If you have hyperpigmentation you might be wondering – what can I use to lighten my skin naturally? First, let’s make it clear that we’re only talking about hyperpigmentation and sun damage. All skin tones are beautiful and to be celebrated and loved. However, if you do have damage from the sun that has resulted in pigments on your skin, there are various products and ingredients that you can use to reduce those marks. Some of these ingredients can be found in your kitchen! We’ll discuss both natural ingredients available at home and natural ingredients that are included in skincare products. We’re all about natural at Vivnaturelle! Let’s have a look and see – what can lighten the skin naturally?

Natural Treatments to Lighten Your Skin

There are various foods that can be used as skin lighteners. Some of these seem to be passed down through generations, while others are backed by scientific research. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular options.


Yoghurt contains lactic acid which helps lighten your pigmentation marks. It also has vitamin B which brightens your skin and makes it appear more radiant. Just apply an even layer on a clean face, leave it on for 15 minutes and then gently cleanse it. We recommend opting for natural yoghurt with minimal additives. Do not use this method if you are allergic to dairy.

yoghurt's benefits for the skin

Papaya + Honey

Papaya contains hydroxy acids and papain which help your skin get rid of any impurities including hyperpigmentation. Honey is great at moisturising your skin, so the two added together are like a spa treatment for your face. Just take half a cup of fresh papaya and mash it with a fork. Once the consistency is smooth, add a teaspoon of honey to it. Mix well until a paste is formed. Apply it to your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then gently wash your face or use a wet cloth to remove it.

What Can I Use to Lighten My Skin Naturally with papaya

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a wonder ingredient for many skin issues. We’ve discussed its benefits when applying to insect bites, and we’re sure you’ve heard about how well it moisturises your skin. Aloe vera promotes the healing of damaged cells. Therefore, applying it on skin that has hyperpigmentation marks will help renew the cells and reduce the appearance of pigmentation. To use this as a mask, either apply a product with aloe vera gel or if you have an aloe vera plant available just cut a leaf in half and scoop up the gel in the middle. Apply it to your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with water by gently tapping your face.

aloe vera for hyperpigmentation

Potato Juice

Potatoes have enzyme (catecholase) that could be used to lighten the skin. Potatoes are also rich in Vitamin C and infused with antioxidants that act as a mild bleaching agent and at the same time remove dead cells from the skin. To create a mask, peel a potato and grate it. Using a clean cloth or muslin, squeeze the juice out of the grated potato. Add a couple of teaspoons of raw milk or yoghurt to the potato juice and apply it to your face. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then gently cleanse it with warm water. You can also store the juice in your refrigerator for up to 4 days in a closed jar. You can try to leave the mask on overnight for effective results. It’s worth mentioning that no scientific evidence exists to support the bleaching benefits of potatoes.

potatoes benefits for the skin

Jasmine Rice + Soy Milk

These two ingredients have scientific research backing them. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, jasmine rice lightens skin, reduces wrinkles and increases skin hydration. In addition, another study published in Dermatologic Surgery stated that unpasteurised soy milk also has similar effects. Because of this research, we’d recommend combining the two ingredients together to make a mask. Take a cup of jasmine rice, wash it and then grind it to powder. Once that is done, add a couple of teaspoons of soy milk and create a paste. Apply the paste to your face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Then gently wash it off and tap your face dry with a towel.

jasmine rice beenfits for the skin

Natural Lightening Ingredients in Skincare

Now that we’ve looked at natural masks you can make at home, let’s have a look at the skincare ingredients you should invest in to lighten your hyperpigmentation. These ingredients are all backed by scientific research, and we’re mostly focusing on an article published in Dermatologic Surgery which states different ingredients and their benefits. Let’s have a look at a few main natural skincare ingredients.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that is naturally produced by Pityrosporum ovale, a yeast species found naturally on human skin. It is found in commercial form and utilised for three to twelve months twice a day. Azelaic acid can be used for prolonged periods and is typically well tolerated. On people with a dark complexion, it performs well.

Normal pigment is only a little affected by azelaic acid, whereas strongly pigmented melanocytes are most significantly affected. This is great news for anyone with stubborn hyperpigmentation. Look for serums or moisturisers with azelaic acid to treat your skin. Some people experience transient erythema as a side effect, but it normally goes away after 2-4 weeks of using the product.

Glycolic Acid

In addition to lightening your skin, glycolic acid also facilitates the penetration of other products into your skin. A particular type of product to look for to reduce hyperpigmentation is a glycolic acid peel.

Kojic Acid

Skincare products containing kojic acid are normally used for 1-2 months for ultimate results. As it can be quite strong, we’d recommend not using it for much longer than that. Instead, you can use products with a low concentration of kojic acid. A great example is this natural face wash from Sakrid with kojic acid. You could use it morning and evening to cleanse away any impurities. It also has hyaluronic acid which will keep your skin moisturised. If you’d like to tackle hyperpigmentation somewhere else on your body, Sakrid also has a body wash with kojic acid that you could try out.

Sakrid Face wash with kojic acid

Liquorice extract

Pure glabridin, also known as liquorice extract, is one of the fastest ingredients when it comes to its effectiveness in skin lightening. So if you want quick results, find yourself a skin care product with liquorice extract!


Last but not least comes niacinamide. It is loved by many because of the way it evens out skin tone. It prevents melanosomes from being transferred to the epidermal keratinocytes. Early research supports the effectiveness of retinyl palmitate and 3.5% niacinamide in treating hyperpigmentation. It is a form of vitamin B3 and is especially effective when used in conjunction with retinol.


Paper Mulberry

Paper mulberry extract, a famous skin-lightening ingredient in Europe and South America, comes from the roots of the Broussonetia papyrifera tree. In a Korean study, the tyrosinase-inhibiting abilities of kojic acid and hydroquinone were contrasted with those of paper mulberry. The paper mulberry extract was reported to have a 50% inhibitory concentration of 0.396% compared to hydroquinone’s 5.5% and kojic acid’s 10%.

Final Thoughts

While some treatments are traditional and others are scientifically backed, it is up to you to decide which method you’d like to try first. We hope this has answered the question of what to do to lighten the skin naturally, and that these tips help you even out your skin tone. Remember to love your skin whatever shade it’s in, protect it, nourish it and use natural products to keep it moisturised and hydrated.

You can read more on Be Beautiful, India.com and Emedihealth.