Sun tan is one of the immediate effects of sun-exposure. Exposure to the sun increases the production of melanin, which is the skin’s colouring matter. Melanin is dark in colour, so the skin also becomes dark. Physical protection from the sun’s rays is the only answer, by applying sunscreens, wearing a hat or carrying a parasol. Also, try to avoid sun-exposure between noon and 3 pm, when the sun is directly overhead.
NATURAL METHODS OF REMOVING SUN TAN
Removing tan and lightening the colour of the skin becomes an important concern. Ingredients like saffron, turmeric, cucumber, lemon, oranges, ripe papaya, almonds, turmeric, yogurt, buttermilk, tomato, etc., help to lighten skin colour. These are certainly safer than chemical bleaches and actually benefit the skin in other ways. For example,
Cucumber has an astringent effect
Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and skin softener
Yogurt and buttermilk also help to nourish and soften the skin
Almond is extremely nourishing for the skin, apart from its gradual skin lightening effect
Such ingredients keep the skin healthy and preserve its youthful properties.
DIY ANTI-TAN PACKS
Here are some anti-tan packs:
Haldi to the rescue
Add a little turmeric (haldi) to gram flour (besan) and curd into a paste and apply daily. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.
Honey helps too
Mix one teaspoon each honey and orange juice with egg white. Apply on the face and wash off after 20 minutes. It removes tan and also nourishes the skin, making it soft and smooth.
Try cucumber and watermelon
Cucumber juice (or pulp) and watermelon can be mixed with two teaspoons powdered milk. Put the ingredients in a blender, for a smooth paste. Apply on face and neck and rinse off with water after half an hour.
Papaya and oats
Mix cucumber and ripe papaya pulp with curd two teaspoons oats. Lemon juice can also be added. Apply on face and neck, twice a week. Wash it off after half an hour.
Add cream of milk, pinch of turmeric and oats to tomato pulp and half teaspoon honey. Apply on the face, to remove tan and nourish the skin.
A pack with red wine
Take honey and yogurt and add a few tablespoons of red wine. Apply this on the face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse with plain water. This removes tan and adds a glow.
Almonds and curd
Mix ground almonds with curd and pinch of turmeric. Apply on the face. After 15 minutes, rub gently with circular movements. Wash it off with water.
Multani mitti with lemon
For oily skin, mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste. Apply on face and wash off when it dries.
Dried lemon peels can help
Mix together two teaspoons honey, a little milk and rose water, dried and powdered lemon peels into a paste. Apply two or three times a week on face and neck. Wash it off after 20 minutes.
The humble moong dal
Soak one tablespoon moong dal in water for a few hours. Make a paste and add one tablespoon tomato pulp. Apply on face with a light massage. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. .
Wheat bran and orange peel
Take one tablespoon choker (wheat bran), one teaspoon each orange peel powder and curd and one tablespoon aloe vera gel. Mix together and apply on the skin, washing it off after 30 minutes.
Try some saffron
Add a few strands of saffron to warm milk and wheat bran (choker). Let it stand for a couple of hours. Then apply it on the skin, using cotton wool. It is said to lighten skin colour over a period of time.
Care for your hands
Your hands need care too. Take 2 tablespoons sunflower oil and 3 tablespoon coarse sugar. Mix together till it becomes a paste. Apply and rub into hands. Rinse off after 15 minutes.
(This article is contributed by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations)