The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It is made up of the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The skin has several functions including protection, sensation, heat regulation, water resistance, control of evaporation, absorption, and aesthetic purposes. Human skin color is primarily determined by melanin, the pigment found in the skin. Black people have very high concentrations of melanin. Also, genetics play a significant role in skin color variation.
Many people, women in particular, want to lighten their skin for several reasons. Some of these reasons are religious beliefs, peer influences, and cultural stigma. Several research studies suggest that African American men prefer lighter-skinned women. Furthermore, in Western societies, people with dark complexion, especially those of African origin, were viewed negatively.
There are several natural ways to lighten the skin. One way is the lemon method. A lemon is rubbed to the area of the skin that you wish to lighten. The area is rinsed with warm water and then a dampened loofah is then rubbed on the area. The loofah will remove all the dead cells in the outer skin layer. Cucumber juice could also be used as a natural skin lightener. The cucumber is placed in a blender or chopper, and using a makeup brush, the juice is applied to the skin overnight. A mixture of yogurt and orange juice can also be applied to the skin for about ten minutes until it sets in the skin.
Another natural skin lightener is sun-dried orange peels. When the orange peels are fully dried, they are grinded. Raw milk is added to make a paste. The mixture is then applied to the skin. Gram flour has whitening agents, too. Two spoonfuls of gram flour are mixed with turmeric, lemon juice and milk cream. The resulting paste is applied to the skin everyday until the desired effect is achieved.
To make an almond-honey paste, almonds are soaked overnight. Peel them off in the morning. Make a paste and add honey. The paste is applied to the face and then scrubbed off when it fully dried up. Potato juices also have bleaching agents. These bleaching agents reduce blemishes and pigmentation. Potato juices can be applied on the skin everyday until the skin lightens.
Face masks that whitens the skin can also be made from other ordinary kitchen goods. Mix oatmeal with curd and tomato juice. The mixture is then applied to the face for 20 minutes and then rinsed off. A paste of fresh ground mint leaves could be applied in the face for 20 minutes. Wash the paste with cold water and continue the regimen for 15 days. A mixture of grated tomato and 2-3 drops of lime juice could also be applied in the face. The mixture is left for 20 minutes. The regimen is done twice a day for 15-20 days to achieve best results. Make a mask-line mixture using three tablespoon lemon juice, an egg white and one tablespoon olive juice. The mixture is applied to the areas of skin that needed whitening. The mixture is allowed to sit on the skin for 20 minutes before being washed off with warm water.
To lighten the skin, several simple steps should be followed. Avoid exposing the skin to direct sunlight. When going outdoors, use a good sunblock with high sun protection factor. Drink plenty of water to maintain a healthy skin. The face should also be kept clean and washed regularly. Eating healthy fruits and vegetables is also recommended. Lastly, take vitamin supplements such as grape seed extract and fish oil. These supplements are good for the skin, nails and hair.