The use of essential oils for skin whitening offers a variety of benefits for the skin. Here is more on how to use these oils to lighten and whiten dark and black skin naturally.
An even toned skin is highly desired by all. People are trying all sorts of natural and synthetic methods to maintain a healthy, even skin. However due to a number of factors, one may experience dark patches which occur on various parts of the skin. This is referred to a skin pigmentation.
Skin pigmentation may occur as a result of;
- Skin Whitening
- Essential Oils for Skin Whitening
- Negative Effects of using Essential Oils for Skin Whitening
Our unique skin color is determined by the amount of melanin present in the skin.Produced by the melanocyte cells found on the bottom layer epidermis, melanin attaches to the receptors of other skin cells and it is absorbed thus creating color. Depending on the permeability of the different skin cells which is affected by a number of factors, different pigmentations may be exhibited on the skin.
When the receptor skin cells within the epidermis totally absorb the melanin produced, pigmentation is lost and the outer skin is white in color. This is known as depigmentation disorder and is seen in persons with vitiligo and albinism. These individuals are highly susceptible to skin damage and cancers.
In cases where there is very low melanin production by the melanocytes, the receptors only absorb little melanin resulting into lighter colored skin.The condition is referred to as hypopigmentation and is usually due to injuries, skin inflammation and hereditary factors.
When production of melanin is in excess and the receptor skin cells are unable to fully absorb it, the outer skin appears to be darker than normal and the condition is referred to as hyperpigmentation. It may be triggered by hormonal changes especially during pregnancy, drugs which create toxins, inflammation and over exposure to the sun.
It deprives the skin of the much-needed nutrients and oxygen for cell generation.
The skin loses water from sweating and the cells require enough water to allow for cell renewal. Without replenish the cells degenerate and may cause dark pigments on the skin.
Smoking and alcohol abuse which releases free radicals that counter cell growth and regeneration
Stress causes the release of hormones that affect cell production and muscle activity.
Infections such as warts, ringworms that leave dark spots on the skin.
- Lack of exfoliation as it allows dead cells to remain on the outer layer of the skin inhibiting the growth of new cells.
- Over –exposure to the sun resulting in sunburns and excessive tan
- Genetics where there is a family history of freckles and blemishes.
- Aging can cause a lot of damage to the skin and due to the hormonal changes that are associated with aging it may lead to dark spots developing on the skins
It is done to the skin to brighten, clear spots, patches or scars, even the skin tone and treat hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin production.The term skin whitening has been loosely associated with ‘skin bleaching ‘ which has had negative effects on the skin.This is however not the case as it depends on the products used.
Skin bleaching occurs when there is the use of synthetically manufactured oils that contain mercury, hydroquinone, and steroids. Skin whitening, on the other hand, uses plant oils which exist as essential oils (pure form as extracts) or as carrier oils such as coconut, olive, hempseed, and sunflower oil that contain fatty acids for easy skin absorption.
Essential Oils for Skin Whitening
They contain high antioxidant and nutritional properties that best treat skin pigmentation and help the skin by eliminating scars, fade blemish and improve complexion.
Their method of extraction preserves all nutrients and have small molecular size making them easily absorbent. They are highly concentrated in content as they require a very large quantity of the plant extracts to make a small quantity of the oil which makes them highly potent and need to be combined with natural oils to make them skin friendly.Some of the essential oils are also photosensitive in nature and in should not be used in excess.
Some of the best essential oils for skin whitening include:
Lavender Essential Oil
Obtained from steam distillation of the lavender flower tops and it whitens the skin through:
- It’s cicatrisant and cytophylatic properties help the skin to heal faster which will prevent the formation of scars and spots that darken the skin.
- Limonene which contains antioxidants to allow cell rejuvenation.
- Acting as a sunscreen to protect skin from sun damage thus whiten skin
- Anti-inflammatory and healing properties that sooth the skin and prevent irritations and also balance the skin oils thus reduce acne and subsequent scarring
- It can be used in its undiluted form on the skin without mixing with carrier oil, however, this should be done sparingly
Extracted through distillation it has hydrating properties that rejuvenate dry skin and whiten the skin.
- Helps to remove excess oil in the skin thus reduce acne outbreak and subsequent scars.
- Contains Alpha-santalol which helps to reduce skin inflammation.
- Have astringent properties that cleanse the skin and remove dead skin
- Antiviral and antiseptic properties to clear pimples, wounds, and warts.
- Provides a moisturizing, calming effect that relieves cells and brightens skin
- Contains high levels of antioxidant properties to reduce potency of free radicals
Lemon Grass Oil
- Extracted from lemon grass leaves through cold pressing, the oil:
- Contains limonene which brightens and lightens skin
- Possesses noncomedogenic and detoxifying properties that help to unclog skin pores and remove skin impurities thus brighten the skin.
