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Soften Hyperpigmentation Naturally

By January 27th, 202123 Comments
Soften Hyperpigmentation Naturally
by Dawn Michelle of Minimalist Beauty

Hyperpigmentation is no fun! There are natural ways to reduce dark spots or dark pigmentation in the skin without the harmful ingredient hydroquinone. You of course can also make many of the products yourself without spending a ton of money on commercial chemical products.

Hyperpigmentation can be created very quickly and then take what seems like forever to get rid of. The more melanin in your skin the darker the pigmentation can appear and be very frustrating to deal with. I’ve noticed that if I have a breakout, that even a small blemish can become a scar. Using products daily that are skin brightening and also blemish reducing has been a life savior.

10 Ingredients To Naturally Fight Hyperpigmentation

1. Raw Honey

There is a reason why I wash my face with raw honey daily. It keeps the skin glowing and free of bacteria without disrupting the moisture levels of the skin. Raw honey is antibacterial with moisturizing amino acids, and antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage. Raw honey also has gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid responsible for honey’s acidity. Raw honey is more nutritious to the skin still containing all of its healing properties that have not been pasteurized or eliminated with high heat temperatures.

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has a high vitamin C content which brightens the skin as well as citric acid which exfoliates and speeds up the treatment of acne also lightening acne scars and blemishes. I remember during summer breaks when I was in college, I would slice a lemon and rub the lemon up and down my legs for soft even skin. It tingled and itched so much that I would just go outside and run around the block to distract myself from the ridiculous sensations. I then would come back inside and rinse it off.

I know now that lemon juice straight is too acidic for skin’s natural pH balance. I will instead mix fresh lemon juice with more soothing ingredients. Lemon juice is still a perfect ingredient for evening out the skin and brightening dark elbows and knees.

3. Rhassoul Clay

Rhassoul clay has a higher ratio of silica, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and other trace minerals compared to other clays, therefore it is very nourishing to the skin. It balances skin’s natural oil production by being hydrating to dry skin and calming to oily skin. It greatly improves skin clarity and brightness, removes dead skin cells, and smooths skin’s overall texture.

I’ve raved about rhassoul clay for skin and hair because it works so well for both. I love versatile ingredients because it saves me money. Rhassoul clay is my favorite clay to use daily.

Read more about rhassoul clay here and here.

4. Yogurt

Lactic acid, lactic acid, lactic acid! Yogurt is outstanding for skin brightening and evening out the skins complexion. Using plain yogurt for skin care masks will soften, brighten, and clear up blemishes and hyperpigmentation. I believe simple yogurt masks are gentle enough for daily use and such an inexpensive easy to find remedy for clear skin.

5. Tamanu Oil

The regeneration properties that tamanu oil provides is out of this world! Tamanu oil is used to miraculously heal the skin of burn victims. Although it has a strong natural scent, it is worth every drop of natural goodness that this oil provides. I came across tamanu oil on my honeymoon in Hawaii. This oil is very rich in antioxidants and is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory.

Read more on tamanu oil here.

6. Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ oil is very high in vitamin E as well as contains vitamin A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, D, and F, essential fatty acids, lecithin, protein, and minerals. Wheat germ oil is good as a health supplement, and also amazing for skin and hair. It moisturizes and maintains moisture in skin and hair like no other oil I’ve ever tried to date. Its vitamin and mineral rich content is wonderful for healing and regenerating skin.

Read more about wheat germ oil here and also in this article.

7. Rosehips Seed Oil

Rosehips seed oil has become more popular for its use in anti-aging products. It is a more expensive carrier oil, although it is one of the best oils for skin rejuvenation. When applied daily for up to four months it has been known to reduce wrinkles and age spots almost completely. This is one oil that I have overlooked in the past, yet no longer!

8. Pure Aloe Vera Gel/Juice

Aloe vera has a natural salicylic acid perfect for keeping skin clear in the first place with a divine pH of 4.5. The healing properties in aloe vera contain over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, anthraquinones or phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, and amino acids. Use pure aloe vera gel or juice as a supplement to heal the body from the inside out, or as a toner/skin gel serum under your moisturizer. Aloe vera is also a wonderful pH balancer for hair which is why I use it in so many of my DIY hair care recipes.

Read more on aloe vera here and check out two simple hair recipes here and here.

9. Amla

Amla is traditionally used in Ayurvedic health and beauty care. Amla fascinates me in that it is brightening for skin, yet also keeps hair dark and lustrous. It is 20 times higher in vitamin C than an orange and full of full of proteins, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. Amla is a proven antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-mutagenic, yeast inhibiting, nematicidal, anabolic, anti-hepatoxic, anti-hyperhidrosis, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-spasmodic, hypolipidemic, and hypotensive relieving properties.

