How-to's Skin Lightening

How to Get Lighter Skin: Everything you need to know before starting skin lightening routine

how to get lighter skin
Written by Camilla Evaline

If you’ve been watching the news or spending time on the internet lately, you know that skin bleaching is currently growing in popularity worldwide.

Many women from different parts of the world are using various bleaching products, and are even willing to spend a fortune just to have a flawless, lighter skin tone.

But skin bleaching doesn’t necessarily mean applying expensive creams or undergoing harmful skin procedures. Read on to find out more how you can get your desired complexion safely and effectively.

What is skin bleaching?

Skin bleaching, also known as skin lightening, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to make your skin lighter, brighter, and smoother as possible.

It usually involves the use of chemicals to reduce dark spots, blemishes, and other skin disorders that affect the color of your skin.

It works by lowering the concentration of melanin in your skin, resulting to a lighter skin and even tone. However, while these skin care treatments promise to whiten skin, not all of them work and some are not even safe to try.

Most whitening treatments available in the market are formulated for specific needs and should not be used by everybody. It is very important to determine what causes your skin discoloration before using any of these products.

What causes skin to be darker?

There are many factors that can cause your skin to be darker in color, and these may include the following:

  • Heredity
  • Overexposure to the sun
  • ​Hormonal changes
  • ​Skin disorders
  • ​Prolonged use of medications and chemical-based products
  • Burns and injuries
  • ​Liver-related diseases
  • ​Skin cancer
  • Birthmarks

Some of these conditions could cause your skin to be permanently dark, but some could just give you temporarily discolored skin. For instance, when you’re pregnant, your skin could change and appear to be darker. This is due to hormonal imbalances that happen during the course of pregnancy. But this darkened skin will fade after the baby is born.

The same is true when you expose yourself to the sun for a long period of time.

In most cases, you don’t need to do anything special for this kind of skin discoloration as your skin would return to normal overtime, especially when exposure to sunlight is reduced.

However, some of these conditions can cause lasting changes in the color of your skin. Even so, this doesn’t mean that it cannot be corrected.

There are various ways to help you get lighter and even skin tone. These could be as simple as using natural facial products and easy home-made solutions or a little bit complex using slightly stricter, more involved techniques.

Natural Skin Bleaching Products

For the treatment of darkened skin, dermatologists typically recommend the use of over-the-counter or prescription creams that contain harsh chemicals, such as hydroquinone and mercury.

Most bleaching products that contain these ingredients do work, but sometimes, the end result is also devastating. According to experts, long-term use of these products is dangerous – that it could lead to serious health conditions, like skin cancer and liver damage.

If you’re wary of those harmful chemicals, then you may want to consider natural skincare remedies to whiten your skin. These can be found easily over-the-counter, and some are also prescribed by healthcare professionals.

The best thing about natural skin lightening products is they are natural, containing ingredients that come mostly from plants, so they are cheaper and safer to use. Ingredients may include Vitamin C and E, kojic acid, and alpha-arbutin.

Home-Made Skin Bleaching Remedies

If you want to go for a more natural approach, then making your own natural skin lightening treatment is also an option.

Here are some simple recipes that you can try at home:

Yogurt Skin Lightening Mask

Yogurt contains many nutrients that are great for the skin. As a by-product of milk, it contains great amount of lactic acid, which is helpful in eliminating dead skin cells and reducing discoloration. 

Combined with honey and strawberries, you can have an effective bleaching product at home. Both honey and strawberry have anti-bacterial properties that can deeply cleanse your pores, reduce your acne scars, and make your skin look brighter and glowing.

Plus, strawberries are rich in antioxidant properties, which is useful in making your skin younger.

  • 2 strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  1. In a shallow bowl, mash strawberries using a fork.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 teaspoon of honey. Mix well.
  3. With clean fingers or a small brush, apply the mask on your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off with warm water.

    Tomato Skin Lightening Mask

    Tomato is a natural bleaching agent. It is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from UV-damage and fight age-causing free radicals. It also contains significant amount of vitamins, including vitamins A and C, which are great for maintaining skin’s smoothness and reducing blemishes.

    According to Prevention Magazine, consuming tomatoes regularly can provide your skin better protection against sunburn.

