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How to Remove Tan (2020)

Edited By Vaishali , Reviewed By Deeksha

The onset of summer always brings a major dilemma for most of us. It is a package that comes with sweaty skin, oily hair and skin, and of course, skin tanning.

What haunts our minds are the never-ending skin troubles that even the market's best product can't resolve.

You may be applying a strong SPF sunscreen, but did you know that prolonged usage of these products can cause an impending impact on your skin?

So, how to get rid of a suntan without any side effects? Follow through this article and learn everything about sun tan removal.

How to Remove Tan

Why is the Sun Tan Our Enemy?

Our skin develops suntan when it gets exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun and results in skin pigmentation or producing a darker color on the skin surface. Tan removal is certainly not an easy procedure, and you cannot get rid of the tan lines overnight. 

However, without any intervention or remedies, the suntan starts to fade within a few days or weeks naturally, and the pigmentation becomes less prominent. It is a naturally-occurring process. Hence, you can count several days until the spot becomes unnoticeable.

Every day, our skin surface sheds away many dead skin cells and quickly replaces them with new ones. It results in the suntan fading over time as the skin naturally rejuvenates itself.

Here, we bring to your rescue, some home remedies, or clinically-approved products that can help you remove the tan quickly. This article will walk you through the simplest and safest methods, and some homemade remedies to get rid of the suntan.

We will also discuss the causes that lead to skin damage or extreme discoloration or pigmentation caused due to a suntan.

Methods to Remove a Sun Tan

Many sun tan removal products come with a measure of exfoliating the skin and maintaining a strict skincare routine until the spots become invisible. Even dermatologists recommend taking extreme care of the skin right after it gets exposed to the sun.

However, there is still not enough clinical research that suggests how to get rid of the suntan, but the methods are incredibly safe and have almost negligible side effects. By applying natural ingredients for homemade masks, you can get rid of the suntan.

How to Remove Sun Tan - Dermatologist Advice

Considering the diversity of skin types, you can also get several products in the market approved by dermatologists. It is always recommended to understand your skin tone and then proceed with the desired method because most of the remedies won't yield expected results for sensitive skin types.

People usually try a number of methods that help them remove the sun tan or tan lines from their face or body. Let us go through them one by one below:

Gentle Exfoliation

Exfoliation is always the first step in skincare, and the same rule goes with removing tan. 

Gently exfoliating the face or body will gradually remove pigmented skin cells from the outermost layer of your skin, reducing the tan appearance. You can try different types of exfoliation methods based on chemical or mechanical techniques.

  • Chemical exfoliation - In this method, you can use chemicals like alpha or beta hydroxy acids to easily dissolve pigmented dead skin cells.
  • Mechanical exfoliation - In this method, you can use extremely gentle sponges or brushes to remove your body's dead skin cells.

For people having sensitive or dry skin, chemical exfoliators, or soft cloth can work best. For people having oily skin, chemical or mechanical exfoliation methods will work best.

Note: Regardless of your skin type, make sure to gently exfoliate your skin to remove the tan and apply your favorite moisturizer. Do not overdo it because it can lead to spot breakout, and you will end up harming your skin.

Skin lightening products

This is not always recommended, but if you want to get rid of your tan real soon, you can trust quality skin lightening products.

Some dermatologist-recommended products are most effective in removing the marks from your skin; you have to apply them several times in a day. While purchasing any of these products make sure it contains the following ingredients- 

  • 2% hydroquinone
  • Glycolic acid
  • Azelaic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Retinoids
  • Kojic acid

You can get skin lightening products at nearby drug stores or online stores, but remember to check for their ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, consult your dermatologist before using any of these products.

Other Ways of Sun Tan Removal

Getting rid of suntan is not an easy task. Therefore, to get it done effectively, you require the best tools (products). Let us understand the self-tanning removal products and how you can use them for your skin.

  • Shower - If the tan on your face or body gets streaky or fine lines of color are visible to you, it is recommended that you take a quick shower and rinse the spot with a mild soap or a face wash after applying the product. It will help you get an even skin tone instantly, and you can also use a gentle exfoliating product or a wet washcloth to exfoliate your skin properly.

