We all know that exposure to harsh sun rays can cause sun tan. The worst part is that the suntan can cause health concerns in some people. Overexposure to sun rays can even cause skin cancer. Sun tan can damage the skin in different ways. Skin is the outermost covering of our body and it is one of the main organs which helps to protect the internal organs from injuries, heat and infections and also helps in the elimination of waste in the form of sweat. So it is necessary that you protect your skin when you go out in the sun.
What Is Sun Tan?
The process by which our skin gets darkened by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is called natural sun tan. Your skin can also get tanned from artificial sources of ultraviolet rays. Though the exposure to sunlight is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D in our body, overexposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn or even the risk of developing skin cancer. The intensity of suntan or sunburn depends on many factors like the type of skin, the genetic makeup of the person, the intensity of the sunrays, the time of the day at which the exposure occurs etc. Though in many parts of the world sun tanning of the body is done intentionally to improve the aesthetic appearance of the person, tanning can cause a health concern also.
The Process of Tanning
Our skin contains a pigment called melanin which is produced by the special cells called melanocytes. The melanin protects our body by absorbing the harmful sun rays. When our body gets exposed to excessive radiation from the sun, the body tries to combat the damages caused by the radiation and to protect the skin by producing more melanin. As a result the skin gets darkened. Both UV-A and UV-B is responsible for the tanning effect of the skin. Here are mainly two mechanisms by which our body gets tanned. In the first mechanism, the UV-A rays oxidizes the melanin present in our body and it leads to darkening of the existing melanin. UV-A also causes the spread of melanin from where they are stored, this causes the darkening of various areas. These changes are only cosmetic as there is no increased production of melanin. In the second mechanism triggered by UV-B there is increased melanogenesis or production of the pigment melanin to protect the cells from photo damage caused by the radiation. This results in delayed tanning, which appears 72 hours after the exposure to sun rays. This tanning caused by increased melanin production will last for more time than the tan caused by the oxidation of the stored melanin. This change is not cosmetic and the increased melanin pigment protects us from UV damages and sunburn.
The Effect of Sun Tan on Our Health
The effect of sun rays on our skin depends on the natural skin color of a person. In humans the skin color varies from pale to very dark brown. The skin color varies depend on the climatic conditions and the geographical regions. The Europeans have very lighter skin color and the skin appears reddish, whereas the Africans have a darker skin as they are located near the equator where the sun rays reaches with most intensity.
- Overexposure to the sun rays can make the skin wrinkle and age much faster.
- Harmful sun rays can cause mutations in our genes
- Exposure to UV rays can destroy our immune system.
- Exposure to UV rays for longer periods can cause skin cancer.
Sun Tans Are UN-Aesthetic
Many people want to avoid sun tans as they are UN –aesthetic. There are different varieties of sun screen creams available in the market to avoid tanning while you go out in the sun. People try to avoid tanning of the visible parts of the body like hands, face legs etc. Long term exposure to sunrays of low- intensity causes ageing effect. It is necessary for you to use sun protection creams after considering the sun protection factor present in the creams. You can apply the sun block cream on the exposed parts of the body before you go out in the sun. It should be applied every 2-3 hours to get maximum protection from the sun. It is necessary for the people in the countries near the equator to use sun block creams with SPF 15 and above to get protection from the sun. The suntan can reduce the beauty of a person and the person will feel less confident to meet people and socialize when they do not have an appealing look. Suntans commonly appear on the hands, face, on the legs, backside of the body etc.
Removing Sun Tan
In summer the problem of suntan is more. It is better to avoid getting tanned by avoiding exposure to sun from 11am to 4pm. There are different types of creams available in the market even to remove or lighten the sun tan. Some of the suntan removal creams may have contents which are not healthy for your skin. They may be also costly. Some creams can increase the damage to the already tanned skin. So, people opt for home remedies to treat the sun tan. You can bring back the natural fairness of the skin by trying the home remedies suitable for you. There are sun tan home remedies based on the principles of Ayurveda which are natural and are non- invasive. It is not possible to remove the tans overnight however you can reduce the effects by using certain homemade remedies. Most of these remedies are in use for hundreds of years and are proven to provide the result. It will take at least one week to reduce the bad effects on the skin due to sun exposure to the sun.
Some of the most effective home remedies to remove tan from your skin (Face & Hand):
People prefer home remedies for tan removal as they have natural ingredients and are without any side effects. They can be easily prepared at home and they are less expensive. Some of the important home remedies for tanned skin are discussed below.
