16 secrets to get a light skin tone

Having a bright and flawless skin is the dream of all women. These beauty standards vary from country to country; in Indonesia, for example, fair skin (“white”) is slightly more “yellow” than other countries like Korea and Japan – where the preferred skin color is pale white.
Fair skin is synonymous with "pretty", probably because faired-skin people can wear any color, compared to their dark or brown skinned counterparts. Despite this narrow view of beauty, many people still choose to do expensive and painful treatments, such as chemical peels or vitamin C injections. The amount of skin whitening products is also growing from time to time, making it more confusing for potential customers.
According to Dr. Windy Miryana, SpKK, our skin cannot be bleached with any treatments. Although there are some methods that worked, they are not completely safe. "If the face skin tone is different than the hand, (the treatment) might contain heavy metals such as mercury,” she says.
Before you spend hundreds of thousands to millions of rupiah for skin-lightening procedures, try some of these natural remedies that you can do at home – not only easy and fast, but also affordable and safe for your skin.

Lighten Your Face Skin Tone

"Our epidermis is continuously making new skin cells every 14-21 days, then surely the dead skin cells build up,” Dr. Windy explains why skin can look dull, adding that night creams or chemical peels could help exfoliate the outer layers of dead skin.
Before you get confused, try these DIY home remedies you can find in your kitchen. Everyone has unique skin type, so make sure you understand your own skin condition and try several recipes until you find one that really suits your skin. Do not worry! There are a lot of goodness in nature we can use as skin-lightening treatments:

1. Coconut Oil

Preparation time: 5-40 minutes
Coconut has been known as a powerful cleansing food that speeds up healing results by thoroughly flushing out all toxins. Coconut oil also has similar effect on body, especially virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which considered as a healthier saturated fat that will be converted into monolaurin in the body – serves to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses, as well as fatty acids. If you have dry skin, just use coconut oil as a moisturizer for your face or skin. In the market, virgin coconut oil (VCO) can be found in bottles, but you can also produce it at home.
How to do it:
  • Leave a bowl of coconut milk that was squeezed out of 5 coconuts overnight, then skim the coconut cream in the top layer.
  • Put the fire on “high”, and heat up a non-sticky pan over the stove
  • Move the coconut cream into a skillet and fry it for around 30-40 minutes until the coconut becomes brown, then put it on a glass through a strainer. Five coconuts can produce around 300 ml of coconut oil. 
  • Let it cool down before we can put it into a glass bottle
  • You can mix two tablespoons (tbsp) of coconut oil with a few drops of fresh lemon juice, stir and use a cotton ball to help lighten the face and neck area
  • Let it set for 15 minutes before you can rinse it with lukewarm water
Caution: Avoid direct contact with sun after you are apply this remedy, therefore it is better to apply it before bed at night. You can also apply it on body skin.

2. Baking Soda

Preparation time: 5 minutes
If you see an uneven skin tone, especially a little darker in the nasal area, chances are there is dirt clogging your pores. Luckily, this baking ingredient is made of fine particles from sodium and pH balancer that are able to remove dead skin cells and even out skin complexion. The ingredients of baking soda can also prevent skin inflammation. No matter how much you need, use a ratio of 2:1 for water and baking soda.
How to do it:
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water to open pores
  • Mix one teaspoon (tsp) of baking soda with water according to the ratio
  • Apply on a dull skin area, e.g. in the T-zone. Let it dry for 2-3 minutes, then rinse with cold water and dry the skin.
  • The good news: baking soda is also beneficial to shrink the pores. Do it three times a week to get a more effective result.
Caution: It is recommended for dry skin. People with oily skin can apply the mixture of baking soda and salt (without adding water) along the T-Zone with a cotton ball to reduce oily skin and clean clogged pores.

3. Oatmeal and Honey

Preparation time: 10 minutes
This healthy breakfast has double benefits; it could give you energy in the morning and magically brighten your face. Grind oatmeal powder with a food processor or blender, then add honey as much as needed. This recipe works as facial scrubs to get rid of old skin cells and reduce irritation, while at the same time honey also works as a moisturizing agent.
Caution: Not recommended for sensitive skin and those who are allergic to components that make up the honey.

