Worried About Tanning? 11 Effective Remedies to De-tan


 Estimated Reading Time : 10 minutes


Tanning… a simple, natural, and ever so common phenomenon that can both spook people to the point that they’re conscious of their appearance, as well as make those paler than most, very happy about their new appearance.

Specifically, in the Indian community, tanning skin is a big hoo-ha that most people like to “deal with” at the earliest possible. This can certainly be attributed to the stigma that revolves around being dark-skinned. However, tanning can be troublesome to people for reasons other than just the appearance aspect of it.

Sunburns, the sun's burning left mark on human hand

Prolonged tanning skin can give way to premature aging of the skin as a result of harm caused to the skin cells due to explore to the sun and its heat, thus halting or affecting proper collagen production.


What is Tanning?

Speaking in layman’s terms, tanning skin is simply the darkening of the human skin after long periods of exposure to the sun. Understanding why it occurs may be a bit more complex than its easy definition but we’ve simplified it quite a bit for you. Basically, when you step out on a sunny day, you are exposed to the sun’s UV radiation. This radiation is harmful to you in many ways, including the health of your skin. To prevent skin during summer, melanin (the color pigment in your body), increases its production, which thereby makes your skin appear darker.


11 DIY De-tan Remedies We Swear By

Alright, so now that you’ve been enjoying a nice, long beach vacation with no regard for sunscreen or SPF, and the dreaded tan (one that can give tan salons popular in the west a run for their money) has finally caught up with you, you’re probably looking for ways to get rid of it before you get back to the real world. Fret not! We’re here as your omnipresent saviours. Below is a list of DIY de-tan packs, face scrubs, and masks that we’ve curated specially for you. It has all sorts of fun ways to facilitate natural de tanning to kiss that tan goodbye without breaking the bank, straight from the comfort of your home.

Coffee and Honey De-tan Face Scrub

How it works & Benefits: Coffee smells good, it tastes good, and mornings for most people are incomplete without them. More on that later, but it is also a fantastic exfoliating agent and an excellent source of antioxidants that effectively gets rid of dead skin, grime, and impurities thereby making your appearance brighter and flawless. Upon being paired with honey, a gentle cleanser with antibacterial properties, it makes for a face scrub that is no less than a magical “cure” for that untimely tan of yours.

Ayurvedic kumkumadi brightening and radiance face scrub

Ingredients for face scrub: 2 tbsp coffee grounds (instant coffee works too) and 1 tbsp honey.

Time to Prepare: 1 minute

Time to Use: 20 minutes

How to make & use: Mix the mentioned ingredients in a bowl to make the face scrub and apply straight to tan-concerned areas. Wait for 20 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. Dab skin dry and follow it up with a moisturizer.

Turmeric and Yogurt De-tan Pack

How it works & Benefits: Besides being a key ingredient in traditional Indian medicinal drugs, turmeric is an amazing addition to the world of skincare. It naturally color corrects the tones of your skin and to an extent, tricks the naked eye into perceiving flawless skin, meaning it’s quite possibly your skin’s best friend. When paired with the goodness of some desi yogurt (a gentle bleach due to the acid present and an effective moisturizer because of the fat), it makes for a dreamy concoction that may be your tan’s worst nightmare.

Ingredients for de-tan pack: 1/4th tsp turmeric powder and 2 tbsp yogurt.

Time to Prepare: 1 minute

Time to Use: 10 minutes

How to make & use: In a small, clean bowl, mix both your ingredients till they’re completely combined. Apply this pale-yellow paste to your cleansed face and neck (Increase the quantity in the same proportion if you wish to use it for your hands or legs). Let this dry for no longer than 10 minutes (because turmeric stains!!) and wash off with room-temperature water. Dab your skin dry until slightly damp and layer with a good helping of your favorite moisturizer.

Potato De-tanning Mask

How it works & Benefits: If you thought potatoes couldn’t get any better, we’re here to prove you wrong! The king of all vegetables in terms of delicious food might as well be the king of natural ingredients in the world of skincare. Potatoes are easy, convenient, cheap, and quite literally a staple in most Indian households. If you have them lying around in your kitchen that often, might as well use them for some de-tanning fun! Rich in an enzyme (named catecholase) that is often responsible for skin brightening, potatoes make for a great de-tanning mask and are the only ingredient in this home remedy!

Ingredients of mask: 2 normal-sized potatoes (more if you’re using it for more than one area on the body.)

