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How To Remove Tan From The Face And Skin Naturally

Medically reviewed by Dr. Hari Hara Sudhan, MD, Dermatologist
by
How To Remove Tan From The Face And Skin Naturally Hyderabd040-395603080 November 13, 2019

It’s finally summertime, and this means you can bring out your favorite bikinis and lie on the beach all day long! Unfortunately, it also means that you will be returning home with a tan.

Well, fret not! In this post, we will be sharing certain tried and tested methods that can help you get rid of tan. Keep reading!

Why Do We Get Tanned?

Tan refers to the uneven coloring of your skin after sun exposure. Your skin contains melanin, a chemical responsible for pigmentation. A tan is your body’s attempt to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

On exposure to harsh sunlight, your body releases melanin just under the skin surface. This helps absorb UV radiation. The higher the exposure to UV rays, the higher the pigmentation, and thus, darker the tan.

It is always recommended to avoid unwanted and prolonged exposure to sunlight. The best way to prevent sunburns and suntan is by covering your face whenever possible. You could do this by using a scarf or a hat, applying sunscreen, and wearing long-sleeved dresses.

Let us now look at the types of tan treatments available.

What Are The Types Of Tan Treatment?

1. Exfoliation

Exfoliation is a technique that helps remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This results in clearer skin with an even tone.

2. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels, though they may sound risky, can give good results. Once you have undergone a chemical peel treatment, your skin will look clearer and will return to its original complexion.

Make sure to step out in the sun only after applying sunscreen.

Moisturize your skin regularly after the chemical peel treatment as inadequate moisturization can cause dark spots on your skin.

3. Laser Treatment

This treatment can help address the issue of uneven skin tone caused by tanning. It eliminates the outermost layer of dry and dead skin cells. This, in turn, facilitates rejuvenation of your skin and causes a significant improvement in skin tone. Laser therapy provides greater accuracy for lightening the skin tone in difficult areas.

4. Bleaching

Bleaching is an instant treatment option to reverse a tan. It brightens up your face instantly and evens out your skin tone. However, we would not recommend regular bleaching as the chemical constituents of the bleach can be harmful to your skin.

5. Hydrating Skin

Staying hydrated makes your skin supple and promotes the replenishment of skin cells. This, in turn, aids in exfoliation as the dead skin cells can be removed more easily.

These are a few of the treatment options to get rid of a nasty tan. A tan can take a while to heal. In the meantime, you can use certain quick methods to hide it.

How Can You Hide A Tan?

1. Exfoliation

Using an effective exfoliant in the form of a cleanser or a scrub can help you get rid of the tan and promote a more even skin tone.

2. Makeup

If your tan makes your skin look patchy, you can fix it with a little bronzer.

All you need is a bronzer in a shade that is closest to your tan. Apply it to your face, neck, and any other part of your body where the tan is visible. Voila! Your skin tone will look more even, and you need not be too conscious of your tan anymore.

We will now explore a few tried and tested home remedies to lighten the tan.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of A Tan

1. Tomato

Tomatoes are rich in phytochemicals (including carotenoids) that can fight the damage induced by the harmful UV rays of the sun (1). These compounds can help lighten the tan and restore your natural skin tone.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a paste of the tomatoes.
  2. Mix this paste with a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  3. Apply it generously on your face, with particular focus on the tanned areas.
  4. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
How Often Should You Do This

You could do this once or twice a week.

Caution: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation on your skin. Please do a patch test before trying this remedy.

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. The nutrient exhibits antipigmentary properties, thereby reducing the effects of excessive pigmentation (2). Hence, it may help restore the complexion of your skin by reducing the tan.

You Will Need
  • 1 lemon
  • Cotton pad
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl.
  2. Apply it to the affected areas with the help of a clean cotton pad.
  3. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with water.
How Often Should You Do This

You can repeat this remedy twice a week.

Caution: Lemon juice can cause a stinging sensation on your skin. Please do a patch test before trying this remedy.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains bioactive compounds that help inhibit tyrosinase activity, thereby reducing excessive pigmentation and imparting a healthy glow to the skin (3). The cucumber in this remedy also has similar properties (4).

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend the cucumber to get a thick paste.
  2. Add aloe vera gel and honey to this paste and mix well.
  3. Apply to the tanned areas and leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Rinse your face thoroughly.
How Often Should You This

You can apply this paste to the tanned areas twice a week.

