In India, society often dictates that the fairer a woman’s skin is the better. It’s unfortunate that beauty is judged simply by skin colour, but this is a reality that many women across the world grapple with every day. According to an article published in the New York Times in 2007, an estimated 65 per cent of Indian women use skin lightening products on a regular basis. The downside of this is that most products contain harmful chemicals that can irritate or even damage the skin. However, there are several all-natural and homemade skin lightening techniques that many Indian women swear by. Most of the ingredients can be found right in the kitchen.
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Tomato and Oatmeal Scrub
Exfoliating the face to remove layers of dead skin cells is the key to lightening the skin. In India, a popular homemade recipe requires combining two tablespoons of oatmeal with the juice of one tomato and a tablespoon of yoghurt in a small bowl. The mixture is massaged into the skin for a few minutes and then left to dry for 20 minutes. After rinsing, a brighter and lighter complexion is revealed.
Turmeric powder is a natural astringent that brightens and lightens the skin. The face mask is made by combining two tablespoons of gram flour, a pinch of turmeric powder and a splash of milk in a small bowl to from a thick paste. Applied to the face for 20 minutes, the results are a lighter complexion. If used regularly, the skin lightening effect will be maintained.
Lemon and Rose Toner
The acidic nature of lemon juice makes it perfect for lightening the skin as it also strips away oil and debris. In India, women believe that rose water is also a natural skin-lightening remedy. By combining the two, a powerful skin lightening toner is produced to lighten even the darkest of complexions. To create the toner, equal parts of lemon juice and rosewater are combined in a bottle with a tight-fitting lid. The toner can be applied three times a day by soaking a cotton ball and sweeping it across the face. After 15 minutes, the toner is rinsed to reveal lighter skin. Stored in the refrigerator, the toner can be used for up to one week.
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