Skin tanning is also known as Sun tanning is the darkening or tanning of the skin color.Mostly exposure to UV rays(Ultra Violet radiations) from the Sun causes skin tanning.But some artificial sources like tanning bed, windburn, reflected light can also cause skin tanning.
Some people use chemical products which can produce a tanning effect without exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Chlorine water as well as exposure to sun will make your skin tanned in the swimming pool.
Chlorine tanning your skin is a very common issue with swimmers. It is just an irritant that can react with your skin and create rashes, dry skin etc.
Moderate exposure to the sun contributes to the production of vitamin D by the body, but excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays has detrimental health effects, including sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer, as well as depressed immune system function and accelerated aging of the skin.
Frequent exposure to the sun increases production of melanin (the skin’s pigment that gives color to the skin).Melanin helps protect the skin from sun’s radiation. As melanin is dark in color, the skin becomes dark in color, or tanned on sun exposure. Apart from tanning, the skin is also exposed to harmful ultraviolet radiation that leaves a long-term damage on the skin.
Unlike in Western countries where most are fond of a tanned appearance people in Eastern countries (India,China,Korea,etc.) do not favor this look.They consider it unaesthetic and unattractive.People who deliberately tan their skin by exposure to the sun engage in sun bathing.
What is skin?
Human skin is the covering of the body’s surface that both provides protection and receives sensory stimuli from the external environment.
The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat,and cold.
Skin has three layers: The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.
The dermis, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands. The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.
The skin’s color is created by special cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. Melanocytes are located in the epidermis.
Skin in Ayurveda
The skin is regarded as mirror of an individual's inner health.Ayurveda has a very different approach to skin care from modern medicine.
Ayurveda describes seven distinct layers of the skin, each with its own structure and function. The layers are designed so that each layer provides support to the layers above it.
The skin as a whole is able to effectively perform its overall functions when all the layers are healthy and balanced.Skin is the matruj avayava i.e.( derived from mother). It’s also known as upadhatu (secondary tissue product) of rakta dhatu (blood).
7 layers according to sushrut samhita are as follows
Avabhasini:This is the outermost layer. It reflects the complexion and the quality of the Rasa Dhatu (nutrient fluid, the first of the seven tissues of the body). It also acts as a mirror: it indicates whether the physiology as a whole is balanced or imbalanced, and whether there is inner health or disorder. The avabhasini layer also reflects the aura of the individual-if there is inner bliss, it shows on this layer.
Lohita: This layer supports the outermost layer. It indicates the quality of Rakta Dhatu (blood). If there is ama (impurities) in the blood, it impacts the aura of the outer layer and accentuates sensitivity to the sun. The color of this layer resembles molten iron.
Shweta: This is a white layer, and it provides balance to skin color, lightening the darker colors of the inner layers.
Tamra: This layer nurtures the upper layers of the skin. It supports the immune system. This is the layer that helps the skin perform its function of being a barrier. Skin infections reflect an imbalance in this layer. It is copper-colored.
Vedini: This fifth layer sensually links the skin to the rest of the body. It is the center for transformation of sensation-feeling of pain, for example.
Rohini: This layer supports healing and regeneration. Imbalance in this layer retards healing and the disappearance of scars over time. A balanced diet, rich in nutritional value, supports the rohini layer.
Mamsadhara: This innermost layer is the platform for the skin's stability and firmness. When this layer is in balance, the skin looks young and supple. A skin product that has a vayasthapana effect nourishes this layer to help retard the aging process.
Ayurvedic formulations for the skin, both internal and external, seek to combine herbs to positively influence multiple layers of the skin. According to ayurveda, a number of factors determine skin health and youthfulness, and these include proper moisture balance (Kapha in balance), effective functioning of the metabolic mechanisms that coordinate all the various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin (Pitta in balance), and efficient circulation of blood and nutrients to the different layers of the skin (Vata in balance).
Waste products of the body tissues are also involved in skin health. For instance sweat, the waste-product of fat production, helps to purify and refine the skin.
How Skin Tanning Occurs?
