How to Lighten Face Skin to Fade Dark Spots & Hyperpigmentation

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Whether it may be acne marks from your teenage years, melasma triggered by a pregnancy, or decades of sun damage taking its toll, an uneven skin tone peppered with dark spots can make a person look so much older than they really are.

Fortunately, the skincare industry has progressed in leaps and bounds when it comes to lightening the skin.

Not only are there some amazing skin lightening products out there that offer impressive results, but the knowledge that we have today on various ingredients makes it easier than ever to whip up a skin lightening formula at home.

The best way to lighten face skin? A little bit of everything – here’s what you need to know.

DIY Natural Skin Lightening Remedies Using Ingredients at Home: How to Make Safe & Strong Treatments That Work Fast

Your kitchen cupboard is probably filled with several ingredients that are capable of lightening your skin. Here are some of the most effective: 

Woman holding a bowl of fresh lemons


Not only do lemons contain citric acid and vitamin C, but they’re also chock-full of antioxidants [1].

All of this contributes to a lighter and brighter skin tone.

Simply mix together equal parts lemon juice and water, and then dab this onto your skin, rinsing it off after 10 minutes.

Papayas and Honey

Papayas contain enzymes that naturally exfoliate the skin, along with antioxidants that brighten it.

Honey is another ingredient that lightens dark spots and gives the skin a glow.

Mash together papaya and a banana, and then add some honey in to form a paste. Apply this mask to your skin for 20 minutes before rinsing off.


Cucumbers inhibit excess melanin production, which helps to put a stop to dark spots. They’re also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that boost collagen synthesis. This gives the skin a firmer, fuller, and brighter look.

All you need to do is grate a cucumber to collect its juice. Dab this juice onto your skin, focusing on dark spots. You can rinse this off after 15 minutes if you’d like, or you can slather a brightening cream over the top to trap all of that cucumber goodness into your skin.

RELATED: Dark Circle Lightening Cream

Aloe Vera

When it comes to treating hyperpigmentation, aloe vera is a go-to [2]. Why? Because it contains a compound called aloin that inhibits excess melanin production, meaning that you can kiss goodbye to those dark spots.

The fresh gel is best, and this can be applied directly to your face. You can either leave it on overnight or rinse it off after 20 minutes.

RELATED: Potato Skin Lightening: Can Potatoes Really Help With Dark Spots?


Yogurt is a natural source of lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates the skin while hydrating it too. The result? Brighter and lighter skin that also looks plumper and fresher.

We’d recommend making a homemade mask with yogurt by combining it with some of the ingredients featured above. Alternatively, mix it with some gram flour to form a paste, and then apply this to your skin. Leave it to dry before rinsing it off.

A mixture of green grapes yogurt and honey for skin

Buying a Skin Bleaching Cream for Face: How to Choose the Best OTC Products to Lighten Facial Skin Tone

There are so many different DIY skin lightening recipes out there that are surprisingly effective, but this doesn’t mean that you should completely shun over-the-counter products either.

Some of the best skin lightening ingredients are difficult to formulate into a stable and reliable homemade product – the best way to experience their benefits is by purchasing a professionally-crafted formula.

Some of the best ingredients for lightening the skin on the face are:

  • Azelaic acid
  • Alpha arbutin
  • Vitamin C
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Kojic acid
  • Licorice root extract
  • Niacinamide

The best skin bleaching creams will be products that combine several of those ingredients to create a knockout formula.

RELATED: Neostrata HQ Skin Lightening Gel Review

Skincare inside sauna using bleaching creams

Want Dramatic Before and After Results? Extra Tips for Fading Dark Patches & Achieving a Lighter Complexion

There’s no point trying to lighten your skin if, at the same time, you’re doing things that are causing new dark patches to form. Fortunately, many of those bad habits can be easily changed.

The first would be to never leave your home without sunscreen. The sun’s UV rays trigger melanin production – the pigment that you want to avoid if you’re trying to lighten your skin.

A skincare routine that’s geared towards skin lightening will help too. From your cleanser and toner to your serum and moisturizer, incorporate lightening ingredients in each step.

A healthy diet, along with regular exercise, can also be beneficial. Both will keep your skin cells functioning optimally, allowing them to repair damage and discoloration at a faster rate.


Q: How can I make my face skin lighter?

Use skin lightening ingredients regularly and follow a healthy lifestyle.

Asian woman eating fresh fruits nuts and yogurt

Q: How can I whiten my skin in 3 days?

Exfoliate your skin and then use brightening face masks – this should give you whiter skin in 3 days.

Q: What can I use for brown skin to lighten the color of melasma?

There are many OTC products out there designed to treat melasma on dark skin. Look for formulas with natural lightening ingredients, such as kojic acid.

Q: Does lemon juice lighten skin for black people?

When used correctly, lemon juice can be beneficial for all skin tones and colors.

Q: How to get permanently lighter skin overnight without side effects?

The only way to permanently lighten your skin overnight would be with a professional procedure.

Q: What are the best ways to naturally bleach skin in a week?

Regularly exfoliating your skin and pampering it with plenty of lightening ingredients can help to naturally bleach skin in a week.

Q: Is there a bleaching cream that actually works with permanent results?

There are several bleaching creams that offer permanent results. Look for formulas containing some of the ingredients we’ve featured above.

Q: Why is clobetasol propionate in my face moisturizer and body lotion?

Clobetasol propionate is an ingredient that treats itching, swelling, and irritation.

Q: Do laser treatments for skin toning work?

Yes, laser treatments are great for toning and brightening the skin.

Conclusion: Choosing Between the Many Different Ways to Lighten Face Skin

As you can see, when it comes to lightening face skin, you have plenty of options. Our advice? Bring them all together.

Find yourself some skin lightening products that contain proven brightening compounds, and combine those with DIY treatments that contain lightening ingredients in their whole and natural form.

By doing this, you should notice your skin tone taking on a lighter and brighter appearance in just a few weeks.



Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.