4. Papaya

Papaya extracts can function as good exfoliants and help remove dead skin cells from the skin surface. This can replenish your skin and restore your natural skin tone (5).

You Will Need
  • 1 ripe papaya
  • 1 lemon
What You Have To Do
  1. Prepare a puree of the papaya fruit in a blender.
  2. Add the juice of a lemon to this puree.
  3. Apply this paste to the tanned parts and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse off thoroughly.
How Often Should You Do This

You can repeat this remedy twice a week.

5. Honey

Honey contains fructose, glucose, and alpha-hydroxy acids. These compounds can help reduce the effects of excessive pigmentation, thereby making your skin look brighter (6), (7).

You Will Need
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  2. Apply this paste to the tanned areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water.
How Often Should You Do This

You can repeat this remedy twice a week.

6. Black Tea

Black tea is known to exhibit anti-melanogenic properties that can help reverse the effects of excessive pigmentation (8). It can also help protect your skin from the harmful sun rays.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of black tea
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of chickpea flour
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a fine paste of the ingredients by using a few drops of water.
  2. Apply the paste to the tanned parts and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water.
How Often Should You Do This

You can do this once a week to get rid of the tan.

7. Saffron

Saffron contains bioactive compounds such as kaempferol and quercetin. These potentially help protect skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, thereby possibly reversing the effects of tan (9).

You Will Need
  • 3-4 strands of saffron
  • A quarter cup of milk
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the saffron strands in the milk.
  2. After two hours, strain the strands, and apply the milk to the tanned areas.
  3. Wash off with water in 10-15 minutes.
How Often Should You Do This

Do this one to two times a week.

8. Orange

Orange peel contains a bioactive compound called polymethoxyflavone (PMF), which can help inhibit melanogenesis (10). This may lighten your tan.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of orange peel powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the ingredients to make a fine paste.
  2. Apply this paste and leave it on for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rinse with water.
How Often Should You Do This

You can use this remedy twice a week.

9. Turmeric

Curcumin, a major constituent of turmeric, is known to inhibit melanogenesis (11). This helps in reducing excessive pigmentation of the skin, restoring your natural complexion.

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of milk
  • ½ teaspoon of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Make a thick paste by mixing the ingredients.
  2. Apply this paste and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Wash your face thoroughly.
How Often Should You This

Repeat this remedy once every week.

10. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains phenolic acids that exhibit properties that can help protect skin against tanning and sun damage (12), (13).

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 4-5 almonds (powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

What You Have To Do

  1. Prepare a thick paste using the ingredients.
  2. Apply this scrub to your face and neck.
  3. Rinse your face thoroughly with water.
How Often Should You This

You can use this tan removal scrub on your face and neck twice a week.

11. Yogurt

Yogurt contains L-cysteine peptide that inhibits tyrosinase activity, thereby reversing the effects of pigmentation and eliminating tan (14).

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl to form a paste.
  2. Apply this paste and leave it on the tanned areas for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Wash off with water.
How Often Should You This

Apply this paste once a week.

Caution: Lemon juice can cause irritation to some skin types. Make sure to do a patch test before trying this remedy.

12. Potato Juice

Potato juice is rich in phytochemicals that can function as skin cleansers and help remove the dead and dry skin cells from the skin surface (15). This replenishes your skin, thereby restoring your natural complexion.

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of potato juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the potato juice and lemon juice.
  2. Apply the mixture to the tanned areas and leave it on until it dries.
  3. Rinse your face with water.
How Often Should You This

Apply this pack twice a week.

Caution: Lemon juice can irritate some skin types. Make sure to do a patch test before trying this remedy.

These are effective home remedies that can help remove tan. In the following section, we will discuss how you can do that.

How Can I Prevent Tan?

Here are a few things you can bear in mind to prevent getting tanned:

  1. Use hats, sunglasses, full-sleeved clothing, etc. to prevent tanning.
  2. Apply sunscreen before you step out into the sun.
  3. Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  4. Remember to wash your face 3-4 times a day if you are having a day out in the sun.
  5. Staying hydrated will make sure your skin is replenished and can help reverse the effects of tanning.

Using the remedies we discussed can help you obtain the best results. However, you need to have patience as they will take 3 to 4 weeks to show results.

Did you get tanned in the past? What did you do to remove it? Do share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment in the box below.

Tips From Beauty Experts To Remove Tan

Follow our expert guide to remove tan and look beautiful. Here are the amazing tips we received from beauty experts. Read through them to get the best insights.

