How to Make Skin Lightening Cream at Home: 3 Effective DIY Recipes

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Looking for a way to lighten and brighten dark spots on your face or body? There are some truly fantastic skin lightening products available that will do exactly that. However, if you’re looking to save some money while keeping your skincare routine as natural as possible, whipping up your own skin lightening cream from items that you have lying around in your kitchen is also an option.

How to Make Skin Lightening Cream at Home

There are several easily-accessible ingredients out there that have scientifically-proven lightening properties. The secret to making an effective skin lightening cream at home lies in understanding which of those ingredients to bring together. Here are some of our favorite combinations:

  • Yogurt, Honey & Lemon: Mix 1 tbl lemon juice (packed with skin-lightening citric acid and vitamin C), 1 tsp raw honey (which has skin-brightening enzymes), 1 cup plain yogurt (a natural source of lactic acid), and 2-3 drops of rose water (optional, but a great skin soother).
  • Cocoa Butter & Licorice Root: Melt 2-3 tbl cocoa butter (which hydrates the skin while evening out skin tone) in a double boiler and then mix in 3 drops of licorice root extract (a powerful skin lightener that many skincare brands love). Add in 1 tsp of lemon juice for even better results.
  • Almond & Rosehip Oil: Use a food processor to crush 1 cup of almonds (a natural source of mandelic acid). Add in 2-3 drops of rosehip oil (for its vitamin A content) and mix well to form a buttery consistency.
Woman doing skincare at home

Once you’ve made your cream, transfer it into a clean jar and then store it in your refrigerator. It should keep for 1-2 weeks.

RELATED: How to Lighten Skin with Aloe Vera

Other Beneficial Ingredients to Include in a Homemade Bleaching Lotion

One of the biggest benefits that come from making your own skin lightening cream at home is that you have total control over the ingredients that you use. The recipes that we’ve featured above are pretty simple, so feel free to elevate them by adding in your own concoction of other brightening ingredients. Some of our favorites are:

Aloe vera home skincare recipe
  • Mulberry – slows down melanin production to fade dark spots [1]. Can be purchased as an extract, or mash up some fresh mulberries if you have access to them.
  • Turmeric – contains an antioxidant called curcumin, which has both lightening and anti-inflammatory properties. Can be added into creams in powder form.
  • Aloe vera – contains aloin, a compound that has been proven to lighten hyperpigmentation [2]. If possible, extract the fresh gel from an aloe vera plant. Alternatively, purchase the pure gel without any additives.
  • Green tea – packed with skin lightening and anti-aging compounds. Brew up a strong cup of green tea and then use a few tablespoons of this in your homemade lightening cream.
  • Papaya & Pumpkin – both contain enzymes that’ll help to exfoliate away discolored skin cells. Mash the flesh or purchase an extract.
  • Oatmeal – loved for its amino acids that lighten dark spots, with its high vitamin E content helping out with this too. Colloidal oatmeal, which is oatmeal that has been ground up into a fine powder, is the best form for a DIY skin cream.

Keep in mind that many of these ingredients will change the texture of your skin lightening cream. For example, mashed papaya will thicken it, whereas green tea will thin it out. Experiment with ratios until you’re able to create a consistency that’s easy to spread.

RELATED: Does Lemon Juice Lighten Skin


Which homemade cream is best for skin whitening?

A homemade cream made from yogurt, honey, and lemon juice is best for skin whitening. See our recommended recipe above!

What is the best ingredient for skin lightening?

One of the best DIY ingredients for skin lightening is lemon juice. It has natural bleaching properties, which is why it’s often used to lighten hair too.

Does lemon juice lighten skin permanently?

When it comes to fading hyperpigmentation, lemon juice offers permanent results. However, using lemon juice all over your face may also lighten your natural skin tone by a couple of shades, but these effects aren’t permanent.

Woman relaxed and beautiful at home


If your hyperpigmentation isn’t too severe, then a homemade skin lightening cream may be all you need. However, if your dark spots are very noticeable or haven’t faded after several months of using DIY formulas, then it would be worth taking a look at some of the professional skin lightening products available. Many of these contain natural ingredients too, but they’ll also be infused with proven lab-produced compounds that can help to bring about results even faster.



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.