DIY Beauty: easy homemade recipe for skin whitening

milk and lemon skin polisher

Consider whitening your skin the natural way by trying this homemade recipe using milk and lemon. It’s really easy and pretty effective if you use it often enough, but note that lemon can make your skin sensitive so you’ll need to be careful. The recipe is suitable for your face and body but do make sure you put on your sunscreen if you try this.

Ingredients and recipe
Depending on where you want to apply this, you can use half or one whole lemon mixed with equal parts of milk. I used Meji milk for this purpose. Once the milk and the lemon is mixed together, the milk will curdle because of the acidity of the lemon juice. If you do not like too much acidity, then lessen the amount of lemon juice.

No need to rinse off after polishing
After you have mixed the two ingredients in a container, soak a flat complexion sponge in the mixture until moist and massage the moist sponge into clean skin in gentle, circular motions for about for two minutes. No need to rinse off. I do this in the night before bedtime on my hands and tissue off the excess. I have also tried it on my feet because I have some small pigmentation marks there. My skin feels nice and smooth, but the smell of the milk can be overbearing. If you use this on your face, I suggest you leave the mixture on for about 10 minutes and rinse off before toweling dry and carrying on with your usual skin care routine.

milk lemon skin whitening

Benefits of using milk and lemon
Milk contains lactic acid that will exfoliate and remove dead skin cells and the protein and enzymes in milk will help to moisturize our skin. In addition, it will help to soften the skin to allow the lemon juice to better penetrate. Lemon juice is acidic and on top of also exfoliating the skin, it works as a bleaching agent to help fade uneven pigmentation.

Words of caution
I noticed that with continual usage at one stage (three to four times a week), my hands were a shade fairer and some of the smaller pigmentation spots were fading. I hesitated to use this recipe on my face as lemon is a photosensitive ingredient. So if you really want to try this on your face, I suggest doing this once or twice a week at most in the evenings and please use sunscreen during the day. If you have acne-proned skin, I would advice you against using this because milk may trigger breakouts for some people. Additionally, some people may not like this recipe as lemon can sting the skin a little. So my advice is not to try this DIY recipe if you have sensitive skin. But otherwise, this is an easy recipe for skin whitening.


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  1. fwy says

    Sometimes, I would squeeze a bit of lemon juice in my water & drink it up. i don’t dare to use it on my face though.

  2. says

    oohhh I want to try this! My arms are uneven in color and I want an even tone color all-over my body:) Maybe this would help in lightening my arms and make it even with my shoulder… I just have a question: is it ok to use it more like a body scrub using the sponge? I don’t know if I’m okay of not rinsing it. I want to use it all-over my body. thanks for this great DIY recipe :)

    • sesame says

      Yes, it’s okay but you need to leave on for at least 10 mins and not rinse off immediately.

      The smell is quite unbearable though…

  3. says

    Hmmm…I am considering using it on my elbows and knees. And even my feet which has some blisters that darkened through time. I don’t know about the no-rinse portion though. Will it be less effective if I rinse it say, after 15mins?
    – Kaith

  4. Sparklewolfie says

    I love DIY recipes! I may want to try this for my face because I have freckles >.<
    Lemon can dry out skin, so it is best to put a moisturizer, too

    • sesame says

      Okay, be careful when you use this on your face. Moisturizer and sunscreen are important. I’m not so sure it’ll work on freckles but it’ll work for small spots.

  5. says

    Thank you for this! I really like this kinds of DIY. I hope that soon you can do more reviews and etc for skin whitening and brightening. I have dull skin from too much sun and pollution exposure. I’m using sunscreen now but its not helping me even out my skin tone. I want my fair skin back :(

    thank you again!

    • sesame says

      DIY recipes are quite fun and some are quite effective. Just that I want to be careful too cos some of the ingredients can be phototoxic – like lemon in this case. So I’m sometimes worried that readers will have adverse effects using them too.

  6. Angel says

    Nice recipe!

    You would not recommend putting lemon juice on your face often?
    I have blackheads and I have been reading that lemon juice cna help clear them up if you apply it every night. I hav been hesitant to use it every night, but when I do, I dilute the juice and then wash it off after 10 mins.(Never left on overnight.) And I always use moisturizer afterward and sunscreen the next day if I am out.

    Do you think this is still too much? I know that it makes your skin photosensitive, but are there any other effects that you know of? Thanks :)

    • sesame says

      Lemon is effective in removing some of the pigmented spots. Works to fade small ones…but like I said, it’s photosensitive so you need to be careful. For me, my facial skin is thinner and gets pigmented easily so lemon is not good for me even with sunscreen.

      If you do it at night and you don’t leave it overnight, then it should be better. Try not to use this long term.

  7. valerie says

    I was actually reading up on what recipies might help with under eye bags and it recommened yogurt and lemon.. well I am pretty daring so I actually put it on my whole face.. hmm… I feel like its sort of okay for my skin.. but not completely sure..cause ive been sick so I’ve sort of been home most of the time.. and I didnt get too much exposed to sun..i really didnt know that lemon actually might be that dangerous.. I do admit that i feel my sudden pimples are reducing.. but i really cant tell with my face.sometimes the pimples are there..sometimes..they arent..

