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5 Best Skin Lightening Treatments for Stubborn Dark Spots

A women smiling after using a skin lightening treatment

We all want to have that natural glow.

With a clear, even, smooth skin tone.

But dark spots can be ageing and difficult to remove from the surface layers of your skin.

The good news is that there are brightening ingredients that help to give your skin that glowification.

So join us as we look at the best skin lighting treatments for a clear complexion.

Reasons Dark Spots Appear on your Face

Dark spots or hyperpigmentation is due to an overproduction of melanin.

This can cause dark patches to appear on your skin.

Understanding why they appear on your skin will help you tknow how to treat them correctly:

UV rays: Direct exposure to sunlight can cause an increase in melanin production

hormones: An imbalanced hormonal system and pregnancy causing melasma and chloasma

inflammation: Resulting from certain skin inflammations or injuries like picking at your skin

Medication side effects: Some drugs may increase melanin production, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), psychotropics, or tetracyclines.

The Best Skin Lightening Treatments

Before we get started, there is one little caveat: a skin lightening treatment cream, bleaching or using whitening products is a big no in our book.

To understand why to, read the article; hydroquinone is this toxic beauty at its best.

1. Lighten your Skin with Oils Containing Oleic Acid

‘High oleic’ describes an oil’s fatty acid composition or fat profile, and oils rich in oleic are fantastic as skin lightening treatments.

They deeply penetrate and contain antioxidant compounds that help prevent free radical damage, which can lead to premature ageing.

Additionally, oleic acid may prevent moisture from evaporating, and because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it promotes skin healing and rejuvenation.

Research (1) has found oleic acid is also helpful for immune problems such as psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.

Moreover, oleic acid is non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t clog pores, making it an excellent option for oily skin types.

The high THC oil for healthy skin is rich in oleic acid and has wonderful health benefits.

2. Papaya Enzymes Help Skin Lighten

You can reduce dark spots on your skin by exfoliating with papaya, which naturally contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs).

AHAs weaken the lipids (insoluble organic compounds) that bind the top layers of your skin, removing dull and dead skin cells and revealing healthy skin.

This study (2) found that as an exfoliant, papaya was efficient as a skin lightening treatment, gently removing the skin’s top layers and giving it a youthful appearance.

Here’s a natural lightening treatment remedy

  • apply papaya as a face mask to remove dark spots by mashing ripe papaya in a bowl
  • leave it on your face for 15-20 minutes
  • use gentle, circular motions when removing the mask for deeper exfoliation

3. Sunflower Oil Reduces Dark Spots 

You can apply sunflower oil to treat discolourations on your skin.

Because it’s rich in oleic acid, it helps pull dark spots from deep within the dermis, improving your skin tone.

4. Yogurt Brightens Your Skin

Yoghurt contains lactic acid, which gently slouches stubborn skin cells from the surface of the skin improving age spots and discolouration.

Compared to other chemical exfoliants, lactic acid is gentle on your skin, and because of its dairy origin, it helps to balance pH levels. It reduces redness, improves tone, and improves texture, making it an ideal skin lightening treatment.

You can apply yoghurt to your skin, mix it up, and add other beneficial ingredients like oats to calm and soothe.

5. Keep Skin Healthy with Vitamin C

The American Academy of Dermatology (3) recommends vitamin C as a natural ingredient for lightening dark spots and preventing the appearance of new ones.

You can read all about vitamin C as a lightning treatment here.

To conclude. The naked truth

As you can see, you don’t have to use medical interventions to pull hyperpigmentation from the deep layers of your skin.

Oleic acid in the form of sunflower and olive oil are excellent skin lightening treatments.

You can gently exfoliate with papaya and alpha hydroxy acids to give your skin a lightening treatment boost.

And, of course, vitamin C has wonderful results with dark spots.

A good skincare routine starts with prevention, which is easy to do by protecting your skin from the sun.

Wear sunscreen, at least 30 SPF during daylight hours, and reapply throughout the day.

Consider wearing a hat, sunglasses, and perhaps gloves, especially if the sun will be on your skin for extended periods.

Whatever you use on your skin, treat it gently;

For more information, this article on removing stubborn dark spots on your skin is a valuable read.


1. Role of oleic acid in the immune system; mechanism of action; a review.

2. Study on papaya antioxidants and exfoliants

3. How to fade dark spots in darker skin tones

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