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15 Simple Home Remedies To Remove Tan

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Tanning is a common summer woe – and since you can’t escape the scorching heat, we’ve listed the best home remedies to remove tan from your face, hands, feet, and skin.
15 Simple Home Remedies To Remove Tan

Be it the scorching summer heat or sharp winter rays peeping through lurid clouds, there’s no escaping the sun. And while slathering on a generous helping of sunscreen may protect you against harmful UVA and UVB rays, sensitive skin types may still fall prey to sunburn or tanning. A tan often wears off on its own as new skin cells replace older ones. However, if you’re looking to fasten the process and recoup your original complexion, there are a bunch of home remedies that can come to your aid.

Trust us, these handmade potions will get you through the heat without causing any sunburn, skin darkening or sun spots. But, first and foremost, you need to pack some much-needed sunscreen. Generously slather on a layer of sunblock to prevent the harmful UV rays from seeping into your skin. We’d even advise reapplying every two hours. Better safe than sorry, right?

But for those of you who’ve bravely ventured into the scorching rays with no gear, here are effective home remedies to remove tan from your face, hands, and feet. For additional assistance, peruse our exhaustive list of the best sun tan removal packs, scrubs, face washes, lotions, oils, creams, and more!

What Causes Tanning?

Tanning is a natural process when your skin colour is darkened due to increased melanin amid prolonged sun exposure. This is your body’s inherent mechanism to protect the skin against ultraviolet damage. In simpler terms, the greater the exposure to UV rays, the greater the pigmentation, i.e. darker the tan.

Types Of Tan

There are primarily three types of tan:

1. Delayed Tanning

As the name suggests, delayed tanning occurs a few days after sun exposure. This happens because it takes a couple of days for melanin production to amp up – resulting in a gradual, more long-lasting change in skin colour.

2. Immediate Pigment Darkening

Conversely, immediate pigment darkening (IPD) is tanning which occurs immediately after sun exposure. It’s a more short-term change in skin colour that fades relatively quickly. IPD is caused by the dilation of blood vessels, resulting in a temporary darkening effect.

3. Persistent Pigment Darkening

Persistent pigment darkening (PPD) is a type of tan that becomes more prominent after repeated sun exposure. The semi-permanent change in skin colour can last for weeks or even months. PPD is your body’s natural mechanism to shield the skin against further UV damage.

How To Remove Tan From Face

1. Lemon Juice and Honey

How to remove tan from face – Lemon & Honey

Lemon aka our star ingredient is so acidic that we wouldn’t suggest applying it on its own, especially before stepping out into the sun, being photosensitive et al. Packed with ascorbic, glycolic and alpha-hydroxy acids this natural bleacher exfoliates the superficial layer of the skin, undoing any kind of sun damage and darkening. Add a dash of honey (a natural humectant) to the lemon juice for best results, as it’s known to be too drying. No wonder this combo is known as one of the best home remedies for face tan removal.

2. Yoghurt and Gram Flour

Sun tan removal – Yoghurt & Gram Flour

For effective tan removal at home, add Yoghurt to a spoonful of Gram Flour and combine them to form a thick paste. Apply the mixture all over your body and leave it on for 20 minutes before hopping into the shower. The probiotic, healthy fat and lactic acid-rich curd will cool off sunburn, soothe skin and hydrate it, while gram flour will gently exfoliate to reveal your natural glow. For plump, supple skin repeat this ritual daily for at least two weeks to completely fade your tan disappear.

3. Tomato

Tan removal at home - Potato

Call it what you like, but this red fruit has a huge fan following and for good reason. Rich in lycopene that acts as a natural sunscreen, it’s choc-a-bloc with antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Redness, skin damage and darkening will soon be issues of the past. But the trick is you need to act quickly. Meaning, as soon as you set foot back home, slice a tomato in half, rub the pulp all over the affected areas and let its mineral complexes commence action.

4. Aloe Vera

How to remove tan from face – Aloe Vera

Nicknamed the beauty elixir, this pulpy plant is the most versatile ingredient of them all. Scoop out the pulp from a freshly cut leaf and store it in the freezer for up to a week. Or if you’re lazy, dilute your stash with water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil (tea tree or lavender) for the concoction to last longer. The homemade tan removal pack will instantly reduce tanning, calm irritation, reduce redness and replenish the skin’s natural moisture.

5. Raw Papaya

How to remove tan from face – Raw Papaya

The cosmetic industry has placed this humble fruit on a pedestal since time immemorial. To reap the benefits of this all-in-one wonder, scoop out the pulp, mash and apply on your face, hands and legs or simply blend to make this tan removal pack at home. Papaya contains the enzyme papain that mildly exfoliates the outermost cell layer, improves skin texture making it more even, gets rid of pigmentation, banishes sun spots and de-clogs open pores.

