Dark armpits, dark joints, and dark spots aren’t really that big of a deal—we’d just rather not have them, you know? Unwanted discoloration can dampen a girl’s confidence, and that simply won’t do! So to sort this whole thing out, we’re looking at the key ingredients that can get these things to lighten up. Check our list of 5 brightening ingredients and save your elbows, knees, and pits from the dark side.


Search up DIY lightening remedies and you’ll find lemons to be a favorite. Because they’re chockfull of brightening Vitamin C, lemons act as a natural bleaching agent. To speed up results, use it in scrub form. The granules in a scrub will help buff away tough skin and lighten dark spots. Great for ashy elbows and knees!

TRY: Leiania House of Beauty Milk Bath Lemon + Salt Scrub, P300


Papaya is a moisturizing, repairing, and lightening ingredient, which is why it’s commonly infused into soaps. The papain enzyme in the fruit helps renew skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. If you’ve got dark spots, too, don’t worry—papaya contains healing Vitamin A.

TRY: Zenutrients Pure Light Bearberry, Papaya, & Lemon Soap, P195


Fun fact: bearberry is actually loved by bears! Another important thing to know about this fruit: it helps reverse discoloration. You can attribute the magic to the high levels of arbutin found in bearberries. This aids in lightening dark areas by blocking the enzyme that produces melanin. In short, your pits are saved from the darkness!

TRY: Skinlush Watermelon Body Yogurt, P470


A beauty secret that comes straight from your kitchen, the humble tomato is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Its Vitamin A and magnesium content are godsends for dark, uneven skin. With regular use, a tomato-laced product will leave your skin looking brighter and more nourished than ever.

TRY: Cloud Cosmetics Tomato Gelly, P399


A daily coating of VCO can actually give dull, shadowy skin a more radiant tone. Because coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, it’s able to boost the regeneration of new, healthy cells. Not only that, it’s also infused with essential fatty acids that illuminate dark areas over time.

TRY: Greenlife Home of Coconut Products Virgin Coconut Oil, P200