It is endless summer over on this side of the globe and the traces of fun we have had under sun-kissed Singapore will almost certainly be evident. While memories are meant to last, the same cannot be said for the dark spots, freckles and tan lines that have accumulated during those memorable times under the sun.
If you are one who is apprehensive about darker or uneven skin tone, we bring you glad tidings! Your skin can be bright once again with the help of natural whitening ingredients that you can find in your very own kitchen. While the results are not instantaneous, these alternatives are free from any synthetic chemicals and toxins.
Fair warning: You will be tempted to load up on this citrus fruit after reading this.
Widely regarded as a natural skin lightener for decades, lemon juice contains citric acid, which exfoliates the skin by removing dead skin cells to reveal healthier, lighter-looking skin. Not only does it clear and brighten your skin, it helps reduce excess oil and keeps oiliness at bay.
Create a skin-lightening mask by mixing one tablespoon each of lemon juice, cucumber juice, tomato juice and yoghurt. Blend everything together and apply to clean skin. Let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Apply a moisturiser thereafter, as lemon juice may dry out your skin.
This should be a twice- or thrice-a-week routine, as applying it more often can lead to skin irritation. Remember, more is not always better!
Many skin-lightening products these days claim to contain papaya enzymes called papain, which helps to promote skin renewal. Similar to lactic acid, papain gently exfoliates the skin. However, it does not contain harsh bleaching agents that will whiten skin significantly. That said, papaya is still great for improving hyperpigmentation.
Papaya can also be a cure for those with dry skin. The enzymes present in papaya remove all traces of dry and flaky skin and hydrate it.
For this method, mash a quarter cup of papaya pulp to make a lump-free purée. Thereafter, add a tablespoon of honey and half a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and blend well. Apply this paste for 15–20 minutes and gently wipe off the mask with lukewarm water. Follow these steps for a week for fairer, more radiant skin.
The ancient Egyptians dubbed this as “the plant of immortality”, and for good reason. Not only is aloe vera an excellent moisturiser with anti-ageing properties, it is also a worthy skin lightener. The aloe vera plant contains an organic polymer called lignin, which aids in the reduction of facial pigmentation by boosting the effectiveness of sunscreen when used in skincare.
There are no elaborate or swanky methods for this one. Simply apply the aloe vera gel — freshly squeezed from the plant leaf or taken off the shelves of beauty stores — on the targeted areas you wish to lighten. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Perform this once a day for at least two weeks to see results.
Yes, the modest yoghurt is not only delicious to eat, but works miracles on the skin as well!
Yoghurt contains high amounts of lactic acid — an excellent exfoliant and skin moisturiser. Unlike most other exfoliants that are harsh like salicylic acid, lactic acid gently cleans the skin and is suitable for even the most sensitive skin types. Furthermore, yogurt contains probiotics, making it ideal for healing blemishes.
Mix one part yoghurt with one part honey equally. Honey naturally hydrates the skin, is rich in antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties. Apply the mixture to your clean face and massage in circular motions. Rinse with warm water after 15 minutes. This nourishing mask will help moisturise the skin and, at the same time, remove impurities to reveal brighter skin.
Applying a yoghurt face mask daily can also help you get rid of the bacteria that cause acne and pimples. The zinc present in yoghurt reduces skin inflammation and aids in reducing the amount of oil produced by the sebaceous glands, while the probiotics destroy bacteria. The different constituents of yoghurt work together to ensure you attain fresher, brighter and blemish-free skin.
Lightening and brightening your complexion can be achieved with the mere usage of natural ingredients. These whitening alternatives are not only safe to use and easy to get hold of, but are also efficient and effective ways to regain radiant and glowing skin without looking unnaturally pale.
Having said that, bear in mind that there is no magic potion that will lighten your skin more than a shade or two. It is vital to have realistic expectations and above all, remember that dark skin is beautiful too.