Elbows and knees are the most neglected parts of the body. Dark elbows can show when you wear short sleeved shirts and tops. No matter how even your skin tone is in other areas, dark elbows can dampen the looks instantly.
Some of the factors causing elbows to darken:
Elbow skin is thicker than the skin on the rest of the arms. This is one area that undergoes a lot of friction as you sit and lean on the arm rest. The skin folds in the elbow can also cause darkening in the long run. Here are the common causes for dark elbows:
- Improper melanin distribution
- Hereditary reasons
- Sun exposure
- Dryness of the skin in the arms
- Improper hygiene
- Side effects of some medications
- Hormonal imbalance conditions
There are much more such causes for dark elbows. In some, it isn’t very evident. It mainly depends on the skin tone. If you have a generally even skin tone and the skin on the elbows look dark, it might be visibly odd and this might make you self-conscious.
Here’s how to lighten elbows safely and naturally:
These home remedies involve all natural ingredients. The best part is that the ingredients are all those that are readily available at home. Being natural, these remedies do not come with any side effects. These ingredients, besides lightening your elbows can make your skin supple smooth and healthy.
Quick pointers to remember when you use the below ingredients:
- When you use a scrub or bleach, do not forget to apply moisturizer after you wash it off
- When you use a bleaching ingredient, do not step out in the sun for the next few hours
1. Aloe Vera:
This wonder herb comes with so many uses. One among them is to lighten the elbows. The gel from Aloe Vera contains moisturizing capacities. It can also help tackle the issues caused by aging and drying up of the skin. For sun exposure and the subsequent damage, this one can work wonders.
- Squeeze out the gel from a freshly cut Aloe stem
- Apply the gel directly on both the elbows and leave it for half an hour
- Wash off with cold water
Repeat this for few days till you start noticing your elbows turning light. This can also make the skin at the elbow smooth and free from pigmentation. To improve the results, you could also mix rose water with aloe gel. Chilled aloe gel can also be used for a de-stressing massage.
Lemon’s bleaching abilities are pretty well known. It is also popular in helping skin lightening. This property can be used to treat dark elbows. Lemon can be used either separately or in combination with other ingredients to help lighten the elbows.
- Squeeze the juice of a lemon
- Massage your elbows with this freshly squeezed lime juice for few minutes
- Leave it on for half an hour
- Wash it off with cold water
When you use lemon to lighten the elbows or if you use lemon on any other areas of the skin, do not forget to use a moisturizer soon after you wash it off. If your elbows are dry of if you have cuts and cracks, lemon might cause a burning sensation.
For better results, you can also combine honey and lemon while you apply on the elbows. The honey would help moisturize the skin while lemon lightens it. You might start noticing the results in 2 or 3 weeks. Remember that if you use lemon anywhere on your skin, it is best to avoid direct sun exposure for the next 1 or 2 hours.
3. Baking soda
As the nth useful way to use this versatile kitchen ingredient, it can be used to lighten elbows or knees. The cleansing property of baking soda can help remove the dead cells causing the darkness on elbows.
- Mix baking soda with few drops of milk to make a paste
- In small circular motions apply this paste onto the dark elbows
- Leave the mixture on for around 5 minutes
- Once you feel the mixture drying up, you can wash it off
4. Vinegar and yogurt mixture:
The acetic acid in vinegar is known for its cleansing properties. Lactic acid in yogurt is known for its benefits of lightening the skin and making it healthy. Combining the benefits of both we have this simple yet effective remedy for dark elbows.
- Take equal volumes of thick yogurt and white vinegar
- Combine to form a homogenous paste
- Apply the paste on your elbow and leave it for few minutes
- Wash it off and pat dry
Gram flour is another ingredient you can add to yogurt. But we will look at that remedy in detail below.
5. Gram flour
For ages, we have known the wonders that gram flour can do on our skin. Gram flour scrub is great not just for the skin on the elbows. You can also make a simple and easy to use a body scrub with gram flour. Gram flour can be used to lighten the elbows in combination with several other ingredients.
- Make a paste of gram flour in yogurt
- Apply the paste on your elbows and wait till it dries
- Once dry wash it off with cold water
- You can also add a pinch of turmeric or sandalwood powder to this mixture.
- Make a thick paste of gram flour and freshly squeezed lime juice
- In circular motions massage gently on the elbows and wash it off after a few minutes.