4. Chamomile Tea Bag

Preparation time: 3 minutes
It’s a bag for another bag! Placing damp tea bags over your eyes is known to help reduce puffiness due to lack of sleep or intense crying after watching K-drama. You can try this technique to brighten your face skin that had become dull because of dark circles around the eyes.
The tea bag has two components, caffeine and tannins – both are astringents for anti-inflammatory – which can reduce puffy eyes. Meanwhile, chamomile has anti-inflammatory agents that are good for your skin. It’s tea time for a fresh skin!

5. Garlic

Preparation time: 1 minute
Dull skin could also be caused by acne and acne scars that take a long time to heal. Therefore, one needs antioxidant to cure and prevent discolored skin patches on the face. One of these antioxidants can be extracted from garlic oil.
How to do it: Apply on the acne scar area, let it dry, and wipe it with a face towel. If you think the aroma is too pungent, mix garlic oil with water, or you can also soak peeled garlic cloves in milk for an hour before applying it on your skin.

6. Lime

Preparation time: 1 minute
Dr. Windy says vitamin C in lime serves as an antioxidant for your facial skin. All you have to do is cut 1-2 limes that have been washed thoroughly. Massage it gently onto your clean face, and let it dry for about 30 minutes. After that, wash your face with lukewarm water, then rinse it with cold water to close the pores. Apply moisturizer right after, to prevent dry skin, and only repeat this treatment once a week. 
Caution: If itching, burning or irritation occurs, discontinue use.

7. Tomato

Preparation time: 1 minute
According to Dr. Windy, you can make use of a ripe tomato that has been washed thoroughly. Cut it into 2 pieces, then gently massage onto face and let it dry for 15-20 minutes before you rinse with cold water. The excellent amount of vitamin C in tomato would heal acne on face.

Lighten Body Skin Color

8. Avocado

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Avocado can be a refreshing mask, in addition to lighten your skin tone. Dr. Windy explains that avocado has vitamin A, which is a good source of anti-aging and moisturizer. Grind some avocado meat and gently massage it on your face and body, leave it for about 20 minutes to dry, then rinse.
Caution: Not suitable for oily skin.

9. Yam Bean (Jicama)

Preparation time: 15 minutes
We have heard the goodness of this vegetable extract through ads about skin lightening products in the market. You can try the manual way to get a natural effect by grinding a yam with a blender. Take the juice and let it set for several minutes. You can use the remains as body mask, let it dry for about 20 minutes, and then then close your beauty ritual by taking a warm bath.
Caution: Take a skin test by applying a small amount on the area near your elbow before you apply it all over the body. If you are allergic to something, you will have redness and swelling at the test spot.

10. Rice and Olive Oil

Preparation time: 10 minutes
White rice has plenty minerals and vitamins that can brighten the skin. Meanwhile, olive oil is packed with anti-aging antioxidants and can be used as a gentle moisturizer for dry skin. When the two natural ingredients are combines, the effect can make your skin glow and stay hydrated.
How to do it: Grind white rice with a food processor and pour some olive oil, then mix well. You can apply the natural scrubs on your hands and feet several minutes before taking a bath. Let it dry for 30 minutes, then rinse.

11. Strawberry and Yogurt

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Strawberry fruits are rich in vitamin C, contains polyphenols and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). This mask would work for either normal or oily skin to brighten its tone, because the natural ingredients are able to remove dead skin cells, reduce wrinkles, and eliminate the skin damage caused by sun exposure.
How to do it: Put some strawberries into a blender and mix it with plain yogurt. Apply the homemade mask on your face and body, let it dry for a few minutes, then rinse.

12. Rice Water

Preparation time: 3 minutes
Next time you wash rice, notice that there are little white particles that float in the water. Apparently the water used to wash rice is beneficial for the skin. “Rice water contains ferulic acid that works as skin lightening agent and allantoin for anti-inflammation,” Dr. Windy says.
How to do it: Put 4 tbsp of organic rice into a bowl and put distilled water inside. Stir the water until it becomes milk white. Strain the rice and reserve the water. Clean your face, take a cotton ball and dip it into the rice water. Gently massage your face and body with it and leave it for 20-30 minutes before you rinse with cold water.

