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How to get rid of dark elbows and knees naturally

 Dark elbow: Photo; Courtesy

Flawless, even toned skin contributes to your beauty, while dark patches detract from it. I didn’t realize how dark my elbows were until someone pointed it out. I started to wonder if it was the result of years of planking, or whether there was a hormonal cause.

So I started looking at other peoples' knees and elbows, and realized darkened knees and elbows are a common problem. The skin in this area is thicker and prone to moisture loss. This, coupled with the fact that we tend to lean on our elbows and knees, leads to darker, coarse skin. Other factors that contribute to dark elbows and knees are genetics, overexposure to the sun, dead skin buildup, and frequent rubbing and scratching.

You don’t have to panic when you look at your elbows and knees. You can lighten these areas using natural, safe, home remedies.

1. Lemon

Lemon contains bleaching and exfoliating properties therefore it is excellent for getting rid of dark patches. Lemon gets rid of dead skin cells while simultaneously lightening the skin. Cut a lemon in half and rub it on the affected areas every evening for about 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe dry and moisturise. Repeat this daily for about two weeks. Keep the affected areas away from direct sunlight as lemon increases the skin’s sensitivity which could result in burning.

2. Bicarbonate of soda and milk

Bicarbonate of soda is a natural exfoliant that effectively gets rid of dead skin, while milk contains lactic acid which works to gradually diminish the skin pigmentation.

Mix four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda with just enough milk to form a thick paste. Apply it to the affected areas, rub it in, and leave it as a mask for at least 10 minutes. Rinse off and moisturise. You can do this as often as daily or just twice a week, until the desired effect is achieved.

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains Vitamin E which helps prevent dryness. Apply to the affected areas several times a day as needed. If you keep your skin moisturized and hydrated, it will contribute to the repair of darkened skin.

4. Yoghurt and vinegar

Yoghurt contains lactic acid while vinegar contains acetic acid. These acids are mild but help to even out skin tone. Mix an equal amount of yoghurt and vinegar and apply on affected areas. Rub it for a few minutes and wash off.

5. Milk cream and turmeric

Massage a mixture of cream and turmeric onto the affected areas, leave on for 10 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. If you leave it on for too long the turmeric will stain your skin leaving it yellow. You can use this mask twice a week.

6. Bleaching fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, grapes, and potatoes, have bleaching properties which are helpful in getting rid of dark skin. Cut a fruit in half and rub on the affected area for at least 10 minutes. Dry the area and moisturize. You can apply different fruits on different days.

7. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide contains bleaching properties and is safe to use on the body. Soak a cotton ball in the liquid and apply on the dark areas. Use daily for two weeks. Don’t forget to moisturize.

These are just a few of the natural remedies that you can use. Others include sugar scrubs, honey, mint leaves, and fresh aloe vera juice.

Remember that lightening your elbows is a three-pronged process involving exfoliation, applying a mask, and keeping the area moisturized. Do this every day for at least two weeks and to notice the results. If your knees or elbows are bruised, avoid using products such as lemon until the area has healed.

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