You may notice some brown spots and freckles along with your summer tan. This is caused by melanin, the pigment which gives your skin color and which also protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. The more melanin your skin has, the darker it gets.
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Melanin even reduces your risk for skin cancer. When you go out in the sun or expose yourself to the sun for long period of time, your skin goes into overdrive, producing more melanin to protect you. And this sun tan tends to persist long after your holiday out in the sun. If that tan is bothering you, here are a few simple natural remedies that you can try.
Buttermilk helps to lighten skin that is tanned. The lactic acid present in buttermilk can cause the outer layer of skin, which has become tanned to shed and reveal fresher skin beneath. Study indicates that skin treated with lactic acid has lower deposits of melanin. Applying buttermilk may also help firm up your skin because lactic acid increases levels of collagen.
Turmeric has been used in Southeast Asian communities to lighten skin tone. Research shows that a compound called curcumin in turmeric can hinder the production of melanin responsible for your tan. Studies have also show that applying a turmeric extract can protect you from skin thickening and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to UVB light. Mix turmeric powder with a little water or yogurt to form a paste and apply it to your skin.
Honey, Orange, and Yogurt Mask
According to research, bitter oranges can help you erase your sun tan. Seville orange peel extracts have been seen to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the production of melanin, and can ease hyperpigmentation. Honey has also been found to reveal anti-tyrosinase activity. Grind a tablespoon of bitter orange peel with hydrating honey and lactic-acid rich yogurt to make a mask that will help in getting rid of your tan.
Watermelons contain a compound with strong antioxidant properties known as glutathione which too can prevent tyrosinase, the enzyme that’s important for the production of melanin. In fact, research indicates that both oral and topical use of this compound can lighten skin. Crush a little watermelon and apply it to your skin to remove your tan. And remember, snacking on this delicious hydrating fruit can help you fight off sun damage from inside too.
Aloe vera is a great moisturizer and also improves the elasticity of your skin and soothes irritated skin and lighten your tan. A component called aloesin present in aloe vera has been shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity and, thus, can reduce melanin production. Open aloe vera leaf and apply the gel inside to hyperpigmented skin. You can also mix aloe vera with a little soy milk and lemon juice to strengthen its skin-brightening result.
Soy contains proteins such as Bowman-Birk inhibitor and soybean trypsin inhibitor which can reduce melanin production by interfering with a biological pathway for the transfer of melanin. Note that pasteurization can destroy the skin lightening properties of soy milk so endeavor to use unpasteurized soy milk.
Oatmeal, Buttermilk and Honey Mask
A combination of buttermilk, honey, colloidal oats and a little water to form a face pack can help lighten your stubborn tan. It also prevents your skin from drying out. When you mix oats with water, the starch present in it turns it into a slushy substance which coats your skin and prevents moisture loss. Oats also contain antioxidants that can fight inflammation.
A combination of radish and buttermilk is a traditional Irish remedy for freckles. Grated horseradish is steeped in buttermilk for a few hours and the strained mixture is then used as a face wash to lighten freckles.
Studies indicate that radish can impede the enzyme tyrosinase, thereby decreasing melanin production. This root vegetable is a good source of antioxidants, so it may have an anti-aging impact too. Apply a little radish juice every day till you achieve desired result.
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