Freckles are cute, but when it comes to unwanted spotting on the face - no, thank you. Not everyone gets them, but for those that do, dark spots on the face, chest, hands or elsewhere on the body can be seriously frustrating to deal with. However, since you can’t achieve spot removal with a magic wand, and the average concealer can't always cover them, we have to sometimes get a little creative when it comes to dealing with these patches. But before we get started on how to naturally remove dark spots from our face, let's try figuring it out. Why do they occur in the first place, anyway?
You may have heard of a natural pigment called melanin that's in your skin. Responsible for the colour of skin, eyes, even hair, melanin also protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Whenever your skin is exposed to the sun, the melanocytes – or the cells that produce melanin – increase their production of melanin. And sometimes, they go into overdrive, producing more melanin than usual, resulting in dark spots. These are often referred to as hyperpigmentation if you want to get all medical about it.
Apart from that, there are more reasons for getting dark spots on the face too; to get some more insight, we reached out to dermatologist Dr. Monisha Aravind to give us some clarity. “Spots on face may be because of acne, they could be because of pigmentation, or sun damage — also called freckles — sun spots, or melasma, which is hyperpigmentation that occurs in most Indian skin,” she says, adding that “You could also get spots on your face because of hair-dye usage!”
While there are many ways of getting rid of these dark spots, ranging from slathering on sunscreen like there's no tomorrow to using topical retinoids that can assist with lightening them. Using heavy chemicals on the skin, especially sensitive skin, can often do more harm than good. But don’t worry, because up ahead, we're listing down the various day-to-day items you can use to naturally remove spots from your skin in 2 days. Take notes!
- Natural ingredients use to get rid of dark spots on face
- 1. Milk
- 2. Masoor Dal
- 3. Papaya
- 4. Turmeric Powder
- 5. Potatoes
- 6. Red Onions
- FAQs about dark spot
Natural ingredients use to get rid of dark spots on face
The long list of benefits that milk has seems never-ending. Adding to that list, milk, buttermilk, even sour milk have been shown to effectively treat skin discoloration, all thanks to lactic acid.
How to use milk to treat dark spots:
Step 1: Soak a cotton ball in milk.
Step 2: Rub it over the spots 3-4 times a day, and repeat until you see results!
Bonus tip: A lot of people recommend using chilled milk for even better results
2. Masoor Dal
Make your mommas proud, and voluntarily choose masoor dal as a face mask for spot removal. Seems surprising? Well, apart from being absolutely delish, masoor dal (or red lentils) is super rich in antioxidants, and is a popular choice when it comes to spot removal. Follow these simple instructions, and watch the magic happen:
How to use masoor dal to treat dark spots:
Step 1: Soak 50 grams of red lentils overnight in a bowl of water.
Step 2: Use a blender or food processor to create a fine paste.
Step 3: Apply the paste evenly over your face and leave it on for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse with cold water and pat your skin dry with a towel.
What’s a surefire way to brighten dark spots, and the overall tone of your skin? Rinse away that top layer with a natural exfoliant, like papaya. Papaya has fruit acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids (the infamous AHAs!) which are chemical exfoliants that remove dead, dull skin cells and revive healthy skin cells. To create your own papaya exfoliant at home for spot removal, here's what you can do:
How to use papaya to treat dark spots:
Step 1: Mash ripe papaya in a bowl, and apply it as a mask for 20 minutes.
Step 2: When removing the mask, use gentle, circular motions for a bit of added exfoliation to that top layer of dead skin cells.
4. Turmeric Powder
At this point, haldi is as quintessential a part of our skincare, as it is of our diet. And we're just going to say it – our grandmothers weren't wrong when they tried to layer turmeric face packs on our faces, while we tried to squirm away. Turmeric's multifold benefits extend to inhibiting the skin's melanin production, which, as we covered, is responsible for hyperpigmentation. Convinced and ready to make your own turmeric spot removal treatment? Here's what you need to do:
How to use turmeric to treat dark spots:
Step 1: Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder, with 1-2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil until it forms a paste with a consistency that's not too thick, or too liquid-y.
Step 2: Leave it on your face for 20 minutes, and rinse it off with water.
Bonus tip: It may take a couple of rinses to fully get the residue off the face, but be diligent and don't let that stop you from using the pack!
Your favorite french fry ingredient? Yeah, it can also help lighten dark spots, in case you didn't know! Raw potatoes contain vitamin c, potassium, and other brightening agents that help in removing dark spots and tanning. Here's how you can make your own DIY potato mask:
How to use potatoes to treat dark spots:
Step 1: Grate some raw potatoes (just 2-3 should be fine) and mix them with lemon juice, or yoghurt. If you have particularly dry skin, you can also add a little honey into the mix.
Step 2: Apply this on your face for a few minutes, and wash your face with warm water.
Bonus tip: If mixing all these ingredients seems like a tall order, you can simply slice a raw potato and place it right on top of the dark spots. Who said quick, natural dark spot removal was hard?
6. Red Onions
Yup, we're as surprised as you are. While red onions can make you cry, they actually manage to make your skin very happy. Now available in many skin and spot-lightening creams, dried red onion skin is an effective ingredient for spot removal, according to research. While looking for creams that contain allium cepa (the scientific name for it) is one way to go, you can also use the ingredient at home. Here's how:
How to use red onions to treat dark spots:
Step 1: Rub the onions (with the peel on) on affected areas 2-3 times a day.
Step 2: If the smell irks you, wash your face after. You will see results in a couple of days!
FAQs about dark spot
Q. Do these treatments work for spot removal on all skin types?
A. Well, more or less. There are some ingredients that may not react well with certain skin types, such as natural ingredients containing vitamin C or astringents.
Dr. Monisha Aravind agrees, cautioning that “If you're going to try home remedies, there are a lot more chances that home remedies can go wrong, especially if you're turning to harsh ingredients like lemon or citric acid on your face. There are chances you could actually make your skin more dry and more sensitive, and even increase the pigmentation because of the sunlight. Don't use any unapproved home remedies while getting rid of dark spots on your face!"
Q. Is there any cause for concern when it comes to dark spots?
A. So here’s the good news – dark spots, and corresponding age spots don’t require medical care, and spot removal can safely be done at home, or through a dermatologist if you really want to be hyper-vigilant. However, you should heed these warning signals and get yourself checked by a doctor ASAP if a spot:
- Is black
- Is increasing in size
- Has an irregular border
- Has an unusual combination of colours
- Is bleeding
Q. How can I prevent dark spots in the first place?
A. There’s no surefire way to absolutely wipe out black spots from your face, or to stop them from coming on. Plus, some people may also be genetically predisposed to getting dark spots. But there’s a few ways you can take care of your skin, to avoid the certainty of getting black spots anyway:
Stop picking your acne! Popping pimples can increase the likelihood of developing dark spots.
- Sunscreen is key! Look for a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 to 50, use it daily, and reapply it every 2 hours if you’re out in the sun.
- Wear hats or clothing that blocks sunlight.
- Avoid being in the sun when it’s strongest – typically all afternoon.
4. Are home remedies enough, or should we be doing more to get rid of dark spots on the face?
"You can try, but these spots can't fully be removed from the face naturally. The home remedies will only help you so much, and the OTC creams may not help too much either,” elucidates, concluding that, “You need the perfect sunscreen for you — in fact, that's the most important thing that's going to help you in reducing the pigmentation, and also preventing further spots occurring on your face.”