There are many easy and natural ways to remove tan from face, hands and legs. If you have had too much sun exposure but wish to undo the resulting tan, read on for some easy solutions to remove tan naturally.
1. Use Kojic acid based creams
Kojic acid is used by Japanese Geishas to whiten their faces; it is extracted from Koji mushrooms found in the country. Many creams containing Kojic acid are readily available in the market. It is one of the most popular skin whitening agent which has minimal side effects (which generally includes potential to induce skin sensitization.)
2. Use lemon juice
This is the best natural way to remove tan from face and lips. Apply lemon juice all over the face and leave on for an hour. Rinse off with cool water. Repeat application daily for 4 to 6 weeks or longer until the skin lightens up. Make sure you use a good sunscreen during the day as lemon juice makes the skin even more sensitive to the sun.
3. Mulberry extracts
Regular use of tan removal cream or lotion with mulberry extracts can help you remove tan from arms, legs, hands, face and feet. This skin lightening agent is derived from paper mulberry plants and is considered to be even more effective than Kojic acid for skin whitening.
4. Alpha and Beta Arbutin (Bearberry extracts)
Alpha and beta arbutin are synthesized from leaves of bearberry, cranberry and blueberry plants. They work in the same manner as Kojic acid by inhibiting the tyrosinase which imparts dark color to the skin’s melanocytes. This naturally derived product is generally considered safe for use on hands and face for tan removal but could cause reaction on sensitive skin.
5. Glutathione extracts
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is found in skin lightening pills. It is also known to detoxify the liver and cleanse the body off toxins. It boosts immunity and enables the body to heal itself. When taken regularly, this antioxidant changes melanin production to soluble pheomelanin which provides skin whitening effect. It is naturally occurring in the body but supplements can be used to reverse tan.
Many skin whitening creams contain licorice extracts since this herb inhibits tyrosinase enzyme to provide anti-inflammatory and skin lightening effects. Drink licorice tea, take supplements and also apply tan removal cream containing licorice on hands, feet, face and neck.
Papaya contains papain enzyme that renews the cells and reveals younger, brighter looking skin. Many soaps and lotions contain papain or you could directly use raw green or orange papaya on the face and arms to reduce tan naturally.
8. Use vitamins that brighten skin and remove tan
Several vitamins support skin renewal function and reverse tanning when applied topically and also taken internally. These include:
- Retinol or vitamin A derivative– The role of vitamin A or retinol is very well known in the anti aging industry. It is a popular wrinkle treatment. It also reverses other signs of aging such as fine lines, hyper-pigmentation in the form of age spots etc.
- Vitamin B3- Also called Niacinamide, this vitamin is an effective topical skin lightener. It is no wonder that this vitamin is found in skin creams and sunscreen products.
- Vitamin C– Vitamin C prevents production of pigment in skin cells. Typically tan removal creams contain Vitamin C in the form of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate. It also protects skin from UV damage and reverse age spots, sun tanning and other signs of sun damage. Take up to 1000 mg of vitamin C daily and also apply vitamin C serum at night to reverse tan.
9. Drink plenty of water
Water replenishes lost moisture and keeps your skin glowing from inside out. So drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.
10. Eat a balanced diet
Balanced diet is the one containing fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, cereals etc. These will keep your body healthy and your skin nourished.
These easy ways to remove tan can help you lighten your skin but you have to be diligent in using these remedies. As always, test to see if the chosen tan removal product causes an allergic reaction; if it does, discontinue use immediately. Also avoid sun exposure while undergoing any skin lightening treatment-failure to do so will negate the effects of the treatment. Sometimes, hormonal imbalances could also cause your skin to darken. If that is the case, an endocrinologist or GP can help you.