Dark spots: when we’re not even looking, they pop up on our legs, our face, even our necks, hands and backs. And once they’re here, they’re here to stay. Well wherever they are, we want them gone.

With the launch of our SHINE brightening face oil, we’ve been investigating what causes those pesky dark, brown spotss on our skin and how exactly we can get rid of them.

Today we’re going to investigate 4 natural brighteners and tell you how to use them to get rid of those dark spots for good, all from the privacy of your own home.

1. Licorice Root Extract

Glabridin from licorice root acts as a safer, more potent alternative to hydroquinone, a common and effective skin lightening agent. Licorice root is one of the most researched effective and natural compounds for reducing hyperpigmentation in the skin.

According to Skin Whitening Science, “Glabridin has been shown to prevent UVB-induced pigmentation and to inhibit tyrosinase activity, superoxide anion production and cyclo-oxygenase activity. The depigmenting efficacy of glabridin has been shown by various researchers to be greater than that of hydroquinone.”

Futher, licorice root is anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic. (whoa).

Home Remedy:

Licorice Root Extract can be used in 1-10% potency with your face oil. You can mix a few drops of a oil-based extract into your face oil, or kiss dark spots goodbye with a brightening face oil high in licorice extract, like SHINE.

2. Bearberry Extract

Bearberry extract is made from the leaves of the bearberry shrub (whose berries are a favorite food for bears, hence the name).  Bearberries contains the active agent, arbutin, which naturally lightens and brightens skin.

Natural arbutin is a cousin to hydroquinone, and works much in the same way, by blocking tyrosinase–the enzymes in melanocytes (your skin) that cause darkening. Arbutin thereby reduces dark marks, dark spots and hyperpigmentation in the skin, including dark spots from sun damage, age, acne or even scars. The good news? It’s more effective than kojic acid.

Home Remedy:

Similarly to Licorice Root Extract, Bearberry extract can be used in a 1-10% potency with your face oil. You can mix a few drops of a oil-based extract into your face oil or buy a product high in bearberry extract.

3. Lemon Peel Oil

True lemon peel oil is not an essential oil; it is made from rind or skin of the lemon fruit. Natural sources of Vitamin C from lemon peel brightens skin, protects against aging, and stimulates new cell growth.

Home Remedy:

If it doesn’t already contain it, Lemon Peel Oil can be mixed in a 1-10% potency to your nightly face oil to lighten dark spots over time.

4. Pomegranate Seed Oil

My personal favorite brightener (though probably the least potent whitener) is pomegranate seed oil. Pomegranate seed oil is extremely high in antioxidants, which means its killer at fighting oxidative damage (skins of aging). It further helps brighten the skin with natural vitamin C.

Home Remedy:

Pomegranate Seed Oil is safe to use at 100% potentcy on the skin as a daily moisturizer, dark mark fader and protectant.

Interested in safely fading dark spots, sun damage and blemish marks?

Check out our SHINE brightening face oil, packed all the brighteners mentioned above + even more.


Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

Leave a Comment