Tan Removal Treatments

10 Most-Recommended Sun Tan Removal Treatments

Tanning is a common skin problem that people face and think they have to live with, especially those residing in tropical regions. However it’s not true, there are several remedies to treat your suntan.

Are you worried about your tanned skin? Are you facing mental and physical stress due to tanning? If you did not get satisfying results with your home remedies, then this blog helps you find safe and effective methods to remove suntan permanently.

Why Should You Treat Your Tanned Skin?

It is essential to treat your tanned skin as it results in further skin problems like skin cancer, and skin aging, and may disrupt the functioning of your immune system.

When to Consult a Doctor for a Suntan?

The darker complexion of the sun-exposed area than the other parts indicates the occurrence of suntan. Consult a doctor to treat your suntan if your tan is severe with blisters or if your skin is not responding to any of the home remedies.

Tan Removal Treatments

Suntan harms the immune system and you should treat it at the right time. Ingredients like alpha arbutin, niacinamide, and licorice extract. grape seed extract helps in reducing skin tan.

1. Laser Toning

Laser resurfacing

A professional dermatologist uses a laser device to break down melanin pigment and minimize skin tan. Lasers(Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)are sources of monochromatic coherent light.

When used on the skin, this light energy is converted into heat energy and targets a specific chromophore (skin pigment-melanin) without harming the surrounding tissues. They penetrate deeper layers, up to three inches of skin to wipe off excess melanin and induce the skin to produce fresh and healthy skin cells.

2. Chemical Peels

chemical peels

This kind of tan removal treatment is used to remove dead cells from the upper layer of the skin.

Chemical peels use glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, or carbolic acid(phenol). Based on intensity, chemical peels are classified as:

  • Superficial peel
  • Medium peel
  • Deep peel

3. Microdermabrasion

It is a tan removal treatment to exfoliate the dead skin cells that accumulate excess melanin pigment. It promotes cell regeneration more quickly than it ordinarily does.

There are two methods:

Crystal Microdermabrasion

Tiny particles are sprayed on your face through a wand.

Diamond-tip Microdermabrasion

Your skin is exfoliated with direct contact by an applicator.

4. Topical Applications

There are numerous tan removal creams and gels that contain lightening actives like vitamin C, and E,  retinoids, and other antioxidants. These are recommended by dermatologists as they improve collagen production and help in lightening dark spots. Moreover, alpha and beta hydroxy acids help in exfoliating dead cells and rejuvenation of new skin cells. The best tan removal cream will penetrate deeper into the skin helping in reducing the melanin content.

5. Lightening Actives

Lightening actives are chemical components that help in lightening the skin tone by fighting against the suntan. Licorice, vitamin C, niacinamide, kojic acid are some of them.

1. Licorice

Licorice roots contain glabridin and liquirtin which helps in lightening the tanned skin.

2. Vitamin C

The enzyme tyrosinase causes melanin production in the skin. Vitamin C act as a tyrosinase inhibitor thereby reducing melanin content and skin tanning issues.

3. Kojic acid

Kojic acid is derived from a mushroom-like fungus produced during fermentation. It inhibits the production of melanin. It takes time to show the results as they penetrate the upper layer of the skin.

4. Niacinamide

Niacinamide or vitamin B3 helps in lightening skin tone as it decreases the amount of melanin transferred by pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) to the surface by more than half.

6. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Also called photofacial, this anti-tan treatment removes dark spots by using light and improves the color and texture of the skin. The device coagulates and evacuates blood vessels present beneath the skin surface and stimulates collagen production. A gel is applied to the skin after which an intense light is passed through a chilled sapphire gem that is connected to the face.

Dermatologists states this is one of the best ways to treat suntan as it requires only a small duration of time. Roughly,1-5 sessions are recommended to see visible results.

7. Face Pack

De-tan face packs help in the removal of tanned skin removal from your body. They don’t make your skin fairer but make them even toned.

It may contain natural ingredients like papaya, lemon, and tomato, or chemical ingredients like niacinamide, lactic acid, etc. They act on the upper layer of your skin.

8. Exfoliation

Gentle exfoliation helps in removing dead skin cells from your skin. This results in a clear, even-toned appearance of your skin.

People with sensitive skin can opt for chemical exfoliation techniques that involve chemicals such as Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids that dissolve dead skin cells.

Those with oily skin may go for mechanical exfoliation methods that involve using brushes or sponges to clear dead skin cells.

