The majority of the people throughout the world have a preference over the color and tone of their complexion in accordance with the idea of what looks good on them. Tanning beds and parlors can be seen an example of people wanting a darker skin color.
Similarly, several efforts are made by certain people to light their skin tone down a shade or more to feel more confident and beautiful in their everyday life. Fortunately, there are several ways to get any skin color in the modern world.
However, most of the professional ways of skin lightening can be potentially harmful and unaffordable for many with their availability being confined to high-end spas or skin clinics. The alternative of the pricey and sometimes painful treatments is brand-labeled products that guarantee paler skin within a few days or weeks of usage.
Skin lightening products come in many forms from a day or night creams, serums to cleansers, soaps, and masks. Some brands and companies even launch their ‘whitening ranges’ with numerous products packaged together.
These ranges or single products have varying prices with their brand labels. Most popular and fancy are likely to have high prices compared to mainstream and local companies, thus, making them easier to afford for people.
Unfortunately, whitening creams and other products, especially the ones that promise to give instant results can be as harmful as any chemical-spa whitening treatment. Studies have shown that whitening products, specifically the cheaper ones contain toxic substances and steroids.
Applying these products to the skin may show improvement within numbered days that keeps getting better with passing time, but as soon as the usage is stopped the condition of the skin starts worsening. In addition, new problems might occur as the steroids in these creams can cause hormonal imbalance leading to issues such as overgrowth of facial hair in women. The effects can be as severe as causing skin cancer.
What are the safe ways to whiten skin?
The simplest way of lightening skin is to do it at home naturally with no chemicals involved. Applying natural, homemade masks may not give results right away, but everyday usage with changes in daily beauty rituals, the preferred skin tone can be achieved gradually with no side effects.
Following are the steps to get paler skin in a healthy way:
- Lemon Juice Spray
Lemon juice has a well-known history of being used for its sweet scent and for removing unwanted tan from the skin. Its skin-bleaching properties lighten the skin while exfoliating the top layers. With the exception of skin lightening, it has also been used for thorough cleansing of skin and removing dead skin cells.
Applying pure lemon juice directly to the skin can be irritating for a lot of people. Stinging and burning are likely to be experienced if applied directly, especially on the face. To avoid this from happening, add an equal amount of lemon juice to water and spread out evenly to the face or any other part of the body.
Make sure to not leave it on for more than 15 minutes and limit the usage to not more than twice or thrice a week since over-usage of lemon water solution can instead irritate the skin and not give any quick results.
Some people are naturally allergic to lemon juice because of sensitivities. Apply on a small portion of the arm before putting on the face. Redness and itching are the most common indicators of citrus-allergy.
Do not immediately go out in the sun without cleaning skin thoroughly since UV light and acids in lemon can react to cause Phytophotodermatitis.
Lemon water solution might be slow in comparison with spa skin lightening, but it is much safer, giving visible results in 4-5 weeks of usage.
- Lemon milk bath
This particular method can be used to lighten the whole body with less hassle effectively. Lightning each of the desired areas on the body requires a whole lot of time and practice. For an easier alternative, try a relaxing, skin lightening soak.
Squeeze two lemons in a tub filled with warm water followed by a cup of full-fat milk. Mix evenly and sit in the water for 20-30 minutes once a week.
This soak is ideal for all skin types as the moisturizing properties of milk balance the drying effect of lemon. The enzymes in milk and acid in lemon combine to exfoliate the darker skin cells for brighter and paler skin.
A month usage of this technique will show visible results as well as glowing, soft skin.
- Try a homemade mask
Homemade masks can be of great use generally when trying to get a glowing, healthier skin as well as lightening it. Yogurt and honey are used and enlisted at the back of skin-lightening properties. The enzymes present in yogurt, similar to those of milk help in achieving a lighter skin tone.
Honey, on the other hand, has been widely used around the world in different cultures for beauty. Its anti-bacterial and moisturizing properties make it the ideal component to be used in combination with any other ingredient.
A yogurt and honey mask can do wonders on the skin. Mix equal amount of honey and yogurt in accordance with the need and spread evenly on body or face for 15 minutes. This mask can be used every day due to its nourishing effect.
Do not use flavored or sweetened yogurt in any masks as they will bring no benefits and cause allergies or irritations.
- Make a natural paste
For quicker results and added benefits, masks can be used in combination with another for double cleansing. A thick paste prepared using natural ingredients can accelerate the results and provide instantly glowing skin.
Gram flour and turmeric were used anciently by people such as Cleopatra for beautiful skin. Both of them are also used widely in the Middle East and India particularly to remove skin burns and tans caused by the harsh summer sun.
A mask can be prepared using these two ingredients with rose water. Add two tablespoons of gram flour to ½ teaspoons of turmeric and two tablespoons of rose water. Spread evenly on the face and leave for 15 minutes.
It is recommended to use this paste every day along with the mask before going to sleep. Avoid the sun for at least an hour if using in day time or spray some rose water on the face before doing so to tone the skin and close the pores.
The lightening property of gram flour not only helps with tans but sun burns as well. Turmeric has always been used medicinally for its anti-bacterial properties. A combination of both will make the skin paler as well as fight other skin problems.
Lastly, for lightening skin in a shorter period of time it is important to make some changes in everyday routine that will help greatly, for example, not going too often in the sunlight. It might be hard to avoid sunlight when going outdoors is a necessity especially when you have work or school, but using sunscreen can come in handy in this situation.
Always remember to use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen and refresh it after every 4 hours before stepping out for a long day. Wearing full-sleeves clothes and hats can help as well.
Keep a healthy, well-balanced diet to add a glow to your skin whitening procedure. According to researchers, consuming foods such as milk and yogurt can bring skin a shade down. Add a bowl of yogurt or a glass of milk to your daily diet. Recipes using these two ingredients can be used as well.
By following all the aforementioned steps, any skin tone can be lightened gradually without any side effects such as those that follow chemical treatments and whitening creams.