There are some commercial products as well as homemade solutions that can be used to lighten a dark complexion or dark spots on your skin. This is a guide about skin lightening tips.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How do I get my skin tone back after burning and it going darker?
Stay out of the sun, and it will fade in time. However, a darker tan will help prevent future burns. Here in Canada people work hard to get darker tans, and many go to tanning salons to lay on "sunbeds" - artificial lights that simulate the sun's rays - to develop a tan.
Well, my race is actually black, but I was born with very fair skin, like white skin tone, when I was a baby. When I got older it turned to light yellow skin tone and I have stayed out of the sun and always kept my light yellow complexion.
But I went to the fair over 2 years ago and I was exposed to the sun rays for 2 hours and I got tanned badly, like from yellow to red. I want to get rid of it. But how?
By Quan from St. Paul, MN
There are several products sold in the Black skin & hair-care areas of Walmart & most drug stores (like Walgreens) for around $5. These products contain hydroquinine in a thick greasy base (the Vaseline-type of base is so your skin won't absorb too much at once). It's best to only use these products at night because they usually don't work too well with make-up. If you use these products it's very important that stay out of the sun! There are also other stronger products available only by prescription from dermatologists.
You can help your dead skin cells slough off quicker by exfoliating with half a lemon dipped in to table salt or sugar & then scrubbing your skin with this gritty lemon juice. Or, when you shower or take a bath, you can simply use plain table sugar to scrub the skin. Do this no more than once or at most twice a week. It won't change the skins color, but it helps remove any dead skin cells, so your "tan" will go away a bit quicker & exfoliating makes your skin "smooth as a baby's bottom". Rinse well, then follow with a good all-over body moisturizer.
I am Caucasian, but have read about these products in fashion magazines & tried some of the products made for Black women to help remove age spots & uneven skin coloration on my face from my changing mid-life hormones.
Two years is a long time to keep a sunburn! I might consider going to a dermatologist. Good luck!
First and foremost love, you should be proud of your skin. So please don't lighten it. Those products are no good and no one knows the long term side effects of skin bleaching. But remember that even though your skin may be a bit darker you still need to wear sunscreen every day. I use sunscreen as lotion that way I don't forget to lather it on in the morning. Exfoliating your skin helps a tan disappear quickly. Try a mixture of olive oil and some raw sugar ( if you have it, granulated works fine as well ) and scrub your skin towards the end of a shower. It tends it help if you do this towards the end of a shower because after the sugar rinses off the oil helps trap in moisture. Something that may help offset the redness would be to use a moisturizer/ lotion with some shimmer in it. Not huge chunks of glitter but the type of shimmer you get from a "Luminescent" Cream. I suggest Olay Quench. I find that it keeps your skin moisturized and the shimmer doesn't look stripper-esque. :) If you skin has remained red or you find that your skin as darkened quite a bit after you burned it could be that your skin has now become scarred. For solutions to this you may want to see a dermatologist. But I do strongly insist you don't use bleaching creams. They can't be safe for you. Best of luck!
Also from MN. Things like this does not come from the sun, it is genetics and your ancestorial background. You may have a great aunt somewhere you resemble. Nothing at the drug store will fix genetics.
Well, I'm a white girl who's been doing battle with a big patch of sun damage on my forehead, so I feel for you. Rather than preach at you about accepting something you don't like and that doesn't sound altogether natural anyway, I'll just share what I've learned.
Hydroquinone works, but the 2% creams you can buy over the counter at most places only do so much. For 4%, you need a prescription. But I found a brand on CVS.com called Nadinola, and it has 3%. It works a lot better than the 2% creams.
There are a few secrets to skin lightening that go beyond hydroquinone. First, sun-damaged skin is thicker than normal skin, so you need to apply the hydroquinone cream on top of an exfoliant (alpha or beta hydroxy acid); the exfoliation helps the hydroquinone get at the newer skin so it has a better chance of working.
Second, you need to wear the hydroquinone cream constantly. Never be without it. Even though it probably doesn't work as well under makeup, you should still use it during the day, because your skin is constantly regenerating itself, and if you're not wearing the hydroquinone, it will be regenerating more discoloration and thwarting all the efforts you make at night.
Third, you must wear a sunscreen every day. Not only will this prevent future damage, but the exfoliation that you're doing to treat the discoloration actually makes you more susceptible to new damage. Thus, when you're treating hyperpigmentation, sun protection becomes more important than ever.
By the way, hydroquinone has a bad reputation in some circles, but in my experience, this is utterly undeserved.
Oh Quan! My heart is breaking! Please just be happy and proud with your skin color no matter how it changes! No matter whether brown, white or yellow; each of our personal skin tones simply change throughout our lifetime!