Make sure to exfoliate gently, over-exfoliation can turn your skin into red, dark spots, and leads to breakouts.

9. Bleaching

It is an instant tan removal process. It hydrates your skin,  lightens the skin tone by removing dead skin cells. When you rinse off the bleaching cream, the upper layer of your skin is exfoliated which you look bright and glowing, but make sure you don’t go for regular bleaching as the chemical ingredients may harm your skin.

10. Oral Medications

  • Glutathione

It is the most commonly used systemic skin-lightening agent. It acts by several mechanisms to inhibit melanin synthesis. It includes interrupting the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme which is an essential enzyme in melanin synthesis.

Oral glutathione is regarded as the safest medicament for lightening skin tone. Glutathione injections are also available, but not made into use as they are not approved by FDA.

  • Tranexamic acid

It is a synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine. It is a commonly used  medicine to prevent bleeding. The skin-lightening effects of tranexamic acid are believed to work by its antiplasmin activity.

The use of tranexamic acid for skin-lightening activity has the potential risk of thrombosis.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Some of the common side effects include a burning sensation, skin irritation, and allergies After a temporary period of skin lightening, the original pigmentation usually returns and sometimes in patches making it difficult to treat that area. Sometimes you may develop skin pores.

What Are the Post-treatment Guidelines?

  • Make sure to Moisturize the skin well.
  • If you notice any readiness or rashes, do consult a Dermatologist.
  • Certain medications and lotions may be allergic to your skin, which needs a patch test first.
  • Limit going out in sun and taking a sunbath.
  • Avoid applying too much makeup.

How Long to It Takes to Recover?

Recovery may vary depending on its severity. Normally it takes four to six weeks to return to the original complexion post-sun tan removal treatment. In some cases, it may start to recover immediately after the treatment. However, if sun tan is chronic or if it is present on exposed unprotected areas of your skin for years, then it is difficult to recover completely.

The duration of a suntan removal treatment depends on the procedure.

  • Chemical peels: After 1-2 sessions of your chemical peel treatment you may notice a visible reduction in your skin tan. Dermatologists usually use the chemical peel for removing sun tan from your face and they recommend 4-5 sessions to complete recovery.
  • Laser toning: Depending on the area of your body, you may require 4-6 sessions.
  • Microdermabrasion: You may require 4-6 sessions to get visible results.

What Is the Price of Treatment in India?

Pricing is indicative and varies from one region to another. We have taken into account the prices of some of the important cities in India.

  • Advanced sun tan removal treatment starts from Rs 4,000- Rs 10,000. It varies based on the target area, the severity of the tan, the clinic location and reputation, the experience of the doctor, the treatment option, and the technology used.
  • Reputed parlours use different face packs to offer de-tanning treatments that cost between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,500 for the face and Rs 700 to Rs 1,500 for the underarms and legs.
  • Any OTC tan removal cream or lotion may have a price range between Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 based on the composition and the brand.

Are the Results of the Treatment Permanent?

The results of the treatment are permanent provided that you take care of your skin and limit your time spent in the sun. Always use sunscreen while going out.

How to Prevent Sun Tanning?

  • Avoid going outdoors during peak hours of sunlight(11 am to 4 pm).
  • Make use of cloth, hat, umbrella, sunglasses.
  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or more before going out and re-apply it every 2 hours.
  • Always remember to protect your lips and eyes by applying a lip balm and eye cream with SPF factor respectively.
  • Choose cosmetics that have sun protection factors and look for mineral-based ingredients.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink at least 15-20 glasses of water daily.
  • Avoid applying perfumes when you are out in sun, as it makes your skin more sensitive to sun heat.
  • Consume healthy fiber-rich foods like vegetables and fruits to boost your skin’s immunity and prevent sun damage.
  • Wash your face at least twice a day. Use natural cleansers to remove suntan.
  • Use tan removal packs.

Read More:

Sebum Plugs; Are They a Matter of Concern? How to Get Rid of It?
How to Remove Face Tan Naturally?
Healthy Homemade Tomato Face Mask for Acne
How to Lighten Dark Lips Permanently? Do You Know These 5 Methods?
7 Best Keratin Treatment Products in India That Are Formaldehyde-Free


The first and best way to get rid of tan is to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. A tan fades naturally over time by shedding tanned skin cells and replacing them with new cells. However, if you want immediate removal, then you can go for home remedies and tan removal creams. Besides these, make sure to include protein and fiber-rich food in your diet and always stay hydrated.

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