Each time you stand in front of the mirror, the sight of dark spots on your face can send you into depression. We try to convince ourselves by calling them “Nazar Ka Tika” or else cover them with layers of makeup. The question is, can we ever get rid of these ugly spots and achieve the flawless skin of our dreams? Yes, you can! Many kitchen hacks and home remedies for dark spots work like magic and erase all the marks and scars from your face.

But What Are Dark Spots?

Dark spots result from hyperpigmentation on the skin due to an excess of melanin and have a light to dark brown in color. Many factors contribute to the problem, which ranges from sun exposure to hormonal issues. Luckily, in most cases, dark spots fade away with time. Using home remedies and certain OTC creams or lotions lighten them quickly and make them almost ‘invisible’ on your skin.

What Causes Dark Spots?

As mentioned earlier, Melanin, a pigment responsible for determining the colour of the skin, is what causes dark spots. When the production of this pigment goes out of control in some skin regions, it results in innoticeable dark spots.

Let us now look into the common factors which increase melanin cells in the skin, ultimately leading to dark spots:

  • Prolonged Sun Exposure: When the skin gets exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays for long, it starts producing extra melanin cells as a defence mechanism. The areas of skin that are exposed directly to sun rays get covered with dark spots.
  • Aging Skin: The effect of UV radiation on aging skin is quite high. People in their mid-age or above 60 experience dark patches on their skin due to hypersensitivity to the sun. Additionally, aging skin slowly loses the capacity to produce new cells, resulting in age-related dark spots.
  • Melasma: Melasma is a common skin problem in women, which causes the skin to develop dark brown patches or spots on the face. Conditions like pregnancy, menopause, menstruation etc., cause hormonal imbalance in the body leading to Melasma.
  • Post-Inflammatory Pigmentation: Inflammatory conditions like injuries, acne, burns etc., develop hyperpigmentation on skin cells, resulting in dark spots. Even skin problems like psoriasis or infections can cause dark spots to form.

10 Best Home Remedies to Treat Dark Spots

There are plenty of kitchen hacks that treat dark spots and also offer numerous benefits to our skin. The best part- they are free from harsh chemicals and cost you almost nothing (since they are already available in your kitchen). These all-natural* remedies contain no chemicals or hazardous agents. Read along to learn how to use everyday ingredients to treat dark spots:

Even natural remedies are not entirely free from side effects, and we recommend a patch test every time you try a new ingredient on your skin!

1. Turmeric:

Turmeric is one of the most potent herbal ingredients present in almost all Indian kitchens. A study shows that topical application of turmeric in gel resulted in a rapid healing rate of hyperpigmentation and skin scars (1). Turmeric contains curcuminoids, which have active anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They help in reducing inflammation and lightening pigmentation of skin by inhibiting melanin growth.

Ingredients:

  • Turmeric Powder – 2 tbsp
  • Yoghurt or Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Use?

  • Add turmeric to some lemon juice (Use Yoghurt if you have dry skin)
  • Add little water if required
  • Apply the paste on the affected regions of the face
  • Let it work for 15-20 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • Use it twice and thrice a week for best results.

2. Potato:

It is one of the best home remedies for dark spots, which boast excellent skin-lightening properties. Potato juice contains a bleaching enzyme called Catecholase, which lightens dark spots, freckles and pigmentation. It also reduces acne-related spots by reducing inflammation on the skin and inhibiting microbial growth. Mixing it with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice accelerates the healing process.

Ingredients:

  • Potato – 1
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Use?

  • Peel a potato and grate it finely
  • Now squeeze the grated mixture to extract the juice
  • Add some lemon juice to potato juice
  • Mix well
  • Apply the solution on the dark spots as a spot treatment
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes
  • Rinse with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • Use it every alternate day to notice a visible difference

3. Papaya:

Papaya is an excellent anti-pigmentation agent which can effectively treat dark spots and freckles. It contains AHA’s or alpha hydroxy acids, which exfoliate your skin and remove cells’ surface levels. These fruit acids also encourage the formation of fresh cells and boost collagen for the skin’s healthy appearance. Papain, an inactive enzyme present in Papaya brightens your skin. You can use Papaya on its own or combine it with other skin lightening agents like honey.

