How to treat sun tan?

What are the ill effects of the sun?

Excess of anything is bad. Apart from the little amounts of Vitamin D required from sunlight, excessive exposure to the overhead sun beams is extremely harmful both aesthetically and clinically.

  1. It dries the skin irreparably, leading to faster aging of skin
  2. Hyper pigmentation, sun tan and sun burns in the exposed areas.
  3. The darker skin tone is acquired in bands…proportionate to the frequency of the different parts of the body being exposed to the sun. It looks rather unseemly.
  4. Slowly, when the tan wears of, it leaves shades of dark and fair skin tones which are all the more unacceptable.
  5. The UVB rays are a major cause of Melanoma (skin cancer) that is causing deaths worldwide.

What to do to lighten a sun tanned skin?

What do you do when you have rust on an iron window frame?

You SCRUB off the rust (using chemicals + muscles!) and then repaint the frame to prevent further rusting.

Sun Tans are excessive deposits of melanin on the skin’s surface that need to be scrubbed off (not scratched off) to restore the original skin color.

Fruit scrub, herbal scrub, chemical scrub, facial scrub, body scrub, anti-oxidant based cleanser and skin tone lightener, all will help you in removing/lightening the tan.

Things required for complete sun tan removal program:

  • Exfoliating scrub for the face (suitable for your skin type)
  • Exfoliating scrub for the body
  • Loofah or pumic stone
  • Bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide or 1/2 tsp washing powder for the body
  • Natural homemade remedies such as lemon/ yogurt/aloe vera gel/ cucumber/ raw potato juice/ fresh cream/ gram flour/ bread/ raw milk etc.
  • A cleansing and toning face pack suitable for your skin( if you have oily or sensitive skin, don’t use facials, go with a fruit peel instead)
  • Moisturizing cream and body lotion
  • Patience
  • Proactive approach

Day 1:

Massage your face, hands, legs or rest of body with appropriate exfoliating scrubs for face and body. Give 3-5 minutes of massage on each body part. There is a variety of good quality and effective fruit based scrubs available today. These scrubs unclog the skin’s pores; remove the upper layer of dirt, sebum and dead cells; and work great on tans. The skin feels soft and supple like a new born skin.

Do not apply anything immediately after exfoliating. As the pores are open, they absorb everything that is applied onto the skin.

However, one should not scrub everyday as it is abrasive in nature and enlarges the pores.

Day 2:

After normal cleansing and moisturizing in the morning, apply a mixture of lemon and yogurt on the tanned surfaces. They are very good anti-oxidants and natural bleaches. Lightly massage and keep for 15 minutes before washing off. Sometimes sensitive skins do not respond very well to lemon and yogurt. Then other ingredients such as aloe vera gel  mixed with a few drops of lemon, or any combination of cucumber paste with raw potato juice can be applied. Pat another coat of these cooling juices once they are dry. Wash off after half an hour. These substances work deep into the skin to reduce the tan.

Day 3:

Add 1tsps of Hydrogen Peroxide and ½ tsp of washing powder in a tub of water.  Soak parts of the tanned body like hands and legs (except face and hair) for 15 minutes gently massaging with a loofah or stone in circular motions while soaking. Rinse well. It works wonders in lightening the complexion.

Two words of caution: If there are bands of tanned and untanned skin in an area, this procedure may further accentuate the difference in the skin tones as it works evenly on both portions of the skin.

It is important to massage thoroughly with a cream over the submerged parts to smoothen the skin.

Day 4:

Rub yourself with a homemade scrub of gram flour + fresh cream + lemon juice + drops of water. Massage it tightly on the tanned arms and legs until the dirt along with the paste starts peeling off by itself.  It requires a bit of efforts. Take help from someone if you like. It is very effective in reducing the tan lines and creating an even skin tone. You can selectively work more on the darker areas. It’s great for tropical tans.

Use plain flour/bread with raw milk or fresh cream + lemon juice if you do not have the above ingredients.  Milk and cream are excellent cleansers and moiturisers. They remove the dirt, make you fairer, and provide nourishment and a natural glow to the skin.

Day 5:

Treat your face to a good cleansing and toning face pack. After an exfoliating program toning becomes a must. People with oily or sensitive skin can opt for fruit peels. Toning helps in firming the skin, closing the pores and avoids sagging.

Repeat the processes of exfoliation on alternate days. Intermediate it with the homemade remedies and toning for maximum benefit. You will see a marked difference within the first week, and the tan almost gone within a couple of weeks.

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