Gone are the days of shunning oil-free moisturizers and face creams. Oils are trending in a big way – and it looks like this trend is here to stay as more and more women experience the skin perks that come with rubbing a bit of oil on your face.
What perks you say? Well, natural oils are rich in essential fatty acids which strengthen your skin barrier, balance your skin’s pH, mimic your sebum to hydrate while reducing oiliness, stimulate cell renewal for faster wound healing, and improve skin elasticity while preventing skin breakdown.
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Not to mention they’re loaded with various vitamins, essential minerals, and active antioxidant compounds that protect and revitalize the skin.
The best news? Some of them have skin lightening benefits on top of all the other skin perks.
Get to know some of the most effective skin lightening oils below!
But First: A Brief “Oils 101”
There are oils and then there are oils. More specifically, there are natural oils (also called “carrier oils”) and essential oils.
Natural oils are oils from mostly plant sources, although we do recommend a certain animal-based oil as well, which you’ll read about below. They’re extremely rich in essential fatty acids and usually contain a range of antioxidants and other nutrients.
Essential oils, on the other hand, aren’t really oils at all in the sense that they don’t contain the fatty acids that typical oils do. Instead, they’re actually a highly concentrated form of the plants they’re composed of.
You see, it takes an enormous amount of plants to produce an essential oil. Take lavender oil, for example – you need around 100 pounds of lavender plant material to produce just one pound of lavender essential oil. The result is a very concentrated, highly effective form of the plant constituents the essential oil was derived from.
This makes essential oils pretty awesome for the skin, since they’re typically minuscule in molecular size, making them easily absorbable by the skin. But at the same time, they’re also incredibly potent and most need to be combined with natural oils (“carrier” oils) to dilute them enough to use on the skin.
Okay, we’re going to move on to the most potent essential oil for skin lightening as well as the best natural oils to mix it with.
Best Essential Oil for Skin Lightening
This yummy-smelling essential oil is made by cold-pressing the fresh peel of lemons – it takes around one ton of fresh lemon fruit to make around six pounds of lemon essential oil.
The resulting, concentrated oil is very rich in limonene, found to combat skin tumors and lighten skin, as well as citric acid, a highly effective natural acid at stimulating cell turnover to improve skin tone.
But its benefits don’t stop at skin lightening – lemon essential oil is also brilliant at brightening dull skin and reducing oiliness.
How to use it? Lemon essential oil is strong and you don’t ever want to use it direct and undiluted on your skin. To use, mix with one of the carrier oils below with lemon essential oil making up at most 5% of the total solution (i.e. five drops or less of lemon oil for every teaspoon of carrier oil).
Also keep in mind that lemon oil – as well as all citrus oils – contains furanocoumarin compounds which increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV light. Do not wear lemon oil on your skin in the sunlight – save this essential oil for your evenings and nights.
Now let’s check out the best skin lightening natural oils to mix this lemon essential oil with, shall we?
Best Natural Oils for Skin Lightening
Around 3,000 seeds of the Wild Carrot plant go into making just one teaspoon of this oil – and it’s totally worth it since just a few drops is enough to transform your skin.
This oil is unique in that it’s very, very rich in beta-carotene, which reduces pigment formation by inhibiting tyrosinase receptors on the melanocyte.
In plain English – beta carotene blocks the melanin-producing enzyme (tyrosinase) from making melanin. It’s effective enough to lighten even cases of melasma when used topically on the skin.
And there’s more good news as well: our bodies convert a certain portion of beta-carotene into vitamin A (a retinoid well known as the main ingredient in Retin-A), which speeds up cell regeneration to fade scars and spots and improve the overall tone – and glow – of skin.
How to use It? You can apply carrot seed oil directly on your skin. Just a few drops will do – it’s a lightweight oil that’s perfect for the day time.
Emu oil is not exactly a skin lightening oil, but we strongly recommend it for its transdermal properties.
You see, emu oil is unique among oils in that it can penetrate deep into the skin. Its fatty acid profile is essentially identical to our skin cells’ profile, making it easier to absorb and assimilate into our skin.
And as it absorbs, it goes deep – through all seven layers of skin.
This makes emu oil the ideal oil to combine with other skin lightening products – like lemon essential oil or any other natural skin lightener – to help it get past the epidermis and soak into the skin.
How to use it? Emu oil’s a bit thick and not ideal for day time use, but combine it with your favorite natural skin lightener to wear as a night-time skin lightening oil.
Don’t want to do any mixing and DIY-ing of your own? Here’s another great skin lightening oil that’s already formulated and ready to go…
You already know that turmeric and citrus are some of the best all natural skin lightening ingredients and they’re all included in this brilliantly formulated skin lightening oil which combines effective, natural ingredients like turmeric oil, orange oil, lime oil, licorice extract and a whole lot more to hydrate and replenish your skin while lightening it at the same time.
How to use it? Simple apply on a clean face.