How To Remove Tan From Hands

1. Yoghurt and Turmeric

How to remove tan from hands – Yoghurt & Turmeric

Wondering how you can combine these two to remove tan from your hands? Well, it’s simple. Mask it up! All you need is a bowl of chilled yoghurt and a pinch of turmeric to create this paste. Apply it on your hands before you shower and leave it on for at least 20 minutes for effective results. We suggest you use this paste every day for at least two weeks - all thanks to yoghurt that contains probiotics that boost skin brightening.

2. Potato

How to remove tan from hands – Potato

If you don’t love this vegetable already, add it to your list of effective home remedies to remove sun tan from your hands. All thanks to the enzyme named catecholase (present in potatoes, of course!), which helps brighten the skin tone. To top it off, you don’t need to mix it with anything - blend three potatoes and apply the paste on your tanned hands directly. You can even cut a potato in half and apply it directly to the affected area.

3. Gram Flour and Turmeric

How to remove tan from hands – Gram Flour and Turmeric

Let’s face it Turmeric is a magical ingredient, especially when you’re on the lookout for home remedies for tan removal from hands. But, it’s not just Turmeric that works its magic here - you have to thank the exfoliant properties of Gram Flour too. To make this paste, mix Turmeric, Gram Flour and Milk and add them to a bowl of Rose Water. Keep it on for 20 minutes every day before sleeping and witness visible results in just a few weeks.

4. Almonds

Sun tan removal - Almonds

Almonds might be the first thing that you have each morning. Here’s another reason for you to binge on almonds – sun tan removal; courtesy of their antioxidant properties. The steps are simple - soak them overnight, blend them with milk to make a smooth paste and apply it on the tanned areas to remove tan from hands. Keep it on for a while and rinse it off with cold water. Use this useful remedy every day for two weeks.

5. Raw Milk

How to remove tan from hands – Gram Flour and Turmeric

Don’t worry, we aren’t asking you to drink a gallon of raw Milk every day. And, no, you don’t need to rub it all over your tanned hands either. Mix it up with Turmeric and Lemon Juice and make your DIY natural tan removal remedy. Massage it on the tanned areas and wash it off after the paste has dried up. Of course, we don’t need to tell you that you have to thank the cleansing properties of milk for this excellent mixture.

How to Remove Tan From Feet

1. Curd and Honey

How to remove tan from feet – Curd & Honey

Raise your hand if your mother suggested curd and honey as a solution for all your beauty problems too. Like always, your mother is absolutely right - while curd works as an exfoliator, honey is loaded with antioxidant properties. Needless to say, their paste will remove tan from your legs in a jiffy and the added benefit is that it will also keep your skin moisturised. Use this thrice a week for best results.

2. Oats and Buttermilk

The thought of mixing Oats with Buttermilk may not be exciting but it sure is an effective solution for all your tan problems. We are sure you are already familiar with the exfoliant properties of oats. But, it’s Buttermilk that makes your skin soft and supple. Massage the mixture on your feet and legs for a few minutes and get set for tan-free skin. Follow this routine twice a week and you have found the best tan removal pack at home.

3. Cucumber and Lemon

Home remedies to remove tan using cucumber & lemon

Cucumber and Lemon are not just a great combination for salads. In fact, both of them make for a great homemade tan removal pack. Cucumber’s cooling properties combined with the bleaching effect of lemon will help you get rid of unwanted skin tan effectively. Mix cucumber juice and lemon juice with rosewater to make a paste or apply cool slices of cucumber to the tanned areas.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Tan removal at home using apple cider vinegar

And we thought we couldn’t praise Apple Cider Vinegar anymore. Add it to your list of solutions for how to remove tan from your hands and legs. You don’t even have to mix it with anything - Apple Cider Vinegar is an achiever on its own. Apply some vinegar on the affected aka tanned areas before you head for a shower. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse it off. Apply this regularly and see visible results in only a few days.

5. Masoor Dal

How to remove tan from feet – Masoor Dal

When it comes to pulses, masoor has made it to our list of favourites. Yes, another commonly found food item that also helps in sun tan removal. Simply mix it with honey to make a thick paste and apply it on your legs and feet. Leave it on for 25 minutes and after the paste has dried up, scrub it off gently with water. To remove tan effectively and quickly, use this remedy on the tanned areas at least three times a week.