    The astringent properties and natural acids that can be found in this wonderful food also help tighten your pores and keep your skin moisturized.

    • 4 tablespoons wheat flour
    • 1 tablespoon rice flour
    • 1 big tomato, sliced in half
    • Milk (enough to make a paste)
    1. In a small bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of wheat flour and 1 tablespoon of rice flour.
    2. Take the tomato and squeeze out the juice into the bowl, scraping with a spoon.
    3. Add milk into the mixture; mix well.
    4. Apply the mixture on your skin for 5-15 minutes; rinse off with warm water.

    Lemon Skin Lightening Face Mask

    Like tomato, lemon also acts as natural bleach because of its acid content.

    The high amount of Vitamin C that you can also found in this fruit is useful for removing unwanted dark spots and improving skin tone.

    To make your own lemon skin lightening product, try the following recipe:

    • 1 teaspoon fuller’s earth powder
    • 2 teaspoons rose water
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1. In a small bowl, mix together the fuller’s earth, rose water, and lemon juice to form a paste.
    2. Gently apply the mixture on your skin.3.
    3. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

    If you don’t have the ingredients mentioned above, you can try the lemon and yogurt mask. Just mix a little bit of yogurt in a small quantity of lemon juice, and you’ll have a lemon skin whiten product that you can use daily.

    Milk for Skin Whitening

    Another product that you can use to whiten your skin naturally is milk.

    As you probably know, milk is packed with many essential nutrients that are great for skin, including vitamins, calcium, saturated fats, and lactic acid. All of these work great for helping the skin look younger, moisturized, clean, and bright.

    You can use the following milk recipes to achieve your desired skin:

    • Pure Raw Milk – This is probably the easiest way to have fairer and lighter skin. Just grab some raw milk and apply it on your skin using a cotton pad or a soft brush. Leave it for 5 minutes, then rinse off with cold water.
    • Milk with Sugar Mask  - Another easy procedure that you can try to have lighter skin is the milk-sugar mask. 
      Here, all you need to do is mix a teaspoon of sugar and aloe vera gel in 3 tablespoons of raw milk. Make sure the sugar is dissolved before you apply it on your skin. Sugar is a gentle exfoliant and aloe vera is a great moisturizer.

    Orange Skin Lightening

    Orange fruit is also now becoming popular as an effective home-made solution for whitening skin. It is loaded with high amount of vitamin C and calcium, which are both great for combating age-causing free radicals, reducing acne, and renewing skin cells.

    In fact, its peel extract is now used as a main ingredient in many beauty products because of its effectiveness in improving overall skin health.

    There are two common methods where you can use orange for lightening skin:

    1. Combine a pinch of turmeric powder with 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Mix well together until you form a paste. Gently apply the mixture on areas you wish to lighten before going to bed, such as on your face, neck, and legs. Leave it overnight; rinse it off the next morning. Do this daily.

    2. Alternatively, you can use orange peels to whiten your skin. Dry out an orange peel and grind it into powder. Mix 1 tablespoon of the powder in 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt to make a paste. Apply the paste on your skin and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with water. Do this at least once or twice a week.

    Aloe Vera for skin lightening

    Aloe vera is well-known for its properties that directly help in promoting hair growth. But did you know that this plant also contains wonderful nutrients that are good for the skin?

    Aloe vera is rich in antioxidant properties, which are great for keeping skin smoother, younger, and well protected against sun damage. It also acts as a natural moisturizer that helps skin look firm and well-hydrated.

    Aloe vera plant also contains cooling properties that help protect your skin from sunburn and renew damage cells.

    For a home-made aloe vera skin whitening solution, you can use the following procedure:

    1. Cut a fresh leaf of aloe vera plant. It’s best if you choose the one that is most succulent.

    2. Remove the skin of the leaf.

    3. Squeeze out the juice or gel into a container.

    4. Apply the gel on areas of your skin you wish to whiten.

    5. Leave it on for 30 minutes; wash off with cold water.

    Oatmeal for Skin Lightening

    Oatmeal is a popular breakfast item, but this food is also a great whitening agent.