  • Baking Soda - If you are combating self-tanning, then it is essential to understand that it dyes the outer layer of your skin, and gentle exfoliation will only help you remove the dead skin cells and reduce the suntan appearance. For this, you have to combine baking soda in equal proportions of water to make a thick paste. Gently scrub your skin in a circular motion and rinse with cold water after some time.

Note: If your skin feels irritated, rinse immediately. Also, baking soda may irritate sensitive skin, so you should do a patch test before applying.

  • Nail Buffer - Nail buffer is a hardcore sun tan removal product, and you only have to use it on tight or callused areas of your skin like that of hands, neck, or feet. When you see the extreme tan or resulting deposition on your skin, buff away the collected matter from your skin very gently.

  • Self-Tan Remover - If you do not want to get your hands dirty with all the eatables, then self-tan remover will work wonders. You can get several products, including soap, creams, body lotions, exfoliating cream, gloves, etc. to remove tan at home. All you have to do is perform minimal research before making the purchase.

Easy tan removal at Home

If you want to remove the suntan, self-tan, or tanning lines, trust us, nothing else can help you better than your kitchen.

This implies the remedies which you can easily try at home with limited ingredients. Listed below, are the best methods that you can try from the comfort of your home, along with the precautions to be taken:

How to Remove Tan at Home - 3 Ways to Remove Sun Tan

Face tan removal

Your face's skin is most delicate, and that is why you have to be very careful with the ingredients that you are applying on your face and then the rest of your body. The ingredients would mostly be the same. However, there will be a difference in their ratio and key determinants.

Let us know some of the best ingredients or combinations that can help you to remove tan from your face:

Lemon juice + Honey

Lemon is the star ingredient (because of its perfect acidic nature) to remove tan from your body. Lemon is also known to be a natural bleacher.

If you have sensitive or dry skin, do not apply lemon directly. Add a balancing ingredient like honey. You can make a fine paste of both of these ingredients and apply them on your skin.

Keep this paste on for at least 15 minutes and then shower or rinse it with regular water. You can apply this mask on your skin twice a week.


Yogurt + Gram flour

If you are a big fan of 'Nani Maa ke nuskhe,' this is probably your go-to. Yogurt, as a probiotic, is rich in lactic acid and fat content that will help you to cool off your skin and hydrate it adequately.

Similarly, gram flour will help you to exfoliate the skin to reveal its natural glow gently. For effective sun tan removal at home, simply add equal proportions of yogurt and gram flour and mix them well.

Apply this mixture to your face (it will work equally well for the body) and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wear this mask thrice a week for at least four to five weeks to completely eliminate your tan.

yogurt-gram flour


Tomato is probably a one-person army, and it already has a huge fan following for achieving plump skin. It is chockablock with antioxidants and rich in lycopene.

Tomato also functions as a natural sunscreen that helps you combat free radicals' damage to your skin. All you have to do is take a red tomato, cut it into thick slices, or extract its pulp.

Gently rub the slices or apply the pulp on the affected area and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Gently rinse your skin with water and repeat this twice a week for at least two weeks.


Aloe Vera

Whether it is skincare or hair care, aloe vera is the ultimate beauty elixir. The pulpy green plant is labelled as the most versatile beauty ingredient.

Just extract the juice of a freshly-cut aloe vera leaf and apply it instantly or store it in a clean bottle for up to a week.

If required, you can dilute the juice with rose water, essential oils, lemon juice, or plain water, and store it in your fridge.

Before taking a shower, you can apply this mixture on your skin and let it rest for 20 minutes. It is good for sun tan removal, but you can also use it regularly to get flawless skin. 

aloe vera


The goodness of papaya is highly stressed upon across many beauty experts, and it works well for the skin and hair.

Papaya contains papain that is capable of mildly exfoliating your skin and lightening its texture to help you get rid of pigmentation and sunspots.

Simply scoop the pulp and blend it with raw milk or rose water to make a runny paste. Apply this on your face as a tan removal pack for satisfying results.


Body tan removal

The ingredients and tan removal masks mentioned in this section work equally good for the face, but you have to analyze your skin type and the reaction of the products on it to get better results.