Active Ingredients To Remove Tan

Niacinamide: Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3 that gained rising popularity around the 2020s. It’s found in multiple skincare and body care products to tackle issues like sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and tanning. It’s a versatile ingredient that suits all skin types. It can be used both during the daytime and nighttime. Niacinamide is also found in sunscreens to give the skin extra protection against UV damage

Nykaa Recommends:

Wishcare Niacinamide Oil Balance Sunscreen SPF 50 PA++++ For Oily Skin
Wishcare Niacinamide Oil Balance Sunscreen SPF 50 PA++++ For Oily Skin
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What we love: This sunscreen has a very thin, watery consistency that immediately absorbs into the skin without making your skin feel greasy. It has niacinamide to control oil production and keep hyperpigmentation at bay.

AHA: AHA ingredients like mandelic acid and glycolic acid are highly effective in mitigating signs of tanning both on the face and body. They are water-soluble exfoliants that work on the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells, and excess melanin production for an even-toned, tan-free complexion. If you want to an AHA serum, toner or moisturiser, apply it once to twice a week. Products like face wash and body wash can be used daily.

Nykaa Recommends:

Plum Bodylovin' Active-Witty 1% Glycolic Acid Body Scrub
Plum Bodylovin' Active-Witty 1% Glycolic Acid Body Scrub
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What we love: This scrub comes with both physical and chemical exfoliators to remove rough texture, bumps, and tan. It also has micro quartz crystals to give your body a shimmery glow.

Retinol: Retinol falls under the umbrella of retinoids. It’s the most common type of Vitamin A that is widely considered to be an effective ingredient to address signs of premature ageing, body acne, and tanning. It gently exfoliates the skin to aid new skin cell generation.

Nykaa Recommends:

The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane
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What we love: This Ordinary serum has 0.5% retinol which makes it perfect for beginners. Since it can also be a potent ingredient, the serum is formulated with squalane, a plant-based moisturiser to offset the potency of retinol and soften the skin.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant derived from ascorbic acid. It fights sun damage from harsh UV rays and gives the skin a healthy glow. It also targets signs of hyperpigmentation like sun spots and tanning.

Nykaa Recommends:

Moody Vitamin C Body Serum Lotion
Moody Vitamin C Body Serum Lotion
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Salicylic Acid: Unlike AHAs, salicylic acid is a BHA that is an oil-soluble chemical exfoliant. It goes deep into the layers of the skin to remove tan, dead skin cells, acne, pollution, and grime.

Nykaa Recommends:

MCaffeine 2% Salicylic Acid Anti Acne Face Wash
MCaffeine 2% Salicylic Acid Anti Acne Face Wash
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What we love: This gel-based face wash is perfect for oily, acne-prone skin. Apart from salicylic acid, it also has matcha extracts that are rich in antioxidants, and niacinamide to reduce breakouts and sun damage.

Tips To Avoid Tanning Your Skin

  • Wear Sunscreen Daily: It’s not just about applying SPF 30 or more once in the morning, but ensuring you re-apply every couple of hours. If you’re wearing makeup, opt for a stick or powder sunscreen for seamless re-application.
  • Sunglasses and Full-Sleeved Clothes: If you’re prone to getting sunburnt, go for full-sleeved clothes and sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin. Choose dark and bright-coloured clothes as they tend to absorb more UV rays.
  • Hats or Caps: Protect your head and face from sun rays with a hat or cap when outdoors. Walk along the shade and avoid stepping out when the sun is at its peak.

FAQs On Skin Tanning

• Does tanning cause wrinkles and sagging skin?

Yes, overexposure to the sun’s rays can break down the collagen in your skin, leading to the development of premature signs of skin ageing.

• Do certain medications make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation?

Allergy medications, birth control pills, and certain antibiotics can make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. If you notice your skin getting burnt or easily tanned, consult your doctor.

• Do I need to get a tan for a healthy dose of vitamin D?

A nutritious diet and small amounts of sun exposure is enough to ensure optimal levels of vitamin D. In case you feel you’re not getting enough, consult your doctor.

While getting a li’l tan does no harm, if you’re planning to spend a lot of time under the sun, you’ll probably need to load up on sunscreen. Plus, be prepared to be met with tan lines that can last for up to a month. If you’re looking for a quick solution to minimise the appearance of skin tanning, give our home remedies a shot.


While we all tan from time to time, regular, deliberate tanning can have adverse effects on the skin. Hence, protecting yourself from harmful UVA and UVB rays is a must. First and foremost, adequate application and reapplication of sunscreen is vital if you’re stepping outdoors. And if you do still get tanned, there are a bunch of remedies available to reverse this phenomenon. From household hacks to topical applicants, anti-tanning solutions are plenty. Besides, you can avoid tanning by covering your skin with full-sleeved clothes and wearing a hat.

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