Did you spend last summer at the beach or backyard barbecue parties wearing long-sleeves? Go to great lengths to find excuses not to wear your favorite T-shirt or sleeveless sundress so, you didn’t have to feel self-conscious about your dark elbows?

You might have even scrubbed your elbows raw, later thinking, “Why me?”


Dark elbows, contrary to what one may believe, are extremely common in people of all races. The reason is that our elbows are one of the most used as well as the most neglected body parts.

intro dark elbow

We think nothing of leaning on them while we work, sit at a computer or read. They become devoid of moisture as well as building up a pile of dead skin as a protective layer, which looks rather dark and unappealing.

However, it’s time for you to shed your worries as there are more than a couple of ways to get rid of dark elbows. By giving them a little TLC, you’ll make your elbows go from dark and rough to smooth, light-colored and supple!


These three hassle-free methods to lighten your dark elbows will deliver results, slowly but surely. Persistence is the key, and before you know it, you’ll be back in your favorite summer clothes enjoying the warm weather again.

Method 1: Sugar, Olive Oil, and Lemon Juice

Things you’ll need:

things need olive oil

  • Sugar – 4 tablespoons
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice, freshly squeezed – 1 tablespoon
  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cotton balls
  • Water (lukewarm, if possible)

Step 1. Put sugar in a bowl

Put sugar in a bowl

Measure 4 tablespoons of sugar into a mixing bowl. Milder than salt, sugar is a choice exfoliator for most skin types.

Step 2. Add olive oil

Add olive oil


Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl. Olive oil is excellent for moisturizing the hard and wrinkled skin of elbows.

Step 3. Mix the ingredients

Mix slightly

Mix the sugar and olive oil with a spoon.

Step 4. Add lemon juice

Add lemon juice


Cut a lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Add 1 tablespoon of the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl.

As lemon is a natural bleaching agent, it will help lighten your darkened elbows.

Step 5. Make a paste

Make a paste

Use the spoon to mix the contents into a sticky, grainy paste.

Step 6. Apply and massage

Apply paste on darkened elbows

Massage paste over your elbows


Now, use your fingers to apply the mixture on your elbows. Gently massage with your fingers to scrub the area. Leave it on your elbows for 5 to 10 minutes.

Fill lemon rind with paste

Rub lemon rind on your elbows

Another option is to use the lemon rinds to apply the paste on your elbows. Just fill the hollow of that squeezed lemon with the combined ingredients and gently rub it on your elbows using circular motions. Again, it can be left on for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 7. Wipe off with lukewarm water

Dip cotton ball in lukewarm water

Dip a clean cotton ball into lukewarm water.

Wipe-off elbow with cottoo ball

Wipe your elbows thoroughly with the soaked cotton ball until you’ve removed all traces of the sticky paste.

You can use this scrub on your elbows up to three times a week. If your skin is on the more sensitive side, try using it once a week.

Method 2: Baking Soda and Milk

Things you’ll need:

things need baking soda

  • Baking soda – 2 tablespoons
  • Milk – 1 tablespoon
  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cotton balls
  • Water (lukewarm, if possible)

Step 1. Put baking soda in a bowl

Put baking soda in a bowl

Measure 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a mixing bowl. Baking soda is good at removing dead-skin buildup, thus giving your elbows a thorough exfoliation.


Step 2. Add milk

Add milk

Add 1 tablespoon of whole milk to the bowl. Milk is a fantastic moisturizer, and the lactic acid in it helps reduce the pigmentation of your elbows.

Step 3. Make a paste

Make a paste

Stir the ingredients with a spoon to make a paste of even consistency.

Step 4. Apply using a cotton ball

Dip cotton ball into the paste

Dip a clean, dry cotton ball into the paste.

Apply using the cotton ball

Using circular motions, gently apply the paste over the darkened skin. Do this for no more than 2 to 3 minutes per elbow.

Baking soda is a strong exfoliator and combined with the lactic acid found in milk; it can quickly cause to your skin to sting and feel raw.

Step 5. Wipe clean

Dip cotton in lukewarm water

Dip a cotton ball into a bowl of lukewarm water.

Wipe clean with cotton ball

Use the soaked cotton ball to carefully remove the paste from your elbows.

Use this method every other day until you are satisfied with the results. Then, you can repeat it weekly or as needed.

Method 3: Gram Flour and Curd

Things you’ll need:

things need gram flour and curd

  • Gram flour – 2 tablespoons
  • Curd – 1 tablespoon
  • Mixing spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cotton balls
  • Water (lukewarm, if possible)

Step 1. Put gram flour in a bowl

Put gram flour in a bowl

Put 2 tablespoons of gram flour into a mixing bowl. Gram flour works as an exceptional exfoliator.

Step 2. Add curd

Add curd

Add 1 tablespoon of curd to the bowl. Because curd comes from milk, it also contains lactic acid, which will aid in evening out your skin tone as well as adding moisture.

Step 3. Mix into a thick paste

Mix into a thick paste

Stir the ingredients with a spoon until you have a thick paste. Make sure to smooth out all the lumps.

Step 4. Apply using your hands

Apply using your hands

Massage using your hands

Use your hands to apply it all over your elbows. Massage gently and leave it on for 15 minutes.

Step 5. Wipe clean

Dip cottonball in lukewarm water

After 15 minutes, you’ll notice that the paste has dried. Now, dip a clean cotton ball into a bowl of lukewarm water.

Wipe clean the paste

Use the soaked cotton ball to wipe your elbows clean of the paste. Use this method once a week until you are happy with the results.

Additional Tips

  • You can also use the above methods to lighten dark skin on your knees. No need to shy away from shorts and skirts either!
  • Exfoliation, by its nature, strips your skin of moisture. So, always follow exfoliation with a good moisturizer.
  • Wear sunscreen when going out in the sun as tanning contributes to dark elbows.
  • Don’t do the scrubbing all in one day. It will cause the skin to produce extra cells. Scrub regularly, but gently and a little each time.
  • Do not use lemon juice or salt on your elbows if they’re cut or bruised. If lemon juice stings your skin, you can moisturize your elbows using Vaseline or a body oil overnight.