As much as you lather on the sunscreen when you head out, sometimes there is just no escaping a nasty suntan. Sure, there are multiple products available in the market claiming that your tan can be removed effortlessly with just a few applications, but these products have chemicals in them which can harm your skin.
When it comes to your skin, it is always better to go natural. Here are a few natural remedies to get rid of your tan using just produce from the kitchen.
Lemon juice is possibly one of the most popular natural remedies for tanned skin. Lemon contains vitamin C and it is acidic, which gives the bleaching effect on the skin.1
- Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl.
- Dip a cotton ball in the juice and apply it on the parts of the skin that are tanned.
- After about 20 minutes wash off the juice with warm water.
- Repeat every day until you see a notable difference in your skin tone.
Alternatively, you can rub slices of lemon directly on the skin for the same effect. If your tan is severe, add yogurt to your lemon juice for an increased effect.
Note: Do not apply lemon juice on your skin before going out in the sun. The juice and sunlight can react on the skin, causing chemical burns. Try to limit your lemon juice treatment to nighttime, so that you do not risk your skin being burnt in the process. If you have very sensitive skin, you should try out this remedy on a patch of skin before applying it on all exposed areas of the skin.
Yogurt contains lactic acid which gives it a mild bleaching property and promotes skin health.2 It also works to cool down the skin. A mixture of yogurt and wheat flour can help fade the tan as well as exfoliate dead skin cells.
- Mix some yogurt and wheat flour in a bowl to create a scrub.
- Scrub onto face, hands, and other exposed skin.
- After it dries you can rinse it off with cold water.
If lemon juice is too harsh on your skin, tomatoes are your next best solution. Tomato’s slightly acidic property makes it a great tan removal agent. Also, did you know eating tomatoes regularly can protect you from sun damage? Thank you, antioxidants.
- Squeeze out the juice from a large ripe tomato into a bowl.
- Use a cotton ball to apply it directly to the affected areas of the skin.
- After 15-20 minutes rinse off the juice with warm water.
- Repeat this daily if needed.
Alternatively, you can always use canned tomato juice (make sure that it is 100% tomato). Want something even easier? Place cut slices of tomato directly on the skin.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the best remedies for any skin related issue, including removing a suntan. Aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory property and mix of antioxidants makes it possible for skin tissue regeneration. Not to mention, its cooling effect can relieve an itchy and irritated skin.3 Use aloe vera on your skin when you go out in the sun and once you are back inside after being exposed to the sun.
- If you have an aloe vera plant at home, apply raw aloe vera pulp to the affected areas of the skin.
- Let it dry for 15 minutes and wash with lukewarm water.
Note: You can buy aloe vera gel in the grocery store or pharmacy if you don’t have a plant.
Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which has skin-lightening properties that reduce your skin tan. You can either make a pulp out of ripe papaya and apply it directly to the skin or add some honey to the pulp. Honey will give the skin added moisture.
- Mash enough ripe papaya to fill half a cup.
- Apply the pack on your face or any part of the skin that has been tanned.
- Leave on for half an hour and then rinse with regular water.
For centuries, sandalwood has been used in Ayurveda for various skin remedies, including sun damage to the skin. Sandalwood contains natural oils which help to treat a suntan. The cooling effect of sandalwood helps to soothe sunburns and reduce the redness caused by it. You can buy sandalwood powder either online or at your local organic store.
- Blend 1 tablespoon of sandalwood powder, 1 teaspoon of sour yogurt, and 1/2 teaspoon of honey in a bowl.
- Apply the mixture to the tanned parts of the body and face. Leave it on for 1 hour and wash off with water.
Milk contains lactic acid which helps to fade suntan in just a few days. It also helps to even out your skin tone after a suntan and hydrates the skin as well.
- Fill a small bowl with the milk of cow, goat or buffalo (avoid skimmed milk, whole milk is best).
- Use a cotton ball to dip into the bowl and apply on the face.
- Once it has dried on the face, wash off with water.
- Repeat twice a day until you see visible results.
Note: Don’t use this method to treat a suntan if you have a dairy allergy.
8. Green Tea
One of the lesser known benefits of green tea is the fact that it contains properties which help remove skin tan. Applying green tea on sun-damaged skin can relieve any irritation and redness.
- Get fresh green tea bags from your local store and brew it.
- Wait for a few minutes to let it cool down.
- Use a cotton ball to apply it to the tanned skin.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse with water.
- Repeat twice a day for best results.
Remember, you should always apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful sun rays, no matter where you are and what season it is. But if you find that you have tanned despite your best efforts, these natural remedies should do the trick!
|↑1||Telang, Pumori Saokar. “Vitamin C in dermatology.” Indian dermatology online journal 4, no. 2 (2013): 143.|
|↑2||Smith, Walter P. “Epidermal and dermal effects of topical lactic acid.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 35, no. 3 (1996): 388-391.|
|↑3||Reuter, J., A. Jocher, J1 Stump, B. Grossjohann, G. Franke, and C. M. Schempp. “Investigation of the anti-inflammatory potential of Aloe vera gel (97.5%) in the ultraviolet erythema test.” Skin pharmacology and physiology 21, no. 2 (2008): 106-110.|