelly-like substance and apply this to the area of darkened skin. Leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash off with water. Aloe vera gel works on all skin types.
Although these home remedies are effective, they take longer than cosmetic bleaching products to act. So, it may seem as if you have been trying the remedy for days together but there are no noticeable results. Most of these remedies will take regular use for a month or two to show effects and therefore, it is vital to have patience when you use home remedies to get rid of skin darkening.