Skin lightening is, as the name suggests, a procedure that you can use to make your skin lighter. You might be wondering how this is possible. Well, the active ingredients in products designed for skin lightening work to reduce your skin’s melanin production. Melanin is that pigment that provides our skin with color, all the while protecting it against the damaging rays of the sun. There is more than one way to lighten your skin and give it a younger brighter look. Today, we are going to discuss all of them, including chemical peels, skin lightening and bleaching creams, laser treatments, and last but not least, natural procedures that you can do at home.

woman cleaning her face in the shower while wearing a towel on her head

Skin Lightening with Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are normally used to eliminate dead skin cells and make sure that new ones grow nicely. It is made by applying a type of liquid on your face. It comes in three options: the superficial, medium, and deep chemical peel. Even though chemical peels are not specifically designed to address skin lightening, they are often used with this purpose in mind. That is because they also even out your skin tone and provide it with a brighter look.

The superficial chemical peel only removes dead skin cells from the first layer of your skin, the one called epidermis. It only lasts for a couple of minutes and can be done again after a while, since it is generally safe.

The medium chemical peal also removes dead skin cells, but from the middle layer of your skin as well. You might experience stinging or burning during the treatment. For a couple of days after the peel, the skin might look red or brownish. However, it will return to normal in a couple of weeks.

doctor applying cream for chemical peel on a patient's face

Finally, the deep peel might require you to take a sedative or anesthetic. You might feel like your face is freezing when the peel touches it. Moreover, someone has to monitor your blood pressure since the chemicals used could be dangerous. Your face will get red and swollen, and these effects can last for three months. This is the most effective treatment for skin lightening, but it is also quite dangerous. The effects are lasting, so you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) repeat it.

Skin Lightening Creams

Perhaps the most popular method for skin lightening is the use of all sorts of creams that you can get both over-the-counter and with a prescription (if they are stronger). If you buy such a cream, you should make sure that you follow the instructions carefully, since most skin lightening creams contain mercury, which can be poisonous in large quantities. That is why specialists don’t recommend you to apply these creams on your entire body.

close up woman removing some cream out of a small container

You should use most skin lightening creams once a day and specifically on the targeted area. Be very careful not to get any cream near your eyes, or in your mouth or nose. You can apply it using a cotton bud, but if you decide to use your hands, wash them properly after. The treatment can last for a couple of months, depending on the strength of the cream and the area that you want lightened.

There are side effects that you should be aware of, such as redness, irritation, swelling, inflammation, itchiness, stinging, burning, and so on. If one of these side effects occur to you, you should immediately stop using the product and contact a doctor.

Now, because we want to help you out, we decided to do some research into some of the best skin lightening or skin bleaching products that you can find and use. Here are a couple of options that have great results:

  • Clean and Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Facial Scrub. If you are looking for a skin lightening product that is not so strong and that you can just integrate into your daily routine, we advise you to take a look at this one. A lot of satisfied customers swear by it and say that it actually brightens your skin. Not to mention that it smells amazing too.
  • Rephase D-White. This product promises visible results after only one month of using it. It also helps fade age spots, apart from helping with skin lightening. Plus, it only costs $60.
  • Clarins Bright Plus HP Brightening Hydrating Day Lotion SPF 20. This lotion is extremely light, so it will feel like you have absolutely nothing on. It helps you even out your skin tone and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy.

Laser Skin Lightening

Moving on to another method of skin lightening, this one is indeed expensive, yet it provides really great results for some people. You can schedule an appointment with a doctor that will use a laser to even out your skin tone by getting rid of blemishes or darker spots. The laser damages the melanin-producing cells or removes the top layer of your skin.

doctor using a laser to lighten a patient's skin

In order for the procedure to be effective, you might need to go in for more than one session. Of course, this also depends on the area of skin you want lightened and on the intensity of the blemishes or dark spots. You might feel stinging during the procedure, which means that the doctor will usually have to use a local anesthetic. It might take a couple of weeks for your skin to go back to normal and stop being red and swollen. You should not expose yourself to the sun without thorough protection in the first 6 months, since your skin will be extremely sensitive.

There are also some side effects that you should be aware of, such as blistering, crusting, or bruising. However, these should go away in two weeks’ time.

Natural Skin Lightening Methods That You Can Try at Home

Finally, if none of the above options sounds good to you, you can always try some home remedies that can help you with skin lightening. We have gathered some of the best ones here:

  • Clean your skin with milk or yogurt. Milk is normally really good as a cleanser, since it removes impurities that are soluble in oil and that are protein based. However, if you clean your face with milk regularly, it will provide your skin with a constant brightening effect. So if you are looking for a natural skin lightening product, wipe your face with some cotton balls infused with milk and then allow the skin to dry naturally. Yogurt works in a similar way, so we advise you to massage some yogurt on your face and then leave it on for a couple of minutes to work its magic.
  • Use a lemon juice solution. Lemon juice is quite famous for its skin lightening properties. It bleaches the skin and also exfoliates it nicely. However, raw lemon juice can irritate the skin. So you should mix some with water. Then, use a cotton ball to apply it on your skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Be careful not to do this more than three times a week and you will see results in about a month.
  • Try a papaya and honey mask. Papaya contains some enzymes that get rid of dead skin cells and leave the skin looking brighter and more luminous. We recommend you mix some papaya pieces with 1 teaspoon of honey, since honey has properties that protect your skin from bacteria. Mix them together until they form a paste and then keep the paste on your face for 20 minutes. This is a completely safe mask, so you can do it every night before you go to bed.
  • Work the magic of sandalwood powder. Did you know that sandalwood powder has skin lightening properties? It reduces the production of melanin, which guarantees you will have a brighter skin if you use it constantly. We advise you to make a paste using this powder, some almond powder, and milk. We already talked about why milk is beneficial to your skin. What you maybe don’t know is that almond powder is nutritious and actively cleans your skin as well. Mix one teaspoon of sandalwood powder with one teaspoon of almond powder and add milk until it forms a paste. Then, apply it on your face and allow it to work for 20 minutes. You can do this three times a week.

several containers filled with sandalwood powder

Summing It All Up

Luckily for people who want their skin to be lighter, brighter, and look younger, there are plenty of skin lightening techniques out there, from chemical peels, to creams and laser treatments. However, if you fear the side effects and also don’t want to spend that much money on brightening your skin, there are also a lot of natural treatments that you can do at home. We hope one of the ones we provided above becomes your favorite.

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