Tried various home remedies to remove sun tan but failed? The internet can be disappointing at times.
Many women are okay with rocking their tanned skin. Not me though! Somehow, my skin doesn’t get tanned evenly leaving me with blotchy, uneven skin tone.
Hence, I have done a lot of research and tried different DIYs to get rid of the tan. I get a lot of queries on my Instagram for the same and thus, decided to write this post and share the information with everyone.
What Causes Sun Tan?
Due to our obsession with fair skin tones, we all see suntan as an undesirable side-effect of staying in the sun for too long. But, what if I tell you that tanning actually protects your skin from sun damage?
Surprising, right! The colour of human skin is determined by the amount of melanin produced by melanocytes in our epidermis.
When the ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate our skin, it triggers the melanocytes to produce more melanin. This is our body’s natural defense mechanism to prevent sunburns.
Also, this is the reason people with lighter skin tones are more likely to get a sunburn instead of a suntan as their body cannot produce enough melanin to protect itself.
Why Use A Sunscreen?
While a suntan can protect your skin from sunburns, it won’t protect you from other types of sun damage like age spots, wrinkled skin and skin cancer. Hence, it is essential to wear sunscreen daily to prevent the UV rays from entering your skin.
Also, without protecting your skin from further sun exposure, there is no chance at getting rid of your current tan.
Hence, always use a broadspectrum sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 and reapply it every 2-3 hours for ultimate sun protection.
How to Easily Remove Sun Tan Naturally at Home?
Removing sun tan is quite easy if you take care of it early. The sooner you start treating it, the faster and easier will be the process.
The key to both face and body tan removal is a gentle exfoliation of the skin. When the topmost layer of the dead skin is sloughed off, the skin underneath looks brighter.
Another effective treatment for suntan is using ingredients known to brighten skin and reduce pigmentation like Vitamin C or licorice root.
Products That Help Lighten Sun Tan
- Vitamin C Serum
Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C is an incredible antioxidant that protects the skin from UV-induced photodamage. Adding a Vitamin C Serum in your skincare routine will help you maintain a bright and clear skin tone.
Here some Vitamin C Serums you can try-
- Alpha Hydroxy acids
Chemicals exfoliants like glycolic acid and lactic acid help in removing dead skin cells and also lighten sun tan. You can buy either an exfoliating toner or serum and use it 2-3 times in a week to get an even-toned complexion.
Lactic Acid is milder than glycolic acid and less likely to cause irritation. Keep in mind that AHA’s increase photosensitivity so it is crucial to use a sunscreen during the day.
- Ubtans/ Face Masks
There are many face and body scrubs as well as ubtans available in the market that target tan removal. Made with gentle exfoliants and skin brightening ingredients, they are a good option if you cannot make DIY recipes or try home remedies.
I have been using the Ubtan India’s Detan scrub for a few months and found it really effective in reducing suntan. You can read the full review here.
Other products that you can try:
Home Remedies to Get Rid Of Sun Tan
- Licorice Root (Mulethi)
Licorice root powder is a natural alternative to hydroquinone- a popular skin lightening ingredient. It contains an active component called ‘Glabridin’ that inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme required for melanin production.
So not only does it help lighten the tan, but licorice root also helps prevent it when used regularly.
Curd is rich in lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid that helps exfoliate and brighten the skin. Use it to activate your powder cleansers/ face scrubs and masks, or simply mix it with besan (chickpea )flour and use it daily to reduce tan naturally.
- Orange peel powder
Orange peel is loaded with Vitamin C that helps achieve an even skin tone. The slightly coarse texture also makes it useful as a gentle exfoliator to slough off dead skin.
Mix it with some rose water/curd and some clay and scrub your skin 2-3 times a week to get rid of tan.
Papaya is another popular home remedy used for exfoliation and removing suntan. It has an enzyme known as “papain” that helps shed dead skin cells and lighten sun tan gently.
This enzyme is often used as an active ingredient in exfoliating and skin brightening treatments.
Simply rub a piece of papaya pulp or peel on your skin for 5 minutes before rinsing off with water. ( Do a patch test first on your arms first)
DIY Recipe For Lightening Tan From Your Face And Body.
While a simple ubtan made with besan, curd and a pinch of turmeric works too, here is a DIY recipe that will help you remove sun tan from your face and body faster.
Apart from the three ingredients above, it has other herbs that are helpful in getting a bright and glowing complexion.
- 2 tsp chickpea flour (besan)
- 1 tsp licorice root powder
- 1 tsp hibiscus powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- Curd/plain yoghurt to form a paste.
You can get licorice root and hibiscus powder from Nature’s Tattva. Use code ‘RUTUD10’ to get 10% off all your orders. (Free shipping on all prepaid orders)
- Mix all the powdered ingredients and add enough curd to make a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste all over your skin and leave it on 10-15 minutes or until semi-dry.
- With wet hands, start massaging your skin in a circular motion to gently exfoliate the skin.
- Rinse off with water and apply a moisturizer/ aloe vera gel or any oil to keep the skin well hydrated.
Do this ritual every morning in the shower to remove sun tan naturally. You don’t have to use a face wash or a soap as the ubtan cleanses the skin well.
Depending on how fresh your tan is, it can take anywhere between a week to a few months to get rid of all your tan. Older the tan, the longer will it take to remove it.
You can even add some clay or other herbs to target any other skin issues you are facing. Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your skin’s needs or availability of ingredients.
If you are lazy like me, make a huge batch with all the dry ingredients mixed together and store in a clean, airtight- jar. Scoop out the required amount daily with a clean spoon and add curd to form a paste.
How Not to Remove Sun Tan
Internet is full of random home remedies that promise to remove your tan. But some of these are too harsh for your skin and hence, best avoided. Here are some remedies you need to stay away from.
- Lemon Juice
- Bleach/ Skin Lightening creams
- Vicks Vapor Rub
Yes, I was as surprised as you when I saw the last one. (Who in their right mind would suggest or actually do that!)
Tips to Prevent Sun Tan
Make sure you are following these steps to protect your skin from getting tanned further.
- Stay in shade as much as possible.
- Cover up your body with scarves tied around the face, sun coat, full-sleeved clothing, sunglasses etc.
- Use a broadspectrum sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 daily, even when it is cloudy outside.
- Reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours for ultimate sun protection.
If you have any more questions or doubts, leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer them for you. If found this article useful, do share it with your friends and family.
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