Dark spots and blemishes on the face can easily be lightened or treated in order to restore a glowing complexion and a clear skin. Dark spots, patches, and other marks on the face can be a result of excess production of melanin in the skin.
When the skin is injured, the body’s natural response is to send melanin to heal it. At times, this can result in an overproduction of melanin, causing hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin at certain spots or patches.(1)
Some factors that can lead to this condition are:
- Overexposure to the sun
- Hormone imbalance
- Certain medications
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Lack of sleep
- Too much stress
Spots, blemishes, and patches on the face can be a cause of embarrassment and can even result in low self-esteem.
Luckily, there are many possible treatments, such as acid peels and laser surgeries, to get rid of these stubborn spots.(1)
There are a number of simple, natural home remedies that can also help reduce the appearance of spots and other blemishes on your face.
Natural Treatment Options for Dark Spots on Face
Here are 10 home remedies to get rid of dark spots on face.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a quick and easy solution for dark spots. This ingredient can easily be found in your kitchen cupboard or at your nearest grocery store.
Lemons contain vitamin C that can help lighten the dark spots on your face. This remedy is extremely easy to use.(2)
- Put some fresh lemon juice on a cotton ball and rub it directly on the affected area.
- Allow it to dry and then wash it off with plain water.
- Continue using this dark spot removal remedy for at least two weeks to get the desired result.
If you have sensitive skin, you may dilute the lemon juice with honey, plain water, or rose water. You can also use lime juice to get rid of dark spots. Just apply it in the same manner as described above.
This is another great remedy for dark spots or patches. Potatoes are packed with natural bleaching properties that help in fading spots, scars, and blemishes. The starch in potato helps reduce hyperpigmentation, while the enzymes in it promote healthy skin.(3)
Potatoes can be applied in the following ways:
- Slice up a potato.
- Place one slice directly onto the hyperpigmented area.
- Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash your face with lukewarm water.
- Peel and grate potato.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of honey in the grated potato.
- Apply the mask on your face and allow it to dry for 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off using lukewarm water.
- Extract the juice of 1 potato.
- Add a little lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder to it.
- Apply this mixture on the dark spots.
- Allow it to dry then rinse it off.
Some people have also found tomatoes to be useful in getting rid of hyperpigmentation within a few weeks.
Buttermilk can prove to be effective in getting rid of dark spots. Like lemon juice, it also helps fade blemishes and spots but without causing a burning sensation. The lactic acid in buttermilk will gradually reduce skin pigmentation and brighten your complexion.(4)
- Take 4 teaspoons of buttermilk.
- Add in 2 teaspoons of fresh tomato juice.
- Mix the two ingredients (both have excellent bleaching properties) and then apply the mixture to the affected area.
- Wash it off after 15 minutes.
If you do not have buttermilk, simply soak a cotton ball in milk and dab it directly on the spots. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and then wash it off. Repeat this procedure twice daily for 4 to 5 weeks.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera comes with several healing properties and is a great natural dark spot corrector. Aloe vera gel consists of polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of new skin cells to help reduce dark spots and heal scars.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research throws light on the various skin benefits of aloe vera gel. According to the study, this gel can help clear dark spots and skin blemishes to make the skin clearer.(5)
- Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe leaf.
- Apply it directly on the dark patches and spots.
- Massage the area gently using your fingertips for a few minutes.
- Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse your face.
- Repeat this once or twice daily for a few weeks to treat skin discolorations.
In case it gets messy, use a clean cloth soaked in warm water to remove the mask. Do this treatment once or twice a week.
Vitamin E oil and castor oil are also useful in getting rid of dark spots.
5. Mulberry Extract
Mulberry is another excellent skin-lightening ingredient. Mulberry extract is obtained from the roots of the paper mulberry plant or the mulberry fruit. It can inhibit the production of melanin by preventing tyrosinase activity. This helps promote a better-looking skin tone.(6)
Mulberry also consists of arbutin, which boasts skin-lightening properties.(7)
Put 6–10 mulberries in a blender for a few seconds to make a mulberry whitening mask. Once the mulberries turn mushy, add in a little honey. Apply this mixture all over your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse your face with lukewarm water.
Turmeric is another popular skin-lightening agent that can be used to get rid of dark spots on your face. It helps repair free radical damage and reduces hyperpigmentation and discoloration. It is also effective in quickly removing sun spots and age spots.(8)
- Make a thick paste of 2 teaspoons of turmeric, a little milk, and some lemon juice.
- Apply it onto the skin affected by black spots.
- Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Almonds help lighten and brighten the skin. They can also aid in reducing hyperpigmentation. Being rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and healthy fats, almonds help maintain clear and flawless skin.(9)
- Take 8–10 almonds and soak them in milk overnight.
