Skin can be whitened using consumer lightening products or with natural skin whiteners. Eating certain foods also promotes light skin. Staying out of the sun or using sun block is essential for maintaining white skin.
Skin lightening creams inhibit the production of melanin, the chemical that causes the skin's pigmentation. Dark skin produces more melanin. Hydroquinone, in up to a 2 percent concentration, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for whitening the skin. Mercury also lightens the skin, but it's banned in the United States because it leads to poisoning.
Several natural products whiten skin. The lactic acid in yogurt has lightening qualities. Rub plain yogurt into the skin and wash it off with lukewarm water after 10 minutes. Yogurt can also be mixed with lemon and oatmeal or honey. Oranges can also lighten the skin. Combine orange juice with turmeric and leave the paste on for several hours. Massaging a potato slice onto the face also lightens the skin. A lightening mask can be made out of gram flour and rose water. Leave this on until the paste dries, then wash it off with cool water.
Consuming certain foods also promotes lighter skin. A clear complexion results from eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. Tea, especially green tea, is high in antioxidants, which is good for the complexion. Dark chocolate helps the skin resist harmful UV rays from the sun.