I too am mixed and have family members from blue white to glistening dark brown and each of their skin tones change and all are beautiful!
I personally went from blue white to a beautiful golden and now a pale white because of illness and wish I had the golden back so I looked healthier! I am sharing this poem I wrote two decades ago and I hope it touches you enough to accept yourself and how your skin changes. I am sharing this from my heart!
Tears of Color - 1990
Henry Hawks of brown skin
Wash away your tears
Someday it won't matter
In the future years
J.E. Hawks of yellow skin
Wash away your tears
Someday it won't matter
In the future years
Otha Hawks of passing skin
Wash away the tears
Someday it won't matter
In the future years
Gloria Hawkes of white skin
Wash away the fears
No one will ever know now
In the future years
Descended of these precious skins
I wash away the tears
Praying it won't matter
In the future years
Quan, I agree with Deeli. My mother is very fair skinned my father was very dark. I have darkish skin which I am very proud of! My sister is much paler than I and admits to being envious. She looks so pasty without makeup whereas I can go out with a slick of lip gloss and I look so healthy and glowing! So many people have complemented me on my skin color. Be proud of who you are, and be thankful you aren't pale and pasty (no offense to anybody) but a warm and vibrant color! Besides which, bright colors look so good on you whilst fairer people look "washed out" in them. The person who stands out most in a crowd would be somebody like you especially if you are wearing a stunning colored outfit!
You should not use hydroquinone. It is dangerous especially all over your body. We live in a society that tells you that you are better off being white with yellow hair, this is a shame that this country and some others are so racist. Hitler did the same with his Aryan race theory. Use sunscreen yes-everyone should. but love yourself. do not fall prey to racist propaganda. you do not keep a sunburn for 2 years so you should check out your skin. If there is no problem-find all the people of color who have done great things and do great things yourself.
I'm multicolored. I always have been. It cuts my self esteem. Is there any way or anything, such as ointments I could use to lighten my face just a little to get it just like the rest of my body? Also I have dark spots all over my body. I have sensitive skin. Please help.
I was naturally fair 6 months ago, but now I became tan. I Don't know the reason for my tan. Could anyone suggest how to get back my old color?
By Rahman from Chennai
My complexion has become very dark since I started playing for my school's team in the sun.can anyone please tell me how to remove this dreadful tan and lighten my complexion?
1.Yogurt and Orange Juice
Mix Yogurt and Orange Juice, apply on your face and rinse off after 15 min everyday for one month.
2. Honey and Lemon Juice
Mix equal parts of Honey and Lemon Juice and apply on your face. Rinse off after 15 min everyday for one month.
3.Cucumber and Lemon Juice
Mix equal parts of Cucumber Juice and Lemon Juice and apply on your face. Rinse off after 15 min for one month.
After one month you can repeat the same thing once or twice a week.
A tan is beautiful and healthy looking. No matter what the experts say. It may be bad for you, but since you all ready HAVE it. Enjoy it.
Best to start using a high SPF sun block for athletes. It should help prevent further tanning. As winter comes your tan will fade back to your natural complexion.
I also have this problem and I hate it! People think im black, when i am RUSSIAN its horrible. People say its beautiful and I guess I'd look weird without it, but i hate how everyone is always commenting on it , wow your so tan, do you use tanner. Even the lunh lady at school asked about it. I just try using a lighter foundation or powder(they dont even have my color) so I just try that. Im the one on the left, and right now im like 18 shades darker than that.
I have this problem too, we're outside for 8 hours everyday for 3 months and then for 4 hrs for 4 more months. I have a very light complexion naturally, but I'm Arab/Indian and Puerto Rican so I tan easily. I use Lemon juice on my skin all over after I take a shower and I use body scrubs with a loofa, to try and "scrub" the dead tan skin cells off. I've found that the scrub works the best because I see that those tanned skin cells have come off and my tan lines aren't as visable so I suppose it works.
Hi all, if you have a light complexion, bet assured your skin will get back its original colour. It happened to me. I was fair. I came to chennai and my comp became very dark. I protected my skin for 4 months approx from sunlight totally ( literally). u wont believe it after 4 months I was as fair as before. I swear. Don use any thing else. Just protect your skin for 3 to 4 months from sunlight totally, and see the magic.
I'm 33 yrs old. My dream is to make my skin white. I have a brown complexion. Does anyone have some cheap suggestions for ways to do this at home?
By Jessica P.
My skin color turned black slowly. Could anyone suggest how I can turn it white?
What is the cream that you use to increase the fairness of your face?