Cucumber and Lemon Juice: This is one of the common remedies used for a sun tan. Take a spoon of cucumber juice and mix it with juice of half lemon. Add a pinch of powdered turmeric to the juices and make a paste. Apply it on the affected areas of the skin. Leave the mixture on the skin for at least 20 minutes and wash it off with water. The cucumber juice will provide cooling effect and the citric acid present in the lemon acts as bleach and helps to remove the tan.
Aloe Vera Gel: The pulp inside the leaves of Aloe Vera plant is an excellent remedy to remove the tan. You can take out the pulp or gel from the leaves and can apply it on the tanned areas. Though Aloe Vera gels are available in the market, it is better to use the fresh gel from the leaves to get faster results. If possible apply the gel overnight to reduce the discoloration of the skin.
Milk And Lemon Juice: If you are looking for an instant relief for your tanned skin, you can apply a mixture of raw milk, lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric. Milk provides cleansing of the skin and also soothes the skin. Lemon juice is a natural cure for a sun tan. Leave the mixture on the skin till dry and after 20 minutes wash the face and the other affected areas with water.
Curd And Tomato Juice: Make a paste of the fresh tomato and add a spoonful of yogurt into it. Mix them to form a smooth paste and apply it to the area that is affected by tan. The anti-oxidants in the tomato make the skin clear and curd reduces tanning. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice into the above mixture to obtain faster and better results. Wash off the applied mixture with water after half an hour or when the mixture becomes dry.
Gram Flour, Rosewater Mixture: Mix a tablespoon of gram flour with one tablespoon of rose water and make a thin paste. You can use curd or plain water if rose water is not available. Apply it on face, hands and other affected areas of the body. Wash with lukewarm water after 20 minutes. Rose water will remove the bad effect of sun’s heat on the skin and will provide coolness to the skin. Gram flour works as a scrub as well as provides the necessary proteins for the skin.
Milk And Turmeric: Turmeric has anti -septic properties and is used in various skin improvement medicines. You can mix two teaspoons of milk and half teaspoon of turmeric powder to make a nice paste and apply it on the tanned areas of the skin. Wash it off gently with water after 20 minutes to get a fresh looking skin.
Sandalwood, Rosewater Mixture: Sandalwood has cosmetic value and it provides coolness to the skin. Make a thick paste with sandalwood powder and rose water and apply it on the affected body parts. After one hour wash the areas with water.
Almond And Milk: Make a paste of almonds after soaking it in water for two hours. Mix it with milk and apply on tanned areas of the body. Milk works as a cleanser and vitamin E in almonds helps to reduce the effect of tan. Wash with mild hot water after 30 minutes.
Coconut Water: Apply fresh coconut water over the sun tanned areas and leaves it to dry. Again apply some more coconut water and allow it to dry. Repeat the process at least three times within 30 minutes. Wash the applied areas with cold water after half an hour. Repeat the process for a few days to get back your normal skin.
Yoghurt And Orange Juice: Mix together equal quantities of orange juice and yogurt and apply it to cure sun tan. The Vitamin C and the alpha hydroxyl acid present in orange juice help in fading the tan. The lactic acid present in yoghurt lightens the darkened skin.
Honey And Lemon Juice: Mix honey and lemon juice in equal parts and apply to remove the tan and to get the fairer looking skin. Honey has healing powers and is a good moisturizer. Lemon juice bleaches the skin to remove the discoloration caused by tanning.
Oat Meal And Butter Milk: Mix fresh buttermilk and oatmeal powder and apply this paste on the tanned areas. This remedy will remove the tans quickly. Oatmeal provides the nourishment to the skin and buttermilk soothes the skin and bleaches the skin. Keep the mixture applied for one hour and wash off with water.
Potato And Lemon: Peel off the skin of potato and grind the fresh potato to make a paste with the help of a blender. Mix some lemon juice with the potato paste and apply the mixture on affected parts. Leave the mix on the body for 30 minutes and wash it off with cold water.
Mashed Papaya And Honey: Mashed papayas help the skin to de-tan and the honey present in the mix moisturizes the skin. Papaya also cleanses the skin.
Saffron And Milk Cream: This is a costly home remedy for suntan as it contains saffron. Make a paste of fresh milk cream and saffron by soaking the saffron in the cream overnight. Next day morning apply the mixture on tan. This will give excellent result. You will see that your complexion has been improved by this remedy.
Natural Oils: Make a mix of natural oils by mixing 4 parts of sesame seed oil, one part almond oil and one part olive oil. Apply this oil on your face for 20 minutes and wash it off with a mild soap. This will improve your complexion.
Are you searching for the methods to regain your natural looking skin by removing the sun tan? Then you can try any of the above homemade methods for a few days to get the perfect result. Try out different methods to find out which one provides best results for you, within a short time.