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The area around the vagina and anus is naturally darker than the rest of the body. Moreover, women of all skin colors tend to have a dark bikini line, which is characterized by hyperpigmentation on the inner parts of the thighs that may extend to the bikini or groin area.
This can be the result of a variety of factors such as the buildup of melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color), (1) chafing (rubbing of skin against itself or the clothes you wear), excessive sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations, tight clothing, and certain health conditions and medications.
Lightening the Bikini Areas With Home Remedies
Here are some natural ingredients that can help lighten your intimate area and inner thighs without causing undue irritation or other side effects.
1. Apply papaya
Papaya is considered a natural skin-lightening agent due to the presence of an enzyme called papain in it.
Papain works by dissolving the dead damaged superficial layer of the skin, which is then replaced by bright new skin from underneath. This gentle exfoliation followed by skin resurfacing will gradually fade the hyperpigmentation. (2)
Plus, papaya is full of nutrients and antioxidants that help nourish and heal your skin while also protecting it from further damage.
Use it at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, until you see results. Keep your skin moisturized because it can dry out your skin.
How to use:
- Mash the pulp of a ripe papaya.
- Apply a big dollop of it to the dark areas.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse it off.
- Use this remedy regularly for a week to see visible skin lightening.
- Put a peeled papaya in the blender to make a thick puree.
- Mix ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder in the papaya puree.
- Apply this mixture to the affected skin.
- Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing your skin with lukewarm water.
- Use this remedy at least twice a week.
2. Use a lemon juice and yogurt mix
Lemon juice contains citric acid, malic acid, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which help dissolve and remove the dead cells settled on top of the skin that make it appear darker than it actually is.
Plus, vitamin C stimulates the production of healthy skin cells to replace the older ones. This helps improve the overall texture, tightness, and appearance of your skin. (3)
Meanwhile, yogurt is loaded with lactic acid, which also provides mild skin exfoliation and bleaching effects.
A lemon juice and yogurt combination acts as a mild bleaching agent that may help to lighten your dark skin.
How to use:
- Add the juice of ¼ of a lemon to 1 tablespoon of yogurt. Mix them well.
- Apply the mixture to the dark area and leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
- Wash it off with normal water.
- Apply aloe vera gel afterward to keep your skin moist and hydrated.
Note: Avoid using this remedy just after shaving or waxing as it may irritate your skin. Also, avoid sun exposer for 1–2 days after using lemon juice or any remedy that contains lemon juice.
3. Exfoliate with a sugar, honey, and lemon scrub
Sugar works as a natural scrub that can gently remove the dead cells from the top of your skin to make it smooth, bright, and even.
Unlike chemical exfoliants or commercial scrubs, sugar will not dry out your skin by the end of the process because it also supplies moisture.
Lemon is another ingredient used in this remedy, which exhibits considerable skin-lightening effects due to its rich acidic content. (4) The acids in lemons break down the bond between the dead skin cells so that they shed easily.
How to use:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of sugar, and squeeze in the juice from half a lemon.
- Mix all the ingredients to make a paste.
- Gently massage the paste all over the inner thighs in circular motions till the sugar disappears.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
4. Apply a mixture of almond oil, milk, and honey
Grime and grease settle on top of your skin, making it appear darker than it is. Rubbing some almond oil can help break down these impurities so that they can easily be rinsed off with water.
Additionally, almond oil moisturizes the skin. It contains antioxidants such as vitamin E that help prevent and repair UV damage. Vitamin E is known for its ability to brighten the skin and promote cell regeneration.
Milk further promotes skin exfoliation due to the presence of lactic acid in it, whereas honey provides intensive moisture.
How to use:
- Put 2 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of almond oil in a bowl and mix them well.
- Apply this mixture to your inner thighs.
- Leave it on for 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water.
- Gently massage a few drops of almond oil on your inner thigh area for 5–10 minutes.
- Do not wash the skin thereafter.
- Do this regularly for best results.
5. Use orange peels
Oranges contain more vitamin C in their peel than their pulp. (7) This vitamin works as a powerful antioxidant that counters the activity of free radicals that damage the skin to make it loose, dark, and dull. Plus, it helps accelerate skin regeneration by stimulating the production of collagen and new skin cells.
Orange peel in powdered form works great as a natural scrub due to its mild abrasive quality. It gently exfoliates dead skin cells and impurities to impart a fresh glow to the skin.
Consistent use of this remedy can help make your skin light and tight.
How to use:
- Sun-dry the peels of two oranges. Once dry, grind them into a fine powder.
- In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of orange peel powder, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Apply this mixture to your bikini line, where you have dark skin.