1. Jane Cunningham
Jane Cunningham

  1. The ideal situation is not to get sun damage in the first place by always using a high factor SPF for the face. New ‘serum’ type SPFs are ideal for this because they feel more like skin care than sun care, yet give high protection. Cane & Austin and SkinCeuticals both have excellent versions of this. I always advise to also use it on hands. However, you do need to let your skin have some sun because your body needs the Vitamin D. But, never roam around in the sun between 11 am and 4 pm. It’s generally advised to expose your forearms for 20 minutes every day for your essential Vitamin D shot.
  2.  In terms of using skin care to erase sun damage – that’s a tall order. Some brands, such as Clinique, with their Even Better range, are helpful for mild brown spots and can, with long-term use, diminish the marks. Hydroquinone creams prevent melanin production but should only be prescribed by a dermatologist – they can be very effective, as can Retinol products, such as Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Skin Resurfacer Cream. Retinol is having a resurgence in popularity because new formulations mean it isn’t as harsh as it used to be, and most skin types can tolerate it well.
  3. The fastest way to get rid of brown spots on the face is with laser treatments, such as Fraxel. But don’t undertake these lightly. Your skin will scab over to a certain extent, leaving less pigmentation. You may need more than one treatment, and the downside to lasers is that they are usually very expensive.

Jane Cunningham: www.britishbeautyblogger.com

2. Leslie BaumannLeslie Baumann

Avoiding the sun is the number one way to prevent premature aging and skin cancer, so I recommend sunscreen for each and every one of my 16 unique Baumann Skin Types. I’m a big fan of self-tanner because it allows everyone to enjoy a healthy golden glow without exposing the skin to the harmful UV rays. But, the results of these products are highly dependent on one’s application skills, so streaks, mistakes, and mishaps are common.

  1.  I recently discovered a product called Bronze Buffer. These reusable sponges contain no added ingredients or chemicals, and they instantly remove unwanted self-tanner AFTER color develops. The key is to be super-gentle. It only takes a few light swipes to remove self-tanner around the knees, ankles, and feet.
  2.  I’ve heard of a variety of at-home ways to remove self-tanner (including soaking in a tub before scrubbing), but none of them have ever worked for me. The best way to ensure a flawless faux glow is to take a few simple steps before tanning, and the most important is proper exfoliation. It’s important to remove any buildup of dead skin cells before self-tanning. You can use a loofah or scrub. But don’t use anything that’s oil-based because the oil can prevent the self-tanner from getting absorbed into the skin.
  3. Another trick that helps prevent uneven color is applying a lotion or cream to potential problem spots before tanning. A little lotion on the feet, knees, and ankles helps dilute the tanner a bit, so the resulting color isn’t so dark.

Leslie Baumann: www.skintypesolutions.com

3. Amber KatzAmber Katz

  1. Rub a lemon all over the spots if you want to remove tan – works especially well on knees and elbows, where the tanner builds up and is darker than on the rest of the body. These areas tend to be drier.
  2. Take a body scrub and scrub it all over your body in the bathtub before running the water. A dry scrub will buff your body and remove dead skin and tanning.
  3. There are self-tanner removers available in the market. I like St. Tropez Tan Optimizer Remover.

Amber Katz: www.rouge18.com

4. Lara EurdolianLara Eurdolian

  1. Apply aloe vera. It will soothe your tan and lighten it if applied daily (just stay out of the sun).
  2. Lemon Juice – Remember when blondes used to put lemon juice in their hair to lighten it? Well, the same rule goes for your skin too. The citric acid will help you get rid of your tan.
  3. Wear SPF. You don’t want to exacerbate the tan!

Lara Eurdolian: www.prettyconnected.com

5. Pradeep SharmaPradeep Sharma

Sun tan or tanning is the process of discoloration of the skin. It is caused due to the dangerous UV rays of the sun that attack our skin and damage its beauty. The skin color changes from normal to dark or black. Hence, you must take the necessary preventive measures to keep away from sun tan and skin discoloration.

Tanning darkens the skin and gives rise to problems like burning sensation, wrinkles, permanent damage, age spots, and other signs of premature aging. The main cause of sun tan is prolonged exposure of the skin to the sun. However, the usage of some chemical products can also lead to tanned skin. Here are a few useful tips to help you remove sun tan quickly and effectively:

1. Exfoliate

Exfoliating, which is one of the best ways to keep your skin smooth, is equally effective in removing tan quickly. You must exfoliate every second day to get the tan off your skin. It is better to use a cloth or loofah for removing the outermost layers of skin cells from the body. Exfoliating regularly will also keep your skin soft and supple.

2. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel works well on tanned skin. Pluck a few aloe vera leaves and scrape out a little gel. Apply it to the tanned areas before going to bed. It lightens the tan and regular usage of this completely removes the tan.

3. Cucumber Juice and Lemon Juice

Mix both the juices, apply it directly on the face and hands. Leave it for 20 minutes. Later, wash your face with cold water. Regular use of this home remedy will brighten your skin and make it tan-free and spot-free. Cucumber works its magic as a natural cleanser for all types of skin.

Pradeep Sharma: www.healthxwellness.com

6. Sara PatelSara Patel

  1. First, I always ask my blog readers (who approach me) to get the best product available in the market. If I have used the product and it works on me, I suggest the same. And if I have not used the product, I do some research of the ingredients of the cream and by reading some reviews and ask my reader to give feedback of the product. Almost 95% of the time, I get a positive reply. And sometimes, it happens that the product doesn’t work.
  2. To remove tan, I prefer aloe vera gel as the best natural product. This gel is full of antioxidants and skin caring nutrients that will help erase tan quickly.
  3. Using cucumber on the skin is also a great remedy to lighten tan and can also help people with sensitive skin.
  4. Honey, with drops of lemon juice, is also very helpful in removing tan. (Lemon drops should be avoided in case of sensitive skin type or sunburns.)

7. Rebecca GibsonRebecca Gibson

  1. Take a milk bath! Milk contains lactic acid that exfoliates the skin, and the combination of warm water will also help to remove the dead (tanned) skin cells.
  2. Go swimming! Saltwater (if you are on holiday) or the chlorine at local pools actually fades your tan quicker. The perfect method if you want to fade your tan quickly!
  3. If it’s for your face – use a brightening or whitening skin serum such as the Olay White Radiance range – this will even out any tan or dark spots you may have.

Rebecca Gibson: www.buenobeauty.com

Hope you liked reading this post that offers you innumerable tips and ideas for beautiful, tan-free skin. If you know any other ways on how to remove tan permanently, share them with us in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to remove a tan?

Typically, a tan does not last for more than 3-4 weeks. But if your natural skin tone is olive or darker, you may have to wait for more time.

Does sunscreen prevent tanning?

Sunscreen can help block the harmful effects of the UV radiation of the sun and prevent sunburns. To avoid suntan, you might have to use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.

Can I have a tanned skin color through food?

Foods rich in carotenoids, such as carrots, spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes, may help you get a natural tan. But this also depends on your skin type and other genetic factors.

How can I protect my skin from tanning while swimming?

You can apply a waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF that prevents suntan and sunburns.

Which scrubs work best to remove tan from face and body?

You could use any over-the-counter solutions or commercially available ‘anti-tan’ face packs for this purpose.

References

  1. Tomatoes protect against development of UV-induced keratinocyte carcinoma via metabolomic alterations‘, Scientific Reports, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications‘, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  3. Tyrosinase inhibitory components from Aloe vera and their antiviral activity‘, Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Exploring cucumber extract for skin rejuvenation‘, African Journal of Biotechnology.
  5. Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Carica papaya‘, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies.
  6. Honey as a Complementary Medicine‘, Integrative Medicine Insights, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  7. A Fairer Face, a Fairer Tomorrow? A Review of Skin Lighteners‘, MDPI.
  8. Anti-melanogenic effects of black, green, and white tea extracts on immortalized melanocytes.‘, Journal of Veterinary Science, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  9. Does Saffron Have Antisolar and Moisturizing Effects?‘, Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  10. A polymethoxy flavone mixture extracted from orange peels, mainly containing nobiletin, 3,3′,4′,5,6,7,8-heptamethyl flavone and tangeretin, suppresses melanogenesis through the acidification of cell organelles, including melanosomes.‘, Journal of Dermatological Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  11. Curcumin inhibits melanogenesis in human melanocytes.‘, Phytotherapy Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  12. Anti-aging Effects of Select Botanicals: Scientific Evidence and Current Trends‘, MDPI.
  13. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics‘, Pharmacognosy Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  14. Systemic skin whitening/lightening agents: What is the evidence?‘, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology.
  15. Health Benefits and Cons of Solanum tuberosum‘, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies.

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