By John from Niagara Falls, NY
One of the best skin lighteners around comes from Avon, called Banishing Cream, if you want to buy one. I get it for my mom all the time, and use it on my hands some too. But if you do not want to buy a product, just use a cotton ball or QTip and dab on fresh lemon juice once in a while. It is great for the skin, lightens naturally, and you will smell lemon-fresh.
Another brand avail at most stores is Porcelana, but I agree with jacketbacker, that the Avon Banishing Cream is the best over the counter. Regular price is $8.50, but is currently on sale at www.avon.com for $3.99. You can also call 1-800-ForAvon to find a representative near you. The best thing about it, is that if it doesn't work, you can always return it for a refund or replacement with Avon.
I listened to a doctor yesterday on television that was talking about lightening/whitening/bleaching skin products and almost all of them contain some sort of possible cancer (mainly kidney) causing ingredients.
Perhaps you could simply try safe good old fashioned fresh squeezed lemon juice? In my humble opinion the things we find flawed about ourselves are actually what makes us unique and perfect. :-)
How can I lighten my dark brown skin and lips naturally at home? I am from Trinidad.
I am looking for home remedies to lighten skin.
Origins has a "modern friction scrub" that really perks up your skin and removes dead cells leaving nice skin. Try a sample at an origins near you then you will see. In Mexico there is a product called "concha nacar" and it
is supposed to lighten or look in afro products section of your Walmart or other store and you can find something there.
How can I lighten my skin using fruit? I also would like to know some remedies for pimples on my face. How can I protect my skin so as not to have them?
By Flower from Thailand
My face got darker. What should I do to lighten it in a natural way?
Is it really possible to get fair skin scientifically?
By Mrs. Rabbi from Chittagong Bangladesh
Which oils are best to use on skin to whiten the skin?
How do I whiten my skin using bleaching for skin whitening?
After bleaching my skin I felt very, very itchy. What will I do or put on to my skin so that I won't feel very itchy after bleaching? Do you know any kind of skin bleaching powder that is good, with no itchiness of skin after use? I used active white bleaching powder, soap, and lotion.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I'm a Malaysian. Malaysia is a very hot and sunny country, therefore I became very dark. Is there any cheap and simple skin whitening recipe I can use?
By Gan from Malaysia
Apply tomato juice for the face daily. And wash with cold (not much chill just little bit) water. Or you can apply banana also. Crush the banana and apply it for your face. And wash it after 15min. (09/29/2010)
All shades of skin color are beautiful. Women used to take arsenic to whiten their white skin. If it didn't kill them, it did whiten the skin as it made them anemic. But I am not recommending this. Why don't you use sunscreen to keep your skin from darkening? But once it is already dark, I don't believe any of the home remedies will work. Don't waste your time. (09/30/2010)
And here in the USA women pay to get suntanned! And lay for hours in the sun, just to get darker colored!
Your best bet to avoid getting darker, is to wear hats and to use sun screen to avoid getting sun on you as much as possible!
Usually wearing 100 percent cotton items such as Ericka makes: both in pants, and in tops keeps you cooler. You can wear a short sleeved top and open, longer sleeved shirt like to elbows that is not tight fitting to keep your arms from getting to much sun. This is the procedure I use when walking in the sun! (10/06/2010)
I am just 18 years old. I have a problem with darkness of my neck, forehead, and back. I want to make my neck, back, and forehead lighter. ALL my family has white skin color unlike me. I have heard that honey and eggs can help. Please help.
Buttermilk on a cotton ball and dabbed on your skin at night, washed off in a.m., will lighten your skin. This was used back in the old west to fade tans of the 'gentle women.' (08/12/2008)
You can use a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The lemon juice lightens and the olive oil conditions. (08/23/2008)
I know exactly how you feel, I have the same problem.
One product I tried really worked and it's called Ambi. It's a cream and comes in a tube and there's one for normal skin and one for oily skin. An African American friend recommended this to me and it works and it's inexpensive. Her skin glowed. In fact, she has a cousin who had to stop using it because it was making her skin too light.
I use it in the morning and before bed on a completely clean face. I used it all over because that's where I'm dark, but you could use it on brown spots. My skin actually glowed in about three weeks and it helped fade my dark areas. Actually, this may sound strange, but the glow I got seemed to mask the dark areas. Like the glow was stronger than the spots! Weird, but true.
Ambi.com, but I buy it at Target, Walmart, Walgreen's and CVS drugstores. You can even buy it online at walgreens.com and drugstore.com.
Make sure, however, that you use a sunBLOCK when you use Ambi. Ambi reveals fresh skin and fresh skin sunburns and then you'll be back at square one. Ambi doesn't make my skin peel either.
