June 23, 2018
How to remove tan from face?
What comes first in your mind, during vacations or holiday time. Most of us imagine ourselves spending time on beaches, basking in the sun, mountaineering, enjoying our day. But somewhere we end our vacations with tanned skin that stays with us long after the vacation is over. Vacation is fun until we realize that the skin has turned two shades darker due to suntan!
Sun is the universal life-giving force. Life cannot survive in any form without sunlight and its energy. It is the primary nourishment for life itself. However, too much exposure to the sun’s rays harms. In this blog, I will try to help you with your queries relating to suntan, such as How to remove tan from face?
Layers of Skin
Before understanding the tanning process, let me brief you about skin anatomy. As we all know, the skin is the largest organ of the body. It regulates our body temperature and permits the sensation of touch, heat and cold.
Our skin has 3 layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
It is the outermost layer of our skin. The prime function of the epidermis is to act as a physical and biological barrier to the external environment, protect from mechanical impacts and pressure, variations in temperature, micro-organisms, radiation, chemicals etc. It gives our skin its colour, for melanocytes that give melanin are present at the base layer of the epidermis.
The dermis is the layer of skin, which lies below the epidermis. It provides collagen and elasticity to the skin and hair follicles and sweat glands present in the dermis.
The hypodermis is also known as deeper subcutaneous tissue. Made up of fat and connective tissues.
What is Tanning?
Tanning is the process of skin pigment (melanin) in which it increases after exposure to the sun. This is the natural process of our body. When exposed to the sun, it helps you to protect from the sun like a shield. fter exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation, your skin colour gets darker from UV radiation. In foreign countries, artificial sources are used more than themself such as tanning lamps or tanning beds which are found indoors.
When and How do we understand that we have tanned skin? When you see 2 shades of variation over the body in skin colour, it is Tanning. The Fitzpatrick scale is the scale which describes our skin type and is the said standard scale followed everywhere in the world. This scale is a way to estimate the response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. As per Fitzpatrick skin types, Indians come under 4 or 5 types of skin. Fitzpatrick skin type 4- burns minimally and tan easily and 5th skin type rarely burns and tans easily.
Melanin cells in our body are of two types. They are Eumelanin and Pheomelanin cells. Eumelanin is a dark pigment that gives you black and brunette hair. Brown eumelanin and black eumelanin are two different types of eumelanin. Pheomelanin gives light pigment for example pheomelanin is found in the person who has red hair, and Pheomelanin concentrates over red areas of the skin such as the lips. In general, the more eumelanin in the skin, the darker skin will be.
Why do we tan?
Tanning is the process in which you see a change in your skin after exposure to the sun that means you will notice 2 shades of variation in your skin tone and uneven skin tone. These dual shades seen due to excess production of melanin in sun-exposed areas.
When skin cells exposed to the UV rays from the sun, they kick into protection mode. They distribute darker pigment cells (melanocytes) to those cells on the surface. As a protective mechanism, the pigment blocks UV radiation from further cell damage. The pigment gets piled on top of the cell’s nucleus, like an umbrella. Therefore, tanning is visible over the exposed part of the body.
People with lighter skin tones typically cannot create an adequate amount of melanin pigment, the amount that gets created isn’t as efficient, and therefore the exposed areas get skin burn.
How to remove tan from face?
Many do not wish for tanned skin, we are more comfortable with our natural skin tone. Photo pigmentation is more common in people with darker skin types as the amount of melanin pigment in their skin is more. Whereas pale or fair complexion doesn’t tan more easily, due to less melanin in the skin.
Many have the question in mind, how to remove tan from face? Whether male or female, both have the query of how to remove tan, especially from face? I will be guiding you a few home remedies and medical treatments to get rid of hyperpigmentation of skin due to tanning.
Home remedies for Tan
Long term sun exposure may lead to tanning. In this blog section, I will explain how to remove tan from face and get rid of tanning in some with the help of a few natural remedies.
Aloe vera gel
Aloe Vera Gel has a cooling property and helps to lighten the tan on the skin. With long term use, it helps decrease tanning. Aloe vera also helps moisturize the skin and prevent the peeling that sometimes happens with sunburns.
Sun-damaged skin gets relief after applying sandalwood powder The natural oils present in sandalwood help reduce suntan. It also helps soothe sunburn and with its cooling effect reduces the redness caused due to sunburn.
An age-old beauty secret used by our grandmoms to get rid of the suntan is the use of gram flour. Very easily available and affordable, it is an excellent skin lightener.
The enzyme papain present in papaya has skin-lightening properties that help remove sun tan and also helps reduce the visibility of scars and blemishes. Papaya enriched with vital vitamins and nutrients that can restore the skin’s natural health and repair the damage caused by harsh UV rays of the sun. Hence, you may apply mashed papaya all over the face to reduce the tan.
You may try these various home remedies. In some cases, it might show a very effective result and in some, it may lighten the skin to a certain extent.
You may alternately visit your Dermatologist, who will help you to get rid of tanned skin with the medical line of treatment.
