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How to Get Rid of a Tan Easily: 11 Natural Home Remedies

Written by Lexi Carlson
Medically Reviewed by Denise Christine Bries, MD
How to Get Rid of a Tan Easily_ 11 Natural Home Remedies

Summer reminds us that we must stay indoors and protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

But if you spend time outside, you will inevitably get darker, tanned skin, even if you don’t intend to.

Or, if you did plan on getting a tan, but it didn’t turn out the way you would like, you would just end up unhappy with being a couple of shades darker.

So how do you get rid of this tan?

We’ve compiled a list of natural ingredients and recipes to help you get rid of your sun tan and lighten your skin easily!

11 Ways to Remove a Tan

1. Strawberries and Milk Cream

1. Strawberries and Milk Cream

With these two ingredients, you get the best of both worlds; tan removal AND healthy skin!

Strawberries are a natural skin-brightening fruit for glowing skin, and milk cream makes a great moisturizer to keep your skin soft.

Strawberries and milk also contain Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which is an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.

On top of that, you also get a good dose of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties from strawberries, keeping your skin supple and smooth.

Here’s how to make it!

  1. Take some strawberries and mash them.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of milk cream and mix everything until you have a nice, thick paste.
  3. Apply this paste to the tanned areas and leave it on for 15 minutes to lighten the skin
  4. Rinse off with cold water afterward

This mixture is loaded with skin care benefits to keep your skin healthy while you lighten your sun tan!

2. Tomato Juice

2. Tomato Juice

A good solution of tomato juice is perfect for sun tan removal!

We all know how uncomfortable the effects of harmful sun rays are, and tomatoes may be what you need to combat them!

This is because tomatoes are rich in phytochemicals produced from plants. Phytochemicals can repair damage caused by UV rays and lighten skin tone.

Furthermore, you could also use it to protect your skin cells from skin cancer!

All you need for this mixture are two tomatoes and a teaspoon of lemon juice.

  • Make a smooth paste of tomatoes and mix it with lemon juice
  • Apply the tomato juice to your face and other tanned areas for 15-20 minutes
  • Rinse it off with cold water

Rest assured, this mixture will restore you to your natural skin tone in no time!

3. Lemon Juice and Honey

3. Lemon Juice and Honey

Lemon juice and honey make a great tan removal tag team!

First, you have fresh lemon juice, which is great for bleaching and skin-lightening. You also have a healthy amount of vitamin C to reduce dark skin pigment.

Its partner, honey, is a natural skin-smoothening agent rich in anti-bacterial properties.

The best part is that this method is extremely easy!

You must mix the two and let it rest on your tanned skin for about 30 minutes. Don’t forget to wash it off with cold water after!

Applying this solution once a week should do the trick!

PROTIP: You can also add some SUGAR to the mix! You can use the sugar to scrub some dead cells off to keep your skin smooth.

4. Oranges

4. Oranges

Oranges are another rich source of Vitamin C to give your skin a nice healthy glow. You can make different orange-based solutions!

For starters, the orange peel contains hesperidin, a natural skin tone lightener rich in antioxidants.

You can make a nice orange-peel powder paste mixed with turmeric and honey and apply on to your tanned skin for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.

Even orange juice can do the trick!

Mix orange juice with a little bit of yogurt and vóila! You have another healthy and effective tan-removal agent!

5. Oatmeal and Buttermilk

5. Oatmeal and Buttermilk

Oatmeal is another commonly found food that acts as a good exfoliant!

This healthy food is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that rejuvenate the skin after a scorching hot day.

On the other hand, buttermilk is rich in lactic acid!

Lactic acid improves skin tone, removing sun tan, and restoring skin to its original color.

The two together will do WONDERS for your skin!

How’s that for a hearty breakfast?

You can begin this home remedy by soaking half a cup of oatmeal in water. Let it soak for a few minutes before adding another half cup of buttermilk.

Apply this paste to your skin and let it sit for around 20 minutes, then wash it all off. Finish off this regimen by supporting your skin with a nice moisturizer.

PROTIP: Find a nice outdoor area to do this, as oatmeal could clog your house’s pipes!

6. Water

6. Water

To say water is full of skin-cleansing properties would be an understatement.

Not only does water cleanse our bodies inside and out, but it can also solve any kind of tanning issue!

For this case, you don’t exactly have to chug a whole jug of cold water.

Instead, try going for a SWIM in the ocean or swimming pool. The saltwater or chlorinated water can help fade away some tan lines or streaks!

Either one will result in fading away a skin tan!

It may seem counterintuitive to go swimming outdoors to remove a tan, which is why you can opt for a nice, steamy shower instead!

If you don’t have the time or luxury to make all these recipes, water is one of the easiest and most accessible tan removal home remedies you can turn to!

