Kneecaps darkened by repetitive prayer in a kneeling position just ain’t pretty. Even if your gams aren’t publicly paraded, it’s not a look most of us want to achieve. You can slather on harsh chemical bleaching creams, but how about trying an eco-remedy instead?
Islam requires followers to pray five times daily. The ritual involves kneeling on a prayer mat and touching the ground with your forehead. Done vigorously over time, a dark “prayer bump” may develop smack in the middle of the brow. This patch of calloused skin, called a zebiba, is considered by some as a sign of religious dedication.
Muslimah also pray, but few women end up with a prayer bump. A woman likely takes better care of her facial skin than a man does, and if she chooses to wear a hijab her forehead is further protected from contact with abrasive prayer mat fibers.
Do fervent women get a “mark of faith” elsewhere on their bodies?
Performed prostrate on hard surfaces, frequent prayer can be brutal on knee joints, and on the papery skin that covers them. Clothing may protect skin from embedded dust, but it will still bruise and callous from repetitive kneeling. And to makes matters worse, melanin-rich ethnicities are prone to dark patches caused by the slightest friction or hormonal imbalance.
Lighten up dark skin with these eco-friendly home treatments:
1. Exfoliate skin regularly to get rid of dead skin cells, one of the main causes of darkening skin.(Just check that your chosen product doesn’t include pollution-causing plastic microbeads!
2. Lemon juice contains natural bleaching properties. Dip a cottonball in fresh lemon juice and rub it gently on the knees. Allow the juice to stay on the skin for at least 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse. Repeat several times a day.
3. Hydrogen peroxide has excellent bleaching properties too. Dip a cottonball in hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the knees. Repeat several times daily.
4. Aloe also works well to remove dark spots. Pull a frond off an aloe plant, open up the leaf and rub the gelatinous inside over the affected areas daily. Let dry completely, then rinse.
5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
And do check your blood-sugar levels next time you visit your doctor. Dark spots, including zebiba, can be a type of acanthosis nigricans which could be a sign of insulin resistance caused by type 2 diabetes.