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Time to Use: 20-30 minutes

How to make & use: Wash, peel, and wash (yes, again!) your potatoes till they’re clean and free of any dirt. Chop into large-ish dice and throw in your food processor. Blend till they make a somewhat decent paste, then transfer to a convenient bowl. Apply over the concerned areas and let them dry completely. Once dry, wash off with warm water and apply moisturizer.

Oatmeal and Buttermilk De-tanning Face Scrub

How it works & Benefits: Oats may not make for the most delicious food but they sure do make for an excellent exfoliating body and face scrub. And, they supply a ton of protein to your skin, improving its appearance in the long term. Buttermilk, on the other hand, makes your skin super soft and supple, like a baby’s bum and the lactic acid present in it attacks the overproduction of melanin.

Ingredients for face scrub: 2 tbsp Rolled oats grounds (avoid using quick oats) and 2 tbsp buttermilk (homemade preferred)

Time to Prepare: 1 minute (if you have the ingredients handy)

Time to Use: 10 minutes

How to make & use: In a clean, small bowl, mix in both of your ingredients. Apply this face scrub in a circular motion over the concerned tanned areas for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water and apply moisturizer once the skin is fairly dry. Repeat once a week from then on.

Multani Mitti and Rosewater Natural De-tan Pack

How it works & Benefits: Multani mitti, known as fuller’s earth in the west is a gentle clay that does wonders for your skin. It exfoliates the skin cells, soothes sunburn, calms acne and when paired with refreshing and pure rosewater, subtly attacks the unwelcome tan on your skin, all the while managing inflammation.

Multani mitti in the west is a gentle clay that does wonders for your skin

Ingredients of de-tan pack: 3 tsp Multani mitti powder and 2 tsp pure distilled rosewater

Time to Prepare: 1 minute

Time to Use: 15 minutes

How to make & use: In a clean, small bowl, mix in both of your ingredients. Apply this quick pack on your face in an even layer and wait for it dry for the next 15-20 minutes. Once dry, wash off with lukewarm water and a gentle cotton washcloth to simplify the procedure. Follow it up with a good moisturizer immediately. Repeat no more than twice a week.

Almond and Lemon Juice De-tanning Face Scrub

How it works & Benefits: Almonds taste great (especially in chocolates) and according to old wives’ tales, do wonders to sharpen your brain and memory, when consumed orally but they also have a bunch of benefits when used topically for the skin. Almonds have essential vitamins and proteins that your skin may be lacking. They’re also a great exfoliating agent because of their coarseness, making them a favorite ingredient in face scrubs. And all thanks to the highly bleaching properties of lemons and their juice, when added to any tan-removing home remedy, not just this face scrub, lemon juice increases the rate of the de-tanning manifold.

Ingredients for face scrub: Grounds of 15 dry almonds and the juice of half a small lemon

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes

Time to Use: 5-10 minutes

How to make & use: Take your almonds and blitz them in your food processor till they’re somewhat fine but coarse. Transfer to a bowl and add your lemon juice. Apply face scrub in a circular motion over the concerned tanned areas for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water and apply moisturizer once the skin is fairly dry. Repeat once a week from then on.

Aloe vera and Sugar De-tanning Scrub

Why it works: Aloe vera is a revered ingredient in skincare and has been so for centuries. It’s gentle on the skin, has a cooling effect, calms inflammation, reduces acne, soothes sunburn and yes, helps in removing tan when paired with the right partners. Sugar, too, is a cherished ingredient in skincare, especially scrubs, it exfoliates the top dermal layers and increases blood circulation, thereby giving the skin a brighter and flawless appearance.

Ingredients for face scrub: 2 tbsp aloe vera gel (fresh preferred; don’t use commercial variants that are tinted green/yellow) and 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Time to Prepare: 1 minute

Time to Use: 5-10 minutes

How to make & use: In a clean, small bowl, mix in both of your ingredients till well combined. Apply this scrub in a circular motion over the concerned tanned areas (avoid using this as a face scrub as it may be a bit harsh for the sensitive skin of your face) for 5-10 minutes. Wash off with normal to cold water and apply moisturizer after dabbing the skin till it's damp-dried. Repeat 1-2 times a week.

Besan and Atta De-tanning Ubtan

Why it works: Ubtan is a popular Indian skincare product traditionally made at home. It uses simple ingredients that give you results quickly without any side effects. The besan gives a nice boost of protein to the skin and adds to the subtle glow, the milk gives intense moisturization and the atta exfoliates the skin’s top layers and gently removes some facial/body hair. 

