When your skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays, it responds by releasing some melanin to absorb ultraviolet rays. And this results in your skin tanning or darkening. Tanning is a process of your body protecting itself from ultraviolet light. The more you expose your skin to UV rays from a tanning bed or the sun, the more melanin the body releases, and the deeper your tan.
But what if you don’t want a tan but inadvertently got bronzed? You don’t have to freak out about it because it can fade away in a few weeks. But if you are in a hurry, there are numerous ways you can get rid of it, or at least lessen it.
So, you want to know how to get rid of a tan? Please read on…
Tanning and UV Damage
The sun has two kinds of UV radiations that can penetrate your skin and cause tanning: UVA and UVB. These rays can burn the upper layer of your skin and cause sunburn.
Ultraviolet A (UVA)
When UVA penetrates the skin, it signals your skin cells to produce more melanin. And this results in further darkening. UVA is carcinogenic, and it can also cause DNA damage. It normally functions by producing a reactive oxygen specimen that damages your DNA directly and brings about photoaging. Luckily, UVA is blocked to some extent by our clothes and sunscreen products.
UltraViolet B (UVB)
The UVB forces the released melanin to combine with oxygen resulting in the darkening of your melanin. Luckily, a huge percentage of this wavelength is blocked by the ozone layer. But, a small portion that penetrates your skin can cause:
- Direct DNA damage
- Has a high likelihood of causing sunburns
- It also stimulates the release of new melanin
- It has a high likelihood of causing sunburn than UVA
Is Suntan Permanent?
Most individuals consider a tan to be a healthy skin glow; however, it’s not a permanent issue. Tans tend to fade away with time. And with the right treatment, they can last for about four weeks. There are numerous face packs prepared using natural ingredients that can help you deal with tanned skin.
Here’s How to Get Rid of a Tan
Suntans tend to harm your immunity, and they can result in aging and further skin damages. Therefore, you should be ready to fight this condition immediately using the available treatments.
So, here are some of the best methods for removing a tan:
This method uses high-intensity monochromatic coherent light sources to get rid of the tan. During the laser toning process, your dermatologist uses laser devices to break the melanin pigments and reduce skin tan. When used on your skin, the laser targets a certain chromophore in your skin without injuring or harming the other tissues. And the good thing about laser treatments is that they can penetrate deeper skin layers to remove the excess melanin.
Chemical Skin Peels
This type of tanning treatment works by getting rid of the superficial skin layer that has accumulated more melanin. And based on the intensity of this treatment, chemical peels can be grouped into:
- Deep peel
- Medium peel
- Superficial peel
Some of the chemicals used to get rid of the tan include carbolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, and glycolic acid.
Tan Removal Creams
Fortunately, there are creams in the market that can lighten your skin’s top layer. These creams can block the enzymatic activities that have increased melanin production. Some of these creams can also prevent hyperpigmentation caused by overexposure to UV light.
Microdermabrasion is a unique treatment that exfoliates all the dead cells on your upper skin layer. This type of treatment promotes the growth of new skin cells faster than the other treatments. The new skin is usually firmer, youthful, and more toned. There are two types of microdermabrasion:
This process uses crystal-emitting handpieces to spray some fine crystals on your skin to help rub away the top layer. Crystal microdermabrasion removes the top skin layer right away. This method uses either sodium bicarbonate or aluminum oxide crystals.
This process uses a diamond-tip handpiece that exfoliates all the dead cells on your skin gently. And like crystal microdermabrasion, the diamond tip removes the dead skin immediately. The depth of abrasion is usually determined by the pressure used on the handpiece and the length of time it’s left on your skin. Diamond-tip microdermabrasion is generally used on the more sensitive parts of your face, like near your eyes.
There are numerous skin-lightening treatments on the market that can help you get rid of the tan. Some of these products contain lightening ingredients like kojic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, and licorice. So when buying a skin lightening product, make sure it has the following active ingredients:
- Kojic acid — This ingredient is obtained from mushroom-like fungi through a fermentation process. Kojic acid can penetrate your skin and cause a lightening effect while limiting melanin production.
- Licorice — licorice roots are made up of liquiritin and glabridin, which take care of the tanning issues.
- Niacinamide — can be used to lighten the skin and remove tan. Niacinamide works by reducing the amount of melanin transferred by melanocytes to the top skin layer.
- Vitamin C — vitamin C is a known tyrosinase inhibitor. Vitamin C can block the tyrosinase enzyme, which helps with melanin production.
Face de-tanning face packs can help remove the tanned skin cells that are accumulated in your body. These face packs can help give you even-toned skin. And that is because they are made using numerous natural ingredients such as tomatoes, lemons, and papaya. These face packs have natural ingredients that can help lighten your upper skin layer.
Home Remedies for Getting Rid of a Tan
Some of the best home remedies for treating a tan include:
Lemon Juice and Honey
Lemon juice is one of the oldest and most effective means of getting rid of tan. And that is because it has bleaching properties that can help you remove the tan. On the other hand, honey can keep your skin supple and soft.
Simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice and mix it with honey, and then apply it to the affected skin. You can leave it on your skin for about half an hour before washing it off. The lemon juice must be used in diluted form. And when stepping out, make sure you wash it off because it can irritate your skin.
