Jan 12, 2014

Skin lightening night cream


I made this night cream as an experiment for kicks, and it actually turned out to be the most amazing thing I've done for my skin!
I'm going to tell you how to make a night cream that lightens your skin, fades freckles, heals minor wounds (like popped pimples), assists in treating acne, and much more!

It has only three ingredients, which you do have to get at a health food store.

First of all, using lemon oil in a skin product will make your skin photosensitive for the next 6-9 hours. That is why this is a night cream only - don't use this in the am!!

I will cite the health benefits of the ingredients at the end of the post.

Here's how to make it!

You will need 1/4 cup of African shea butter cream
1 TBSP Almond oil 
1 tsp Lemon Essential Oil (skin bleaching properties)
1 tsp Tea Tree Essential Oil (antiseptic)

With the essential oils, you can use more or less per your preferences. Just remember that strong concentration mixtures can irritate the skin.

The copper Ibrik on the right is just my little beauty mixer pot and isn't necessary :-)
Step 1: Scoop the raw shea butter and put it directly in your glass jar. My jar held a little less than 1/4 cup, but you can really adjust all the amounts as you please.

Step 2: Put your glass jar in a saucepan on the stove (low temp). The saucepan should have enough water to meet the middle of the jar without getting water in the jar. Do not let the water boil, but let it get gently steamy. Let the shea butter melt in the jar:

Step 3: Once the butter is entirely melted, add the almond oil, lemon oil and tea tree oil (1 tsp each) to the shea butter. Stir the mixture.

Step 4: Remove the jar from the pan (use hot mat, jar will be hot!), and carefully screw the lid on. Allow mixture to cool (you can put it in the fridge for quick cooling if you like). Keep the mixture as still as possible so that it cools without being messy.

If you cool it in the fridge, once it's solid, bring it out so that it can come to room temperature. Shea butter doesn't spread very well when really cold.

If you find that your night cream gets a little liquid deposit in the jar, that means you've added too much oil. It's harmless, just not attractive.

Store it in a cool dry place, like in a nightstand. You don't want it to melt in the jar, but you don't want it to be so cold it doesn't spread right.

I broke out a little bit at first (I'm dry skin), but after about 4 days, I've had no further breakouts! So if that happens to you, give it about a week to make sure it's not just your skin cleansing itself of those impurities deep in your pores.

My face color has lightened, my under-eye circles are diminished, my freckles are already less, my skin tone is better, and my skin is also super soft! I had sun damage on my face and neck, and that is less too.
I used this in conjunction with my DIY makeup primer with antioxidants.

Now to the scientific stuff:

Tea Tree Oil: 
Tea tree oil is an excellent treatment for acne because of its antiseptic properties. One study found tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but without the negative side effects like redness and peeling. Tea tree oil is also used to treat insect bites and sores, as well as topical fungal infections; it is moisturizing, and it reduces rashes.
(TRUessence Tea Tree Essential Oil)

Lemon Oil: 
Besides its skin lightening qualities, lemon oil is also an antiseptic, it tones the skin, it alleviates rough patches on skin, balances skin PH, calms redness, improves skin luster, and it reputedly fights cellulite (although you probably don't have cellulite on your face!). It also helps to fight and minimize wrinkles. However, if you use lemon oil on your face, you shouldn't go out into the sun for at least 6 hours due to the photosensitive effect of the oil.

Shea Butter:
Moisturizing, extreme healing properties, and helps to soothe skin allergies. Shea butter is also high in vitamin E, and the moisturizers in it are the same as the ones produced by the skin, so it's really nice and neutral. It also helps to prevent aging and contains anti free-radical agents. Shea butter promotes healing, treats blemishes, eczema, and treats burns. It's good all around!

*Raw, unaltered shea butter doesn't have the greatest smell (sort of an earthy dirt smell), but about ten minutes after it's applied to the body, it has no smell. However, adding lemon oil and tea tree oil really help with the smell. It does absorb into the skin very quickly!

Mix these three things together, and you've got a KILLER night cream, with only three pure ingredients!! No need for preservatives, dilutions, alcohol, etc. It keeps forever too!


  1. Do you put it on your eyes ? Im having trouble lately with puffy eyes.

    1. Hello Shannon,
      No, I don't use it on my eyes. I apply it under a little bit, but I don't think it would work for puffy eyes. However, if, instead of lemon oil (for skin lightening), you used peppermint oil (a cooling anti-inflammatory), that might work better for your eyes. Don't use too much peppermint oil though, as the menthol can be very strong for sensitive eyes. I'd personally recommend applying cold, damp, peppermint (or chamomile) tea bags to your eyes.

    2. Also... if you have puffy eyes, it is usually an allergic reaction, however mild it may be. Consider getting plenty of rest, observe your eating habits and environment for allergens, and drink lots of water :-).

  2. Hai there..
    i have a few questions about this.
    1. Can i replace the lemon oil with the fresh lemon juice?
    2. do you still using this cream?
    could you show me your before-after face?
    3. How about the expired date of this cream?
    4. How long we can use it?
    i'm looking forward for your answer.
    thank you for sharing 😊

    1. 1. I would not recommend replacing the lemon oil with lemon juice. Lemon juice will go rancid if not refrigerated - so you would have to store your night cream in the fridge, and shea butter gets hard when it is cold and would not spread well. Lemon juice can be a good toner, but I would not add it to the cream.
      2. I am working on several other creams right now, so no, I am not currently using this cream.
      3. Regarding the expiry date, essential oils do not have expiry dates. They have "less effective after" dates - usually about 6 months after opening the bottle, as long as it's been kept in a cool, dry place out of direct light. Shea butter does not have an expiry date in its raw form either. For maximum effectiveness, I would say this cream definitely lasts for 6 months, but since the oils are diluted in a mixture, I would venture to say it will last longer than that.
      4. I used mine for about a year with no ill side effects, so that is all I can recommend. Make sure that you use sunscreen during the day if using this cream though - as it does make you photosensitive.

      I forgot to post my "after" face! I will have to dig in my archives to find it, then I'll post it. Thanks!

    2. Also, sorry this took so long for me to reply - I've been having comment section troubles for a long time and just figured out the problem! :-P

  3. Hi. What kind of oil do you use.?. I found two kinds of oils 1. natural medicinal oil and 2. Esencial oil.

  4. This interesting to try. Thanks for sharing this mixture. But I haven't bought this African shea butter cream, where can I avail this?

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    1. You are welcome! The link to the African Shea Butter (disclaimer - affiliate link)is in the body of the blog, you can get it on Amazon. In my opinion, however, you can use any type of shea butter, this is just the type that I used.

  5. I really like the fresh perspective you did on the issue. I will be back soon to check up on new posts! Thank you!
    skin lightening cream