Blotchy skin is not uncommon. It can be anywhere from your arms and legs to your torso or face. It could be a flare-up of rosacea, causing a reddish blotch; it could be a newly pigmented birthmark, especially cafe-au-lait or skin-colored marks.
Or, it could be hyperpigmentation, deposits of melanin in your skin that can form from sun damage, commonly known as liver spots. You could simply cover up with makeup, and call it a day.
But if you want a natural skin lightening alternative – although studies have yet to prove its effectiveness – you can try to be proactive with essential oils, taking a holistic approach to even out your skin tone. With all-natural ingredients, these top 5 essential oils are perfect for lightening your skin.
How to Lighten Skin Naturally: Top 5 Essential Oils
How to Lighten Skin Naturally #1: Frankincense
Perfect for reducing the appearance of stretch marks, eczema, and scars, frankincense can be mixed with a carrier such as a jojoba oil or unscented lotion. Though it blends well with citrus, blending in lavender with shea butter as a carrier makes a shelf-stable cream that can be stored in the refrigerator.
This can also be used to reduce the appearance of dark acne scars, but don’t use frankincense on broken skin. Skin that is already healing, however, is fine. As with nearly all EOs, it’s important to note that you need to dilute the oil – in this case, 10 drops of both oils to 2 ounces of shea butter. As a general rule, do not ingest the oils, either.
How to Lighten Skin Naturally #2: Lavender
Speaking of lavender, this natural skin lightening essential oil not only gives off a wonderful fragrance, but you can also combine with chamomile to reduce marks from acne and eczema. It’s known as one of the most beneficial oils for acne and acne scarring, inhibiting bacteria that causes the initial bacterial infection.
Lavender speeds up the healing process of the skin, helping with burns and sunburns when it comes to skin care. Unlike other oils, lavender does not need to be diluted unless you have sensitive skin. Apply 2-4 drops directly to the area as needed. Or, lavender is perfect for use in aromatherapy with the use of a humidifier.
Be warned that warm-air humidifiers can negate any health benefits the oil provides, and oils that are acidic can destroy the humidifier itself. Between three and 10 drops of lavender in a humidifier will not only confer some skin benefits but will help with headaches and insomnia.
How to Lighten Skin Naturally #3: Rose
Chinese researchers found a link between both the last oil, lavender, and rose oil in killing acne bacteria in 2010. At .25 percent dilution, rose oil killed off bacteria in just five minutes. Rose oil drives substances out of your skin by increasing the permeability of your skin.
For acne and blemishes, apply a drop of pure rose oil on the area three times per day. If you prefer to dilute the oil, use coconut oil and a cotton swab. Adding lavender will not only make a beautiful bouquet-in-a-lotion, providing a floral fragrance, but it will also help your skin back to an even tone.
How to Lighten Skin Naturally #4: Carrot Seed
Rich in Vitamin A, Carrot seed oil is the second-best oil for also repairing skin. Often used in anti-aging formulas, carrot seed repairs sun spots, tightens and rejuvenates skin, and can improve your complexion. Available as plain oil, cold-pressed, and infused, each version of this natural skin lightening oil has its own benefits and application methods.
For example, cold-pressed is better at improving your complexion, stimulating cell renewal. Infused oil, on the other hand, is a natural tanning agent, giving your skin a golden glow while helping against eczema and psoriasis. Just remember – better eyesight as a result of carrots was British propaganda during WWII to hide early forms of radar!
How to Lighten Skin Naturally #5: Lemon
Saving the best for last, lemon juice is well known for its ability to bleach skin due to the acidity of the juice. The natural skin lightening essential oil of Lemon is essentially a highly concentrated citric acid, an alpha hydroxyl acid not only lightens your skin tone but evens it out and dissolves dead skin cells, too.
However, a word of caution: While lemon oil is perfect for fighting against hyperpigmentation, lemon oil makes your skin more sensitive to UV light, meaning going out in the sun can actually worsen hyperpigmentation. Mixing lemon oil in with your night cream, when the sun is down, is an excellent practice.
Using this knowledge of essential oils, you can create the perfect serum to help with dark spots or red marks.
For toning and brightening skin, mix 3-5 drops each of lavender, lemon, and frankincense oils with a tablespoon of carrier oil, such as jojoba. Apply twice per day, or as needed.
You can keep the serum in an amber-colored dropper bottle. Much like why beer bottles are dark-colored, the amber will protect the serum from the effects of sunlight. Using this and other mixtures with the above oils, you can naturally even out your skin tone, without harsh chemicals or laser surgery.