7. Aloe Vera

7. Aloe Vera

We already know aloe vera is one of nature’s GREATEST skin care gifts!

You can use aloe vera gel to heal tanned and sunburnt skin, remove dark circles, soothe any type of skin irritation, and more!

You can never go wrong with aloe vera!

Aloe vera contains bioactive compounds that prevent excess tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for melanin production.

Too much of it can cause darkened skin and dark spots!

With aloe vera, you can reduce the amount of pigmented dead skin cells and get rid of dark spots to maintain healthy skin cells.

All you have to do is scoop some aloe vera gel and smear on the tanned areas for around 10-20 minutes and wash it off.

With this routine, you can protect your skin from sun exposure AND lighten up your unwanted skin tan!

8. Coconut Milk

8. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a classic skin care ingredient used for nourishing and hydrating skin! Additionally, it is also used to supply moisture to sensitive or oily skin.

You also get a rich amount of antioxidants to promote smooth skin!

The process of applying coconut milk is EASY!

All you have to do is take a cotton ball and use it to dab the milk on your face and skin to brighten up that skin tan.

Let it dry, and use a gentle cleanser to wash it off.

Let the coconut MULTITASK and do all sorts of other good skin-related deeds, such as removing fine lines and wrinkles, promoting elasticity, and more!

If you don’t have access to fresh coconut milk, you can also try coconut-rich tan-removing products, and they should have the same skin benefits!

9. Papaya and Honey

9. Papaya and Honey

Papaya is another common skin care ingredient used for exfoliating AND tan removal.

This is because of an enzyme appropriately called “papain,” which helps dissolve dead skin cells.

Papaya also contains a skin-friendly ingredient called lycopene, which protects the cells from any kind of damage, including sun damage!

Here’s how to make this delicious recipe:

  1. You can start by cutting your papaya into cubes. Place these cubes in a bowl and mix in some honey. You can also add a hint of lemon juice for some extra citrusy benefits.
  2. Mash it up until it is nice and pasty before smearing it on your tanned areas. You can also use a blender to save time and energy!
  3. After 20 minutes, rinse it all off with cold water and apply moisturizer afterwards.

10. Green Tea Extract

10. Green Tea Extract

We all know how uncomfortable it can be to have your skin feel hot and sizzling thanks to the heat, which can result in blisters or blemishes.

Luckily, you can use green tea for its cooling properties to remove your sun tan and leave your skin feeling refreshed!

The best part is green tea has MULTIPLE uses!

  1. First, you can store green tea bags in the freezer and use them to cool your tan down.
  2. Another method is mixing in some green tea powder and water and applying it to your skin to soothe your skin and ultimately remove your tan.
  3. You can also mix green tea with some essential oil and spray the stuff on your tanned areas.
  4. A green tea good mask or scrub should also do the trick!

Regardless of which method you use, rest assured green tea will remove your tan while protecting you from skin damage!

11. Tan Removal Creams

11. Tan Removal Creams

If you want to save yourself the trouble of preparing all these recipes, you can make things easy and buy a good tan-removing cream!

There are several products that are loaded with safe ingredients to remove your tan AND keep your skin healthy in the process.

How to Avoid Getting a Tan

How to Avoid Getting a Tan-

If you have sensitive skin, stepping out into the sun can be quite dreadful.

Follow these steps to prevent skin tanning and sun damage!

Apply Sunscreen

This step should be a given but is often overlooked.

Always remember to wear sunscreen before going outdoors, especially on hot days and even cloudy days.

You want a sunscreen of at least SPF 30-50 for optimal protection from ultraviolet rays and sunburnt skin. Other skin protection products include eye creams or lip balms.

Note that one application is not enough!

It is best to reapply sunscreen every now and then (generally every 2 hours).

Stay Hydrated

Summer is HOT!

On hot occasions like summer, remember to keep your body cool by hydrating!

Drink enough glasses of water a day, ideally around 8 glasses. Not only will these keep you from fainting from dehydration, but they will also hydrate your skin.

Hydrated skin equals glowing skin!

Protective Clothing

If you have no choice but to go outside, avoid skin damage with protective clothing. These clothes include sun hats, sunglasses, umbrellas, and parasols.

Remember to cover the most exposed and vulnerable parts of your body, like the face, arms, and legs.

Additionally, try to wear light and breathable clothing to allow your skin to breathe in the heat.

Stay Indoors

To prevent getting a tan, simply save yourself the trouble and stay indoors!

Who needs the hot sun when you’ve got air conditioning at home?

The sun is at its highest point at around noon, which is when the rays are at their strongest, and you are most susceptible to skin tanning.

If your outdoor activities can wait, try waiting until late afternoon or SUPER early morning to get them done.

That way, you won’t be cooked by the hot sun!

Here’s a convenient buying guide on the best indoor tanning lotions to use!

