While in many countries people with fair skin go out of their way to achieve a golden tan, in others fairer skin is coveted. Many different treatments are applied to try to make darker skin fairer. One of the iconic treatments is the subcontinental "Fair and Lovely" cream, which is an essential acid formula--thankfully there are more natural ways to lighten skin color. Always keep in mind that no natural remedies will achieve a major style transformation; a few shades lighter is achievable with regular application, not very dark to very light.
Mix 1 tsp. lemon juice with 1 tbsp. natural, fresh yogurt. Apply this mixture to the face and neck, and leave for 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
Mix 1 tsp. lemon juice with 1 tsp. honey, and apply this mixture to the face and neck. Organic or manuca honey is best and will help nourish your skin as well as aid in lightening and evening out the complexion.
Combine 1 tbsp. gram powder (also called besan or chickpea flour) with 1/2 tsp. turmeric and the pulp of one fresh tomato. Apply the paste to the face and neck. To make a similar mixture, remove the tomato and add sandal powder--this is used on subcontinental brides before the wedding night to lighten and brighten the complexion.
Soak 1 tbsp. oatmeal in 2 tbsp. water overnight. Combine with the pulp of one tomato, and apply this mixture to the face and neck. Do not discard the oatmeal water, as this is soothing for the skin and will help even the skin tone.