    • sesame says

      I find lemon stings my facial skin! But yes, it can cause sun sensitivity and if your skin is predisposed to pigmentation, it’ll be more of a problem. My suggestion is you don’t use that recipe daily and you use it only in the later part of the day. Always use a sunscreen too.

  8. bea says

    hello, i used milk and lemon too..but not meji.. i used evaporated milk..its very nice. i used it almost everyday. I leave it for about 30 mins on my body and face.then rinse it.sometimes i alternate it with whitening body scrub or moisturizer since lemon is acidic and makes my skin dry…try it! enjoy!

      • Saima says

        hi there

        i have used this tip 2 years back , and i can guranttee it worked WONDERS for me.

        i felt so soft and my skin was glowing all the time:)

        i am starting to use it again as i got tanned recently.
        but i use powder milk as it makes a smooth paste.

        enjoy . as this remedy is the easiest and effective

  9. jeena says

    dear sesame,

    thanx alot for the tip. Please tell me honestly if this tip does whiten skin coour bcoz i really want to whiten my skin.

    • sesame says

      It does but it can also create issues of photosensitivity if you don’t take care of your skin by using proper sunscreen protection. I do not encourage you to do this too often.

  10. kathryn says

    can calamansi be used instead of lemon ?
    anyway… thanks… this will be a great help in my research :)

    • sesame says

      Calamansi has been said to help with whitening so probably you can use it in place of lemon.

  11. Liz says

    hi, this is great. How much milk though??
    and should I use a soft sponge or can something tougher like a loofah be used?

    • sesame says

      Loofah would be good but make sure it’s not too hard or rough if you’re using on your face though. As for the amount of milk, it depends on where you’re using on. For the face, one to two tablespoons should be sufficient but you would need more if you use on your body.

    • RM says

      well she said before bedtime so then that means you will apply it at night …dry it off..sleep…then rinse it off in the morning..while taking a bath.. i am so trying this!!!

  12. Alisha says

    Omg I was soo happy when I came across this. I have marks
    on my toes from wearing bad shoes. Will this honestly lighten the marks? If I use it minimum 4 times a week how long will it be till I see results??
    Thanks for this DIY recipe…I really hope it works.

    • sesame says

      You have to try…maybe two to four weeks. It does lighten marks but if the feet are exposed to the sun, then the marks might not go so easily. Lemon can make the skin more photosensitive, so best to use sunscreen too.

  13. Angel says

    We don’t have such Milk in Nigeria so can i use any other powdered milk or is it a Liquid milk

    • sesame says

      Yes, any fresh milk should do. Even powdered can work. Preferably low fat if you have any acne or clog pore issues.

  14. Mandy says

    Hi, does this actually work? And will it lighten dark elbows and knees? I don’t know where I would be able to find that milk in the uk, so would it be ok to use normal cows milk?
    Many thanks.

    • sesame says

      Yes, normal cow’s milk should work. It will lighten but note that lemon can make your skin photosensitive so you need to protect by using sunscreen.

    • sesame says

      Oh that’s great! Do wear sunscreen too cos lemon can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. :)

  15. anie says

    hi i am 30 and i have a bunch of brown spot look like a mole but the doctor told me its a aging spot i use lemon and milk but i have sensitive skin in my face i already have some vien showing in my left side of my face how can i prevent the pigmentation and remove the brown spot. Any help I appreciate it all. Thanks

    • sesame says

      If it’s an age spot, you’ll need more expert care. Suggest you try using a vitamin C product. The lemon and milk will make your skin more sensitive and it’s not advisable.

  16. PhillipPat says

    After mixing the lemon and milk should I refigerate when not using it and anouther question can i use 2% milk

    • sesame says

      I don’t know how much is 2%…but it should be more than the lemon. You can refrigerate but you can’t keep it for too long. I think one to two days max.

  17. Brownie says

    Omg. I’ve been using Lemons to whiten my skin for quite a while now, and it’s been helping me. But I haven’t been using milk with it, so i’ll try that. I’m half Filipino and half American, and it works more wonders than all that face wash stuff. I technically put lemon juice on my face and leave cucumbers on my eyes for about 10 minutes. I’m 2 shades lighter, and have 1 more shade to go to get to my original fair skin.
    Thank you so much for this DIY. (:

    • sesame says

      That’s great! Do remember to protect your skin with sunscreen as lemon is very photo sensitive.

