So here I am to fulfill a teeny weenie promise I made in this post: Sun, Sand and Sea.
A first hand account on how to get rid of the awful tan most of us Indians get during our beach vacations – like I mentioned in my referenced post, while the whole world seems to turn flattering shades of blushed pink and glowing golden, we turn horrible tones of brown and black :)!
(P.S. I am no beauty expert, I googled a lot, went back to the proverbial grandma’s book, and finally tried the more convenient options. What I write here may not be the most effective and efficient treatments but they did work for me :))
Okay, first a few things that you must do to ensure that the sun’s darkening effect on your skin melanin is the minimum:
- Choose a good sunscreen for your face and your body. Most of us are guilty of taking extra care of the face and hardly anything for the rest of the body.
On a day out at the beach, I recommend Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock with an SPF of 50+ for the face and body. I used this and the damage to my face was kept to a minimum.
(Note: For the body, I had used Biotique Sandalwood Sunscreen lotion with an SPF of 100, but alas it was not at all effective.)
- Re-application of sunscreen to all exposed parts every 2-3 hours is a must. I know this seems tough; In the middle of a picturesque cruise, an exciting beach volleyball game or a romantic day out with your significant other the last thing on your mind is messy sunscreen! But girls, it’s all for the greater good!
- After the day is over and you are back, have a bath with warm water. Then, dip cotton wool in cold (preferably raw) milk and massage all over the exposed areas, including your face. Wash off after five minutes. Splash your face with rose water. Before sleeping, massage your body and face with a good oil-free moisturizer or skin milk (if you feel your skin is sticky), or olive oil (if you feel your skin is dry).
If one follows all of the above recommendations, sun-burn will hardly become a cause of worry. However, if you are like me – super lazy, end up doing only the first thing on the list above and then are reduced to fire fighting, welcome to the club and read on.
On an extended vacation, it is very difficult to take time out for skin care and only when you return after the long haul does your skin start begging for attention cure. But, there is good news - it is usually not so late by then.
So I came back with an awful tan – my arms looked like I was wearing a chocolate brown sleeve, my face, though much better, had an unmistakable russet hue to it. And this is a skin care regime I followed for a little less than 3 months to get rid of the vacation baggage on my skin!
Sounds like a lot of time? Actually not! Most of the stuff I wanted to do was restricted to weekends as work left me with little time over weekdays. If you are determinate, and have the time, go ahead and follow this daily to get early results!
(Warning: For your spouse and family, it's going to be Halloween time with all the face and body masks so brace them well beforehand ;))
- Skin that is badly tanned tends to crinkle and peel off in layers. At all times, ensure that your skin is well moisturized. Use good quality aloe vera gels and crèmes for best results.
- Continue using a good sunscreen at all times during the day irrespective of the amount of sun exposure.
- For the face: Apply the following packs every alternate day.
(If after a few days, you feel your skin is dry or stretched, massage your face with Olive oil or Almond oil at night)
Pack 1: Take a full teaspoon of fuller’s earth (multani mitti) and mix it with lemon juice and rose water (for acne-prone skin)/honey (for dry skin). Apply this paste to your face and neck, and leave it on till its dry. Wash off with luke warm water.
Pack 2: Take a full teaspoon of gram flour (besan), a pinch of turmeric, lemon juice, few drops of honey and mix it with milk (for acne prone skin)/curd (for dry skin). Apply this paste to your face and neck, and leave it on till its dry. Wash off with luke warm water.
- For the body: Do the following every alternate day:
1. Massage your body with olive oil – remember to not use too much oil – apply a quantity that is easily absorbed. Leave on for 1 hour. Then apply lemon juice all over the exposed areas. You can rub in lemon halves too for ease of application. Leave on for 20 minutes and then go for your bath.
2. Make a body pack with gram flour (besan), turmeric, lemon juice, honey, milk/curd and apply it all over your body. Leave on for half an hour till dry and then go for your bath.
Though all this sounds a little tedious and messy, believe me it works! I got rid of my tan without having to subject my skin to the awful chemical bleaching agents!
Let me know if this works for you and also feel free to share your de-tanning secrets :)!
(An aside: I always tell you the sun is upto no good - ever :D)