    Yes, you’ve read that right. Oatmeal contains good amounts of vitamins and amino acids, which are all great for helping skin moisturized, smooth, and healthy. And because of its texture, oatmeal is considered a great exfoliant. Rubbing it on the skin gently removes dead skills cells and at the same time encourages the growth of new cells, leaving your skin smoother and lighter.

    There are many ways that you can use oatmeal for whitening skin.

    For an easy method, simply mix it with sugar and some lemon juice to make a scrub solution. Then, gently rub the solution on your skin to remove dead skin cells for a few minutes, then rinse off with water. You can do this at least twice a week.

    Alternatively, you can mix oatmeal in tomato juice. The process is just almost the same. Just mix the two together until you form a paste. Then, apply the mixture on your skin and rinse off after a few minutes.

    Potato for Skin Lightening

    Apart from being an amazing food, potatoes also play a major role when it comes to skincare. They contain high amount of Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium, which are all great for reducing wrinkles, cleansing the pores, healing damage skin, and improving complexion.

    Just like aloe vera and tomatoes, potatoes also have cooling properties that reduce facial swelling and eliminate burning sensation.

    If you love potatoes, you can try the following procedures below:

    1. Peel the potato and cut in into small pieces.​

    2. Apply the juice by gently rubbing the pieces on areas you wish to lighten.

    3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes; then rinse off with water.

    For best results, do this twice weekly.

    Potato-Lemon Bleach

    • 1 potato
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon

    1. Mash the potato using a blender or a food processor.

    2. Take 1 tablespoon of the mashed potato and combine it with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

    3. Mix well together until you form a paste.

    4. Gently apply the paste on your face.

    5. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes; then rinse off with water.

    Gram Flour Skin Bleach

    Gram flour, or chickpea flour, is a common food ingredient. It is mainly used for making breads, soups, and cakes, but did you know that it is used as a whitening product, too?

    In some parts of the world, particularly in India and South Asia, gram flour is used as a popular exfoliant. It contains various nutrients that help skin become smooth, radiant, and bright.

    If you’re looking for an easy gram flour remedy to lighten your skin, try this recipe below:

    • Gram flour
    • Water/Rose water

    1. In a small bowl, put together some gram flour and small amount of water or rose water.

    2. Mix well until you form a thick paste.

    3. Apply the paste on your skin.

    4. Leave it on for a few minutes or until it dries. Wash off with water.

    These are only some home-made remedies that you can try at home. But keep in mind that the effectiveness of these solutions may vary from person to person.

    If you experience irritation, stop using them. It’s also great to talk with your dermatologists for further advice.

    Skin Lightening Products

    If you don’t like the idea of making your own whitening solution, then buying skin lightening products is also an option.

    With more and more people now looking for ways to whiten their skin, thousands of products have also been available in the market to help achieve their desired results.

    Some of these skin lightening products may include:

    Skin lightening creams

    These are topical medications that are specifically formulated to reduce freckles and other unwanted dark spots. They work by blocking the production of melanin in the body and removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.

    Most skin lightening creams do work, but most have side effects, too.

    Common skin brightening cream side effects are:

      • Redness and skin irritation
      • Skin infections
      • Thinning of skin that can lead to serious health condition, like skin cancer
      • Uneven tone

    3 important things to consider before using skin bleaching creams

    1. Ingredients

    • Before you buy one, you should familiarize yourself first about the common ingredients used in skin whitening products. You should know whether these ingredients are good or bad for your skin.
    • As much as possible, avoid skin lighteners that contain steroids, hydroquinone, or mercury as they have harmful effects not only to your skin but to your overall health. If you need to buy a product containing these ingredients, be sure the concentration is only 2% or lower.
    • For a safer approach, stick with skin whitening products that contain only natural ingredients, such as Arbutin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, or Kojic acid.
    • Also, always read the label and follow the instructions strictly.

    2. Know your skin type

    When choosing a skin whitening cream, it’s also important to put your skin type into consideration. As mentioned earlier, most skincare products are formulated for specific needs. The best skin whitening products that are specifically made for people with dry skin will not work for people with oily skin.

    3. Ask for Doctor’s advice

    For your safety, it’s always best to consult an expert before you use any skin whitening treatments. The thing is most of these products may contain ingredients, while considered safe, may not be suitable for you. For instance, people who have a citrus allergy may have allergic reaction to skin products that contain lemon extracts. Your dermatologist can perform medical examination to provide safe treatments that are suitable for your specific condition.