Tan Removal Treatments
Tanning usually subsides on its own in 1 to 2 weeks. When it lasts for a longer period, then you may opt for a few treatment measures. Consult your nearby Dermatologist to understand the pigmentation. As per his/her advice, you may opt for topical depigmenting creams/serums, vitamin C serum and photoprotection with a good sunscreen. Tan removal treatments like pigment reducing peels; Lasers like Q switch lasers, fractional CO2 lasers may be advised if required. These range of treatments will help reduce the suntan effectively.
Moisturizing the skin or hydrating your skin plays an important role as it protects, moisturizes, and lubricates your skin. It helps replenish and retain the normal moisture content of the skin layers, keeping the skin soft and supple.
Electroporation treatment is advised, which helps easy penetration of a drug or serum to help reduce tanning. This penetration of drugs or serum done by passing a slight current. A microbiology technique in which an electrical field is applied to cells to increase the permeability of the cell membrane, thus allowing the serums to enter the cell.
3) Chemical peel
Chemical peels help in the exfoliation and regeneration of skin cells by removing tanned skin layers. Thus it helps in reducing pigmentation and parallelly the formation of new skin. Peels with different concentration strengths help treat dark and tanned skin. The chemicals peels available to remove sun tan are glycolic peel, lactic peel, azelaic acid etc. After the chemical peel procedure, ensure the application of sunscreen before you step out in the sun for photoprotection thus preventing further damage to the skin.
4) Microdermabrasion (MDA)
Microdermabrasion is a technique which helps in exfoliating dead skin cells which contain the excess melanin pigment. It promotes the regeneration of new cells more quickly than normal. The skin exfoliated by contact with an applicator that has a rough tip- probe along with vacuum. It allows dead skin cells to exfoliate gently, resulting in smoother lighter skin.
5) Q switch Nd: Yag laser
Melanin, produced by melanocytes, lies in the basal layer of the epidermis, which gives natural colour to the skin. The Q switch Nd: Yag laser beam of light helps to target the excess melanin on a deeper level. The pigment absorbs the laser energy which is released by Q switch Nd: Yag laser and then this pigment gets broken into particles within the skin’s tissues. Q switch laser reaches harder to reach deeper areas of skin where the products or peels are difficult to reach adequately. The procedure does not have a downtime and you may return to work immediately after. In a few cases, a mild redness is visible for a few hours.
6) Co2 laser
In Co2 treatment, the uppermost layer of the skin is ablated by creating a microscopic injury. It helps even out the skin tone and thereby, improves skin complexion. Use of the fractional CO2 laser may be considered to treat sun-damaged skin as well as for laser skin resurfacing and skin rejuvenation.
7) Face Pack
De-tan face packs help in removal of tanned skin cells accumulated in the skin after sun’s UV rays exposure. Face Packs with natural ingredients like papaya, lemon, and tomato or chemical ingredients like lactic acid lighten the upper layers of the skin and help reach a more even skin tone.
If the query in your mind is “how to remove tan from face immediately?” then I would like to inform you that the medical line of treatment has promising results. You will be able to notice visible results in less time. Depending on a person’s individual need and the extent of sun damage, a series of customized treatments can be planned, to help clear the tan and maintain a clearer even-toned radiant complexion.
How to prevent tanning of skin?
Melanocytes, located in the lower layer of the epidermis and produce melanin, get charged when exposed to UVB rays releasing additional melanin pigment. This causes the skin to darken on the exposed areas and is responsible for tanning.
UVA rays penetrate deeper into the dermal layer of skin. They slow down the action of collagen and elastin fibres. These collagen and elastin fibres in the skin are responsible for the normal, youthful appearance of skin. Exposure to UVA rays often leads to ageing signs like wrinkling, skin sagging, age spots, liver spots & photoaging. In brief, UVA rays can age us and UVB rays can tan us.
Longer sun exposure without photoprotection leads to further damage to the skin in terms of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation etc. To avoid these complications, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen on exposed areas of skin daily, throughout the year, even when indoors. Look out for ‘broad spectrum’ on the label, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
To protect the lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. When outdoors, reapply sunscreen on exposed areas more often, especially after swimming and heavy perspiration. Always remember the two hours reapply rule for adequate skin protection during the daytime.
Sunscreen works by blocking UV rays with a combination of physical and chemical sunscreen particles. Physical particles, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, reflect UV radiation from the skin. Chemical sunscreen gets absorbed into the skin, needs to be applied 30 minutes before going outdoors to let the contents be fully bonded to the skin.
Physical protection from the Sun
Limit the time of sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the intensity of the sun’s rays is utmost. Along with photoprotection, at all times with regular use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, ensure physical protection wherever possible like the use of a sun coat, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, shoes, long-sleeved shirts to protect the body from the harmful effects of sun exposure & to avoid tanning.
Hope you find the explanation informative in regards to sun tanning and how to remove tan from face. For any further information or queries, you are welcome to ask here.
Dr. Dhananjay Chavan