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A flawless and even skin tone has always been a dream of many but in this world of social media, appearance matters a lot more than it ever did before.

The race to look perfect is equally hasty for men as it is for women. As a result, thousands of rupees are being spent each year on cosmetics and skin treatments to maintain flawlessly clear skin. Though most skin lightening procedures are said to be safe when done by an experienced practitioner, these are also associated with some long term side effects.

So, it is better to stick to natural ingredients and remedies. They might not work overnight like a clinical treatment but when used regularly, they would certainly help you get rid of skin flaws so you shine with an inherent glow.

  1. Skincare Routine to lighten skin tone
  2. Home remedies for fair skin
  3. Tips to lighten skin tone

Everyone has a natural skin tone, which degrades with time due to various factors like hyperpigmentation, tanning and pollution. Before you jump over to the procedures to improve or lighten skin tone, it is important to deal with skin issues first. And that can only be done by following a proper skin care regime.

(Read more: Home remedies for pigmentation)

Apart from the basic CTM (cleansing-toning-moisturizing), you also need to do regular exfoliation to ensure the removal of dead skin cells and rejuvenation of the underlying skin, so it keeps being renewed. Let us have a virtual look at a basic everyday routine you can follow for skin lightening.

  1. Skin cleansing to get fair skin
  2. Exfoliate to get fair skin
  3. Toning to get fair skin
  4. Moisturize to get fair skin

Skin cleansing to get fair skin

The first and most important step towards effective skin care is proper and regular cleansing. Cleansing helps in eliminating all the accumulated dirt and oil from face and gives your skin cells a better environment to proliferate. Accumulation of dirt and oil blocks skin pores and can lead to various skin issues including acne and pimples, which eventually lead to acne scars and uneven skin tone. So, it is best to cleanse your skin at least twice a day, once in the morning and once after returning from work or finishing your everyday chores. Make sure that you choose a mild soap or face wash; since your facial skin is soft, it needs gentle care.

Now you may already know how to cleanse your face, no rocket science there, but it never hurts to take a refresher. So here is the right way to wash your face:

  • Splash your face with water
  • Take a pinch of face wash on your fingers
  • Clean up your facial skin by circulating your fingers along the lines of your face
  • Gently rub all over and drag off all the dirt and oil
  • Do this for 3-5 minutes at least
  • Now, rinse your face with water and dab it dry with a soft towel

Note:

  • You can use a facial cleanser to clean off any makeup, which may not be easily cleaned with soap or face wash
  • Do not rub your skin too much while cleansing. Gentle massaging with cleansing soap or face wash will be sufficient

Exfoliate to get fair skin

Regular cleansing only takes care of dirt and pollution but you still have to get rid of dead skin cells that may be blocking skin pores and that’s where exfoliation comes in. Don’t worry, you do not have to work that hard. Just grab any good exfoliator from the market or you can also use an exfoliating brush. Now using the exfoliator, gently scrub your skin the same way as you cleansed it. Do not scrub too hard lest you’ll get open pores and skin rashes. Not something to look forward to now is it? Keep a gentle hand and if you are too scared, there is always the option of a beauty salon.

Also, you do not have to exfoliate every day. Once or twice a week will be more than enough. Exfoliating creams are pretty cheap and are easily available but you can also go organic and make your scrub at home. You can also make a scrub at home. Just go to your kitchen for ingredients and start.

What you will need:

  • Coffee powder
  • Glycerine
  • Clean bowl

Procedure:

  • Take some fine coffee powder in a clean bowl
  • Add a few drops of glycerine to it
  • Mix them well to make a paste
  • Now use this paste as an exfoliator and cleanse your face

Tips: You can use coconut oil in place of glycerine in case you have a dry skin type.

Toning to get fair skin

Toning is another important step to rejuvenate the skin. It has a soothing effect on skin and helps provide external nourishment to skin cells, leading to improved texture and tone of the skin. If you are looking for skin lightening, a vitamin C based toner can be a really good option. This vitamin has skin lightening properties and it also aids in improving skin elasticity.

Look for the ingredient lists the next time you go shopping for a toner or you always have the option of making your own toner at home. Unlike commercial products, natural remedies do not play with your skin cells leading to least side effects. Here is an easy recipe for an all natural homemade toner.

What you will need:

  • A fresh lemon
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cotton ball
  • Aloe vera gel

Procedure:

  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice in a spray bottle
  • Add some water to dilute it
  • Now add a tablespoon of aloe vera gel to it
  • Shake it well to mix all the ingredients properly
  • One the solution is prepared, apply it evenly on your face with the help of a cotton ball
  • You do not need to wash your face after applying toner
  • This solution can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator

Tips:  Remember to wash your face properly before applying toner.

