Dark spots and discolored patches form on the skin as a result of increased production of skin pigment, often caused by too much unprotected sun exposure, aging, skin disease or pregnancy. While this condition, known as hyperpigmentation, is harmless, it can be an unsightly nuisance, particularly if the discoloration appears on the face. Some simple homemade remedies can reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation by lightening and moisturizing the darkened skin.
Homemade Moisturizers, Cleansers and Masks
While dark patches of skin may be lightened with prescription and over-the-counter creams and ointments, home remedies might also be an effective way to manage this condition. Massaging a moisturizer into the affected area several times a day can help minimize the appearance of dark spots by boosting circulation in the skin.
To make a simple moisturizer with skin-healing properties, mash up a Vitamin E capsule with a few drops of castor oil and rub the mixture into the face. To lighten newly-developed patches of hyperpigmentation, moisturize skin with gel squeezed from the leaves of an aloe vera plant.
Vinegar, lemon juice and lime juice all contain natural bleaching properties and are gentle enough to use on facial skin, and those ingredients are often found in homemade skin-lightening remedies. Dilute vinegar with an equal amount of water and apply to the skin with a cotton ball, or use a mixture of lemon or lime juice and cucumber juice in the same manner.
Raw potatoes and onions might also be effective skin lighteners. Leave slices of raw onion or potato on the skin for several minutes or cleanse skin with the juices of these vegetables. To extract juices from vegetables and fruit without using a juicer, run them through a blender or food processor and strain the resulting pulp through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
Whip up a homemade facial mask out of common ingredients to improve the appearance of dark patches. As the nutrients and fatty acids in avocados make them effective at moisturizing and healing skin, spreading a mashed-up avocado on the face might help heal skin damaged by hyperpigmentation. Be aware that some individuals experience a strong allergic reaction to this ingredient.
Other simple-to-make facial masks with skin-lightening properties include lemon or lime juice mixed with honey, raw almonds soaked in milk and ground into a paste and crushed dried orange peel combined with milk. These masks are all gentle enough to use daily. Spread the mask over skin affected by dark patches and wait until the mask has fully dried before washing it off and moisturizing skin as usual.