Learning to love and accept yourself is without a doubt the best way to live happily, however there may be one reason or another that makes a person want lighter skin. Unfortunately, while it is possible to even out skin tone, there are no recommended ways to have clearer skin naturally. Homemade solutions have not been proven, and some are even potentially dangerous. However, that does not mean that all is lost! There are over-the-counter creams that you can use to lighten dark spots, and you also have the option of trying some professional treatments recommended by a dermatologist. These different options will help you lighten your skin safely.
Method 1 of 4: Choose a cream for dark areas
There are countless skin bleaching creams and lotions on the market, and it can be difficult to identify which are the most effective. Fortunately, it's easier to choose when you know what to look for. You can get these products without a prescription at pharmacies. Generally speaking, lightening creams are only intended for small areas like age spots. Always remember to ask a dermatologist if they are safe before applying them to larger areas.
Step 1. Use kojic acid to reduce melanin
Kojic acid is effective against different kinds of skin problems, including pigmentation. Choose creams containing this ingredient to lighten your skin. You should be able to get it without a prescription.
- Minor dermatitis and skin irritation are the main side effects of kojic acid.
- Kojic acid can make the skin more vulnerable to sunburn, so before using it, make sure that you don't risk being exposed to the sun for too long.
Step 2. Try retinoid creams
Retinoid creams are commonly used for all kinds of skin problems like age spots or wrinkles. They can also lighten dark spots and keep your skin healthy. Buy an over-the-counter cream to try it out and see if it clears up your skin.
- You can also ask a dermatologist to prescribe a more concentrated retinoid cream with a prescription.
- Retinoid creams can cause dryness, redness, and flaking of the skin where they are applied.
Step 3. Make sure the creams do not contain mercury
Some skin lightening creams contain mercury, which makes them potentially dangerous. Exposure to mercury can cause kidney problems and damage your eyesight and hearing. You can avoid products that contain it by checking the ingredient list and looking for the signs below.
- If the ingredient list includes calomel, cinnabar, mercury oxide or quicksilver, it means the product contains mercury.
- If it is recommended that you keep the cream away from silver, gold, aluminum and jewelry, it means that it probably contains mercury.
Step 4. Use hydroquinone to bleach dark spots
Hydroquinone is a skin bleach commonly used to block melanin production. It is used in many over the counter skin lightening creams. Try a 2% hydroquinone cream or lotion to see if it works for you.
- Some doctors advise against the use of hydroquinone because it is associated with certain side effects such as even darker or excessively discolored skin. Generally speaking, they claim it is safe at concentrations below 4%, but you can take your precautions and always seek the advice of your dermatologist before using it.
- Hydroquinone's lightening effect is temporary, which means you will need to use it continuously. Your skin will also turn dark again in the sun and you will still need to apply sun protection when you go out.
- Usually, the effects of hydroquinone start to show after four weeks.
Method 2 of 4: Using the cream correctly
Once the cream is found, all you have to do is apply it. Always read the instructions to be sure you use it correctly. Follow these steps to lighten your skin with over-the-counter creams.
Step 1. First test the cream on a small area
Before using the cream, make sure that you are not sensitive to it. Apply a little to a small part of your skin and check after a few minutes that there is no redness or irritation. If you have nothing, you can apply more of it to your skin.
If the cream has caused any reaction, do not use it
Step 2. Apply a thin layer of cream to the areas to be brightened
Pour a small amount of cream on your finger or on a cotton swab. Then apply it on the dark parts of your skin.
- Keep the cream away from your nose, eyes, and mouth.
- Keep in mind that these creams are usually intended for small dark spots and not large areas. First ask your dermatologist if their use on large areas is safe.
Step 3. Wash your hands after applying the cream
This is an essential step to prevent accidental lightening of your fingers or other parts of your skin.
