We are almost at the end of the summers, and if you’re someone who loved spending a lot of time outdoors, you have got a bigger worry on your hands. How to get rid of all the tan that is now making your complexion disastrous? The summer sun can be tough and unforgiving on the skin. No matter how much sunscreen you apply or even avoid noon hours, you will end up with some amount of tanning. While the market and salons are full of products and treatments claiming to even out your complexion and taking care of all the tanning, you can do the same at home with a simple kitchen ingredient for no cost at all.
We are talking about making use of the magical properties of lemon when it comes to saying goodbye to sun-damaged skin texture. Women have been using lemon juice for skin lightening for a very long time. Apart from the fact that the use of lemon for de-tanning is cost-effective, it is also completely natural. So while you will be getting rid of tan, you will not be exposing your skin to any harsh chemicals.
But before we proceed to our list of various ways in which you can use lemon for skin lightening, let’s first understand what happens to our skin during tanning and how exactly lemon works against it.
What is Sun Tanning?
When exposed to the sun’s damaging UV rays for a long duration, our skin goes into protection mode and starts producing extra melanin. Melanin is a pigment/ chemical that helps absorb extra UV radiation and makes our skin darker or tanned.
To avoid getting tanned, we need to reduce our exposure to the sun and also wear good sunscreen when outdoors. Increased levels of pollution only add to our woes. But no matter how much protection we take, we will always have some degree of tanning. (1)
Our skin also loses its moisture content because of prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The result is dull skin.
How can Lemon Help?
Lemon juice contains about 6% citric acid. It is what gives the lemon its distinctive taste. Lemons are also rich in vitamin C. Not just the color, but everything about lemon spells freshness. And we need that same freshness on our skin too!
The composition of lemon juice, especially citric acid that naturally bleaches, makes it an excellent remedy against any discoloration or pigmentation caused by scars, acne, or sun damage. Not just the face, it can also be applied on the elbows and knees to get rid of discoloration.
The citric acid present in lemon acts as an exfoliator and helps get rid of the dead cells from the skin. Lemon also acts as a bleaching agent. It helps fade tanning by reducing melanin present in the skin. Lemon also contains alpha-hydroxy acid that not only exfoliates the skin but also moisturizes it.
In a nutshell, lemon acts as a natural bleaching cum exfoliation miracle. Now let’s proceed to the various ways you can use lemon to remove tan from the skin.
1. Diluted Lemon Water
Squeeze out the juice of half a lemon and dilute it with an equal quantity of water. Dab a cotton ball into this solution and apply it all over your face. If you find it too tingling or irritating, apply it to the pigmented areas. Leave it on the skin for 10 to 20 minutes to dry. Rinse off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry. Repeat it daily or on every alternate day to see good results. Do not step out in the sun with lemon juice on your face, as it can cause an allergic reaction. (2)
This method will help lighten your skin and also regulate sebum production. Less oil automatically makes your skin appear brighter.
2. Lemon Rind Scrub
Lemon rind acts as an excellent exfoliator and helps you get rid of dead cells from the upper layer of the skin. Just grate some lemon rind and mix it with a few drops of lemon juice and water. Then, use it as a facial scrub. This will not only help in skin lightening but will also give you a glowing complexion.
3. Curd, Lemon Juice, and Turmeric Face Mask
Curd helps treat blemishes; turmeric fights against the root cause of blemishes, and lemon is a natural bleaching agent. When they come together, they guarantee brighter and radiant skin. Mix one teaspoon of curd with the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of turmeric. Wash your face and apply this mask. Leave it on for about fifteen minutes. Wipe with a washcloth dipped in warm water. Follow up with a splash of cold water.
4. Sugar, Honey, and Lemon Scrub
This is a magical scrub that helps lighten the skin and adds a glow to it by exfoliating. Both lemon and honey help in skin lightening. Sugar crystals help exfoliate the skin and get rid of the dead cells from the top layer of the skin.
In a bowl, mix a teaspoon of sugar with the juice of half a lemon and half a teaspoon of honey. Dampen your skin and scrub it with the above paste. Leave it on for about five minutes and rinse off with warm water. Doing this twice a week will give you blemish-free and lighter skin.
5. Sandalwood and Lemon Juice Mask
Mix one teaspoon of sandalwood powder with a few drops of lemon juice and a few drops of cucumber juice. Wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser and apply this paste generously all over. Leave it on to dry for about fifteen minutes. Rinse off with cold water and dab your face dry. These three ingredients have a unique role to play here – sandalwood naturally improves your complexion, lemon and cucumber juice helps lighten the skin.
6. Lemon and Rosewater
Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with 5 tablespoons of rosewater and apply it all over the face at bedtime. Rinse off the next morning and see your skin glowing. While lemon juice lightens the skin, rosewater calms down any irritation. However, make sure to use organic rosewater to see maximum results.
7. Tomato and Lemon Juice
Tomatoes contain lycopene and antioxidants that act as a natural sunscreen and help fight cellular damage. When mixed with lemon juice, the mixture can do wonders to remove tan from your skin. Mix some tomato pulp with lemon juice and apply it all over your face. Rinse off with cold water after 15 minutes. Do this twice a week to get your original complexion back.
A Word of Caution
Experts recommend that lemon should not be used undiluted on the skin as it can irritate, especially sensitive skin. It should always be diluted with water or another natural ingredient. Also, remember to wash it off completely from the skin before stepping out. If some residue of lemon is left on the skin, it can cause rashes or itching. If you already have irritated or bruised skin, avoid lemon juice as it can aggravate the condition.
The summer sun can be harsh and unforgiving on the skin. If you’re someone who loves to spend time outdoors, you’re bound to get some amount of tanning no matter how much sunscreen you use. While there is no shortage of drugstore products that claim to even out your complexion and fade away tanning, why not first try something from our kitchen shelf that works equally well. Lemon is a perfect natural ingredient that does a perfect job of removing tan from the skin. Citric acid and Vitamin C present in lemon make it an excellent skin lightening agent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the fastest way to get rid of tan?
There is no fastest way to get rid of tan. Any skin tan removal ingredient or treatment takes at least a month to show any good results. But all this while, don’t forget to wear protective clothing and sunscreen to protect against the sun.
What works better against tan – home remedies or chemical creams?
There is no sure shot way to tan removal. It is a slow and tedious process. We recommend you start with home remedies first as they don’t have any adverse effects. In case they don’t give you good results, consult a dermatologist for some suggestions. You can also try some over-the-counter creams for tan removal. Just make sure to read the ingredients list.
Can I use lemon on my sensitive skin?
Yes, you can, but remember, moderation is the key here. First, do a patch test to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction to lemon juice. Then, use only diluted lemon juice on the skin. Finally, always remember to rinse off any lemon residue from the skin before stepping out in the sun, as it can further irritate your skin.