Moisturize to get fair skin

Along with nutrition, your skin also needs moisture and hydration. Proper and adequate moisturisation is hence the most important part of a skin routine, especially if you have a dry skin type. Get yourself a mild moisturiser or use any of the following natural moisturisers:

It is best to use coconut oil in case your skin is too dry. It has a deep penetration power and hydrates your skin from the inside.

For, oily skin type, aloe vera gel or honey could be a good choice as other options mentioned here can make your skin more greasy.

Give yourself a good massage using these moisturizers. This will improve blood flow in the skin and improve skin health.

(Read more: Home remedies and tips for dry skin)

Your skin tone is determined by your genes. While you can lighten it to a certain extent, it is virtually impossible to get milky white skin if you are not born with it. But that does not mean you cannot clear skin flaws. The right remedies can not only help you reduce sun tans and hyperpigmentation but also they have a bleaching effect on your skin, making it look fairer.

  1. Lemon to get fair skin
  2. Potato to get fair skin
  3. Aloe Vera to get fair skin
  4. Papaya to get fair skin
  5. Turmeric to get fair skin

Lemon to get fair skin

Lemon is one of the primary bleaching agents in various commercial creams and lotions. And why not? It contains ample amounts of vitamin C, the most well-known skin lightening agent. Used and inverted lemon could also be used as an exfoliator. It helps in reducing tanning and hyperpigmentation. The plus point with lemon is that it is easily available and pocket-friendly. Moreover, applying lemon does not require much of time and technique. Here is how you can use lemon juice to lighten and brighten your skin:

What you will need:

  • A fresh lemon
  • Water
  • Cotton ball
  • Clean bowl

Procedure:

  • Squeeze some lemon juice in a clean bowl. Make sure to pick out the seeds before
  • Add some water to dilute it
  • Now, dip a cotton ball in this solution
  • With the help of this cotton ball, apply this solution all over your skin
  • Leave it for at least 15 minutes
  • Wash it off with cold water.

Note:  Make sure to dilute lemon juice. Application of concentrated lemon juice can lead to skin irritation and redness.

Potato to get fair skin

Potato is a magical ingredient for your skin. It not just gives you a fairer skin but also reduces blemishes and tanning. Raw potato contains zinc and lactic acid, which have been found to possess skin whitening properties when used regularly for a certain period of time. So from now, along with your curry, start adding potatoes to your skincare routine as well. Follow the steps to use raw potato on the skin:

What you will need:

  • One raw potato
  • Peeler
  • Knife
  • Blender
  • Clean bowl
  • Honey

Procedure:

  • Take a raw potato
  • Peel it off using a peeler
  • Now you need to wash it properly to get rid of any soil or dirt particles
  • Take a knife and cut the potato into small pieces
  • Using a blender, make a potato paste
  • Keep this paste in a clean bowl and add a few drops of honey to it
  • Mix both the ingredients well
  • Apply this paste on your face and let it stay until it dries
  • Wash your face with plain water
  • Do this at least once a week for 2-3 months to get noticeable results

Note:

  • Use fresh potato paste only
  • Cleanse your face properly before applying this paste

Aloe Vera to get fair skin

Nothing beats aloe vera gel when it comes to resolving skin problems. It soothes and hydrates your skin and helps in reducing acne and scars. Being loaded with nourishing substances, it ensures that your skin cells get all the essential nutrients for their proper growth. And we all know that healthy skin cells means a cleaner and refreshed skin.

But the crusade doesn’t stop here. Aloe vera hosts an array of antioxidants that actively fight against skin pigmentation and ageing signs. They also help revert photodamage and make your skin look alive and glowing.

Aloe vera gel has also been found to have an active ingredient “aloin”, which has a significant action on melanin accumulation. Melanin is a compound in the skin cells, which is majorly responsible for dark skin tone. Aloe, being the best friend of skin, will also help in getting you a fairer complexion.

Aloe vera gel is easily available in the market but if you have an aloe plant it could be a never-ending and organic source for your own homemade aloe gel. 

Here is how you can extract aloe vera gel at home.

What you will need:

  • Aloe vera leaves
  • Blender
  • Clean water
  • Container
  • Knife or peeler

Procedure:

  • Take an aloe vera leaf
  • Make a tiny cut in the leaf and put it inverted, cut end downwards, in a bowl to extract the yellow latex
  • Once it stops bleeding, wash the leaf properly
  • Now, remove its peel using a knife or peeler to get the transparent white gel
  • Gently, extract this gel into a clean bowl
  • Blend the gel in a blender
  • Take a clean airtight container and store the gel in it after blending properly.
  • Aloe gel can last for about a week in the refrigerator without the addition of any preservatives

Apply this extracted aloe vera gel on your skin regularly. You can also use aloe vera gel as a moisturiser. If you have dry skin, add a few drops of almond oil to it. This will nourish your skin and give you a fairer glow.