Ingredients:

  • Ripe Papaya Mash – 2 tbsp
  • Honey – 1tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Make a paste out of Ripe papaya mash and honey.
  • Apply it all over the affected regions on your face
  • Let it work for 20-30 minutes
  • Wash off with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • Use this papaya treatment thrice a week for best results

4. Yoghurt:

One of the best natural ways to get rid of dark spots on the face is to use a topical application of Yoghurt. Yoghurt or curd contains lactic acid, which is a mild exfoliant. It dissolved the surface-level cells on your skin and reveals younger, fresher looking ones. A study also shows that Yoghurt can be quite effective in reducing melanin content and improving skin elasticity. (2) It works well for dealing with age-related dark spots also.

Ingredients:

  • Yoghurt – 2 tbsp
  • Oatmeal – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Add oatmeal to Yoghurt and mix well
  • Once the mixture softens, apply it to the skin
  • Use circular movements to massage the skin for 1-2 minutes
  • Leave it on for an additional 10-15 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • You can use it twice a week for getting a spot-free look

5. Tomato:

Tomato is another popular home remedy to treat dark spots. Tomatoes contain an enzyme called Lycopene which protects skin from sun rays and even reverses sun damage. A study confirms that topical application of Tomatoes on mice significantly reduced melanin percentage in the skin (3). Along with diminishing the appearance of dark spots, tomatoes also brighten your skin and makes it look radiant.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato Paste – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Mix tomato paste with some lemon juice
  • Spread the mixture evenly on affected areas of your skin
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes
  • Wash off thoroughly with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • You can use it twice a week for visible results

6. Aloe Vera:

Aloe vera is a common household plant that is renowned for its skin-nourishing properties. The white aloe gel contains many essential vitamins and minerals which repair and rejuvenate your skin. Studies also show that Aloe vera contains chemicals called Aloin and Aloesin, which have anti-pigmentation effects on animal skin (4). Apart from reducing dark spots on the skin, Aloe vera also heals sun-damaged skin and treats scars.

Ingredients:

  • Aloe vera Gel – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Squeeze some lemon juice in aloe vera gel
  • Mix well
  • Apply the mixture to the affected regions of your face
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes
  • Wash it thoroughly with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • 2-3 times to notice visible results

[ Also Read: Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel for Face ]

7. Almond Oil:

Almond oil is a traditional home remedy to treat blackspots. The oil extracted from sweet almonds is rich in Vitamin E, an excellent skin nourishing agent. Studies also confirm that a topical application of almond oil can bring down the melanin content in photodamaged skin (5). Few other studies show that adding vitamin C to almond oil increases the anti-pigmentation effects of Vitamin E to treat dark spots.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Almond Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Mix almond oil with some lemon juice
  • Apply the mixture to the affected regions of the face
  • Leave it on for 30-40 minutes
  • Take a wet cloth and wipe off the excess product

How Often Should I Use?

  • You can repeat this almond oil treatment every alternate day for quick results

8. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV is one of the widely used natural remedies to treat dark spots. ACV contains acetic acid, which dissolves the dead cells present on the skin surface. It may also reduce pigmentation on the skin and improve the overall appearance. ACV is a strong ingredient and must not be used directly on skin without dilution.

Ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Dilute ACV with water in a 1:1 ratio
  • Using a cotton bud apply the solution to the affected areas of the face
  • Leave it on for 5-10 minutes
  • Rinse with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • Repeat this treatment thrice a week for best results

9. Milk:

Milk is another age-old natural remedy to treat hyperpigmentation and dark spots. The lactic acid in milk works as a mild exfoliant that gently peels off the unwanted cells on the skin without damaging it. Milk is also a skin whitening agent which lightens the complexion and adds healthy glow to your face. Adding honey, a mild bleaching agent, improves the efficiency of milk to treat dark spots.