- Contains citral which has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that help to prevent spots that may result from fungal infections
- It contains small amounts of vitamin A that assist in cell regeneration.
Lemon Essential Oil
- This oil is extracted from cold pressed fresh lemon peels and contain:
- Limonene a phytochemical that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that lighten scars by bleaching the affected part.
- Vitamin C which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It works towards eliminating free radicals especially those that occur from sun damage and it also combats acne through controlling the oil balance to prevent acne that may cause dark patches on the skin. This will help to whiten the skin.
- Vitamin A however in low levels has anti-oxidation properties. It also boosts the renewal of skin cells thus making it easier to get rid of dead skin that often cause skin pigmentation and whitens the skin.
- The citric acid which is a great antioxidant, promote cell regeneration which helps to get rid of dead skin and exfoliate and brighten the skin. The acid also increases the skins ability to maintain moisture hence lightening the skin. It decreases cell to cell binding at the melanocytes thus subdue excess melanin production and treat hyperpigmentation and brighten the skin.
- Contain astringent qualities that allow for cell rejuvenation and deal with skin pigmentation.
In equal parts mix with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or Shea butter and apply on skin overnight. Since it is photosensitive in nature it should not be exposed to the sun as it may attract UV damage.
Carrot Seed Oil
- Obtained from the steam distillation of wild carrot seeds.
- Made from a high number of carrot seeds approximately 22,500 seeds for a 30 milliliter of oil this oil whitens the skin as it is:
- Highly rich in carotene that helps to heal skin disorders that may cause dark marks on the skin. It also nourishes and replenishes the skin cells thus brighten the skin.
- This oil is highly rich in beta-carotene known for its ability to block free radical in the environment.
- Aromatherapeutic thus acts as a stress reliever which is one of the causes of dark pigmentation
- Add tone and elasticity to the skin as it stimulates red blood cells that improve complexion especially in persons with depigmentation who usually have pale skin.
- This oil should be mixed with a carrier oil before use on skin as it is very potent.
How to Use
In equal parts mix carrot seed oil and coconut, olive, sunflower or hempseed oil and apply on skin.
- Obtained from the root extracts this oil is used to whiten skin as it:
- Contains Niacin that helps to avert skin disorders such as dermatitis which often leads to skin pigmentation
- Contains zingiberene, cineole,p-cymene, and turmerone are known for their skin improving properties. They protect skin from sun damage, promotes skin hydration and oil content.
- Antibacterial properties contained in the curcumin that help rid of bacteria that may cause dark patches and acne.
- Protects against skin damage
- Contains high levels of Curcumin which strain the cell to cell binding of melanin thus stopping its production.
Geranium Essential Oil
- Obtained through the steam distillation of the Pelargonium (Rose) the oil helps to brighten skin as it:
- Contains cicatrisant properties helping in skin healing
- Stress reliever that helps to brighten skin
- Hydrate the body as it assists in fluid retention
- Balance oils so as to prevent acne and scarring
- Contains linalool, citronellol, limonene and geraniol which are great antioxidants
- Balances the hormones which often cause skin pigmentation
- Hydrates dry skin
- This oil can be used undiluted without carrier oils though sparingly
- It is rich in salicylic acid that has exfoliating properties that help to increase cell regeneration, it also dissolves scars caused by acne thus whiten skin.
- Contain linoleic and oleic acid that helps to treat dry skin and sunburns.
- Contain high levels of Vitamin E for protection against free radicals
- Anti-inflammation properties.
- Extracted from the bergamot orange through cold pressing the rind, this oil whitens skins as it:
- It is an anti- depressant that helps to reduce stress levels that are often associated with skin pigmentation. Its compound Alpha-pinene is responsible.
- Contains cicatrizant which reduces blemish and scars on the skin
- Has antimicrobial properties that help to stop acne.
- It is also a natural antiseptic that helps to diminish scars prevent the formation of dark patches.
- Contains limonene which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property
Blackcurrant Seed Oil
- Obtained from cold pressing the seeds it brightens the skin as it:
- Contains iron that helps to supply oxygen to the cells hence reduce fatigue that often dulls the skin.
- It has beta-carotene that fights off free radicals and also fights skin inflammation.
- Contains anthocyanins that are high antioxidants which balance the skin PH and create an even tone.
- It is rich in vitamin C which has antioxidant properties that stop free radicals from destroying the skin cells and hence darken them.
Negative Effects of using Essential Oils for Skin Whitening
- They are highly potent and can cause further skin irritation if used in its pure form on sensitive skin or persons with other health issues.
- Prolonged use of essential oils can cause further damage to the skin especially since they are photosensitive in nature.
- It may cause hormonal imbalance in pregnant women and lactating mothers leading to further damages.