You can use amla in its herb or powder form. Creating a simple amla paste with amla powder with water can do wonders on the skin or even infusing the herb in a nourishing carrier oil is even better. I prefer slow herbal infusions in a mason jar in sunlight for 1-2 months or more.

Read more about amla here.

10. Raw Sugar Cane

Sugar produces a natural glycolic acid which is gentler on skin than chemically derived glycolic acid. This natural alpha hydroxy acid easily exfoliates the skin. Alpha hydroxy acids are known for their anti-aging properties for stimulating collagen production while reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and skin pigmentation.

3 DIY Skin Savor Recipes on Minimalist Beauty

1. DIY Gentle Exfoliating Mask

This exfoliating mask includes lemon juice, raw honey, and raw sugar cane. It is so easy to make and so effective. Also it doesn’t burn like fresh squeezed lemon juice or rubbing lemon juice slices directly on the skin. Natural citric, gluconic, and glycolic acid work in synergy together brilliantly.

2. Raw Cacao Facial Mask

This mask includes raw cacao, rhassoul clay, and honey. It is an almost edible mask and smells divine!

3. DIY Healing Face Body & Hair Oil

This healing oil contains coconut, wheat germ, and tamanu oil. It is an amazing combination of nourishing and healing oils. Although I love coconut oil you can always use a lighter carrier oil such as jojoba oil, and even add a bit of rosehips oil.

Gaining and Maintaining Healthy Looking Skin

Some people genetically have beautiful skin, and others actually work hard for it. Regardless of which category you fall into, taking good care of your skin from head to toe will make you feel good about yourself. It is good for your health to take care of your skin because your skin is your largest organ that protects the rest of your body. You do not need to spend $100 a month or more on good skin care. I used to spend that much, yet now I am so thankful to have discovered the power of DIY skin care, herbs, and simple ingredients.

Begin your mornings drinking as much water as you can and continue drinking water throughout the day. Some days I am on this, and other days I fall off my desired water drinking routine. I usually can see a major difference in my skin either way. Drink half your body weight in ounces daily.

Develop a skin care regimen that fits your lifestyle and budget. It doesn’t have to be extensive, complicated, and definitely not expensive. Incorporating just a few of the 10 ingredients above will improve your overall brightness and clarity in your complexion. If you spend a lot of time outside or are using fruit, lactic, or sugar acids in your skin care, I suggest wearing a zinc oxide based sunscreen daily. My favorite is the DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ because it is zinc oxide based, and doesn’t look pasty on my complexion like other natural sunscreens. Read more about good natural sunscreens here. If you are not big on sunscreen, wear protective clothing and of course a fabulous sun hat whenever outdoors.

Patience, patience, patience! I’m enjoying repeating words three times as you can see. Hyperpigmentation can occur quickly, and take a long time to brighten and smooth out. Lovingly care for your skin, and speak positive affirmative words about your skin and yourself. I believe uplifting words, consistent gratitude, and positive energy helps to heal the body quicker than all the topical ointments alone on the market, DIY or not!

**Raw honey, lemons, yogurt, aloe vera, and raw sugar cane can be found at a natural grocery store of course. You can easily find tamanu oil, rhassoul clay, aloe vera, wheat germ oil, amla, and rosehips seed oil at Mountain Rose Herbs. Amla powder can also be found at an Indian grocery store.**


Dawn Michelle is a writer, professional dancer, choreographer, jewelry designer, and pure lover of life and the planet. She has been a part of the entertainment industry for years, and worked in one of the largest beauty retailers as a consultant. Dawn Michelle writes a lifestyle blog called Minimalist Beauty that incorporates organic beauty and cosmetics, eco-friendly fashion and extremely chic style, simple living, and pursuing creativity. She also has an Etsy shop called Azuha which has handmade fiber jewelry, earrings, natural cosmetics and more.

Dealing with hyperpigmentation? What has helped you?


  • Jae says:

    Who said anything about not being proud of our brown skin? Did you even read the article? Acne scars & blemishes are something most women would like to get rid of. It's not a color thing & I'm shocked someone would even take it there.

  • MommyKat2004 says:

    Just found your site via Live Curly, Live Free does your information work on white skin too? I have naturally curly hair and white (olive-ish) skin that use to tan beautifully and now I have mixed hyperpigmentation and white splotchy skin {sigh}

  • Anonymous says:

    Errr..Dollie, we are trying to fight HYPERPIGMENTATION. You know those ugly brown BLEMISHES that tends to mar our even, beautiful brown skin tone. Not trying to lighten our skin, trying to EVEN it.

  • Dollie says:

    why would you do this or even post this? Be proud of your brown skin! woow i cant believe this…

  • Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed the article and all the educational feedback afterwards. In terms of shea butter – especially on the face I opt for the East African type over the West African. It's lighter, absorbs well and leaves my skin smooth and glowing.

  • Dawn Michelle says:

    Hello Beauties!

