In the ancient and classical texts pertaining to Ayurveda, there are numerous references of a wide array of medicinal plants as well as their modes of application for treating suntan, enhancing complexion, and treating dark patches, to name a few.
Let’s look at specific Ayurvedic remedies to get rid of suntan.
Whole herbal extracts are comprised of several compounds that provide enhanced effects on the skin when used together. A specific herbal extract may demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, melanin-inhibiting, emollient, antiaging, and antimutagenic properties, among others.
Tea is commonly found in most Indian kitchens. Tea (whose botanical name is Camellia sinensis) is commonly used as an Ayurvedic home remedy for getting rid of suntan. The Chinese have recommended the application of cooled black tea to the skin to soothe suntan and sunburns. According to one viewpoint, the presence of theobromine and tannic acid in tea helps in eliminating heat from suntans and sunburns. Other beneficial compounds present in tea such as catechins help in preventing and repairing the damage done to the skin, with the added benefit of preventing skin cancer induced by chemicals and radiation.
The highly reputable Aloe vera has been scientifically proven to treat all forms of sunburns and suntans be it solar-, thermal-, or radiation-induced. Aloe vera has also been demonstrated to have a prophylactic effect when used before, during, or after skin-damaging events. The plant is primarily used for its cooling and soothing effects. That said, the plant will turn out to be of no benefit when used at less than 50%. Hence, it is highly recommended that it is used at a full 100%. The naturally occurring, chemical constituents of Aloe vera can be successfully categorised in the following primary areas: amino acids, enzymes, anthraquinones, minerals, lignin, salicylic acid, mono- and polysaccharides, sterols, saponins, and vitamins. Aloe vera not only improves the fibroblast cell structure, but also accelerates the process of collagen production. It is a highly effective moisturiser as well as a healing agent for the skin.
Walnut extract is produced from the fresh, green shells of the English walnut, whose botanical name is Juglans regia. The aqueous extract has been found to be specifically effective as a beneficial self-tanning and sunscreen agent. Its most effective component is juglone, which is a naphthol that is closely related to lawsone. Juglone has been demonstrated to react with keratin proteins that are present in the skin to successfully form sclero-juglonic compounds. These are coloured and have UV (Ultraviolet) protective properties.
Numerous preparations in a wide variety of forms (such as Abhyanga and Lepa) are available in several Ayurveda classics. In one study, the efficacy of roasted Masur powder and milk Lepa (powder obtained from roasted red lentils mixed with milk) was tested to enhance the complexion. This red lentil-milk combination is found to be effective as Varnyakara, thus curing Vyanga and Lanchana diseases. This combination works on Twakagata Rakta Dushti, while simultaneously functioning as Twaka Prasadana and Rakta Prasadana. Hence, this combination works in eliminating tanning of the skin. Red Lentil Face Pack is proven to be highly efficacious on the Fitzpatrick scale, which subsequently proves that red lentils function as Varnya Lepa.
As can be seen, there are several natural Ayurvedic remedies when it comes to how to get rid of suntan.