- In the morning, peel off the skin and grind the almonds.
- Now, add 1 teaspoon sandalwood powder and ½ teaspoon honey in it.
- Mix the ingredients to make a fine paste.
- Apply it on your face.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash it off.
- Use this face mask once or twice a week.
An almond oil massage (preferably twice a day) can help improve the complexion, reduce the intensity of sun damage, and fade hyperpigmented areas.
8. Green Tea
Other than being good for your health, green tea can also do wonders for your skin. It can help reduce melanin production by stopping tyrosinase. The high amount of vitamin C present in green tea further enhances this action. Also, vitamin C can effectively prevent the accumulation of melanin in some areas.(10)
- Apply cool and wet tea bags of green tea on the affected area. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. This remedy is especially useful in combating dark under eye pigmentation.
- Mix green tea, banana, and kiwi juice to make a green tea face mask. Apply the mask on your face and wash it off after 20 minutes.
The enzymes in papaya can help even out the skin tone and also aid in fading hyperpigmentation. For instance, papaya contains papain, an enzyme that exfoliates the skin to get rid of dead skin cells. In addition, papaya boasts cleansing properties that help clear the skin from impurities. It also protects the skin from sun damage.
There are two ways in which you can use papaya for clear skin.(11)
- Apply the pulp of ripe papaya to the skin. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Repeat no more than 2 times a week.
- Alternatively, you may grate green papaya and add some lime juice to it. Apply this mixture on the dark spots and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this twice a week.
You may use papaya skin as a scrub for your knees and elbows.
10. Licorice Extract
Trace amounts of glabridin, which offers a skin-lightening effect and can be found in licorice extract. Glabridin is believed to be effective in stopping the process that results in the formation of dark spots on the skin. It does not harm the regular skin cells.(6)
- For starters, use 10 parts of water to 1 part of licorice extract in order to find out whether it leads to skin irritation or other side effects.
- Pour this solution onto a piece of cloth and use this compress on the affected area for about 10 to 15 minutes 2 times a day.
- Gradually increase the concentration until you begin to see results.
- Visit your physician to have your new spots or skin variations examined in order to ensure that they are not due to a more serious underlying health condition.
- Do not use too much makeup products as these are often loaded with chemicals.
- Always remove your makeup before going to bed.
- Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays by wearing sunscreen.
- Do not exfoliate the skin if you have open wounds, lesions, or sores.
- Apply an effective moisturizer regularly on your skin to prevent dryness.
- Follow a healthy diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy skin.
- Drink ample amount of water every day to keep your body hydrated and enjoy a soft and supple skin.
- Over-exfoliation of the skin can cause damage. Make sure to follow the directions in using the exfoliant. If you have sensitive or dry skin, please make sure to use less than recommended.
- Krobotova LN. Hyperpigmentation: types, diagnostics, and targeted treatment options. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jdv.12048. Published December 3, 2012.
- Telang PS. Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatology Online Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/. Published 2013.
- Umadevi M, Kumar PKS, Bhowmik D. Health Benefits and Cons of Solanum tuberosum. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. http://www.plantsjournal.com/vol1Issue1/Issue_jan_2013/html/3.html.
- Singh S, Ahmed QR, Gupta N. Effect of 82% Lactic Acid in Treatment of Melasma. International Scholarly Research Notices. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2014/407142/. Published July 17, 2014.
- S KKP, Bhowmik D, Chiranjib. Aloe vera: a potential herb and its medicinal importance. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20103251941. Published 2010.
- Sarkar R, Arora P, Garg VK. Cosmeceuticals for Hyperpigmentation: What is Available? S Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3663177/. Published 2013.
- Zhu W, Gao J. The Use of Botanical Extracts as Topical Skin-Lightening Agents for the Improvement of Skin Pigmentation Disorders. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15526663. Published December 16, 2015.
- Heng MCY. Topical Curcumin: A Review of Mechanisms and uses in Dermatology. International Journal of Dermatology and Clinical Research. https://www.peertechz.com/Dermatology-Clinical-Research/IJDCR-3-120.php. Published July 6, 2017.
- Ahmad Z. The uses and properties of almond oil. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1744388109000772. Published July 15, 2009.
- Kim YC, Choi SY, Park EY. Anti-melanogenic effects of black, green, and white tea extracts on immortalized melanocytes. Journal of Veterinary Science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483495/. Published June 2015.
- Packianathan N, Kandasamy R. Skin Care with Herbal Exfoliants. Received: 23 February 2010. Accepted: 20 October 2010. Research Note Functional Plant Science and Biotechnology. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224892687_Skin_Care_with_Herbal_Exfoliants. Published April 2011.