    I'm so glad that this article was helpful. Just to follow up on a few questions I know that some love black soap and I am one of them, yet I don't suggest using in on your face. The pH of black soap is ~10 and too high for skin in general. Skin thrives best with products with a pH of 4.5-5.5. If I use black soap it is only for the body.

    As for a substitute for raw honey, you may want to try brightening the skin with the DIY Gentle Exfoliating Mask for those who don't like the smell of honey. For those with allergic reactions rhassoul clay is amazing and for extra moisture mix it with vegetable glycerin. Yogurt is a great choice as well. Add lemon juice to yogurt as another possibility.

    I also didn't have the best experience with the OCM. I still use oils on my skin yet I always cleanse first with honey in the mornings and a mix of honey and rhassoul clay in the evenings.

    Shea butter is wonderful for skin. If it is too heavy alone mix it with a lighter natural oil just as you would a shea butter mix for hair. In general I wouldn't suggest using soap bars on the face. The pH of soap bars are extremely high because of how they are created. The pH of the products used on your face are extremely important.

    Peace and Sunshine,
    Dawn Michelle

  • LM says:

    to the above poster…i have been using shea butter for about 7 months and i have noticed a small difference in hyperpigmentation..however i am having significantly less breakouts and my skin is so smooth and soft. i use it twice a day with clean and clear oil free moisturizing products after cleansing with my shea butter based soap. one of my clean and clear moisturizing products also has sun screen.

  • K.A.S. says:

    I'm currently trying shea butter. Does anyone have any real information on how effective it is?

    I actually just purchased amla for the first time to use in my hair. I will be using it as a mask starting immediately. I've already added raw jamaican honey to my green tea cleanser and I added fresh lemons to my grocery list for the week :-).

    Thanks for the article.

  • hairscapades says:

    After a bad experience with OCM, I was left with a lot of scars. I started to apply raw honey mixed with lemon juice to the scars about 4-5 months after I got them because they just didn't seem to be fading. I used it almost every morning for about 10-15 minutes and I really did notice a decrease in the hyperpigmentation!! I stopped doing it when they were close to gone, but I still have some lighter residual scars on my forehead and the bridge of my nose. I've been meaning to do a post on my OCM experience and using aspirin, raw honey and lemon juice to help eliminate the break-outs and fade the scars. This also reminds me to start using the honey/lemon combo again to see if it will fade the scars the rest of the way!!


  • mangomadness says:

    I have dry, non-acne-prone skin and I do not wear much make-up (natural mascara, natural eyebrow pencil, natural liquid eyeliner, natural lip gloss).

    Upon switching to natural skincare products my hyperpigmentation has faded a bit and my skin looks better than ever. Here's my skincare regimen…

    -Cleanse w/ Dudu Osun African Black Soap
    -Spritz w/ green tea/tea tree essential oil mix
    -Moisturize w/ shea butter

    -DIY Honey Face Mask or Lush Oatifix Face Mask
    -Burt's Bees Peach & Willowbar​k Deep Pore Scrub

  • Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know of a great substitute for honey? Because oddly enough, the smell of raw honey makes me nauseous.

  • Anonymous says:

    Aside from the above. One of the most effective things you can do to reduce hyperpigmentation is to wear sunblock. This prevents darkening especially if you've just had a break out. The spray formula is fantastic for darker skin because it doesn't leave a white film. Chemical peels can be extremely effective but you must wear sunblock because the skin is much more sensitive.

  • Tiffany says:

    This information is perfect, very useful. I'm still fighting off chicken pox scars from high school, hello hone and rhassoul clay.

  • Anonymous says:

    for me chemical peels have done the job, but i still have some damage from last year. gonna try lemon juice + honey. thanks for the article it was right on time!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have very sensitive skin and the honey broke me out all over within two days. HORRIBLE! however, i've been using amla as a face mask once a week for the past 3 weeks. my skin looked noticeably brighter after two uses. yesterday someone asked me if i had started wearing make up. i was tickled!

  • Discover Joy Daily says:

    Very helpful post!
    Black soap dries out my skin really bad, but I'm sure it works for some skin types.

    Water makes the biggest difference for me.

  • prettybrowngirly says:

    i thought black soap was drying and actually caused an uneven complexion when used as a face wash. Anyone know anything different here?

  • k. lynn says:

    thanks for this article. does black soap help with hyperpigmentation, too?

  • krystllyght says:

    Thanks for this! When we apply these products can we just apply it all over our faces/chests or just on the dark spots? I have a lot of acne scars on my chest and shoulders. Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much. Dealing with scars left by acne as well as dark knees and elbows.

  • Farrah Phoenix says:

    Saving this Article! I love it. Thanks 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Great article. Thank you.

  • Erika says:

    I am prone to hyperpigmentation and i can definitely attest to the honey and lemon juice working quick and effectively. You can even mix the two which lightens the stinging effect of the lemon.

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