March is officially the beginning of spring, but when you live all the way down south in Texas, it feels like mid-summer. And summer means time to wear those cute sleeveless tops and off the shoulder tops. I get a really bad tan, especially on my hands and my neck which prevent me from wearing cute sleeveless tops. So, over the years of trial and error, I have figured out how to keep my skin healthy and remove tan.
A few things to remember is that removing tan does not repair the skin damage done by UV rays but you will definitely get rid of those unwanted strap marks and double shades. The best practice is to be cautious when stepping out in harsh sun and investing into a good sunscreen that suits your skin.
These are some of the natural remedies that always worked for me to get the tan out of my face and hands and prepare my skin for summer. It is important to do the steps listed below in order to get the best result. If you can manage to do first three steps even 4 times a week for a good two weeks, then you should be able to see the noticeable difference. The fourth ones should be a part of your everyday routine. If you are allergic to any products listed below, do a patch test first before applying it on the skin.
The steps are simple, first exfoliate the skin by scrubbing it, then apply a mask to treat it, then moisturize and protect it from the sun.
1. SCRUB IT –
I start off by scrubbing my hands and face in the shower with Origin’s Modern Friction. You can use whatever scrub suits you but exfoliating and getting the dead cells out is important. I try to use gentle scrubs on the face but for the body sometimes I go for invigorating ones. One of the best and inexpensive ones that I always keep in my shower caddy is the St. Ives skin invigorating apricot scrub. You can also make your own scrub by mixing coffee + olive oil or just plain old oatmeal.
2. MASK IT –
I love making DIY masks at home mainly because it is chemical free. I believe if you can eat it then you can definitely put it on your skin. With our busy schedules, we don’t often find time for these messy masks so I like to prepare them in advance and store them in the freezer section of the refrigerator. Once they are frozen they are good for three months and you can apply them whenever you want.
Two very effective masks that work for me are cucumber & lemon mask and Gram flour mask. Gram flour is also known as Garbanzo bean flour.
Here’s a picture and information on where to find it.
- Cucumber + Lemon Mask – grate and squeeze the juice out of cucumber and mix it with lemon juice. Use both equal parts. If your skin is overly dry then reduce the amount of lemon juice.
- Gram flour + Turmeric + Lemon + Milk – mix everything in equal quantity to make a smooth paste. It should not be too thin or too thick which will make it difficult to apply. Leave it for 15-20 minutes or until it dries and wash it off or wipe it with a wet napkin. It’s a messy mask but it works. Seriously, it works!
I have tried many other natural DIY masks such as aloe vera mask and potato mask but I didn’t find it as effective as the two masks above.
3. MOISTURIZE IT –
I apply Almond oil on my hands and my regular nightly moisturizer for the face before going to bed. As you know almonds are full of vitamin E and regular application of almond oil can protect your skin from stress and UV rays. Also, safe to use on sensitive skin as it is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Applying almond oil every night before going to bed shows the noticeable difference in your skin. It also helps in removing dark circles. In fact, it works better than any drugstore creams. You can find sweet almond oil at any regular grocery store.
You don’t necessarily have to put Almond oil if you don’t like the smell or greasy skin before going to bed. But moisturizing is important! Try to put something on your hand every night before you sleep. Any moisturizing lotion such as Cetaphil or CeraVe or Jergens, whichever suits your skin.
Did you know that there are essential oils that naturally have an SPF.
Coconut oil – SPF 2-8
Almond Oil – SPF 5
Olive Oil – SPF 2-8
Avocado Oil – 5-15
Raspberry seed oil – SPF 28-50
Carrot seed oil – SPF 38-40
4. PROTECT IT –
I use SPF religiously on the face, neck and hands. I love Cetaphil and stock up on sunscreen for the entire year. The problem with using sunscreen with higher SPF is that you get this greasy tint on your skin and feels sticky. Using a light SPF does not whitewash your skin, especially your face when you have to step out in next two minutes. If you are going to stay indoors in a closed office building for 8-10 hours, wearing SPF 15 or 20 works just fine, it won’t leave your skin white washed.
Currently, I’m absolutely crushing on Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 in color Bisque for no makeup look. A Sephora sales rep. suggested it to me and I’ve been hooked ever since. If you know that you will be outdoors for several hours then SPF 30 or higher is highly recommended.
The four steps listed above works great for me, hope it works for you too!