These ingredients are pretty hard on your skin, and that's why they are not generally recommended solely for the face. However, they can work wonders for your body tan removal.


Yogurt + Turmeric

Mix equal quantities of yogurt and turmeric to make a thick paste and apply evenly on your hands, neck, and other affected areas.

Leave it on your skin for at least 25 minutes to get effective results and then take a quick shower. This pack has zero side effects, and you can apply it daily for at least two weeks.

Both of these ingredients also act as skin brightening agents.



Potato tends to have natural skin brightening properties, and it is equally efficient for sun tan removal at home. Just chop it into two thick pieces or slices or extract its juice.

It is effortless to apply, and you can do it either in pieces or as juice according to your convenience. Apply it directly on the affected area and rinse with normal water after 20 minutes.

You can also apply the potato for brightening the skin tone.

milk-baking soda

Raw Milk + Baking Soda

This combination is also a personal favorite for skin cleansing. All you need is 2 - 3 tablespoons of raw milk and half a teaspoon of baking soda.

Apply this on the tanned areas of your body and rinse with regular water.

Or you can also add turmeric and lemon juice to raw milk (skip baking soda if it is not suitable for you) and massage your skin gently.

apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a one-time investment, and for all the recent or upcoming skin or hair troubles, you will have an ultimate solution.

The best advantage of Apple Cider vinegar is that it is an achiever, and you do not have to complement it with any other ingredient.

Simply apply it using cotton balls and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse gently with cold water. Apply it regularly and get visible results in a week.

masoor dal

Masoor Dal + Rice

No, we are not talking about the meal. Both of these ingredients have natural skin lightening properties, and you can either use them as exfoliators or as masks for sun tan removal.

Wash the ingredients and soak them in water for a few minutes. Blend them and add honey and lemon juice to make a thick paste. Apply on your skin and scrub it off very gently to remove the tan.

Note: If you are willing to rely on home remedies, you should research, analyze your skin type, and how it responds to the applied products. You can also interchange these products to get the best results for your skin and easily remove tan at home.

For example, just use the base ingredients of gram flour, honey, yogurt, or add other ingredients to them as desired. Or take any fruit pulp or aloe vera as the base ingredients and add gram flour, rice powder, rose water, or lemon juice.

All these remedies will not show the results instantly. You have to be consistent with them.

To get the most effective results, in general, you have to apply these masks twice a week for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Also, if you do not have sensitive skin, you can use these suntan removal remedies for the face as well as the body.

Additional Tips to keep sun Tan away

If you want to experiment with your sun tan removal packs, the list of ingredients is never-ending. Every fruit you have on your plate can be applied on your skin, and you know the giants of beauty: gram flour, yogurt, Multani mitti, sandalwood powder, aloe vera gel, rose water, and the list goes on.

All these ingredients not only remove suntan but will also help you get radiant skin. Hence, you can easily get rid of the suntan at your home with the available ingredients. Additionally:

  • Always carry a scarf, cloth, or an umbrella to cover yourself when you step out
  • Avoid sun exposure or outdoor activities during the peak period of 10 am to 5 pm
  • Always, always wear sunscreen and sunglass when you step out
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids (avoid soda) to keep your body hydrated
  • Wear light and bright clothes and avoid wearing dark-colored clothes in the morning or noon
  • Always wash the exposed area with plain water.


The best practice to remove tan is 'patience' because you will probably overdo the measures in the absence of patience and end up causing more damage to your skin. You can proceed with gentle exfoliation paired with moisturization and apply clinically-approved skin lightening creams or products to reduce sun tan at home. 

If you are passionate about working on your skin, head to the kitchen, and grab the ingredients mentioned in this article to make your favorite mask. Home remedies work equally well to remove suntan, and they are even safer to apply.

If you are not certain about safe tan removal, then it is in your best interest to consult a dermatologist before trying any of these measures.


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About the Author

She is a budding copy editor as well as a freelance content writer. So far, she has proofread around 500+ articles, indicating her stronghold on the profession. If she's not in front of her laptop, you'll probably find her watching Netflix. She has a very keen interest in beauty and personal care products. She likes to stay updated about the latest beauty products in the market. Know More About Vaishali

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