Lightening facial hair

How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: March 25, 2022
How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally

Have you noticed that your elbows have become darker than the skin surrounding them? There are different reasons you may have dark skin on your elbows, ranging from genetics to sun exposure, but an inadequate beauty skin care routine might also be at fault. This is often because it is an area we overlook. But just because you can't lick your elbow, doesn't mean it should be ignored. Even just a few extra seconds a day in your skin care routine can. You can even use some of the products which work great as facials or to combat dry skin. This oneHOWTO article explains how to lighten dark elbows naturally. You then can get your skin back to its natural colour, while also providing a good dose of hydration and care.

You may also be interested in: How To Use Chamomile To Lighten Skin

Steps to follow:


The skin on our elbow is made from the same skin as over the rest of our body. However, like the balls of our feet or the palm of our hands, its location can mean it gets treated a little more roughly than other skin areas. This is partly because it is on a joint, meaning that the skin is regularly tautened and loosened throughout any given day. Some people also spend time leaning on their elbows, something school teachers often condemn.

Dark patches of skin on the elbows can possibly result from this type of leaning, but there are other possible reasons for their occurrence. Dry skin is one of the most common, especially if you don't realise they are dry in the first place.

Some genetic skin conditions might be the cause behind dark skin on the elbows. They often have to do with the overproduction of melanin, something known as hyperpigmentation. This is because, on a cellular level, the skin produces too much pigment making it turn darker. There is recent evidence to suggest that this imbalance is due to certain proteins in the skin, specifically the TPC2 protein. When this protein works it "shuts down the enzyme which causes melanin production"[1].

Hormonal imbalances might also be at fault for the skin discoloration, but more common are overexposure to the sun, improper hygiene or simply the frictions which occurs between your elbow and the clothes which cover them. Fortunately, a change in your skin care approach should be all you need to getting an even color between your arm and your elbow.

Here are some steps that you should consider if you want to keep perfect skin on your elbows:

  • To start it is very important to wash your elbows every day with a soap free cleanser. This will help to keep the skin supple and protect during exposure to friction. Ideally use a bath sponge or something similar when washing your elbows.
  • Once a week should also exfoliate the skin on your elbows just as you do with the rest of your body. This will help remove dead cells that accumulate in the area and give a better appearance and uniformity. Learn how to make some natural body scrubs like this one made with papaya.
  • You must also never forget to moisturize your skin in this area that, in itself, is rougher and thicker than other areas, so it needs special attention. This also will help combat a common problem in this area, annoying elbow dryness.
How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally - Step 1

By following the above tips you will improve the look of your elbows. There are a range of cosmetics out there which are designed to lighten skin, but their chemical composition can make them less than ideal for skin. If you want to lighten your skin to an even tone, natural homemade remedies can be even more effective whilst protecting your skin from further damage.

Lemon for lightening skin

When you you wan to know how to lighten elbows, you should know that lemon is one of the quintessential natural lighteners. It is even great when used to combat upper lip shadow. It is also a very simple and cheap solution to dark elbow patches which is why we're putting it to the top of our list. You probably have some at home already.

To apply this natural lightening agent, you just need to rub half a lemon directly onto your elbows, wipe off excess juice with a cotton ball and leave on for 5 minutes. Then remove with warm water and dry well. The one half lemon should be enough to lighten dark patches of both elbows. It is also the perfect shape to mold around the natural shape of the elbow.

Lemon is acidic, so leaving it on your skin for too long can damage your skin and cause irritation. This is why, according to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, lemon extract can only be used in low concentrations for beauty products[2].

You can, however, use this home remedy every day or week until you get whitened elbows. Just don't leave it on too long during any treatment. This lemon and sugar scrub might also help you exfoliate the skin at the same time.

How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally - Step 2

Cucumber for lightening skin

Lemon isn't the only natural cleanser which might be able to help in the fight against patches of dark skin on the elbows. While there is still more research to be done, the African Journal of Biotechnology has evidence which shows topical creams containing cucumber extract "can produce a pronounced decrease in melanin content of the skin showing that the formulation has skin whitening effects"[3].

It is particularly good if you fear that lemon will irritate your skin, as cucumber is well known for its cooling effect on the skin. Rub the area with a couple of slices of cucumber and let it sit for 20 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse afterwards with cold water. Both lemon and cucumber can be used for natural juice remedies and, of course, they are also great for you as part of a balanced diet.

This solution shows results a little slower than lemon, but since you can leave it on longer it should counteract the negatives. It's great for those with sensitive skin and can be repeated as much as you need until the skin is lightened.

How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally - Step 3

Coconut oil for lightening skin

Do you know the cosmetic benefits of coconut oil? This natural moisturizer is rich in vitamin E which is great for our skin and hair. This is why it is often added to cosmetic products or is recommended to be used on its own. It makes it convenient to add our own beauty routine.

A great way to use it is massaging your elbows daily with a teaspoon coconut oil and a few drops of lemon juice, leave on for 15 minutes and then remove. This procedure will hydrate thoroughly, remove calluses and dry skin and also lighten your elbows effectively. You can repeat daily. The lemon juice is diluted by the coconut oil which is why it is OK to leave on for a little longer.

How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally - Step 4

Pumice stone for lightening skin

If you do not have much time to leave on a product to your elbows, then an excellent solution to rinse and remove dead cells effectively is to use pumice stone. Cleanse your elbows with a little olive oil or rub a cleansing soap in the area. Then gently massage them with the help of a pumice stone. Do so in circular motions without applying too much pressure to avoid damage to your skin.

After cleaning the area, you may repeat once a week, but always with great care. Pumice stones are great for exfoliation, but they should not be overused as your skin needs time to replenish healthy and natural oils. Apply a moisturizer for skin aftercare and you should see the dark patches go pretty soon.

How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally - Step 5

Baking soda for lightening skin

A classic blend of baking soda and lemon, is also widely used to lighten armpits and other areas of the body. It makes sense that it is equally effective for elbows. You just have to mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of lemon juice into a paste and apply it on the area. Leave for 10 minutes and then remove with warm water, repeat daily until the desired result is obtained.

Again, the baking soda will counteract the acidic effects of the lemon. The baking soda itself will also act as a mild exfoliant, making it perfect for sensitive and dry skin. Feel free to use it on your knees also if you are experiencing similar dark patches in this area.

How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally - Step 6

Other natural home remedies for lightening dark elbows

The above remedies are great for lightening dark skin patches on elbows (or knees if you wish) are effective, but they're not the only ones available. Here are some other ideas to help you if you need it:

  • Yogurt - lactic acid in the yogurt will work in a similar way lemon will. The difference is that it is not as harsh as lemon, so can be left on for longer. It's even better to use as a base mixture, so add 2 parts yogurt to 1 part lemon juice and 1 part honey. This will give you skin a great overall rejuvenation as well as lightening the dark patches.
  • Aloe vera - aloe vera is a wonder product and is great at replenishing skin. It is particularly good if you have been exposed to skin damage from the sun.
  • Almond oil - similar to coconut oil, it will work with the natural skin oils to even out the skin.
  • Turmeric - curcumin found in abundance in turmeric is believed to regulate melanin production in the skin, so a mixture with yogurt and/or lemon can help reduce the dark spots.

Regardless of the choice you make to lighten your dark elbows it is very important to properly moisturize the area afterwards. You can do this with body lotion or some natural oil such as almond, coconut or even good ole olive oil.

It is also advisable to follow the instructions given to you in the first step if you want to keep your elbows in perfect condition every day.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
1 of 7
How To Lighten Dark Elbows Naturally