How to Get Rid of Tan Lines

How to Get Rid of Tan Lines-

If you weren’t careful with your skin tanning, you might find that your clothes or swimsuit left some unwanted tan lines, leaving you with an uneven skin tone.

These lines may not be nice to look at, so here are some quick home remedies on how to conceal them!


Exfoliating is important before tanning, but it is just as important if you want to take your tan off!

As you exfoliate, you remove all the dead skin cells on your body. The more you scrub off, the more tanned cells come off as well!

Before you exfoliate, start with a nice shower to smoothen your skin, so exfoliating will come easy!

You can use a brush or mitt to do the job if you have oily skin. Remember to BE GENTLE!


Makeup won’t remove your tan per se.

Of course, you can always use it to hide your tan lines so your skin tone will appear even.

You can seamlessly make your skin appear brighter and tan-free with the right products!

Remember to find a shade that MATCHES your skin color! You can also settle for a darker shade, so it blends in more.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great, easy-to-find tan line concealer!

We mentioned a mixture of lemon juice and honey earlier, and it works just the same for tan lines.

The combination of lemon juice and honey will do your skin favors, from moisturizing to exfoliating!

You can mix lemon juice with other skin-friendly ingredients such as potato juice or sugar. Potato juice is great for removing skin pigmentations and sunburns, and sugar makes a good exfoliant!

NOTE: Do not use lemon juice on burnt skin! That’s going to be painful!

Sunless Tanner

If you have some untanned skin patches and don’t want to recook again outside, you can apply a nice self-tanner on the affected areas!

Make sure to apply your self-tanner evenly so your skin will turn out even as the tan fades naturally.

Similar to makeup, find a nice sunless tanner that will match your skin tone!

Baking Soda

You can use baking soda as a gentle exfoliator to even out your tan lines!

Furthermore, you can mix baking soda and water to make a pasty solution that you smear on the affected areas. Leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it off.

This solution will leave your skin feeling fresh, and your tan lines should even out!


Before you reject the idea of rubbing yourself in smelly vinegar, hear us out.

Vinegar makes a great skin cleanser that balances your skin’s pH level. This will eventually lead your skin evening out and fade tan lines away!

You can mix vinegar and water and use a brush to smear this solution on your skin. Rinse it all off in the shower.

Wash it off WELL to remove any smell of vinegar!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions-

Why Do I Get a Tanned Skin Tone Easily?

If you get tanned skin easily, it probably means your body releases melanin more than usual or is releasing it faster.

Another possible reason is you have sensitive skin that absorbs UV rays too easily, hence the quick darkening of your skin.

It is important to know your skin color to know how much to limit your exposure to the sun. [R]

  • Pale-skinned people take longer to tan and are more prone to sunburn.
  • Dark-skinned people tan faster and are less prone to sunburn.

Your body will react differently to the sun’s rays depending on your skin color.

TIP: Pick the RIGHT TIME to tan to get the best results!

How Long Does It Take to Remove a Sun Tan?

Generally, a sun tan will fade away naturally within 7- 10 days.

By then, your skin will start exfoliating naturally, taking the tanned cells along with it.

If you want to speed up the process of removing your sun tan, any of the home remedies mentioned earlier should do the trick!

Will My Tanned Skin Go Back to Normal?

Yes! You don’t have to worry about looking like an orange forever!

Your skin naturally exfoliates over time, meaning the dead skin cells will fall off and make room for new ones to grow, meaning your tan will naturally lose its color over time.

Of course, there are many ways to speed things up using natural ingredients found in your kitchen!

However, the chances of you having the same skin tone you had when you were a baby are unlikely, so a tan will not go away COMPLETELY.

But with enough diligence, you should look the same way you did BEFORE you got a fresh tan.

How Long Does a Sunburn Take to Heal?

Generally, a sunburn will last for around 1-2 weeks, depending on the severity. In some super mild cases, it could take just about a few hours.

Either way, sunburns are painful, and you would want to treat them right away! Here are some helpful tips:

  1. To get rid of sunburns quickly, drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated and cooled off.
  2. Pair this step with a good aloe vera gel to soothe the burns and redness.
  3. If you see your skin blistering, IGNORE IT! Touching blisters will only lead to worse effects, like infections. If a blister pops, clean it up right away to prevent infection.

Keep your skin safe from sunburn by wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated. Stay indoors if you have to!



Sun tanning can have some unwanted effects on your skin.

Remember to do proper research and preparation before you bask in UV rays or paint yourself in self-tanner.

If you decide that tanning is not for you, be patient and let it go away on its own. Otherwise, you can apply any of these tan removal home remedies to speed up the process!

FINAL TIP: For those who love to swim, consider this guide of waterproof self tanners to get you ready for the next trip to the beach!