Another thing that I feel is vital is exfoliating. I'm 52 years old and have been exfoliating since I was around 16, before it became popular! People tell me I don't look my age. I don't look 16 either! But people put me at 40. You have to exfoliate before skin products can penetrate your skin so they'll work.
If you have acne or sensitive skin, be delicate when exfoliating. For acne, try a scrub that has salicylic acid in it. They are inexpensive and can be bought at the stores above.
Or, you can make a homemade scrub by using equal amounts of plain Ponds Cold Dream and table sugar. Clean your face well first and while it's still damp, use the scrub. Mix well and rub on skin and neck, and chest too, in a circular motion.
Also, there are around a million recipes like this on Thriftyfun! Good luck, and I hope you have success with this. (09/19/2008)
Try putting uncooked oatmeal in a clean long tube sock and scrubbing with that when you shower. That Ambi cream is good, and also sometimes in the Afro product section you can find "concha nacar." It's in Spanish but works, too. (09/21/2008)
If the darkened areas of your skin are due to hyper pigmentation there is a product called "Ultraquin" which comes in either a cream or gel base. It can be purchased in any pharmacy without an Rx. You will have to request it from the pharmacist (cost is approx. $15).
It works extremely well if applied on a daily basis. The hyper pigmented areas will gradually fade in time, so be patient. Please note: your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight when using this product therefore ensure you use sunscreen. (09/23/2008)
I used to have lighter skin color when I was younger, but it's gotten darker as I got older. My mom's skin is really light and she's always telling me to wash my face with soap and I do that, but it doesn't really help. I want to think that it does, but it doesn't.
Does sunscreen protect the color of your skin? I have a medium tan, but my mother's is really light and that's how I want it to be. I always thought it was the sun that made my face darker.
My feet and arms are so much whiter than my face and it looks like I don't wash my face, but I do (like 4 times a day).
-Ae Eh from Long Island, New York
Yes, you can get whiter skin and, yes, the sun makes your skin darker and "older looking". If you make a concentrated effort to apply sunblock and/or stay out of the sun, your white skin should come back in a year or so. Remember, a suntan is actually your body trying to protect itself from damage. (04/18/2005)
By Kathleen K.
From your comments indicating that your face appears "unwashed", I think you may have a condition called acanthosis nigricans. It is usually found on the neck, underarms and waist, but I also have it on my face.
This condition is caused by insulin resistance (diabetes). You may want to find an endocrinologist or dermatologist.
Hope this helps.
Whiter skin? This post confuses me, as do the replies. Sun tanning does obviously make most skin tones darker, but normally this fades when the winter comes. Maybe the discoloration/darkness is caused by sun spots and/or sun damage? If you talk to a dermatologist, they might recommend sun damage treatments.
But perhaps, you just need to embrace the fact that your skin changes over time, and may never go back to how it once was. 'Tis Life. (05/25/2005)
If you want a whiter skin frequently go to a "sauna" and apply every day for a month lemon mixed with honey. If some irritation begins stop the treatment.
But, black its a good color. Good luck. (09/06/2006)
By Javier B.
Of course you can get whiter skin, but why would you?
By Jesus C.
I mix flour (the bleached kind you cook with) and whole milk up in a bowl and apply that to my face once a day. Not only does it whiten my face, it also hydrates it and makes it smoother.
As a matter of fact you can achieve a whiter skin in no time. Others may say that using sunscreen will do the thing, not very much. So my mother's a dermatologist and she told me that the more you use a higher number of sunscreen when going outside the more you actually get darker and it's true. My old teacher one time was talking to me and he just got back from the Philippines which is a country that is very humid, I did notice that he was way darker then before and I remember him telling me that he used so much sunscreen to help his skin from the harsh sun.
My question was why did he get darker? My mother maybe right about that or maybe its just him I dunno, use at least SPF 15 nothing higher than that when applying on the face.
By the way never buy skin brighteners that have tiny little sparkles on them because they can irritate your skin and it can cause horrible acne. I've tried it before. I use the Morning glow Brightener from Clean and Clear, I think it was and it was harsh on the face.
Mixing milk and lemon in a little container will help you achieve that whiter complexion, because milk has a bit of bleach in it and so does the lemon because of its acidity.
My asian friend uses papaya herbal soap by Lika and it works well, she tells me. My friend is Philipino and she was pretty dark and now she's as light as my younger sister who's a bit darker then I am and I am a mixture of German and Philipino. (07/09/2007)
By Sinthia S.