- After drying your elbows with a soft napkin, apply a moisturizer.
6. Sugar scrub:
- Make a paste of granulated sugar in olive oil
- Gently scrub the paste on both the elbows and leave the mixture on for 5 minutes
- Wash of thoroughly with cold water
After you use any scrub, do not skip the moisturizer ever. Olive oil is also known to make the skin healthy. While sugar removes the dead and dark skin cells, olive oil moisturizes the skin.
7. Coconut oil:
This is another wonderful ingredient that comes with a plethora of benefits. It can be used in many ways to make skin light and healthy while also moisturizing it.
- Mix Coconut Oil with few drops of lime juice and apply on the elbows
- You can do this before bath and leave the oil and juice mixture on for few minutes before washing off
- Crush walnuts to a coarse powder
- Mix this walnut powder with few drops of Coconut Oil to make a quick scrub
- Massage your elbows with this scrub to exfoliate the skin and lighten it in the long run
8. Turmeric and Cream
Turmeric is one ingredient that is known to improve the skin texture and complexion.It is also known to give a natural looking glow to the skin. This remedy is particularly great for those with darker skin tones.
- Make a thick paste of turmeric powder along with thick milk cream. You can also use organic wild turmeric powder which might be available in stores.
- Apply this mixture on the dark elbows. You can also apply the mixture on the full length of your arms.
Remember that turmeric can leave a mild yellow hue on your skin. So it would be better to adopt this method before bath. Washing off with soap would help remove the yellow tinge on the skin. In few weeks the elbows can be seen to lighten.
9. Using Fruits and Vegetables as Natural Bleach:
There are several fruits and vegetables known to function as natural bleach on the skin. Tomatoes are the most popular choices. Applying the juice of a tomato on the elbows can show results in few days.
You can also use the juice from a potato. Another simple way is to rub a freshly cut slice of potato on the elbows. Cucumber, grapes, and oranges are other ingredients that can naturally bleach and lighten the elbow skin. Few minutes after you use any of the above ingredients, wash off your elbow and pat it dry.
Lactic acid is an ingredient that is popular to tackle skin pigmentation issue. This is one reason why milk and milk cream are suggested as main ingredients in several home remedies for healthy skin. On a clean elbow, soon after a bath, you can use a cotton ball and dab milk on your elbows. When repeated every day you can start noticing the results in few weeks.
11. Almond oil
Almond Oil can be used as a natural massaging moisturizer on the elbows. You can also mix it with Walnut Powder or Sugar and make a scrub in the place of Olive Oil and coconut oil. Another popular combination is few drops of Almond Oil in Yogurt which can be used to lighten elbows naturally.
Collagen production in the body might reduce due to a lot of reasons. When the skin’s natural collagen levels go down, it can lead to a lot of skin problems including pigmentation darkening and dark spots. Elbow darkening can also be tackled by improving the collagen levels. This can be achieved with the help of mint.
- Boil water with a few mint leaves in it.
- You can also add a few drops of lime juice to this water.
- Use a cotton ball to apply this potion onto the dark elbows
This can be done once or twice every day. Wash off your elbows after a few minutes.
13. Vitamin E-oil
- Squeeze out the oil from few capsules of Vitamin-E
- Apply the oil on the elbow and massage gently
You need not wash off the oil. It would slowly get absorbed into the skin.
- Mash some papaya to make a fine paste
- Apply this on the elbow and wash after 10 minutes
This can be done daily till the results start showing.
Caring For Elbows
The above methods can be used to treat darkened elbows. But why wait till you start noticing visible signs of skin damage? Here are some of the ways to care for your elbows and knees to ensure that the skin in these areas remains healthy.
- Periodically scrub your elbow and knees to scrape off the dead skin cells that accumulate and clog the pores
- When you apply moisturizer on your arms, do not ignore the elbows. The elbow skin dries up faster than the rest of the skin. So moisturizing them few times a day can prevent them from drying and cracking
- While you rest your elbows on an armrest or the table, remember to take breaks. Do not apply too much pressure. Friction causes the skin to lose its natural color and leads to darkening easily
- Do not forget to dab sunscreen on your elbows when you step out in the sun
- Ensure that your diet has a healthy portion of Vitamin E which is very much essential for an overall healthy skin
- Keep yourself well hydrated. When you get dehydrated, one of the first visible signs can be seen on your skin.