How to Lighten Skin Naturally at Home: 11 Remedies for Discoloration

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Do an online search for lightening and whitening skin care products and you’ll be greeted with hundreds of intriguing results. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll realize that a large percentage of those formulas aren’t as beneficial as they initially seem.

Many of the skin whitening products available on the market contain harsh chemicals that do more harm than good.

To be fair, there are plenty that are comprised of clean and natural ingredients, but the only way to really take control of what you’re putting onto your skin, and therefore into your body, is by turning to DIY formulas.

Don’t know where to begin? That’s what we’re here for – read on for the best homemade skin lightening remedies.

How to Lighten Skin Naturally & Quickly With At-Home Remedies

There are many reasons why people seek out skin lightening remedies. Whether it’s from acne scars, sun-induced hyperpigmentation, or melasma triggered by hormonal fluctuations, an uneven skin tone can make you look haggard and so much older than your years.

So, here are the best home remedies to turn that all around and give you the glowing skin that you deserve:

A Yogurt, Lemon Juice, and Gram Flour Face Mask Will Fade Discoloration

Fresh lemon juice

This recipe boasts three powerful exfoliants in one easy-to-use mask. Yogurt contains lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid that’ll remove dead skin cells to improve skin texture.

However, unlike other alpha hydroxy acids, lactic acid is also a humectant, so it’ll moisturize your skin too.

Add to that the exfoliating and natural bleaching properties of lemon juice, along with the exfoliating effects of gram flour, and you have yourself a winning formula that’ll lighten your skin tone quickly and efficiently.

To make this mask, mix together 2 tsp of gram flour with 1 tsp of yogurt. Add in a couple of drops of lemon juice and then mix to form a paste.

Apply this to your skin and then rinse it off after 30 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, leave it on for slightly less, as lemon juice is pretty potent.

Oatmeal & Turmeric Helps to Fade Brown Spots on the Face & Body

So, how to lighten skin naturally with Oatmeal and turmeric? Not only does colloidal oatmeal have an exfoliating effect, making it great for removing darker skin cells, but it’ll also strengthen your skin barrier to improve overall skin health [1].

While you could use oatmeal on its own, combining it with turmeric enables you to benefit from the curcumin within turmeric.

This phytochemical regulates melanin production to treat hyperpigmentation and dark spots, while also offering up anti-acne and anti-aging effects [2].

Use the two to make a mask that consists of 1 tsp colloidal oatmeal with a pinch of turmeric powder.

You’ll need a wet ingredient too, so add enough water, yogurt, or milk to form a paste, before applying it to your skin. Once it dries, rinse it off and then pat your skin dry.

RELATED: How to Use Turmeric for Skin Whitening

A Papaya & Honey Mask Contains a Brightening Acid That’s Great for Dull & Darkened Skin Cells

Man on his honey facial mask skincare at home

Papaya extract is a popular ingredient in enzymatic exfoliants because it’s bursting with papain – a powerful skin whitening enzyme.

Papayas are also packed with several other vitamins and antioxidants that help to counter sun damage and keep your skin healthy.

And as for honey? This is one of the best natural skincare ingredients out there. It’s antibacterial, making it ideal if you need to treat acne, yet it also boasts moisturizing properties that dry, thirsty skin will love.

To make this mask, mash half a cup’s worth of fresh papaya. Mix in 1 tsp of raw organic honey and then apply the resulting paste to your face. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water to reveal a healthy glow.

Apple Cider Vinegar & Water Will Even Out Your Skin Tone

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, an ingredient that has been proven to successfully lighten skin pigmentation [3]. While this may be the case, apple cider vinegar is, obviously, a very acidic ingredient, so you’ll need to dilute it before using it on your skin.

To do this, mix it with equal parts of water. Then, dip a cotton ball into your mixture and dab this onto your skin.

You can either use this as a cleanser and rinse it off after massaging it into your skin gently, or you could use it as a mask and wait 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

RELATED: Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin Whitening

Aloe Vera Can Reduce Melanin Production to Give You Fairer Skin

Aloe vera is an ingredient that’s revered in skincare – it can treat so many different conditions, including hyperpigmentation. Research shows that aloe vera gel has significant de-pigmenting properties, making it a great ingredient to lighten your skin naturally.

In addition to its skin lightening effects, aloe vera gel is packed with a huge array of bioactive compounds that work together to improve skin complexion. It’s a great ingredient for all skin types.

Young woman using aloe vera to lighten her skin

How should you use it to maximize its skin whitening effects? We’d recommend applying the pure gel directly to your skin, focusing on areas with discoloration or sun damage. You can then either leave it on and skip your moisturizer that night or rinse it off after 20 minutes or so.

Either way, do this regularly and you’ll end up with beautiful healthy skin with a bright and even skin tone.

A DIY Mask Made From Potato & Lemon Juice Provides Real Results When Bleaching Acne Marks

Potatoes may seem like a strange skin care ingredient at first, but this humble vegetable is packed with an array of phytochemicals [4] that can lighten your skin naturally and cheaply.

To get the most out of the ingredient, mix it with lemon juice. Not only is lemon juice loaded with citric acid, but it’s also a fantastic source of vitamin C.

