While most people want to be fairer, they don’t want to do so by using harmful products or undergoing invasive procedures that can cause long-term problems like premature aging and wrinkles. Fortunately, several safe and effective methods can help you achieve fair skin safely, without any of the risks associated with other options. Consider the following nine ways to get fairer skin naturally.
1) Clean your face twice every day
Regularly cleaning your face is another good way to improve your complexion. Use a gentle cleanser, preferably one with salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which help slough off dead skin cells and create an even tone. Always apply moisturizer after cleansing, because it seals in moisture and helps keep skin supple. The most important thing is not washing your face too often, since over-washing can strip away natural oils that protect against wrinkles. For example, once every other day should be sufficient for most people; if you’re more prone to breakouts, try just once a day. Also, remember that hot water can irritate acne and may make skin appear redder than normal—if you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, wash with warm water instead of hot.
2) Moisturise regularly
Your skin needs moisture—and that’s especially true if you’re trying to get fairer. When your skin is moisturized, it makes its natural melanin (the pigment that gives your skin its color). If you don’t moisturize your skin, it struggles to make enough melanin on its own. When you have fewer melanin cells in your body, your overall complexion is lighter. So, keeping your skin hydrated helps keep your tan looking fresh and even-toned. Use a light daily moisturizer with SPF and a few drops of argan oil for extra hydration. The only way to become fair naturally is by using whitening products which will remove all your dead skin cells, allowing your new skin cells underneath to glow through. You can use an exfoliating scrub or soap once or twice a week and then apply whitening cream afterward.
3) Use an exfoliating scrub
Exfoliating, a.k.a. scrubbing away dead skin cells and dirt from your face, is key for all skin tones to get that dewy look—but women with darker complexions will find that they need exfoliation more often than fair-skinned ladies. If you have dark skin, you should be exfoliating at least twice a week (if not more). The easiest way to do so? Use an at-home facial scrub like St. Ives Apricot Scrub ($5) or Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub Cream ($25). The latter even has granules of sugar in them that are designed to gently remove any buildup on your face without irritating sensitive skin.
4) Tone your skin every day
Make sure you’re getting enough physical activity every day. Exercise not only increases blood flow, but it can help reduce stress—another major cause of sun-induced skin darkening. Try taking a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood on your lunch break or start with a 20-minute jog in place when you get home from work. If you have time, set aside an hour for exercise at least three times per week. (If you don’t have time for that much exercise, try doing 10 minutes at a time throughout your day.) This will ensure that your body is healthy and ready to handle UV rays if they come its way.
5) Avoid harsh scrubs
The exfoliating ingredients in many commercial and homemade scrubs can cause micro-tears in your skin. While these tears might not be immediately noticeable, repeated use of harsh exfoliants will eventually make your skin look dull and tired. Instead, opt for a non-irritating, natural scrub using either a sugar or salt base. Be sure to scrub gently so you don’t damage your epidermis, then apply your favorite moisturizer—preferably with sunscreen—and enjoy clearer skin! If you’re prone to acne: Acne sufferers tend to have oily skin, which is prone to breakouts.
6) Shower frequently in warm water
Showering helps open up your pores and flush out oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that could be blocking your path to fairer skin. Try showering in warm water (warm water helps open up pores). Using a natural cleanser also removes harmful chemicals from your body. The less gunk on your skin, the fairer it will look! Also, try not to use harsh soaps or cleaners; they can cause redness and irritation which may lead to breakouts and further blemishes.
7) Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is important for many reasons, including a healthy complexion. If you aren’t drinking eight glasses of water every day, work your way up to that amount slowly. Too much at once can cause bloating and other unpleasant symptoms. And if you’re not used to drinking so much water, try adding lemon or cucumber slices to make it more palatable. It might take some time before your body adjusts, but keep at it! It will be worth it in the end.
8) Use sunscreen regularly
When you head outside, you’re bombarded with free radicals. Exposure to UV rays—even when they don’t burn your skin—can damage cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Protect yourself by wearing at least SPF 30 sunscreen daily. If you work or play outdoors, apply it more often than that. Don’t forget your lips! Sunscreen won’t protect them from UV rays, so make sure to use a lip balm with an SPF rating of 15 or higher.
9) Ditch the sunbeds
Sunbeds expose your skin to harmful UVA and UVB rays that damage collagen, thinning and aging your skin. If you want a fairer complexion, ditch those sunbeds in favor of staying out of direct sunlight during peak hours (10 am-2 pm). Sun protection factor (SPF) creams are also key here. Put on 30 minutes before going outside, reapply regularly throughout the day, and always wear clothing that covers up your skin when possible. Avoiding sun exposure will prevent new pigmentation spots from forming and can fade existing ones over time. You’ll still need to get regular professional facials or peels if you want to keep your skin looking its best, but cutting down on UV exposure is an easy way to reduce uneven pigmentation.