Bengal Gram and Turmeric Face Pack
This perfect face pack features Bengal gram and turmeric, which are both skin brightening ingredients. Mix a tablespoon of turmeric with a tablespoon of Bengal gram. And then, add some lemon juice to the mixture to create a thick paste.
You can apply the thick paste on your neck and face and leave it there for about an hour before washing it off. This face pack can also be made using milk or water and let it dry before you start scrubbing it away.
Papaya and Honey
Papaya has a high concentration of natural enzymes with exfoliating and bleaching properties. On the other hand, honey is a natural skin-soothing and moisturizing agent. Honey is also rich in antioxidants that can slow down aging by eliminating the free radicals on your skin.
To prepare this mixture, you should take five cubes of ripe papaya and add a tablespoon of honey and mash them up. Mix it well until you create a smooth paste. You can apply this mixture to the tanned part of your skin and let it dry. Leave it for half an hour and then wash it off using water.
Pineapple Pulp and Honey
Pineapples are made up of Bromelain, a unique enzyme that can help fight free radicals. Bromelain can also reduce inflammation. Pineapple is also packed with antioxidants and vitamins A and C that can undo skin damages leaving your skin bright and even-toned.
- Put six cubes of ripe pineapple in your blender, and then add a tablespoon of honey.
- Blend this mixture until you create a smooth paste.
- Extract it to your bowl and apply it to the affected parts of the skin.
- Leave this paste on for about 20 minutes before washing it off.
Strawberries and Milk Cream
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids that help with skin brightening. Milk helps lock in the moisture deep in your skin, leaving it healthy and supple.
- Take some ripe berries and mash them in a bowl using a fork.
- Add two tablespoons of cream and whisk to create a lump-free paste.
- You can apply this mixture on your tanned skin and face and leave it there for about 20 minutes before washing it off with cold water.
Buttermilk and Oatmeal
Buttermilk has lactic acid, which helps with improving your skin tone and softening it. And oatmeal is an excellent exfoliator which is known for its cleansing properties.
- Soak two tablespoons of oatmeal in water for a few minutes, and then add two tablespoons of buttermilk.
- Mix them well, and to create a more moisturizing pack, you can add some honey.
- Continue mixing until you create a paste that you can apply on your arms, neck, and face.
- Rub it on your skin in a circular motion, and then leave it there for about twenty minutes.
Potato juice is a very powerful bleaching agent which can lighten the dark circles under your eyes and suntan. Simply peel some potatoes and place them in a blender. Blend it to create a unique paste that you can apply to the affected areas. Leave it there for fifteen minutes and then wash it off using cold water. Alternatively, you can cut some thin slices of potatoes and place them on your face and eyes for about twenty minutes. The juice of raw potatoes can get rid of the skin tan.
Cucumber is a highly nutritious food that can be beneficial to people with sunburnt and tanned skin. Cucumber has a cooling effect that helps you get rid of the tan.
- Shred the cucumber and then squeeze them to remove the juice.
- Apply the cucumber juice all over your skin using a cotton ball.
- Allow it to dry, and then wash it off.
- For some added benefits, you can add some lemon juice.
Aloe Vera, Tomato and Red Lentils (Masoor Dal) Pack
Red lentil is an effective home treatment for dealing with suntan while aloe vera moisturizes and soothes it. Tomato juice can brighten your skin.
- Soak two tablespoons of the red lentils in water until their dal softens.
- Drain the water, and then pour the dal in your blender.
- Add two tablespoons of tomato juice and a tablespoon of aloe vera to the blender. And then blend the mixture into a paste.
You can apply the paste to your suntanned skin and leave it for twenty minutes. Finally, you can rinse it with water while massaging the affected part of the skin.
Bengal Gram Flour and Yogurt Pack
Another effective method of banishing tan from your hands is by applying a mixture of yogurt and Bengal gram flour.
- Simply mix two tablespoons of unflavored yogurt and three tablespoons of Bengal gram flour and mix to create a smooth paste.
- And for the fragrance, you can add a few drops of rose water and then apply this mixture to your arms and hands and leave it for twenty minutes.
- Wash it using some gentle scrubbing movements with cold water.
- Repeat this procedure at least thrice per week, and the tan will disappear in no time.
How Can You Prevent Suntans?
One of the best ways of preventing suntans is by covering your body when heading outside during the day. Make sure you are fully dressed when heading out, and don’t forget to carry sunglasses and a hat. Apply some sunscreen before leaving the house. You can also avoid going out when the sun is at its peak (between 10 am and 2 pm). After all, the best solution for suntan is avoiding the sun in the first place.
Tanning is a normal process which the body uses to protect itself from ultraviolet light. Your body releases melanin to help absorb UV radiation. And the more melanin your body releases, the darker your skin will become. Luckily a tan can disappear on its own after a few weeks. But if you are in a hurry, there are numerous methods you can use to lighten your skin.
You can either see your dermatologist for laser toning or simply use the many available home remedies. These remedies are effective, and they can get rid of the tan within a few days. These remedies are safe and quite beneficial to your skin. And the good thing about these remedies is that these ingredients can be found in your kitchen. So, instead of waiting for up to three weeks for the tan to disappear, you can get rid of it using the above methods.
Some of these medications should be used under the supervision of your dermatologist. Remember, using a high concentration of these medications can cause dermatitis or skin irritation. So make sure you wash your skin as soon as you get a skin reaction. Using excess skin lighteners can also cause permanent skin discoloration or atrophy.
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