It is peak summer and it is time you know how to avoid and remove tan.
Most of us have wished that we could just wash the tan away. But in reality, tan is so much more difficult to get rid of. It is peak summer and you need to take care of your skin and prevent and remove tan.
Why and How do we tan?
When we step out in the sun, our skin tries its best to protect us from the UV rays of the sun. Our skin produces melanin under the surface layers of our skin to help absorb UV radiation. This melanin is the chemical responsible for skin darkening or tanning. It is simple. The more we are exposed to the UV rays, the more our skin produces melanin. And the more melanin is produced, the darker our skin looks.
The best way to remove tan is to totally avoid it. Avoiding tanning is very important. If we protect ourselves from the UV rays in order to avoid tanning, we also in the process protect ourselves from skin cancers that are caused by overexposure to the sun. Below are some basic ways to avoid tanning.
Avoid periods of peak sunlight
The sun is directly above us between 10 AM and 4 AM. It is best to not go out in this period as this would be the best method to avoid tanning of the skin. In this period of time, the UV rays of the sun are strongest and can affect your skin more easily.
Covering the skin
Covering your skin as primitive as it may sound is one of the most effective ways to avoid tanning if you have to go out during the peak hours of sunlight. It’s a common perception that light coloured clothing is best when going out in the sun. It is true that light-coloured clothing absorbs less heat and keeps you cooler. But when you want your clothing to absorb UV rays and protect you from tanning and skin cancer, it is best to wear dark or bright colours. Densely woven cloth, like denim, canvas, wool or synthetic fibres, are more protective than a sheer, thin or loosely woven cloth. If you can see through the clothing towards a light source, it will probably offer less protection. Skincancer.org, an organization dedicated to avoid and treat skin cancer, recommends wearing baggy clothes as they offer more protection than tight clothing. It is also recommended to wear hats and sunglasses.
The effectiveness of sunscreen is highly debated on the internet. But as per top dermatologists like Dr Kaveri Karhade, it is recommended to use sunscreens when going out. A sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher is recommended to be used at all the places that are exposed to the sun, including ears, lips, back of neck and top of the feet. The sunscreen should ideally be reapplied every 2 hours.
Now that we have covered ways to avoid tanning, we can work on removing any tan that we might have been exposed to. Removing tan can be difficult, but it is possible. Using the below methods can lighten your tan and help you to achieve your true skin tone.
Gentle exfoliation or scrubbing can help remove dead skin cells on the surface and thereby lighten or completely remove tan. Any store-bought scrub or exfoliating cream can do the job. It is recommended to avoid the sun after exfoliation as dead skin cells protect us against it. Too much exposure after exfoliation may lead to sunburn, tanning, and skin damage.
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has found that creams with turmeric improve the skin’s hydration and natural protective oils and thereby help protect against the sun. For centuries we have used turmeric to lighten our skin but it can also help you remove tan. Turmeric paste made by mixing powdered turmeric in water can also be applied to remove tan.
A study published in the International Journal of Pharmacognosy found that aloe vera can suppress the release of melanin and reduce pigmentation. Melanin is responsible for the darkening of the skin. The study recommends using sunscreens and creams with aloe in them or even applying raw aloe vera gel on the skin and washing it after it dries off.
Thing to avoid
There has been no conclusive evidence that lemon juice helps lighten the skin or reduce melanin production. It means that there is no scientific evidence that it can help avoid or remove tan. The lemon juice may cause a chemical reaction that can make your skin more sensitive to UV light. So, it is best to avoid applying lemon juice.
Bleaching Agents should never be used on your skin. Period. Any kind of bleach that may promise “skin lightening” or “tan removing” should be avoided. Bleach can seriously harm your skin especially for people with sensitive skin.
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