By: Shahnaz Husain
Many people skip applying sunscreen during the monsoon season because they believe the dark, grey skies won’t have the same damaging effect as a bright summery one.
If you’re under the impression that there’s no sun amid the cloudy weather, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Even if you do not see sunrays in the monsoon, they affect your skin.
Simply put, as long as there is daylight enough to distinguish the time of day from night, there is sunlight. And if there is sunlight, there are sun rays.
These rays easily pass through clouds in monsoon season and hit our skin. Clouds do not prevent us from UV rays
Sunrays consist of harmful UV and infrared rays that can cause a host of skin conditions like tanning which can happen during monsoon also.
Sun tanning is one of the immediate effects of sun exposure during monsoon. What causes tanning? Exposure to the sun increases the production of melanin, which is the skin’s pigment, or colouring matter. Melanin actually protects the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Once melanin is produced in the lower layers of the skin, it moves up to the skin surface. Since it is dark in colour, the skin also becomes tanned.
Since the sun is playing hide and seek these monsoons, let’s find out some easy ways on how to remove tan with these natural remedies that can be easily made at home. They will help repair the affected cells, revive sunburn skin and make it glow as well.
Using a facial scrub is useful. You can buy a facial scrub according to skin type. If the skin is dry, a scrub should be used only once a week, but for oily skins, it may be used more often. The scrub should be applied and rubbed gently on the skin with small circular movements. Then wash it off with plain water. This helps to remove dead skin cells, along with their contained pigment. The skin becomes brighter and the tan is gradually removed.
You can make scrubs and packs at home with kitchen ingredients. In fact, many such ingredients can be applied on the skin to gradually remove tan and also soothe the skin, in case of sun burn.
Scrub: Ground almonds (badaam) make a good facial scrub. Soak the almonds in hot water till the skin comes out easily. Then allow them to become totally dry. Grind them into a powder, making sure to follow absolute hygiene and cleanliness. Keep this powder in an airtight jar. Every morning, add a little curd or cold milk to two teaspoons of the powder and rub the mixture gently on the skin. Wash it off with water. Mixing rice powder with curd and using it as a scrub helps oily skins.
To remove tan: Add a pinch of turmeric (haldi) to curd and apply daily. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes. Or, mix one teaspoon honey with two teaspoons lemon juice and apply daily on the face, washing it off with plain water after 20 minutes.
Take the sandalwood powder and make it into a paste with the help of tender coconut water. Apply it to the tanned skin and wash it off with water after a while. You may replace coconut water with rose water or use the juice of cucumber instead.
To remove tan on oily skin: Mix cucumber pulp with yoghurt and apply it on the face daily. Wash it off after 20 minutes. It will suit oily skin, since cucumber is an astringent.
For oily skin: Mix tomato pulp with one teaspoon honey and apply daily for 20 minutes.
For sunburn: Cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, not only helps to soothe the skin, but also keeps it soft. It also makes the skin colour lighter over a period of time, if used daily. It would suit normal to dry skins.
To soothe sunburn: Another remedy to soothe sunburn and protect the skin is by using sesame seed, or “til”. Taking a handful of the sesame seed, crush it and add half a cup of water. Let it stand for two hours. Strain the liquid and use it to wash your face.
Cleansing and Skin Lightening Mask: Mix cucumber and papaya pulp with one teaspoon curd, one teaspoon honey, 4 teaspoons oatmeal and one teaspoon lemon juice. Apply on face and neck, twice a week and wash it off after half an hour.
Body: Massage daily with sesame seed oil. Mix besan with curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric. The paste should be thick and should not drip. Apply on neck, arms and legs three times a week for 30 minutes. Wash it off and then apply the oil, as recommended.
For hands: Take 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil and 3 tablespoons of coarse sugar. Mix together till it becomes a paste. Apply and rub into hands. Rinse off after 15 minutes.
For feet: Add lemon juice to water and soak feet in it. Cools cleans and removes tan and odour. Rubbing a lemon on the feet also helps.
(The author is an international fame beauty expert and is called the herbal queen of India)
Herbal Remedies for Sun-Tan in Monsoon
By: Shahnaz Husain