Darkened or discolored patches of skin, sometimes called age spots or liver spots, are the result of exposure to the sun. The Mayo Clinic reports that these dark spots develop “very slowly” over years of exposure to the sun or to tanning beds. Conventional treatments include topical medications, laser therapy, freezing and exfoliation of the skin’s surface. However, you may try some alternative methods for natural skin whitening to avoid chemicals or expensive dermatology treatments.
Lemon juice may lighten skin discoloration over a few weeks, advises Mother Nature.com. Squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon and apply to the discolored skin with a cotton ball twice per day. Lemon juice contains acids that act as a mild exfoliant, gradually removing the top layer of skin to reveal new, unmarred skin. It may take up to eight weeks to see results.
For a lemon facial masque, combine the juice of half a lemon with one egg white and a teaspoon of olive oil or almond oil. Apply to your face and leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing.
Raw onion may assist in skin whitening as the acidic onion juice slowly peels away the top layer of skin. Choose a red onion, slice it and apply the freshly cut surface to the discolored skin. Repeat once or twice a week. If you’re sensitive to onion fumes, avoid using raw onion on your face.
Daily Glow.com suggests bathing in milk to allow the lactic acid to lighten the outer layer of skin. Pour an entire gallon into your bathwater and soak 30 minutes or longer. You may also apply milk directly to the skin 30 minutes before showering or rinsing. Substitute plain yogurt or buttermilk, if desired.
Since skin discoloration and age spots are the result of exposure to ultraviolet rays, apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply every two hours. Wear a wide-brim hat, and long sleeves and long pants to block direct sun rays. The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting your time in the sun during high-intensity hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.