Ingredients:

  • Milk – 2 tbsp
  • Honey – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Add 1 tbsp honey to 2 tbsp of milk
  • Apply the mixture all over your face
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes
  • Wash off with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • You can try this milk and honey treatment 2-3 times a week

10. Onion Juice:

Red onion juice is an excellent dark spot remover that works by treating hyperpigmentation. Onion juice contains Quercetin, a powerful plant-derived flavonoid that has skin lightening properties. Studies show that Quercetin may have anti-melanin effects on human skin, resulting in the removal of dark spots and freckles.

Ingredients:

  • Onion juice – 1 tbsp
  • Honey – 1 tbsp

How to Prepare and Apply?

  • Add onion juice and honey to form a thick liquid.
  • Apply the mixture to the affected regions of your face
  • Allow it to work for 20-30 minutes
  • Wash off with water

How Often Should I Use?

  • You can try this onion and honey treatment thrice a week

Tips to Get Rid of Dark Spots Naturally

Along with trying out these amazing home remedies to remove dark spots, you must also follow a strict skincare regime to minimize their occurrence in future. Read along to know about some of the best tips to prevent these ugly spots from coming back:

  • Apply sunscreen on your face, neck and other exposed areas of your body before stepping out. Make sure you choose at least SPF 30 to shield your skin from harsh UV rays.
  • Cleanse your skin immediately after coming back home to remove tan, dust and pollutants.
  • Choose a combination of physical and chemical exfoliants to exfoliate your skin once a week. Physical exfoliants work only on the surface level impurities. Chemical exfoliants contain natural fruit acids to peel away the dark layer of skin and reveal a fresh layer.
  • Cover your face with a wide hat or a scarf while driving on a bike or walking under the hot sun.
  • If home remedies are not effective against dark spots, then visit a dermatologist, who will prescribe some anti-pigmentation creams, lotions or even treatments.
  • You can also try using OTC creams for spot correction. Many brands like Neutrogena, Mamaearth, Re’quil, No Marks etc., have good ratings for removing dark spots and pigmentation.

Overview:

So folks! Now that you have learnt these amazing home remedies for dark spots waste no time trying them at home. You can also mix and match the combinations to suit your skin types and the severity of the issue. However, don’t forget to do a patch test before trying them directly on your skin. If you experience any allergic reactions, discontinue the treatment immediately!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Are dark spots going to stay on the skin forever?

No! Dark spots are not permanent and fade away with time. Thanks to the shedding mechanism of our skin, the surface level cells keep falling off to make way for new ones. In this process, the dark areas of your skin slowly lighten, with young cells replacing the older ones. So, don’t worry!

2. How long does it take for me to get rid of dark spots?

The healing period depends on the severity and root cause of the issue. Spots caused by acne or sun damage usually take a few weeks to lighten. Age-related spots, acne scars and injury marks take anywhere between 4-6 months to fade away. Using home remedies and OTC creams accelerate the lightning process.

3. Do dark spots indicate any serious health issues?

Dark spots are just peripheral issues that do not indicate any underlying health issue. They are just a result of excess melanin formation in specific areas of your skin. However, if you notice inflammation, eruptions or lesions under the spots, then it may be a matter of concern. In such cases, please visit a doctor and get a check-up done.

4. Can dark spots be removed overnight?

Although many websites claim that their remedies are effective in the overnight removal of dark spots, there is not much truth in them. The fastest way to remove dark spots is by using natural or chemical bleaches. To entire get rid of them takes time and depends on the skin shedding cycle in a person.

5. What is the difference between dark spots and acne scars?

Dark spots are just areas with excess melanin accumulation. They lie on the surface level of your skin and go away on their own. Acne scars are a result of damaged tissues underneath the skin. Scars are difficult to remove and may require medical creams and treatments.

About Suvarna

Suvarna is a freelance content writer with over 8 years of professional writing experience. She specialized in developing research-based content on Beauty, Skin, and Hair Care. Suvarna believes that beauty is one of the key factors for every personality. She always strives to bring more authenticity and credibility to her articles.
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