- Let it dry for 15–20 minutes. Wash it off with plain water.
- Do this thrice a week for best results.
6. Scrub using an oats, curd, and honey combo
The skin tends to become darker when dead cells accumulate on its surface over time.
The good thing is oats can help remove this dry, damaged outer layer to reveal fresh new skin underneath. Oats are not only deeply moisturizing but also have a fine granular texture that makes them great for mild skin exfoliation. (8)
Add to this remedy curd, which is credited with its exfoliating and bleaching properties. It is replete with lactic acid, which dissolves dead skin cells on top of the skin, making them easier to slough off.
Honey is also added to the mix for its strong antioxidant, antimicrobial, and moisturizing effects. All these ingredients work together to gently scrub away the dead skin cells for a brighter and even complexion.
How to use:
- Add 1 tablespoon of oats to 3 spoonfuls of curd.
- Mix in a few drops of honey to make a thick paste.
- Apply this mixture to the inner thighs.
- Gently scrub the area for a few minutes.
- Wash it off with plain water and pat dry.
7. Try potato
The antioxidants present in potatoes can help lighten hyperpigmentation to even out your skin tone. (9)
How to use:
- Wash and peel a small-sized potato.
- Extract its juice through mashing or grating.
- Dip a clean cotton ball in the juice and dab it onto the hyperpigmented area.
- Leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it off with plain water.
- Apply this twice daily until you get the desired result.
8. Rub some tomato
Tomatoes are widely recognized for their ability to reduce skin tanning caused by long-term sun or UV damage. This effect can be attributed to certain antioxidants such as lycopene, which gently and gradually lightens dark skin and protects it from further photodamage. (12)
How to use:
- Slice a tomato into two halves.
- Take one half and rub its pulpy side on the darkened skin.
- Let the juice be absorbed into the skin for 20 minutes.
- Wash the area with plain water and then pat it dry.
9. Apply extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is replete with antioxidants that help reduce and repair the skin damage caused by free radicals, particularly through sun or UV exposure. (13)
One of the prime reasons for skin darkening is excessive exposure to sun or UV radiation, and EVOO helps counter that.
When used topically, this oil may help block out the harmful rays of the sun and thus minimize the pigmentation caused by it. This is due to the presence of a heavy dose of vitamins and antioxidants that not only reduce but also repair the skin damage caused by the sun.
Plus, EVOO is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats that keep the treated skin soft and supple.
How to use:
- Rub some extra virgin olive oil all over your inner thighs and bikini area every night before sleeping.
- Rinse the skin with plain water the next morning.
- Pat it dry.
10. Sandalwood and milk
Sandalwood is often used in skin remedies to fight hyperpigmentation; it has a similar effect to kojic acid for skin lightening.
Alpha-santalol is the major ingredient of sandalwood oil. In comparison to kojic acid and arbutin, it is a potent inhibitor of tyrosinase, which is responsible for melanin production and also skin darkening and hyperpigmentation when overproduced. (14) Regular application of sandalwood may help fade dark spots or patches and even out your skin.
The good thing is that this ingredient deeply moisturizes and soothes the skin while also brightening it.
In this remedy, sandalwood is mixed with raw milk, which contains certain acids that help exfoliate the skin to restore its natural complexion.
How to use:
- Mix just enough raw milk in 3–4 teaspoons of red sandalwood powder to make a thick smooth paste.
- Apply this paste to the dark area.
- Wait for the paste to dry before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
- Use this remedy at least thrice a week for best results.
Here are some things you can do to reduce hyperpigmentation in the genital area or on the inner thighs:
- Avoid tightly fitted pants, jeans, or underwear as they may stick to the pelvic area and rub against the skin. This kind of chafing makes the skin turn darker over time.
- Make sure to moisturize your skin every day.
- Excessive waxing, shaving, or use of hair removal creams can be too harsh for the delicate genital area and can lead to irritation, inflammation, and even infection such as folliculitis. The repeated friction and exposure to chemicals can lead to skin darkening. So, it is recommended that you keep it to a minimum.
The darkening of the pubic area and inner thighs does not require medical attention, unless it is accompanied by itching, redness, and other worrisome symptoms. The uneven skin, however, can be quite unsightly and figures as a cosmetic concern for a lot of people.
Since the skin in this area is quite sensitive, it is preferable to use natural remedies. The idea is to use them consistently and along with other self-care measures to prevent further skin damage.
If the remedies fail to give you the desired results, you can try over-the-counter products including niacinamide, prescription medications such as hydroquinone and retinoids, or clinical procedures such as laser skin lightening to get rid of the hyperpigmentation.