    Chemical peels

    This is a medical technique used to improve the overall appearance of the skin. It works by applying a chemical solution, such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid, on the skin to peel off the top layer.

    This procedure is commonly done in a doctor’s clinic by a qualified dermatologist or doctor.

    Common side effects are swelling, scarring, and irritation.

    Skin whitening pills

    Apart from creams, pills are also now ruling the market when it comes to skin whitening. These products are taken orally, and results are said to be faster and effective because unlike topical solutions, these work from within the body.

    Glutathione is a common ingredient found in these products. It’s an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and even eliminate body toxins.

    Common ingredients found in skin whitening pills are:

    • Vitamin C
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • Zinc Aspartate

    However, while skin whitening pills are proven to be effective, using them can also have side effects, such as:

    • Allergic Reactions
    • Liver Damage
    • ​Disruption of normal skin functions
    • ​Skin Cancer

    When using these products, make sure to read the labels carefully and follow instructions to get effective and safe outcome.

    Skin whitening soaps

    Whitening soaps (especially kojic acid soaps) are also popular for whitening skin.

    But like other whitening products, whitening soaps also contain various ingredients that may or may not be suitable for your skin type. So before you use one, make sure that you do your research and read the label.

    Some of the best skin whitening soaps that are on the market are those that contain kojic acid, glutathione, Vitamin E, and other natural ingredients.

    Laser Treatment

    If you’re ready for an advanced approach, then a laser treatment is also a good choice. It’s a medical procedure that involves the use of high-energy light to help remove dark spots and allow healthy skin to grow.

    This procedure is commonly done in a clinic by a qualified specialist and takes minutes to be completed, depending on the size of the skin that needs to be treated.

    Like other skin whitening treatments, there are also some good and bad about laser treatment.

    This procedure is costly, ranging between $500 and $3,500.

    It also has common side effects, such as:

    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • ​Skin Infections
    • ​Scarring
    • ​Itching
    • ​Bruising
    • Changes in skin texture

    But if you can afford them and go with a trusted dermatologist, this treatment can be your best solution for your dark skin problem.

    Daily Skin Whitening Tips

    Of course, all those treatments mentioned above wouldn’t make sense if you don’t take care of your skin properly.

    For effective, long-term results, here are a few suggestions:

    Wash your face regularly. We cannot stress how important it is to wash your skin, specially your face daily. This is a very important step to make your skin lighter and healthy. This can be done in three easy steps. First is to wash your face using a mild cleanser to remove unwanted dirt. Then, apply skin toner to calm your skin and close the pores. Lastly, apply moisturizer to keep your skin fresh and hydrated. Simply washing your face can greatly help in reducing breakouts, eliminating dark spots, and keeping your skin beautiful and bright.

    Quick tip: Remove your makeup before you wash your face as some cleansers can’t take off foundation completely.

    Avoid excessive sun exposure. As you know, overexposure to sunlight can cause skin damage and discoloration. To maintain a healthy skin, it’s important to limit your sun exposure. If you need to go outside, apply high SPF sunscreen, wear sunglasses and hats, and cover up as much as possible.

    Live a healthy lifestyle. This is probably the most important step in taking care of your skin. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep – all of these can promote healthy skin. Make sure to always include fruits and vegetables in your diet. And as much as possible, avoid foods that contain high amount of sugar, salt, and preservatives as these can cause your skin to look oily and unhealthy. It’s also important to avoid drinking and smoking as they do nothing but ruin your complexion and make your body lifeless.

    If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you’ll have the best chance to get not just a lighter, skin tone but a healthy body as well!​

    Do you have a proven and tested skin lightening method?

    Share your experience in the comment section and let others know you story..

    About the author

    Camilla Evaline

    Why settle for average when you can have the best?

    3 Comments

    • you can try oats, yogurt and tomato juice. 1 tablespoon of all of them. try to avoid lemon juice as it may darken skin when exposed to sunlight. just my suggestion.

    • When I’m doing a face mask I add mollases and egg white to my oats and lemon juice. Mashed bannanas is also supposed to help. Natural ingredients really are the best thing for our pockets and our skin.

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