A flawless complexion symbolizes youth and beauty. When patches of darkened skin such as birthmarks, hormonal pigmentation or age spots appear, women typically try to conceal them. Today, several options exist to overcome the frustration and embarrassment of hyperpigmentation. Prescription medications, chemical peels and laser therapy offer a solution for some women. Others choose over-the-counter creams, lotions and serums. For mild to moderate cases, consider using skin whitening remedies you can easily prepare at home.
Potatoes contain catecholase, an enzyme that purportedly lightens skin tone. Rubbing a peeled potato on freckles or applying the juice from a grated potato to age spots will help lighten mild skin discoloration. Achieve the subtle results of this natural whitening agent with daily use.
A light application of licorice extract twice a day helps to reverse the effects of hyperpigmentation. Pure licorice extract contains glabridin, which according to a 1998 abstract titled "The Inhibitory Effect of Glabridin From Licorice Extracts on Melanogenesis and Inflammation," inhibits the production of melanin and inflammation in skin.
Vinegar and Onion
According to the Discover Health website, use a mixture of equal parts of onion juice and vinegar to lighten age spots. Dab the mixture on offending dark skin patches as part of your daily beauty regimen. After several weeks, the spots should lighten in appearance.
Oatmeal exfoliates the skin, lightening dark spots over time. Mix a paste of oatmeal, honey, brown sugar and milk. Apply to the skin and massage gently in a circular motion. Continue the massage for one minute and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
The Doc Shop website suggests using lemon juice for a natural skin whitening remedy. The citric acid in lemon juice not only bleaches hair, it fades freckles and age spots as well. For the purist, dab fresh, undiluted lemon juice directly on dark skin twice a day for two months. For a refreshing mask, combine lemon juice and egg whites to gradually lighten and temporarily tighten the skin. Apply this mixture once or twice each day until you achieve the desired lightening results.
Cosmetic treatments rely on mint for its skin lightening properties. Avoid the high price tag with this simple mint paste. Grind fresh mint leaves in a food processor or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Pat the paste on affected skin, leaving on for 20 minutes. Rinse your skin with cold water. Continue the lightening treatment for 15 days.
Dairy and Papaya
Use a combination of natural acids to lighten dark skin pigmentation. Lactic acids, found in sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt, in combination with the ascorbic acid in papaya, form a potent skin whitening remedy. Select the lactic acid of your choice, mix with papaya pulp and apply daily. Leave the mixture on the skin for 10 minutes and rinse.