African American skin that is acne prone or sensitive is typically blemished by areas of hyper-pigmentation. These darker areas of skin are the the remnants of rashes and bumps or the result of injury to the surface of the skin caused by squeezing old pimples. Men that exhibit clogged hair follicles from beard shaving, otherwise known as"razor bumps," can also develop dark spots as a result.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and gently pat dry.
Steep green tea bag in warm water and add lemon juice. Soak a cotton-ball or swab in solution and dab onto spots directly. Let air dry. Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid, otherwise known as Vitamin C, which is an alpha hydroxy acid. The acid will gently exfoliate the dark skin and the area will lighten over time. Green tea has been shown to provide anti-oxidant and anti-hyper-pigmentation power when applied topically.
Rinse face with lukewarm water and add aloe vera gel to affected areas. Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory, which will help to soothe the effects of the acid. Aloe vera also helps to lighten hyperpigmentation, reports the experts at SkinWhitening.org
Moisturize face with sunscreen. Always use sunscreen daily to prevent the areas you are treating from getting darker.
Cleanse face thoroughly at night time.
Combine soy and whole milk and soak a cotton ball in mixture. Apply liquid to spots and entire face. Let air dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Milk contains lactic acid, a natural exfoliant that will gradually lighten dark areas. Soy is an active ingredient that helps to lighten dark areas over time, reports the American Academy of Dermatology.
Rinse with lukewarm water and moisturize before bed.
To prevent irritation, continue with Steps 1 through 7 every other day. You can increase your treatment as your skin begins to adjust.
Lactic acid is best used in conjunction with vitamin C.
- "International Journal of Cosmetic Science"; The effects of topical l(+) lactic Acid and ascorbic Acid on skin whitening.Walter Smith Consultants & Dermac Laboratory
- "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology"; Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. Fowler JF Jr, Woolery-Lloyd H, WaldUniversity of Louisville, Division of Dermatologyorf H, Saini R.
- Essence.com: Ask the Experts: How To Get Rid of Dark Spots
- American Academy of Dermatology: Dermatologists Shed Light on Common Pigmentation Problems and Solutions in Skin of Color
- Skin Care Physicians: Treating Acne in Skin of Color
- Skin Whitening.org: Hyperpigmentation Treatments
Stacey Grant is a behavioral interventionist who focuses on helping to re-train the nutrition and wellness habits of her clients. Grant holds a Master of Science in clinical nutrition from New York University-Steinhardt as well as fitness certifications from AFAA. She has been writing for more than 18 years and is a trained dancer.