These are of two types Ultraviolet rays from the sun these are UVA and UVB.UVA penetrates the lower layer of epidermis whereas UVB penetrates the upper layer of epidermis (Skin). Skin tanning occurs because of UVA radiations from the Sun. UVA triggers the melanocytes that produce melanin which is a brown pigment responsible for causing skin darkening. Melanin actually protects the skin from burning. Tanning in dark skin is more than the lighter skin because the former produces more melanin. As UVA rays can move very deep inside the skin and these can cross the protective layer of epidermis to reach the inner dermis layer of the skin.
Tanning can also cause longer-term health effects. Being exposed to UV radiation can cause your skin to age more quickly and can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. There is also scientific evidence that exposure to UV radiation weakens the immune system.
Modern methods to remove tanning
Skin exfoliation, Microdermabrasion,Chemical peels,Laser etc are some of the modern treatments used to remove tanning
Externally make-up is also used to hide tanning. Sunscreens with chemicals are also prescribed to protect and prevent from tanning. So instead of opting for those expensive over-the-counter creams, cosmetic products and harsh treatments you can try some natural remedies. There are many simple natural treatments that can lighten a sun tan and restore healthy skin without any side-effects.
Skin should be given due care and attention.If the skin is not cared properly and neglected it will suffer from premature aging, become dull and blemished. One needs to keep in mind that there is nothing that can help remove a tan overnight. It will take at least a week. After getting a sun tan, it is not easy to bring your skin back to a normal state very fast but with patience and care it can be done.
Want to have that perfectly glowing skin but not sure what to do about it? Well, the answer lies in your own surroundings! We often fail to realize the importance of the things that are easily available to us the biggest example being ‘nature’ itself. Just look around and you will find that there are numerous valuable herbs and plants that have endless therapeutic and rejuvenating properties that could be a boon to your skin.
Given below are some of the best things used to reduce tanning naturally
Sandalwood (Chandan)-The key ingredient in many Ayurvedic skin-care treatments, Sandalwood is effective in treating scrapes, rashes, blemishes, acne, and other common skin problems. When used externally, the oil and paste of Sandalwood has a calming, cooling effect on the body. It is bitter, sweet, astringent and cooling in nature, and helps balance the body after overexposure to the sun. Sandalwood powder can be made into a paste, lotion or soap for cleansing and hydrating the skin. It has great skin lightening properties.
Aloe Vera (Ghritkumari)-Aloe Vera has been well known for centuries for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, healing and cooling properties. It promotes healing of any kind, be it a skin wound, acne, burn, scald, blisters, insect bites, rashes, urticaria, allergic reactions or dry skin. The gel of this plant helps to protect the outer layers of the skin, keeps the skin cool and reduces inflammation. You can directly use the gelatinous juice by simply breaking a leaf into two. Otherwise, you can substitute it with packaged Aloe Vera gel. The plant grows easily in a pot, so having it at home can be very handy.
Coconut Water: With all the innumerable qualities that coconut water has, it’s also very helpful in removing skin tan. It works magic for your skin inside out. Drink it every day or apply the white fleshy portion of a tender coconut (mashed) and keep it for 15 minutes
Buttermilk-It is another proven recipe to fade the sun tan. Wash you face with Buttermilk regularly for a few days and you would notice the difference. Being natural astringent it tones the skin and is ideal for oily to combination skin. You can also apply buttermilk on your skin twice daily, for about 20 minutes each time. This will cool the skin and help revitalize.
Almonds -almonds will cleanse, scrub and lighten your skin tone. They are another effective but slightly costly way of ensuring lighter tan free skin. Soak 2-3 almonds overnight in cold milk, peel the skin and make a paste out of these. Apply on skin, leave for some time and wash it off. The results are miraculous.
Lemon-lemon is great for curing sun tanned skin due to its natural bleaching properties. You can simply apply some fresh lemon juice on the affected skin area and allow it to dry before washing the area with water.
Yogurt- is very effective in minimizing a sun tan as it cools the skin as well as reduces redness and tightens the pores. Simply apply some fresh yogurt on your skin daily before taking a bath. For best results, add tomato juice and lime juice to the yogurt.
Potato- Raw potato is an excellent remedy for sun tanned skin. Surprisingly, it is rich in vitamin c and hence, works as natural bleach. It also helps soothe sunburn. Peel the skin off 1-2 medium-sized potatoes, cut them into chunks and put them in a blender to make a paste. Apply the paste generously all over the affected skin area. Let it dry for about 30 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. For best results, can add some lemon juice to the potato paste before applying it. Potato is also effective against pimples and blackheads make it an ideal ingredient for oily skin.
