5 Natural Skin Lighteners You Can Find in Your Home
By Nicarose Mela Gerona
Don’t you just love baby skin? It’s always smooth, silky, soft and blemish free. But as you age, looking in the mirror and seeing your own skin might horrify you with those unsightly, dark sun spots, hideous acne scars and uneven skin tone that make you look years older than you actually are. You may have exhausted time and money for expensive products that produced little to no effect at all for you, which can be frustrating on your part!
Why not take a closer look in your kitchen cupboard and look for DIY face masks that are natural, preservative-free, cheaper, yet effective and safe for your skin instead?
There are tons of natural skin lighteners. But, I will be sharing with you five of the most recommended and effective dark spot removers:
1. Lemons and Calamondin
In some countries, lemons might be of abundance, but in case they aren’t where you live, you can try a cheaper alternative, which is Calamansi or Calamondin. Both are part of the citrus family with a higher content of Vitamin C, which promotes a healthy skin glow with natural bleaching properties.
- To use as a mask: After washing your face and patting it dry, squeeze half of a lemon or a whole calamansi in a small cup and moisten a cotton ball. Gently dab the cotton ball on your face, avoiding your eye area (you can also use your fingertips to pat it on, just make sure you have washed your hands). Let it dry for about 15-20 minutes. If it stings at all, you can wash it immediately with cool running water. You can also boost the effect in a steamy bathroom or sauna.
- To use for underarm, elbow or knee whitening: Wash the desired area and apply the lemon or calamansi juice. Leave it dried there for about 30 minutes and rinse with cool running water.
Reminder: Do not expose your skin to the sun with lemon or calamansi juice on as it will leave a darkening effect and leaves you more susceptible to burns. Always use a sunscreen, an umbrella or a wide-brimmed hat when leaving the house.<
This fruit contains an enzyme called papain, which is a natural skin lightener and exfoliant. An unripe, green papaya has a higher content of papain as compared to a ripe one. This makes it a favorite staple in the whitening products we see in stores. But why use a product with ingredients you can’t pronounce when you can use the fruit itself instead?
- To use as a mask: You can either make a paste or use the juice of the papaya itself. For the paste, simply mash the papaya and spread on your clean face. Leave it for about 15-20 minutes, then rinse. For the juice, simply grate the papaya and squeeze out the juice. Using a cotton ball, dab the juice onto your face and leave it for 15-20 minutes, then rinse again. Take note that the green papaya might cause a bit of tingling sensation due to the higher content of papain.
3. Aloe Vera Gel
The Aloe Vera Gel has a moisturizing effect on the skin and helps alleviate sunburns. It also contains anti-microbial and anti-aging properties that reduce the appearances of blemishes.
- To use as a mask: Cut the outer layers of the aloe vera leaf and squeeze out the jelly-like substance. Slather it on your skin like you would with sunscreen, but avoid the eye area. You might also like to mix your gel with a squeeze of lemon or calamansi juice for a more potent effect. Leave on for 30 minutes and rinse with cool water. You may do this procedure twice a day for two weeks. It is also best to use an Aloe Vera plant that has no pesticides on it to avoid reactions.
An old beauty secret that is still effective and has never been out of the limelight. In case you have sensitive skin, fret not, because honey is tough on blemishes and acne but gentle on all skin types. This little beauty in a bottle contains anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, mild bleaching and moisturizing properties. The best type of honey to use is Manuka Honey, but in case it isn’t available, opt to use the most organic, raw honey you can find.
- To use as a mask: You may apply pure honey directly onto your face or add a teaspoon of sugar for exfoliation or a squeeze of lemon with raw milk for a more whitening effect. Leave on for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
5. Red Onion
It may sound like a smelly solution, but onion contains acidic properties that help lighten dark spots over time.
- To use as a mask: Gently rub a slice of onion over your face, always avoiding the eye area (although, you still might find yourself tearing during the application). You may also add 2 tablespoons of honey on the juiced onion and – with a Q-tip – apply it on the desired spot. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes and wash you face to remove the stench with a mild cleanser.
And that concludes our list of natural skin lighteners! Now, these may not bring immediate results, but with patience, you can say “bye-bye” to dark spots and “hello” to a more radiant look!
Nicarose Mela U. Gerona is originally from Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.She spent her growing years in Qassim and Ar-Ar, Saudi Arabia with her family, then returned to her home country permanently for her schooling. She studied and graduated as Class Salutatorian in Bethany Baptist Academy Makati during high school, earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree in the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig (University of Pasig City) as a Dean’s Lister and Best in Health Education Awardee in her fourth year.
In June 2013, she passed the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination. She is member of the Philippine Nurses Association, a licensed IVT specialist (Intravenous Therapy), and a BLS-ACLS provider following the American Heart Association standards. Currently, she works in a non-hospital environment, which gives her the time to write, read books and paint.
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