By Iqra Aziz
So, you’re finally back home from your all-fun-and-no-work vacation and feel extremely rejuvenated. What’s next? Probably the need to actually take care of that tan you got from having done major exploration in the scorching sun for hours. And here is something – you can take your sweet time and pamper your skin right at home itself with an easy but elaborate facial that will get rid of your post-vacation tan and make your skin glow. Now before we dive in to remove tan from face and neck, and other parts of you, we thought we’d do a quick review of what to do when putting it on. If it’s your first time with a self tanner, you need to do a few things to ensure that you get an even application. You want to prepare the skin first. The way you do that is by gently exfoliating your body with a loofah or scrub. Next, you can use an acidic toner to remove residues from soaps that might mess with that chemical reaction of the aforementioned amino acids and DHA. It doesn’t hurt to moisturize first, otherwise the self-tanner will soak into those drier areas. Be careful with bendy body parts like elbows and knees, and wipe off any excess tanner before it has time to take too much in. Wash your hands well and wait at least 20 min. for everything to dry before you cover yourself with any clothing. While it may sound like you’re gathering some ingredients for a nice iced tea, these are actually a few go-to items to help erase a streaky or fading tan. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, helps to lighten skin because it naturally exfoliates the epidermis, thereby removing skin cells that have the darker pigmentation of the self-tanner. Since vitamin C is also an antioxidant, it may help combat early signs of aging and reduce skin damage. However, it’s important to know that lemon juice can increase your skin’s risk of sunburn, so do not apply it to your sensitive skin if you’re planning on heading outside soon.Honey is also a natural exfoliator, and in addition it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that may even help reduce redness, inflammation, and breakouts. For most people, these natural ingredients like honey are healing and soothing to the skin, but you should do a patch test before you pour it all over your skin like an overzealous Winnie the Pooh. Papaya has been found to have several beneficial properties that positively impact the health of your skin, and the same can be said for honey. Found in several natural exfoliating products such as papaya, papain is a protein-dissolving enzyme that helps shed dead skin cells. This, of course, is key to removing an unwanted tan, and starting the process of skin lightening from too much fun in the sun. With vitamin C and lycopene present in papaya as well, it works against inflammation and oxidative damage, which means more good news if you’re a fan of younger-looking, healthy skin.“Water is life” is a maxim in several languages, and certain types of water will do the trick for that tan skin that may have gone awry. Whether it’s an uneven fade, or stains, or streaks, there’s something about a swim in that salt-water ocean that can reset it all. Getting tossed around in those salty waves gives you a natural scrub down. And if you don’t have access to the beach, a chlorinated pool can also have a similar effect in removing a bit of unwanted color. For those who aren’t close to the ocean or a pool, there’s always your own steamy shower, which, along with some of the recipes above, can help you remove a troublesome tan.