Skin Lightening Recipes from Dr. Chase's Recipes, 1887

Wash for the face.

Take of sal ammoniac, powdered, 1 dr.; boiling water 1 pt.; dissolve and strain, adding when cold spirits of rosemary 1/2 oz; lavender water 2 drs. Mix and use as directed (wash twice a day.)

(...)
The Irish peasantry are in the habit of washing their faces with buttermilk as a cosmetic, and with great success. An excellent wash for freckles is made by scraping some horseradish very fine, and letting it stand for some hours in buttermilk, then straining, and using the wash night and morning.
Some persons prescribe citric acid, dissolved in water, of a strength sufficient to produce a slight pricking sensation. The juice of a lemon, squeezing into half a tumbler of water, is, however, a more certain means to effect the same result; or a little glycerine, mixed with elderflower water, may be tried as a cosmetic wash. 

To remove freckles.

Powdered nitre, moistened with water and applied to the face night and morning will soon remove freckles without injury to the skin.

Freckles.

To disperse them, take 1 oz. of lemon juice; 1/4 dr. of powdered borax, and 1/2 dr. of sugar; mix, and let them stand a few days in a glass bottle till the liquor is fit for use; then rub it on the hands and face occasionally.

To remove freckles.

Dissolve, in 1/2 oz. of lemon juice, 1 oz. of Venice soap, and add 1/4 oz. each of oil of bitter almonds, and deliquated oil of tartar. Place this mixture in the sun till it acquires the consistency of ointment. When in this state add three drops of the oil of rhodium, and keep it for use. Apply it to the face and hands in the manner following: Wash the parts at night with elderflower water.