How To Remove A Tan: Most Effective Shortcuts That I Swear By!

How To Remove A Tan

The beach holiday season is one of my favourite times of the year! From sipping on pina coladas and eating some of the freshest seafood, to walks on the breezy seaside, everything about this season is amazing! All except for the sun. The same goes for anyone that loves outdoor hikes, or walking to work – we’d love it fully if it wasn’t for the overbearing sun! Over the years, I have developed my own personal hacks on how to remove a tan, so that I don’t have to compromise on sitting on a beach chair eating ice cream while watching the waves. Let’s get started:

How To Remove A Tan: Right Now, In A Week and Forever! 

How To Remove A Tan Immediately: 

There is nothing worse than coming back from a vacation or a picnic and heading straight to work or an important event. So this is how you can remove a tan from your face or body, asap! 

1. Wear makeup on your skin and face:

Many of us have some sort of makeup lying around (foundation, concealer, bronzer) and this is the perfect time to mix a concoction of colours to match your current skin tone. Always remember to mix powder with powder and liquids with liquids so this means that you should use a light liquid foundation with a dark liquid foundation or a light powder foundation with a dark powder foundation to form the new shade. Buying a foundation one colour darker than my normal skin tone always comes in handy when I do this. 

Simply mix a tiny amount of the darker shade with your normal foundation colour and paint your face or body. Add more if needed. If you want to stick to your old, paler skin tone, you can use your regular shade as well to counteract going for a tan look. 

You’ll want to powder down all the areas that you’ve applied the makeup to (this is called setting or baking) and use a long lasting primer while starting the make up (before foundation) to ensure a long lasting application. 

MAC face and body makeup is highly recommended for anyone interested in investing in body makeup. It is very long lasting and doesn’t transfer to your clothes if done properly. 

Please don’t forget to cover your neck and the back of your ears because when you suddenly tuck your hair behind your ears, you shouldn’t have a totally different skin tone. 

Also, carry a compact mirror with you and some extra foundation/powder to touch up in the middle of the day and avoid sitting in warm places so that you do not sweat. 

Avoid wearing a white shirt or white pants if you want to follow this quick hack. 

2. Wear a long sleeve shirt: 

One of my other personal hacks on how to remove a tan quickly is to wear a long sleeve shirt if the tan only appears on my arms. Similarly, if you’ve got a tan on the back of your hands and fingers- try and wear some gloves. If you’ve got discolouration on your legs, then you can wear longer pants for a couple of days till the tan starts to fade off. 

3. Get a spray tan: 

If you’re okay with it, you could get a spray tan to match the colour of your new tanned skin. Make sure to go to a professional as they know how to correct the tan lines. 

How To Remove A Tan In A Week: 

Getting into an unwanted tan situation reminds me of Anne Hathway’s character in Bride Wars when she was tricked and forced to walk around looking like a Cheeto! But do you remember her soaking in a bathtub filled with water and lemons? She had a week before her movie wedding date and if you also want to take a more relaxed way of detanning day by day just follow the steps below: 

1. Lemon:

With its acidic qualities, lemon juice is a well-known method of trying to lighten skin on your body, as it is harmful for your face. Lemon juice is packed with Vitamin C and honey is a great skin moisturizer, so you’ll be reducing the tan coloration while increasing your epidermal health.

So when it comes to de-tanning, simply make a paste of lemon juice with honey and apply it to the tanned areas. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, then wash it off completely. 

Over a couple of days or so, you should notice your tan areas fading away. (Warning: Do not use this method if you have sunburns, because holy shit, just no.)

2. Turmeric and yogurt:

Turmeric has been used for decades for its medicinal healing abilities. It has also been used to lighten facial hair and it helps to reduce acne in my personal experience. Using turmeric also brightens the face unlike any other natural remedy so it’s not surprising at all that I now use it all over my body. 

To use, finely grind a paste of turmeric root and yogurt and apply it on your face and skin. I use a spoon so that the colour doesn’t stick to my hands. But there are a couple of caveats and things to be careful about despite this one being my all time favourite method of detanning. 

