Turmeric is a plant from the ginger family native to South Asia and can be cultivated in warm, tropical climates with plenty of rainfall. The rhizomes, or stems of the plant are harvested, dried and usually pounded to a fine powder which reveals a yellow gold color. This is used mainly as a spice for numerous foods and the dyeing of cloths. It is also known for its medicinal qualities including treatment of burns, repair of free radicals and reduction of face pigmentation, making it a good for skin discoloration.
Purchase turmeric powder and some fresh limes, which can most likely be found in a local grocery store. Another option is to look in Indian and ethnic based grocery stores, as turmeric is a spice popular in Indian dishes. Organic or health food stores are another place to find turmeric. Their prices might be higher, but there is less chance of unwanted chemicals such as pesticides or additives.
Make a turmeric paste and apply to discolored areas. The power of turmeric mixed with the natural bleaching power of lime juice will make for an effective whitener. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder with three tablespoons of lime juice to form a thick paste. Apply evenly to the face or desired area. Wash off after fifteen minutes with water. Do not use soap as this will wash away and counteract the power of the paste. This paste can be used daily until desired results are reached.
Mix turmeric with natural food oils. Turmeric and oils applied to skin penetrate deeper and can be left overnight, without the stinging feeling one gets from lemon juice. There is no set measurements for mixing oils and turmeric, but start with an even amount of both and add more oil for the desired consistency. Olive, coconut, castor and almond oils are all good choices for mixing with turmeric.
Strain the lime juice before mixing with turmeric powder to make a smoother mask.
Turmeric applications left overnight can and will stain cloths. Cover the sleeping area with old or unwanted cloths, towels or bedsheets.