You probably already know that vitamin C is a superstar in the skincare world for the way in which it contributes to brighter skin, making it ideal if you’re looking to fade acne scars and even out your skin tone.

To use the two together, grate half of a small potato and mix this with a couple of drops of lemon juice. Apply this to your face like a mask, rinsing off after 20 minutes to reveal glowing skin.

Use Raw Organic Sugar for a Natural Source of Glycolic Acid

When it comes to alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid is the king. It comes from sugar cane, so if you’re able to source raw organic sugar (made from sugar cane, rather than sugar beet), then this is a great ingredient to use on your skin.

Not only will you be benefiting from the chemical exfoliation properties of glycolic acid, but you can also use the sugar as a scrub to clear away dead skin cells and reveal brighter skin.

Simply mix a teaspoon of raw organic sugar to any of the other recipes that we’ve featured. Alternatively, mix the sugar with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to form a paste that you can then use as a face and body scrub.

A Homemade Licorice & Tomato Mask Will Give You Lighter, Glowing Skin

A guy wearing tomato face mask

Licorice contains a substance called glabridin, which has skin lightening effects [5]. Tomatoes are another fantastic brightening ingredient because of their vitamin C content. They’re also a great source of lycopene, which can treat and prevent hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure [6].

If you’re able to buy some licorice root powder, then crush a medium tomato and mix in 2 tsp of the powder. Add in a few drops of a freshly squeezed lemon or 1 tsp of honey and mix to form a paste.

Apply this to your skin and leave it to sit for 20-30 minutes. Then, with a damp washcloth, wipe the paste off before rinsing your face clean.

Other Ingredients That Can Be Used to Lighten Your Skin

Feeling creative? Make the above recipes even more effective by adding in these other fantastic skin lighteners:


Cucumbers contain a number of de-pigmenting compounds [7]. Rub your skin with fresh cucumber slices or grate them up and add them to one of our other recipes.

Milk and Cream

Just like yogurt, milk and cream are both fantastic sources of lactic acid. You don’t need to use much – about one tablespoon per application will suffice.

Orange Peel

Like lemons, orange juice and peel are loaded with citric acid and vitamin C. Squeeze a fresh orange to gain maximum skin whitening benefits or use orange peel powder instead.

how to lighten skin na0turally with oranges

Another natural ingredient that proved to be highly effective in making your skin brighter is coconut oil. Read our article and learn everything you need to know about coconut oil for skin whitening.

Extra Tips on How to Get Lighter Skin as Fast as Possible

If you’re trying to lighten your skin naturally, sun exposure is your biggest enemy. Sun exposure triggers melanin synthesis, the pigment that gives your skin its color. Not only does melanin darken the overall shade of your skin, but it’ll also make those dark spots even darker.

So, it goes without saying that SPF protection from sun exposure is a must in your skin whitening game plan.

A good diet is important too. Using skin whitening ingredients topically is great, but don’t forget to feed your skin from within as well. Fresh fruits and vegetables in an array of colors will contain the antioxidants that your skin needs to shed its discoloration for good.

Finally, hydration. Your skin cells need a consistent supply of water in order to function properly. If you haven’t been drinking your eight glasses a day, increase your water intake and you’ll notice that your complexion quickly takes on a brighter, fresher, and plumper finish.


Woman with fair skin on her mobile phone

Q: What lightens skin in 1 day?

Exfoliating your skin with a mix of alpha hydroxy acids and gentle physical exfoliants will immediately help to lighten your skin.

Q: How can I brighten my skin permanently?

Start by following the recipes and tips above. Then, make sure that you’re living a healthy lifestyle – a good diet, plenty of exercise, and quality sleep are vital if you want to brighten your skin tone permanently.

Q: How can I naturally lighten my skin in a week?

There are several at-home face masks that you can make (featured above) that will help you to naturally lighten your skin in a week.

Q: How can I make my skin brighter fast?

Use natural skin brightening ingredients, such as lemon juice, honey, papaya, and aloe vera.

Q: How can I permanently whiten my skin at home?

You can permanently whiten dark spots on your skin with the home remedies that we’ve featured above.

Q: What are the fastest ways to lighten skin?

Alpha hydroxy acids are the fastest way to lighten skin because of how they exfoliate away discolored skin cells.

Q: What can I use to lighten black skin overnight?

Lemon juice and honey are great for lightening all skin colors overnight, or you can try using some of the skin lightening creams. Read our guide and find out what is the best skin bleaching cream for dark skin.

Q: Will a lactic acid lotion or cream lighten my skin in 3 days?

Yes, lactic acid can help to lighten your skin in 3 days.

ALSO READ: Our Top Choices for the Best Skin Lightening Cream

Conclusion: Keeping Things Natural & Safe By Using At-Home Lightening Treatments

The great thing about choosing to keep things natural when it comes to lightening your skin is that you know you won’t be subjecting your skin to any harmful chemicals.

That said, natural ingredients can be pretty potent too, so always go slow when trying out new recipes to avoid a reaction. Other than that, treat your skin to these home remedies on a regular basis and you’ll notice a brighter complexion in no time!



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.