  • While turmeric is such a great option for skincare, most of us use it regularly as a spice so it is of utmost importance that you do not use the cooking powder (I tried it and my face erupted in pimples!) If you do go for the powder version make sure that it says “cosmetic” on the brand label and also do a small patch test on your neck or on your arm to see if you develop a reaction. This has helped me narrow down exactly which brand works for me, because let’s face it, a lot of products can be counterfeit. 
  • Secondly, when you use turmeric, be careful to sit in a place covered with an old bed sheet or towel. If you stand, some of the juices can fall down since there is water that naturally exists from the yogurt. 
  • Be careful when using turmeric and avoid wearing a shirt you use regularly. You can keep an old t-shirt aside specifically for skin care purposes.  

3. Aloevera: 

This is a medicinal plant that has numerous benefits for your skin as well as your body. It helps to lighten your complexion and protect your skin from damage caused by radiations. It is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that soothes your skin and is effective in treating tan. 

It is advisable to always use aloe vera gel before going to bed instead of using it in the day. Apply a thick layer of the gel on your skin at night and wash it in the morning. Repeat this daily for rapid results.

4. Baking soda: 

Baking soda is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to remove your tan. For this method, as usual, please do a patch test on your body before starting and try to avoid putting baking soda on your face. This method would apply to the body exclusively. 

To make a paste, simply add a heaping spoonful or two in a glass of water and stir until it becomes a smooth paste. Apply the paste on the tanned areas (avoiding your face) and remove after about 15 minutes. After just a couple of days’ use, your tan should start to face. 

5. Tomato:

Call it what you like, but this red fruit has a huge fan-following for being an ideal ingredient for de-tanning your skin. Redness, skin damage and darkening will soon be issues of the past. But the trick is you need to act quickly. So, as soon as you get back home, cut a tomato in half and rub the pulp all over the affected areas. 

This method works because of the mineral complexes within this humble fruit that takes action against tans! Rich in lycopene that acts as a natural sunscreen, it’s full of antioxidants that fight free radical damage. It also has vitamin C that accelerates the growth of collagen in the body, which prevents your skin against sunburn, pollution and smoke. It fights cellular damage and regenerates new cells. 

To use tomatoes for de-tanning simply take a clean tomato and mash it. Segregate its pulp and apply its juice on the affected areas or all over your face. Let it dry for 15 minutes and rinse it with water. Repeat this method twice a week. It will not only remove tanning but will make your skin brighter and glowing.

How To Remove A Tan Entirely:

Okay, when it comes down to the most effective hack for removing a tan, you need to invest some extra time in finding ways to avoid it entirely. For example, if I know that it’s sunny out and I have to go for a lunch meeting, I always carry an umbrella with me so that the sun doesn’t directly hit me. I also keep a hat in my bag to protect my face from the harmful sun rays. 

In the start of the article, I mentioned that I love going to the beach and I used to get tanned a lot. But that reduced when I selected beach chairs with umbrellas to sit under. I also make it a point to pack sun lotion and aloe vera gel when I know that I’ll be headed there especially during summer. Check out these other points that help you avoid tans entirely. 

  • Use sun lotion every summer: The best way to get rid of a tan is to stop getting a tan! If you shield your face and skin from the sun, you’re more likely to not face a discoloration. Choose a high factor SPF (more than 30+) when looking for sun lotion. Don’t just buy it, apply it when you go out in the sun to protect your face, neck and other exposed areas. You should apply it 30 minutes before going out and reapply it every 2–3 hours.  Also, be sure to use organic, paraben-free sunblock.
  • Make sure to apply lip balm with SPF 15 on your lips during summer. The sun can burn sensitive skin on the lips. 
  • Another way on how to remove a tan forever is to stop going out when there is sun exposure. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun at peak hours that are between 10:30 a.m to 4 p.m.
  • Always wear protective clothing and if possible cover your face and hair with a scarf. (a scarf doesn’t just protects from harsh sun-rays but also from pollution and dirt)
  • Wear sunglasses which cover the sides of the face so the eyes are protected from UV rays.
  • Stay hydrated in the sun. Always keep a water bottle handy whenever you head out. 
  • Like I said before, you can carry an umbrella whenever required as it gives moderate protection from UV rays but don’t forget to apply your sunscreen too! 
  • Take these precautions even when the sun isn’t shining brightly as UV rays can penetrate cloud cover.

And there you go, these are my tips on how to remove a tan. It took a couple of years and hitting up some pharmacies as well as going natural to figure out what worked best for me. All in all, the thing that worked the best was to buy some sun lotion and a cheap hat if a spontaneous beach or summer vacation plan was put in place! I would diligently reapply the sun lotion and that way, I have completely avoided getting supreme tan lines. Hope this helps! 

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