Gram Flour-Gram flour is very useful in treating a sun tan as it helps remove dead skin cells and leaves your skin bright and young. Mix the gram flour in water and rub it all over the affected skin area. Wait 20 minutes before washing if off with water. Do this twice a week for a few months. For best results, use rose water instead of plain water. You can also mix some lime juice and yogurt into the paste.
Honey -Honey can do wonders for your skin. Honey acts as an anti-aging agent, and moisturizer. Additionally, it contains anti-microbial properties and natural antioxidants which help to protect the skin from sun rays and facilitates the skin’s ability to rejuvenate and refresh exhausted looking skin, thus leaving it soft and silky. Honey also has the ability to absorb and retain moisture and this helps in keeping the skin well hydrated, fresh and supple.
Cucumber-Cucumber juice also helps reduce a sun tan. Cucumbers have a cooling effect that soothes the skin and helps eliminate a suntan. The vitamin C in cucumbers also will help keep the skin well moisturized. Mix two tablespoons of fresh cucumber juice and one tablespoon of lime juice. Add a pinch of turmeric to it. Mix it well and apply it on the affected skin. Leave it for 30 minutes and then wash it off with water. You can also rub freshly cut slices of cucumber on your skin.
Milk-Milk or milk cream can also be used for treating sun tanned skin. Put a small amount of milk in a bowl and add a pinch of turmeric and some lemon juice. Apply this solution on the affected areas and allow it to dry completely. Then wash it off with water. This will give you an instant relief from a sun tan. You can also soak a pinch of saffron in fresh milk cream overnight. In the morning, stir it well and apply it on the affected skin areas. This will lighten your complexion and make your skin glow.
Oatmeal Powder-Oatmeal has skin-soothing properties and also works as a wonderful exfoliate to cleanse the pores. Thus, oatmeal powder can be used in a couple of ways to reduce a sun tan.
Tomato: Tomato should be rubbed raw on the skin; it is very effective in shrinking open pores and toning the skin.
Banana: The fruit has a softening effect on the skin and when mashed and mixed with egg, the application helps soften the skin lending it a porcelain look.
Papaya: The benefits of this fruit on skin have perhaps been talked about since the time of our ancestors. Papaya is rich in antioxidants and contains a special enzyme called papain that can kill dead cells and cure skin impurities. The fruit papaya can be effective for soothing, toning and moisturizing your skin, which will leave your skin glowing naturally. Its natural properties will remove skin blemishes, pimples, dark patches and do much more! Applying the flesh of papaya on your skin can do wonders to your skin.
Useful combinations to diminish skin tanning
- For those who are lazy and those who are super busy, these face packs are the easiest and the quickest ones you will ever come across, and, they work wonders.
- A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi), chilled yoghurt (dahi/curd) and 1 teaspoon of lime juice (nimboo) – mix them and apply on the tanned area. Leave for 20 minutes before washing it off. 3 weeks of regular apply and your normal skin color will return.
- Mix a pinch of haldi with besan and pour enough water to make a paste. Rub the mixture all over your skin and wash it off.
- Mix equal proportion of lime juice and honey and apply directly on your face. Leave for 20 minutes before you wash it off with a mild soap.
- Buttermilk soothes and softens the skin. Make a pack by mixing a tablespoon of oats with buttermilk and apply it on your face or body to get rid of tanning. Oats also help in exfoliating the skin so this mixture is extremely beneficial.
- Apply a mixture of rose water, cucumber juice and a dash of lemon juice once a day. Lemon juice helps reduce the tan while rose water and cucumber work as cooling agents.
- One can also prepare a paste adding a pinch of turmeric, lemon juice and raw milk. Apply the mixture properly and wait till it dries. Wash it off with cold water.
- In olden days, granny used to rely on a mixture of gram flour, lime juice and curd to get a glowing skin. But one can use the mixture regularly to get rid of tanning
- To keep your knees, elbows and other patchy areas smooth and clean, apply fresh lemon juice. Keep it on for at least 15 minutes and wash it off.
- Mash Papaya with or without milk and apply it on your face. Leave it for a maximum of 5 minutes and then wash with cold water. It helps in reducing blemishes, black spots, evens out your skin tone and brings a glow on your face.