Even if you use a cotton swab, it's always best to wash your hands, just in case you get it on your hands without realizing it
Step 4. Do not let anyone touch the cream for a few hours
Lightening creams can spread on contact with other people, which could accidentally lighten their skin. Leave them on for at least a few hours before you approach someone.
Step 5. Continue treatment for 3 to 4 months
Lightening creams take a long time to work, so it is important that you follow your treatment until the end. Continue to apply your cream every day for 3 to 4 months to hope to see results.
- Usually, if you don't see any difference after 3 months, see your dermatologist for further treatment.
- If the product's directions for use recommend anything else, follow them.
Method 3 of 4: Use a brightening laser
While some over-the-counter creams can be effective at lightening the skin, their effectiveness is not guaranteed. Fortunately, there are always other solutions, hence the importance of speaking with a dermatologist. The most common procedure is laser treatment to reduce the melanin in your skin. Your dermatologist can do it and brighten your complexion.
Step 1. Consult a dermatologist
Treatments that lighten the skin, including laser treatments, should be done in a dermatologist's office. Make an appointment and discuss which procedure is best for you.
The dermatologist will likely do a skin test to make sure you are not sensitive to lasers. He will expose a small part of your skin to the ray and check after a few weeks that no reaction has occurred. If nothing has happened, it means the treatment is safe
Step 2. Undergo laser treatment
Laser treatments are relatively straightforward. The dermatologist directs a laser at your skin for 30 to 60 minutes to break down the melanin in your skin. He may also use a blast of cold air to keep your skin from overheating during the procedure. At the end of the treatment, you can go home to let your skin recover.
- You may feel a slight burning or tingling sensation during the treatment. This is completely normal, however you should not hesitate to tell the dermatologist if you experience severe pain.
- The dermatologist will most likely use numbing cream to numb your skin and help you cope with the pain.
Step 3. Follow the follow-up instructions for two weeks
Lasers damage your skin, so it's normal for you to see redness, bruising, and inflammation. However, these symptoms should go away within two weeks. Until your complete recovery, gently wash the treated area each day with water and unscented soap. Then apply aloe vera or Vaseline to help your skin heal. Avoid scratching or peeling off any scabs that form. As long as you follow the directions provided by your dermatologist, your skin should heal quickly and become clearer.
- You can also take pain relievers to relieve the discomfort.
- Always follow the specific instructions of your dermatologist in the days that follow.
Method 4 of 4: Try homemade solutions
You can easily find many home treatments for lightening the skin on the Internet. Unfortunately, most of these options are ineffective, and the best thing to do at home is to limit sun exposure to prevent the skin from becoming darker. Apart from that, you can also consult a dermatologist to prescribe effective treatments.
Step 1. Apply sun protection when you go out
It won't lighten your skin, but it will keep it from getting darker and damaged. Whenever you get out in the sun, remember to apply protection with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin and prevent it from darkening.
Sun protection is all the more important if you use lightening creams, as they increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun
Step 2. Avoid exposure to the sun in the middle of the day
In general, the sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which means you are more at risk if you go out during these times. Try to stay indoors at these times of the day, and remember to wear plenty of sunscreen if you have to go outside.
If you must go out at these times of the day, try to stay in the shade as much as possible
Step 3. Do not use any unverified whitening product
If you go online for tips on how to lighten your skin at home, you will likely find whitening kits or options like applying lemon juice, yogurt, or bleach to your skin. None of these tips have worked, and some are potentially dangerous. If you want to lighten your complexion, the best thing to do is to see a dermatologist to recommend professional treatments.
You are not the only one looking for a natural way to lighten your skin. However, there is no recommended homemade solution to achieve this goal. Fortunately, there are other options you can explore. Some over-the-counter skin lightening creams can be effective if you use them correctly and seek the advice of your dermatologist first. If that doesn't work, you can try some treatments recommended by your dermatologist. However, rather than wishing for a change, you can try to appreciate your complexion and love yourself for the way you are.