Do your dark elbows and knees make you conscious about wearing sleeveless tops and short skirts in public? Trying to get these stubborn areas to match the rest of your skin tone can get frustrating, especially if you’ve tried all sorts of products to no avail. But you don’t need to look far nor burn a hole in your pocket just to whiten your knees and elbows.
There are plenty of common household ingredients that can easily and effectively do the job.
First, let’s dive into what causes this darkness or hyperpigmentation in the first place.
Why are my knees and elbows darker than the rest of my body?
The knees and elbows are joints that allow the limbs to rotate, bend, stretch, and flex. These movements create friction that can repeatedly scratch and inflame the skin. On top of this, knees and elbows are prone to rubbing against clothing and furniture that may be made of rough material.
Apart from frequent exposure to friction, other causes include:
• Side-effects from birth control pills
• Scarring from previous injuries
• Hyperpigmentation from excessive sun exposure
• Skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis
• Melasma from pregnancy
No matter what the cause is, you can solve this pesky problem with all-natural remedies that won’t break the bank. Below are some easy-to-make concoctions you can try at home.
1. Lemon and baking soda
Lemon is a popular ingredient in many skincare products — and for good reason. Lemons are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which can reduce the appearance of dark spots. Vitamin C inhibits melanin production in the outer layers of the skin, so the skin lightens.
The baking soda acts as a gentle exfoliant to scrub off the dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin. This ingredient works well with Vitamin C since the latter stimulates cell regeneration.
Take half a lemon and sprinkle about a teaspoon of baking soda on top. Rub this for at least a minute on the problem areas, and let sit for 15 minutes. Then, wash off with warm water. Don’t forget to moisturize your knees and elbows afterward because your skin may get dry from exfoliating.
2. Aloe vera, milk, and honey
Ah, aloe vera— the new best friend of every modern Filipina. Not only does it promote hydration and elasticity in the skin, aloe vera also has a mild bleaching property that makes the skin appear brighter and lighter. This works well with milk and honey, which are both excellent moisturizers. These two ingredients give your complexion a healthy glow.
You can either buy a tub of aloe vera gel or extract the juice from an aloe vera plant. Mix with equal parts honey and raw milk. Apply it on your knees and elbows and leave on for 30 minutes before rinsing. Unlike the lemon and baking soda mixture, which is too harsh to leave overnight, you can use this concoction as a mask and just wash it off the next day.
3. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and honey
ACV is the common partner of clay masks because of its exfoliating and brightening properties. It helps reduce the appearance of pimple marks and dark spots and improve the overall texture of the skin. Because excessive ACV can be harsh on the skin, honey is the perfect pair because it can balance out the ACV with its calming and moisturizing effect.
Mix a tablespoon of ACV with two tablespoons of honey and apply on the knees and elbows. Let rest for 20 minutes then rinse with warm water. Apply moisturizer afterward because the ACV may leave your skin dry and raw from exfoliating.
Although these are all-natural remedies, your skin may still react differently to the concoction. You can try different mixtures using the same ingredients and see what works best for you.