Staying outdoors for a long time during the hot summer is bound to cause tanning on your skin. Sun tanning is the process by which your skin becomes darker in color due to its exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. While moderate exposure to the sun helps in the production of vitamin D and melanin by the body, excessive exposure may cause several health problems, including sunburn, accelerated aging of the skin, poor functioning of the immune system and also a high risk of skin cancer. Due to the difference in skin types, tanning occurs differently in people.
Melanin, a natural pigment produced by cells known as melanocytes, protects the body by absorbing the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Too much exposure of the skin to UV radiation causes sunburn as well as DNA damage. Your body tries to repair the damage and protect the skin by producing more melanin, which in turn causes the darkening of the skin. You can find several creams and lotions out there in the market that claim to treat sun tanning. But most of these products are not effective and are just a waste of money. Moreover, the chemicals in these products can affect the delicate skin, leading to further damage.
Fortunately there are several home remedies that can remove the sun tan and help you regain the health and beauty of your skin. The following are the some of the best natural ways to treat sun tanning:
- Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can be used to reduce sun tan because the acids present in the juice acts as bleaching or skin lightening agents. Slice a lemon and rub it on the tanned area. Leave it on for some time and then wash it off. Do this regularly and the tan will disappear over a period of two to four months.
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- Oats and Buttermilk Face Pack
Oats acts as a natural scrub and gets rid of the dirt and dead cells accumulated on the skin by exfoliating your face. Buttermilk has moisturizing properties and helps prevent tanning. A combination of these two ingredients is therefore beneficial for treating sun tan. Mix one tablespoon of oats in 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and apply the mixture on the tanned skin. Leave this on for 20 minutes and then wash it off with normal water.
Yogurt is considered an awesome skin care ingredient as it offers cooling and soothing effects. It is also found to be very effective in tightening the pores of the skin and in getting rid of sun tan. Just apply some fresh yogurt on your skin daily and wash it off after some time. Adding tomato juice and lime juice to the yogurt can give you the expected results very quickly.
You can also prepare a face pack by mixing a cup of plain yogurt, half a cup of gram flour and the juices of a cucumber and a tomato. Apply this paste on your face and neck. Leave it on for about 45 minutes and then wash off using lukewarm water.
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Potato is known to have mild bleaching and cleansing properties. Applying potato juice on your skin will make it lighter and refreshed. It is rich in vitamin C, which is good for the skin. Potato is also a good remedy for sunburns.
Take two to three medium-sized potatoes and peel off their skin. Cut the potatoes into small pieces and blend them to make a paste. Apply the paste all over the affected area, allow it to dry for about half an hour and then wash it off with cold water. Do this daily to get rid of your sun tan.
- Aloe Vera
When it comes to skin problems, aloe vera is truly a godsend. The calming, soothing and healing properties of aloe vera gel can help treat almost all skin conditions, including sun tan. Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected areas. Leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning.
A face pack made with aloe vera gel, a tablespoon of red lentil powder and a tablespoon of tomato juice, when applied on the tanned skin every alternate day, for a week, is effective in treating sun tanning. Tomato has skin lightening properties and red lentil has the ability to remove sun tan.
Another natural way to treat sun tanning is to use a face pack made by combining aloe vera gel, chilled rose water and Fuller’s earth (Multani mitti). Apply this paste over the affected areas and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Wet your fingers and gently scrub the paste on your skin and then wash it off. Use this remedy twice a week to get fast results.
[Read more about Benefits of Fuller’s Earth or Multani Mitti ]
- Turmeric and Bengal Gram Flour
A face pack made with turmeric and gram flour helps in exfoliating your skin as well as in removing sun tan. While the gram flour helps get rid of the dead skin cells and other impurities from the skin, turmeric acts as a skin lightening agent and removes tan.
To make this pack, mix together 2 tablespoons of gram flour, a pinch of turmeric, a tablespoon of rose water and a tablespoon of milk. Clean your face, apply this pack and then wait for 20 minutes. After the pack become dry, remove it by adding a few drops of water over it and gently scrubbing it off the skin. Apply this pack every alternate days for best results.
- Honey and Papaya
Papaya is one of the best remedies for making your skin light and radiant. The fruit contains various enzymes that are capable of exfoliating and whitening the skin. Honey is also a great skin friendly product that helps makes the skin soft and supple. So when combined together, the duo works as a natural, cheap and effective way to remove sun tan.
Mash half a cup of ripe papaya and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Combine well and apply the paste on your face. Leave it on for about 30 minutes and then wash it off using lukewarm water. Do this two or three times a week.
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- Strawberry and Milk
Because of its exceptional nutritional value, a strawberry is often referred to as the “Queen of fruits”. Packed with high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, strawberries work magic on your skin. A face pack made with strawberries and milk is a great remedy for sun tan.
Mash 4 or 5 ripe strawberries with milk and apply on the tanned areas. Wait for half an hour and then rinse it off. Apply this pack two times a week on your skin.
Sandalwood is extremely good for the skin and hence is used as a common ingredient in many skin care products. It is a time tested remedy for sun tanning because of its skin lightening properties. It also cleanses the skin and imparts a beautiful glow to it.
Take equal parts of sandalwood powder and turmeric powder and make a paste with rose water. Apply the paste on the tanned areas and leave it on for half on hour or until it dries. Then wash it off using cold water. Do this two times a week. You can also make a paste by mixing sandalwood powder, coconut oil and almond oil and apply this paste on the affected areas.
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- Pineapple and Honey
A wonderfully tasting tropical fruit loaded with plenty of nutrients, pineapple is also referred to as the king of tropical fruits. The nutrients in the fruit make it an effective remedy for improving the health and beauty of the skin as well as in removing skin problems such as sun tan. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple is helpful in removing the dead skin cells, lightening the skin tone and making the skin look soft and smooth. When combined with honey, the effect of pineapple on the skin is intensified many folds.
Mix two tablespoons of pineapple pulp and a tablespoon of honey. Make sure there are no lumps. Apply this paste on your skin and leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. Use this pack every alternate day.
It may sound unbelievable, but the juice extracted from cabbage leaves is actually an effective remedy for getting rid of sun tan and skin pigmentation. The juice contains a lot of antioxidants and phytochemicals that can treat various skin conditions like acne, blackheads and pimples. Cabbage juice can also help improve the skin tone as well as its texture.
The easiest way to use cabbage for removing the sun tan is to simply place it on top of the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat as often as you need. However, to get more skin benefits out of this ingredient, make a face pack using grated cabbage, a tablespoon of honey, a pinch of turmeric powder and one tablespoon of gram flour. Apply this pack on your face, leave it on for 20 minutes and wash it off using cold water.
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All the above mentioned remedies are some of the safest and easiest natural ways to treat sun tanning. These remedies need regular application to get the desired results. Although they can be a bit time consuming, they are inexpensive and does not contain any harmful ingredients that would affect your skin in a negative manner. As with everything else, prevention is always better than cure. So make sure to take precautionary measures to protect your skin while going out in the sun.