Ingredients of ubtan: 1 tbsp gram flour (besan), 1 tbsp whole wheat flour (gehu atta), and 2 tbsp milk

Time to Prepare: 1 minute

Time to Use: 15-20 minutes

How to make & use: In a clean, small bowl, mix all of your ingredients till they form a lump-free, smooth paste. Apply this paste over the concerned areas and let it sit for 10-ish minutes. (don’t let this dry completely). Using your hands or a washcloth, rub off the ubtan as it starts to pill and wash the skin afterward. Apply a light moisturizer or skin brightening oil and repeat once a week from then on.

Nalpamaradi thailam for skin brightening with turmeric

Tomato De-tanning Solution

Why it works: Tomatoes are delicious and a great addition to just about any dish, whether it is a salad or an elaborate rich meal. But their greatness doesn’t just end there. Tomatoes are a fantastic source of a variety of vitamins essential for the skin. They’re also slightly acidic in nature meaning they have an enzyme that gently attacks the tan and removes it effectively.

Ingredients of de-tan: 1 medium-sized tomato and a cotton sheet or 8-10 cotton pads. 

Time to Prepare: 3 minutes

Time to Use: 15 minutes

How to make & use: Take your tomato and dice it a few times, throw the cubed in a food processor or blender, and blend into a paste (you may remove the tomato pulp beforehand if it is too juicy). Transfer your juiced/blended tomato to a clean, small bowl. Now, dip your cotton sheet in a juicy bowl and place it over the concerned surface as you would place a sheet mask. If the areas concerned are far too small or you don't have a whole sheet, do so using cotton pads and placing them one by one. Wait for 15 minutes and wash your skin with plain room-temperature water. Dab it dry and apply moisturizer.

Papaya De-tan Pack

Why it works: You may or may not like the fruit, but there’s no doubt that Papaya is great for a lot more than just its taste or health benefits. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that is responsible for mildly exfoliating the outermost skin cells layer, thus improving skin texture making it more even, getting rid of pigmentation, banishing sun spots, de-clogging open pores, etc.

Ingredients of de-tan pack: 50g papaya

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes

Time to Use: 20 minutes

How to make & use: Wash, peel, and chop 50 grams of papaya. Put it in your food processor and blend till it forms a smooth-ish paste. Transfer to a clean bowl and using your hands apply it evenly over the concerned areas. Let it dry for 20 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water using the help of a washcloth. Apply a moisturizer afterward.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tan Removing Solution

Why it works: A frequent friend in fat loss remedies, ACV, or apple cider vinegar is good not just for your health or improving your food. It is practically a miraculous godsend in skin care for someone who wishes to do away with the dreaded tan but usually doesn’t have any time to spare. Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural astringent meaning it cleanses your skin, keeps bacteria at bay, reduces acne to a great extent and its acidic nature attacks foreign agents that pose to harm your skin i.e. some serious tanning.

Ingredients of de-tan: 3 tbsp ACV (apple cider vinegar) and some cotton pads or cotton balls

Time to Prepare: less than a minute

Time to Use: 10 minutes

How to make & use: Pour the required amount of ACV into a small, wide-faced container and dip your cotton pads/balls in it. Place them over the concerned areas of your skin and let them sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cotton and wash it off with room-temperature water. Do this twice a week at night.


Parting Note

Alright, so here’s the thing. Tanning skin is common. A lot more common than you think and it’s not always bad. However, reversing tanning or at least wanting to is normal and understandable. Almost all home remedies like face scrub, Papaya De-tan Pack, Besan and Atta De-tanning ubtans work wonders, mix a bunch of things, apply, wait for the concoction to dry, wash it all off, and repeat. And the home remedies for tanned skin that we’ve curated for you do a better job than any commercial product that claims to be all that but isn’t. They’re natural, which means they harbor little to no side effects. They’re economic, meaning you won’t have to break the bank just to get rid of a stubborn tan. And finally, they’re just so convenient. If there’s anything we dislike more than the troubling tan, it has to be running to the store. With simple remedies, you can find all the necessary ingredients right in your home. So, when exploring the woes of tanning skin and how to reverse them, combing through this blog and figuring out what works best for you through a little bit of trial and error is truly all you need to kiss the sun’s love a grand goodbye (whether that’s for the long haul or just a temporary break, is your call)!


Recommended Products by Blue Nectar:

Shubhr Ayurvedic Kumkumadi Brightening Face Scrub For Tan Removal and Blackheads

Nalpamaradi Thailam for Skin Brightening With Turmeric

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