Sun exposure, aging, hormonal imbalances and scarring from nasty breakouts are the main causes of complexion spots. Getting rid of these discolored patches is difficult, but with a handful of simple homemade remedies you can be well on your way to lightening their appearance and rejuvenating skin.
L-asorbic Acid (vitamin C) Powder
Green guru Sophie Uliano is a big proponent of adding vitamin C crystals to your everyday moisturizer, and for good reason. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that repairs skin damage and boosts the production of collagen. Over time, vitamin C also reduces the number of sunburned cells, aiding skin in restoring itself and lightening pigmentation.
However, vitamin C in skincare is only effective when used fresh in its synthesized form, L-asorbic acid powder or crystals. Don’t be tricked by skincare products that claim to be packed with vitamin C. It’s a scientific fact that vitamin C breaks down and becomes inactive shortly after being added to a formula. Unfortunately, that means there’s little or none vitamin C left in that fancy new serum by the time you bring it home from the store.
Instead, sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of L-asorbic acid powder into 8-12 drops of blossom jar oil on your palm and massage directly onto skin. Simple! Or you can make Sophie’s anti-aging Vitamic C serum with vegetable glycerin and apply to pigmented patches. If you prefer, camu camu is an alternative to L-asorbic acid.
It doesn’t get much easier than this. The citric acid in lemons has natural skin lightening components and there are numerous ways to use it on your skin. Cut a small slice of lemon and apply directly to the spot. Or combine equal parts squeezed lemon juice and warm water in a cup and apply to skin with a cotton ball. Rinse after 15 minutes.
You can also prepare a mask or use lemon rind as an exfoliant. For double the power, combine lemon juice with apple cider vinegar, which is full of natural alpha hydroxy acids that also target dark spots.
Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are drying, however, so make sure you moisturize skin immediately following a treatment. Our Normal Skin or Hormonal Skin moisturizing blends are great choices. They replenish skin while also supplying additional pigmentation-lightening ingredients (like grapefruit and lemongrass essential oils).
Natural Enzyme Face Mask
Pineapple, papaya and pumpkin are full of enzymes and salicylic / glycolic acid that remove dead skin cells and lighten surface pigmentation. To make, simply blend one cup of fresh pulp until smooth and apply to clean skin for 5-15 minutes. You can also combine the fruit (for example, one cup fresh papaya and ½ cup pineapple) and add in honey for extra benefits. Rinse off with warm water and keep any extra pulp in the fridge. Be sure to use within a week.
Instead of using dangerous and toxic bleach creams found in stores, try this natural and gentle version from Ayurvedic practitioner Pratima Raichur. Mix one teaspoon of yogurt with 2-3 drops honey. Apply to skin and leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
If your skin is particularly sensitive, avoid the remedies listed above and instead combine a teaspoon of aloe vera straight from the plant with a drop or two of lavender essential oil to target sun spots. Aloe vera protects the deeper layers of skin from sun damage and has been show to lighten hyperpigmentation.
Natural remedies take time to work, so be patient. Plus it doesn’t hurt to take Benjamin Franklin’s advice to heart: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So slather on sunscreen, wear a hat, and diligently apply botanical-packed moisturizers like blossom jar to avoid future spots!