- Fresh coconut water makes the skin soft and fair. Using it twice in a day on hands and face can prove beneficial.
- Prepare a paste adding equal quantity of milk powder, lemon juice, almond oil and honey. Apply it on the affected portions for at least 20 minutes. It will help reduce tan. One can also store it for a week. If you have time, use it twice a day for better results.
- Sugar is considered as the best cleansing agent. Apply the mixture of sugar and lemon juice on your face and wash it after 20 minutes. Do this two or three times a week for fast results.
- Mix rice flour and curd. Massage this on the affected tanned area. It is generally applied on the face to reduce the facial skin tanning.
- Mix cucumber paste in lemon juice and fuller's earth. Keep this anti tan pack for 15 min and then wash with cold water.
- Mix equal amounts of sandalwood powder and pure turmeric powder. Add some rose water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it on for 30 minutes or until it dries. Wash it off using cold water. Do this twice a week.
- Soak almonds overnight and grind them into a fine paste the next morning. Add equal quantities of milk cream to the paste and apply on the affected area to make the skin fair.
- Mash the papaya pulp and massage the sun tanned area. Papaya is excellent for the skin and also helps in anti-aging.
- You can also make a paste with oatmeal powder, ground almonds, ground dried orange peel powder and milk. Apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it on for 30 minutes. Then wash it off with cold water.
- Mix two teaspoons of oatmeal with half a cup of ripe papaya and add a drop of honey. Apply the mask and wash off after twenty minutes.
- Mix five tablespoons of coconut oil with two teaspoons of almond oil. Add four teaspoons of sandalwood powder, and apply the mixture to the overexposed areas of your skin. You will notice a considerable improvement in your tan.
- Pure sandalwood oil can be used as a moisturizer on the face and body and is also great for massaging.
- For itchy skin, apply the mixture of one teaspoon of sandalwood with one teaspoon of turmeric and one teaspoon of lime juice. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes and rinse with cool water.
- For dark armpits, mix besan (gram flour), curd, lemon juice and little haldi (turmeric) into a paste. Apply it at least three times a week. Wash it off after half an hour.
- Crush the sesame seeds coarsely and powder the dried mint leaves. Mix them with a little honey and apply on the skin. Removes tan and produces an even color tone. Honey moisturizes and softens the skin.
Follow these rules….
- According to ayurveda it will be beneficial if you use ubtan regularly on your skin before bath instead of chemical soaps.
- Personal hygiene should be practiced by taking bath regularly.
- More and more women are learning about the potential problems associated with preservatives and other suspect chemicals in cosmetics. That's why the market in organic and natural beauty products is booming. Most conventional make-up you buy contains minerals and substances that are unhealthy for human skin. These substances include petro-chemicals, synthetic dyes, parabens and artificial fragrances. On the other hand, organic or natural makeup is made from minerals and organic plant extracts. The minerals in natural cosmetics provide the wearer with sun filters and the makeup itself does not clog pores or accelerate already existing skin conditions.
- Natural health and beauty products use natural preservatives, such as grapefruit seed extract, that won't affect your body. By using natural health and beauty products, you can eliminate many of the harmful chemicals and replace them with natural ingredients that not only protect you from harm, but can even be beneficial to your body. If possible try to use natural cosmetics for your skin.
- Avoid direct sun-exposure as much as possible, particularly during noon till about 3 pm. Even if sun exposure is unavoidable then do not forget to wear a broad-brimmed hat, use umbrella, wear sunglasses, wear tightly-woven clothes etc.
- Applying Aloe Vera gel on the skin prior to application of make-up can prevent the skin from drying.
- Application of sunscreen (natural) every day will significantly cut back on accumulated sun damage.
- To nourish your skin internally, drink three to four liters of water daily, eat fruits rich in vitamins and minerals like citrus fruits, melons, and moisturize (natural) heavily at night.
- You can give the skin a rub by using loofah, after applying oils, soap or ubtans. This helps to smooth-en rough skin and also improves blood circulation to the skin surface.
- For swimmers 6 am to 8 am or 6 pm to 10 pm is the best time to avoid damage caused by sun. Once you are out of the pool, wash off thoroughly with a mild soap/body wash. Wash your hair irrespective of you wearing a swim cap. Wear swimming goggles to protect your eyes.
Stay healthy !