7 Natural Remedies To Keep Your Skin BrightLuke Coutinho
We get a lot of queries from young people, especially teenagers asking for tips to lighten and whiten their complexion.
It is heartbreaking how their minds have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, media, and society at large, to believe that having brown or dark skin is what they need to change. Even to date, we have parents taking their daughters to dermatologists to “fix” their dark complexions.
Matrimonial ads push for fair brides and grooms. And if there’s one thing I can tell you, it is that if you are getting into a marriage determined by the color of someone’s skin, it’s going to be the most miserable one you will ever have.
These instances should make us reflect on the kind of message we are sending our children. People are lathering themselves with fairness creams in this constant pursuit of lightening up their skin. If you have tanned and want to reduce that, that’s a different conversation. But wanting to whiten your skin is not what your goal should be. If you are blessed with rich brown skin, accept and embrace it.
What people need is not fairness creams but a special Vitamin C – common sense. We cannot blame them because the world around them has conditioned them to feel this way. We need to change this narrative.
What I am going to share with you is not going to make you white or fair. These are just natural and inexpensive remedies you can try at home to maintain the health of your skin.
Lemon juice has citric acid (also a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps us to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. Before you apply it to your face, ensure that you do a patch test at the back of your hand or the inside of your palm/wrist to rule out any allergies. If it works for you, you can use raw lemon juice on your skin.
- Exfoliates and removes dead skin cells
- Tightens the skin
- Reduces inflammation and controls oil
- Lightens acne scars
- Rich in antioxidants
- Boosts collagen production, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
Lemon, honey, and aloe vera face pack
You can make a simple face pack by mixing lemon, honey, and aloe vera gel. Apply this 2-3 times a week to naturally brighten and moisturize your skin.
- Excellent for treating sunburns and cuts
- Moisturizes and soothes your skin
- Speeds up wound healing, minimizes scarring
- Boosts collagen
- Is antimicrobial and antibacterial
- Alleviates inflammation and itchiness
- Works to manage inflammatory acne filled with puss and reduces post-acne hyperpigmentation
- Aloesin and aloin in aloe vera reduce dark spots and stretch marks
- Aloe vera has naturally occurring salicylic acid that reduces acne and acts as a gentle exfoliant to shed dead skin cells
- Reduces redness and inflammation
- Has antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties
- Vitamins C and E in it fight free radicals and slow down aging
Turmeric face pack/mask
Turmeric has been a part of desi skincare for civilizations. You can mix good-quality turmeric with yogurt and apply it as a face pack. You can even mix turmeric essential oil with a carrier oil like walnut, coconut, or sesame oil. Apply it to your face at night. Wash it off the next morning.
- Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
- Gives you a natural glow
- Great for wound healing
- Helps reduce acne and scarring
- Reduces hyperpigmentation
- Boosts collagen production
- Improves elasticity and slows down fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging
Yogurt and honey face mask
A perfect combination of plain yogurt and quality honey moisturizes and brightens your skin. Mix the ingredients and apply the mask to your clean face. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and then wash it off.
- Moisturizes and brightens the skin
- Acts as a toning agent
- Studies suggest that it may provide UV ray protection
- Increases elasticity
- Fights acne
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Anti-inflammatory and soothes the skin
- Anti-microbial. Always check with your dermatologist before applying it to broken skin.
- Used as a natural skin remedy
- Balances the skin microbiome
- Prevents and manages acne
- Speeds healing
- Reduces blemishes
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial
- Works as a natural exfoliator and sheds dead skin cells
You may wonder why the most expensive spas in the world have papaya face and skin packs. The enzyme papain in papaya helps brighten your skin, exfoliate, and gently remove dead skin cells. Use it as a topical application by chopping ripe papaya and mixing its pulp and juice to form a paste-like consistency. Apply and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse.
- Papain promotes wound healing
- Secretes collagen and enhances skin elasticity
- Boosts hydration
- Has anti-aging properties
- Moisturizes dry and flaky skin
- Sheds dead skin cells
- Reduces tan and dark spots
- Combats acne
Even our mothers and grandmothers used gram flour to make homemade face packs. In ancient India, many midwives would use besan or gram flour mixed with milk or yogurt to treat dry skin in babies and keep their skin soft, supple, and healthy.
You can mix besan/gram flour with yogurt or milk to make a face pack. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and rinse once dry. You can also opt to add a little rice flour or oat flour to it and transform it into a gentle exfoliator.
- Reduces tan
- Control excess sebum or oil production
- Removes dirt and removes dead cells
- Adds a youthful glow
- Cleanses your skin deeply
- Loaded with antioxidants that help slow down aging
- Boosts collagen production and increases elasticity
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Cucumber not only soothes and cools your skin but also improves and tightens collagen beneath it. It is refreshing. You can use it as a face mask by adding other ingredients like honey and yogurt.
You can opt to simply apply cucumber slices on the eyes to reduce puffiness or rub it gently onto your skin.
- Hydrates and soothes your skin
- Is anti-inflammatory
- Excellent at treating sunburns
- Prevents and helps manage acne
- Controls sebum production
- Tightens your pores
- Vitamin C in it brightens your tone and reduces pigmentation, dark spots, and blemishes
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Folic and caffeic acids boost collagen production in your skin and give you a youthful glow
Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of these ingredients, avoid them. If you have a skin ailment, always check with your dermatologist before adding anything new to your lifestyle. Try a patch test to rule out any allergies.
The bottom line
Over and above these simple remedies, ensure that you are adequately hydrated. Do not overdo or underdo it.
And remember that good skin care is an inside-out approach. Look at your nutrition. Overdoing junk, oily, and ultra-processed foods will not give your cells the nutrition they need to help your skin thrive, glow, or maintain the collagen beneath it. So, eat clean.
Move more. If you think you can sit in a spa every day and get more beautiful – you are mistaken. Get up and move because when we exercise, we increase the flow of blood circulating throughout our body which gives us a natural glow. You may notice that your skin looks healthier after a workout because blood carries oxygen and nutrients from your food to each of the trillion cells in your body, including your face.
It is called beauty sleep for a reason. When you are well-rested and have a deep restorative sleep, you wake up looking more beautiful. When you are chronically sleep-deprived, you age faster than you should, your skin starts looking dull, your hair starts falling out, and your immunity dampens because you do not have the right antioxidants to maintain collagen. No amount of external consumption of super-expensive collagen will give you the glow that quality and sufficient sleep can.
The most stressed you are, the more tired and old you look. I have met young people in their 30s who look like they are in their 50s. They struggle with wrinkles up and dull skin because of the chronic stress they are under. When you are perpetually stressed, you do not absorb the nutrients from the food that you eat well and start aging faster than you should. Break this vicious cycle. Get help if you must but bring your stress levels down.
Last but certainly not least, embrace your complexion and skin. Every time you look into the mirror and think negatively, it robs you of your self-worth and self-confidence. The color of your heart and soul matters far more than your skin. So, invest your energy in accepting yourself fully to live your best life.
ALSO WATCH: Episode 403 – Natural Ways to Keep your Skin Looking Bright
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