Lighten Underarm Skin

The general underarm area sometimes does require extra attention. Dr. Windy says, since the skin is in a crease area, underarms are going through a lot of friction – especially if you like wearing tight clothes. Repeated frictions in this area makes the skin color around your armpit darker. Some people said underarm shaving can also cause a darkening of skin. However, Dr. Windy reveals another fact.
“If the skin was scraped during shaving, the wound could darken the skin color in that area, because the healing process of a wound usually ends up with three possibilities – a darker skin color, same color, or even lighter than the skin color around that area,” the medical graduate from Airlangga University explains. She would suggest anyone to regularlyexfoliate the skin twice or three times a week to maintain the brightness level of the skin.
In order to obtain a maximum result, take note on some of these things:
  • Do not shave your underarms, especially with a dull razor. Not only that you would need to shave often, this method increases the risk of cuts and scrapes. Try sugar-wax or use an epilator instead to pull out unwanted hair from its root.
  • Reduce frequency of shaving during menstruation, because the skin usually gets more sensitive than the regular days
  • Allow your underarm to breath. Avoid wearing tight clothes every day, because it causes sweating and friction.
  • Avoid spraying deodorant or perfume directly on the underarm skin, because it would cause irritation.

13. Cucumber Slices

Preparation time: 3 minutes
Cucumber is a type of plants that can easily be found in a tropical country like Indonesia. This vegetable contains potassium and vitamin K, which assists calcium absorption.
Take one piece of fresh cucumber and cut it into thin slices. Grab a few slices and rub on the affected area for 5 minutes. Leave it for 5-10 minutes to dry, then rinse with lukewarm water. To get more effective results, you can perform this beauty ritual daily before taking a bath.

14. Yogurt and Honey

Preparation time: 3 minutes
"Yogurt contains lactic acid that serves as a skin lightening agent," explains Dr. Windy. This ingredient will also be a soft refreshing mask for your skin. She says the recommended type of yogurt is the plain yogurt or the one without any flavors and sugar.
How to do it: Mix yogurt with honey – which is rich in vitamin C and polyphenols. Prepare as much as you want to use, stir well, then gently massage it on clean armpits and let it dry for about 20 minutes before you rinse it.

Caution: Not recommended for sensitive skin and those who are allergic to components that make up the honey. Yogurt is suitable for oily skin, while milk and honey would be a substitute remedy for dry skin.

15. Coffee and Sugar

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Coffee scrub products are getting more popular nowadays. Besides the fact that coffee has an uplifting aroma that rejuvenates the senses, it can also reduce the redness and inflammation on skin. Coffee ingredient has long been known as an exfoliator that helps remove old skin cells and brighten dull skin.
Well, why buy if you can make it at home? Take a sufficient amount of coffee powder and mix it with 2 teaspoons of sugar and a little warm water – please remind yourself that you are not making a drink! Allow the scrub to set for 15 minutes before you can use it.
How to do it: Clean the area with warm water and pat dry. Apply your homemade coffee scrub and let it dry for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
Caution: This home treatment is also safe to use on the face and is suitable for all types of skin. According to Dr. Windy, coffee is useful to reduce sebum or oil on the face, so that the face does not look dull and shiny.

16. Lemon and Salt

Preparation time: 5 minutes
All citrus fruits does contain vitamin C, but Dr. Windy notes that lemon has more vitamin C than the other, making it suitable for specific purposes. If you want to make lemon scrubs, squeeze 1-2 lemons and mix the juice with a little salt. Apply on clean underarms and let it dry for 15 minutes. After that, rinse with cold water.
"Lemon scrubs contain vitamin C and E, which works as an antioxidant," Dr. Windy explains.
Caution: Do not use this home remedy if you have just shaved your underarms within 1-2 days. In addition, lemon could make the skin dry, so it would be enough to do this 2-3 times a week.

16 secrets to get a light skin tone 16 secrets to get a light skin tone Reviewed by Flourishes blog on April 13, 2019 Rating: 5

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