Note:

  • You can prolong the life of your homemade aloe gel by adding a few drops of vitamin E into it. Just break a capsule and you are good to go
  • Do not go out in the sun right after applying aloe gel to your face, it can lead to sun damage and tanning

(Read more: How to treat sunburn)

Papaya to get fair skin

This pulpy yellow fruit has a hidden superpower to replenish your skin with required nutrients and give you a fairer skin. The skin lightening activity of papaya is dependent on two factors. The first is its bleaching property and the second is by removal of dead skin cells and its replacement with healthy new cells. So, applying papaya topically can be a good idea. Here is how you can make and use a papaya face pack:

What you will require:

  • A fresh papaya
  • Knife
  • Peeler
  • Blender
  • Clean bowl
  • Honey
  • Yoghurt

Procedure:

  • Take a fresh papaya
  • Cut a small piece of it using a knife. You can use the rest of the papaya for consumption
  • Peel off the outer layer using a peeler
  • Remove the seeds properly
  • Now cut the papaya into small pieces and blend it to make a fine paste
  • Add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt and a few drops of honey to it
  • Mix them well
  • Once the paste is prepared, Apply it on your skin. Keep it for at least 20 minutes before washing with cold water
  • Honey and yoghurt have an additional benefit in the form of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They also soothe your skin, making it feel soft and supple

Tips: Make sure to cleanse your face properly before applying this paste.

Turmeric to get fair skin

Turmeric is one of the age-old remedies for improving skin tone and brightness and it is one of the primary ingredients in many herbal creams and lotions. Research studies suggest that turmeric is effective in inhibiting melanogenesis (production of melanin) by activation of certain signalling pathways. So, it can be an excellent alternative if you are looking for fairer skin.

Moreover, turmeric also possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It not only helps reduce acne and skin inflammatory conditions but is also effective in delaying skin ageing signs including blemishes and dark spots. Beat that aloe vera!

(Read more: Home remedies for dark or black spots)

Here is an easy recipe for a turmeric face pack to get your desired skin tone.

What you will require:

  • Turmeric powder
  • Gram powder
  • Honey
  • Water
  • Clean bowl

Procedure:

  • Take a clean bowl and add a tablespoon of gram powder to it
  • Add a pinch of turmeric and mix well
  • Now, Add half tablespoon of honey to it
  • Make a paste by adding some water
  • Apply this paste on your face after cleansing properly. Keep it on until it dries and then wash off with plain cold water.
  • Gram powder in this paste is really helpful especially if you have oily skin. Honey adds up to the benefits of this paste by proving more nourishment and moisture.

Tips: Turmeric has a tendency to stain everything, that includes your skin. So try not to be overzealous while adding turmeric if you don’t want a yellow skin tone.

A skin care routine and face packs can only go so far to even and lighten your skin tone. You need to be a bit more committed to achieve your desired results. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind if you don’t want your hard work to go in vain:

  • Quit smoking. Smoking is not just unhealthy for your lungs but also other body parts including the skin. It can lead to hyperpigmentation and mar your perfect skin tone.
  • Do not go out without applying sunscreen. Application of sunscreen helps protect it from tanning and sun damage. So use generous amounts of sunscreen (with at least an SPF of 30) every few hours while you are outside.
  • Do not use chemical bleach as they can cause damage to skin cells.
  • Wash your face at least twice daily without a miss.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. (Read more: How many glasses of water to drink in a day)
और पढ़ें ...

References

  1. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Daily skin care in 3 simple steps. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  2. Pumori Saokar Telang. Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 143–146. PMID: 23741676
  3. Nico Smit, Jana Vicanova, Stan Pavel. The Hunt for Natural Skin Whitening Agents. Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Dec; 10(12): 5326–5349. PMID: 20054473
  4. Oregon State University. [Internet] Corvallis, Oregon; Vitamin C and Skin Health
  5. Mrinal Gupta, Vikram K. Mahajan, Karaninder S. Mehta, Pushpinder S. Chauhan. Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review. Dermatol Res Pract. 2014; 2014: 709152. PMID: 25120566
  6. Smith WP. The effects of topical l(+) lactic Acid and ascorbic Acid on skin whitening.. Int J Cosmet Sci. 1999 Feb;21(1):33-40. PMID: 18505528
  7. Amar Surjushe, Resham Vasani, D G Saple. ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW. Indian J Dermatol. 2008; 53(4): 163–166. PMID: 19882025
  8. Rashmi Sarkar, Pooja Arora, K Vijay Garg. Cosmeceuticals for Hyperpigmentation: What is Available?. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2013 Jan-Mar; 6(1): 4–11. PMID: 23723597
  9. Aravind. G, Debjit Bhowmik, Duraivel. S, Harish. G. Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Carica papaya. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, Year : 2013, Volume : 1, Issue : 1
  10. Tu CX, Lin M, Lu SS, Qi XY, Zhang RX, Zhang YY. Curcumin inhibits melanogenesis in human melanocytes.. Phytother Res. 2012 Feb;26(2):174-9. PMID: 21584871