  18. tatheer says

    can u tell me plzzzzzzzz how to remove dark circles ??????????? plzzzz guide me nd also guide me to better our heels whch r always dry,rough nd cracked???????? plz i ll b vry thnkfull to u

  19. diana says

    hi i’ve tried everything possible to get rid of my dark knees and elbows which are about 3-4 shades darker than the rest of my skin. I will definently try this milk and lemon recipe. Could i used 2% reduced fat cows milk???? Do I warm the mixture up?? So if I leave it on for 15 mins and rinse it off 5 times a week.. how long will it take to see results?? I also heard of another recipe call the “sock wrap” where you cut the toes off a tube sock apply a fair amount of thick body lotion(eukcerin) and pull leg or arm through sock up to where it covers affected area, leave overnight. Is it okay to try both at the same time. For example apply the lemon/milk mixture,wait 15min,take shower, apply lotion with sock wrap,go to bed repeating this 5 times a week. hope to hear back from you soon, thanks. :)

    • sesame says

      Fat cows milk is okay but there’s no need to warm the mixture unless you prefer it warmer. I can’t say how long it’ll take to see results…with twice a week usage, it may improved in a month or so.

      • diana says

        but do you think the sock wrap will affect the results in a negative way??? or do you think its safe to do both mixture and wrap.

    • sesame says

      About 10 mins or shorter the first time you use. It’s probably going to sting your face too. Don’t use it more than once or twice a week and remember to use sunscreen.

  20. laurice says

    can this recipe be used for the whole body which means i’m gonna have to leave it overnight without rinsing?


    • sesame says

      You can use it on your whole body but you need to rinse it off and then moisturize after that cos the lemon maybe drying on your skin.

  21. April says

    This sounds cool! I’ve been having this tiny little black spots popping out on my hands because I drive to university everyday. But I’m hesitating due to the unbearable smell you’re talking about. :(

    So what you do is apply and leave it to dry then sleep? Would it stain the bedsheet?

  22. emilyn says

    how long could i stay the micture in my body because im planning to do it in my whole body

    can i use it 5 times a week

    tnx so muche

  23. emilyn says

    what is the advantage of using the lemon rather than calamansi then if i use calamnsi could i do it 4 times a week

    tnx so much sweet day

    • sesame says

      I think lemon is bigger and probably more common for all? Haha…otherwise, calmansi is fine. :)

      • emilyn says

        so if i use calamnsi i could do it for 4 times a week because it is not a lemon what do you think

        • sesame says

          Calamnsi can be used for whitening so should be okay. But 4 times a week is a bit much and may cause your skin to be too drying over time…twice maybe just nice. Remember to moisturize well afterwards and use sunscreen in the day.

  24. Simi says

    Does this actually work? I have dark marks on my toes from where my shoes have rubbed against them. Will this lighten these marks? I know it won’t happen over night, but I just want to know if in time I will see results. Many thanks.

  25. april says

    can i really use powdered milk instead of the evaporated one? doe it have the same effect?

    • sesame says

      Actually those ready to drink milk from the fridge of the supermarket is the best. Bu if not available, powdered milk will do.

  26. shar says

    Hi! I love your website. I was wondering if it is okay to use this everyday on the whole body? And what can I do with the excess mixture? Can I keep it in the fridge?

    • sesame says

      You can use it on entire body but I wouldn’t advice daily. You should be able to keep the excess in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  27. julienne mark says

    can i leave this mixture overnight and will it not attract insents like ants or cockroaches on my bed while sleeping? how long will i see the effect?

    • sesame says

      Ah…please don’t leave this overnight. It’ll sting your skin. It’s meant to be washed off.

  28. julienne mark says

    are u single too? can you still do this regimen when you are sleeping with your husband? sorry to ask…i wonder if i marry then my husband to be will never want to sleep with me smelling like that.

  29. julienne mark says

    thanks but what i understand from your blog is to leave overnight. how long should i leave this mixture on my skin? is 30 minutes too long?

    • sesame says

      Sorry…was confused with another recipe. No rinsing but still need to tissue off…

      But I did caution about skin type…so suggest you try it for 30 minutes and if your skin is okay, you may want to extend to longer.

  30. Angie says

    I’ve been using pure lemon, from the bottles, on my face every night for about 2 weeks now. I have hyperpigmentation from acne (brown spots) and this has helped tremendously. In the beginning it burned
    a lot but after a few days it was fine and now I don’t feel anything. This has also helped with my acne. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone because it’s quite harsh, but if you think your skin can handle it then give it a try, it’s vey effective.

  31. katrina says

    can powdered milk be use instead of evaporated milk plus calamansi coz its cheaper than evaporated milk>

    • sesame says

      You’ll need to mix with water to dissolve the powder. It should work. As for calamansi…never tried so not sure of the results.

  32. katrina says

    please leave a comment on my email. i really need to whiten my skin hehe.. what im doing is powdered milk plus calamansi.. would that be okay?

  33. katrina says

    hai im back again i just want to ask if its okay to put only calamansi overnight on the face? but i have a problem about undr eye circles.will it affect the results. tnx..

    • sesame says

      Err…I don’t advice. It might be too strong. I would also advice you to use it as a mask or something that you leave for up to half an hour.

      • katrina says

        yes sorry,, yes your absolutely right.. tnx for your advises… i appreciate it so much,, More power and God bless.

    • sesame says

      The lemon makes it acidic and so the curdling. But the curdling happens slowly if the milk is cold and that’s what I did – I used cold milk and it was okay.


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