Bro, the best and most effective way to lighten your skin tone is to consume a large amount of vitamin C. Fruits such as oranges, kiwi fruits and also vitamin supplements contain a large dose of this vitamin. Vitamin C is effective in reducing and diminishing the oversupply of melanin produced by oils inside the skin, which are the cause of dark skin. All the best. (08/22/2007)
Shideido White Lucent. I'm Asian and had the same problem as most of you. It's expensive if you buy here in America, but if you order online from say, SaSa (HK) it's a lot cheaper, trust me.
And it works really well, I was always pale but I had a lot of freckles, but after using it they're fading pretty quickly. Also eat things high in vitamin C and drink plenty of water.
I used to have uneven skin color on my body and face. I thought like you that if I would wash my face and body with normal soap that my skin color will become even and lighter. I recently discovered that this is not the case.
A dermatologist friend of mine suggested to me to try an imported soap called SW+SS. It really made a difference. Not only is my skin color lighter, but its also even all over my body and face.
And the best part is that it's not like those other harmful whitening products that damage your skin and can cause skin cancer.
It contains L glutathione. I am not exactly sure what it is, but the way my doctor friend described it to me, it's like a close relative to vitamin C.
They don't sell it in all countries. I was getting mine from a specialist shop, until recently when I found out that they sell it on eBay. That's where I am getting it from now. Here's the official website for more info: theswisscare.com (10/28/2007)
I have tried that SW+SS skin whitening soap, too. It really did the trick for me. But you have to stick with it for a couple of months. My skin is noticeably lighter and the color is more even.My mom is using it too to remove her dark spots. (11/17/2007)
People posting "you are who you are" obviously don't get it. The majority of the people posting here have uneven skin tones. I for one, have tanned arms and face, and extremely pale legs and torso. It makes me ill. All I want is for my skin to be one colour. I can't even go swimming. I was pale as a kid (my mother is white) with straight hair and as soon as I moved to a tropical city where I tanned and my hair became frizzy and wavy? (01/01/2008)
This is so sad. It's one thing to want even toned skin, but to try so hard to look as European as possible is unfortunate. America is a piece of work. (01/11/2008)
By Beautiful Brown Skin
Make sure the skin lightening products you buy do not have hydroquinine or mercury in it. It's banned in many countries and can disfigure your face, cause cancer, and actually make you darker instead. Seriously research it yourself. But other than that there are many good products out there like Fair and Flawless. (01/22/2008)
Use Bio Oil. It's proven to work. You can buy it from any drug store no prescriptions needed. Also gets rid of dark marks and scars. (04/25/2008)
For darker complexions, kojic acid and arbutin (bearberry cream) are good skin lighteners. For people who are fair, and struggling with uneven skin-tone, hydroquinone is not dangerous. It is only dangerous on darker skins. Beware of going on the wrong contraceptive pill, as it can cause brown spots. To all those who cannot understand about skin lightening, and think it is all about people rejecting their normal color, please understand that most people want to lighten because of "uneven" skin tone. (05/11/2008)
Your skin can become darker if you are overweight. This is a condition called Acanthosis nigricans. Acanthosis nigricans is most often associated with obesity.
Eating too much of the wrong foods, especially starches and sugars, can cause insulin resistance. Lose weight if this is the case and eat healthy foods only. Read more about this condition at aocd.org (08/24/2008)
I would highly recommend the SW+SS soap as well. I am a dermatologist and after using and thoroughly examining many of the available soaps in the market, I found SW+SS to be the one that strikes the best balance between being safe and producing the best results.
I got mine from their online shop: theswisscare.com They have a special offer on their eBay shop. Click on the eBay logo on their shop and go to their eBay shop. They have lots of special offers there. (09/03/2008)
Skin that has been exposed to the sun becomes darker because melanin "the pigments that give skin its color" are protecting you against sun's radiation. Therefore the more melanin you have the more darker you get so those that say that they were lighter when they were babies that doesn't mean that they were "meant" to be white simply you were not exposed to the sun as much as you get older now thank your parents for those genes. (10/23/2008)
Yes you can, dear, I can testify to that Amen! You need L'MAJ Beverly Hills Vita Pack products.
It will lightening you up with in few months. I saw changes with in 2 weeks. Try them. lmajinc.com (11/15/2008)
Have you used Mega Blast Whitening Cream? It's fast at whitening my skin. (12/22/2008)
To whiten skin, put some sour cream on like a mask, it really works I promise, but you will at least see some results in 2 days. (06/19/2009)
There is this new skin shop named Johnette Alissandraise. I've tried their whitening soaps and lotion and I assure you that I got whiter. Too bad it's hard to buy their products. I only buy them online, in their very few stores. Try them. I know you will agree with me. (12/06/2009)