Patchy Sun Tan on Face: Understanding the Problem and Finding the Solution

A woman applying cream on shoulder | patchy sun tan on face

Do you find yourself staring at your reflection in dismay, noticing the uneven and patchy sun tan on your face? Don't worry, you're not alone. Dealing with an uneven skin tone on your face can be frustrating, especially when you're trying to achieve a flawless look. But the good news is, there are effective ways to even out your skin tone and achieve a radiant complexion. In this blog post, we'll be exploring the causes of patchy sun tan on the face, along with some practical tips and tricks to help you get the glowing skin you desire. So, let's get started and discover the secrets to achieving a beautiful and even skin tone!

Why does my face tan patchy?

The sun can be both a friend and foe when it comes to our skin. While we need it for vitamin D and a healthy glow, excessive sun exposure can cause skin damage and a patchy tan. There are several reasons why your face may tan patchily:

Uneven skin pigmentation

Skin pigmentation plays a crucial role in determining how evenly your skin tans. Some people naturally have uneven skin pigmentation, meaning they have more melanin in certain areas of their faces. This can cause those areas to tan faster and more deeply, resulting in a patchy appearance.

Uneven skin pigmentation can also be caused by factors such as hormonal imbalances, age, and genetics. Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy or menopause, can cause changes in skin pigmentation, resulting in patchy tanning. Age can also affect skin pigmentation, with older skin becoming less uniform in colour. Genetics can also play a role, as some people are simply more prone to uneven skin pigmentation.

Sunscreen use

While sunscreen is crucial for protecting your skin from UV damage, uneven application or missed spots can cause patchy tanning. When sunscreen is not applied evenly, areas that receive less coverage are more likely to tan and become patchy. This can be particularly noticeable on the face, where there are many contours and hard-to-reach areas.

Skin sensitivity

Some people are more prone to patchy tanning due to skin sensitivity. If your skin is naturally sensitive or if you have a condition such as eczema, your skin may react differently to UV exposure. This can cause uneven tanning and patchiness, especially if you have areas of your face that are more sensitive than others.


Certain medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which can cause patchy tanning. For example, some antibiotics and acne medications can make your skin more susceptible to UV damage. If you're taking medication and notice patchy tanning on your face, it's a good idea to speak with your doctor to see if there's an alternative medication you can take.

Hormonal changes

As mentioned earlier, hormonal changes can affect skin pigmentation and lead to patchy tanning. For example, during pregnancy, many women notice changes in their skin, including increased pigmentation and patchy tanning. Similarly, women going through menopause may also experience changes in skin pigmentation, leading to uneven tanning.

Can sun tan be removed?

Yes, sun tan can be removed. There are several ways to remove sun tan, including using natural remedies such as lemon juice, aloe vera, and potato slices, or using over-the-counter products such as exfoliating scrubs, skin-lightening serums or creams, and moisturizers. It's important to note that preventing sun damage in the first place by wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen is the best way to avoid sun tans and other skin damage.

How to detan your skin?

Here are some ways to detan your skin:

Lemon Juice: 

  • Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to the affected area and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before washing it off with water. 
  • Lemon juice contains citric acid which helps to lighten the skin and remove tan.

Aloe Vera: 

  • Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the affected area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before washing it off with water. 
  • Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties that can help soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of a tan.

Tomato and Yogurt: 

  • Mix equal parts of tomato juice and yoghurt and apply the mixture to the affected area. 
  • Before washing it off with water, leave it on for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Tomato contains lycopene which can help to lighten the skin while yoghurt can help to soothe and moisturize the skin.

Papaya and Honey: 

  • Mash a ripe papaya and mix it with a tablespoon of honey. 
  • Apply the mixture to the affected area and before washing it off with water, leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  • Papaya contains papain which can help to exfoliate the skin and remove tan while honey has moisturizing properties that can help to hydrate the skin.


  • Regularly exfoliating your skin with a gentle scrub can help to remove dead skin cells and reduce the appearance of a tan. 
  • You can make your scrub by mixing sugar or salt with olive oil or honey.

Note: Always wear sunscreen when going out in the sun to prevent further tanning. Some recommended sunscreens for patchy sun tan on the face include Saturn Anti pollution Sunscreen SPF 50. Remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

Take Away

Patchy sun tan on the face can be a frustrating problem, but there are many ways to treat and prevent it. Regular use of sunscreen, exfoliation, and home remedies can all be effective in reducing the appearance of a patchy sun tan. However, it's important to remember that prevention is key, so make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen and seek shade during peak sun hours. With the right care and attention, you can keep your skin looking healthy and radiant all year round.


Is sun tan on the face permanent?

No. Sun tan on the face is not permanent, but it can take time and effort to fade.

Does moisturizer help with a patchy tan?

Yes. Moisturizers can help improve the appearance of a patchy tan by hydrating and nourishing the skin, but they won't remove the tan completely.

Does face tan go away naturally?

Yes, face tan can go away naturally over time as the skin naturally sheds its top layer of dead skin cells. However, this process can take several weeks or even months, and it's important to protect the skin from further sun damage in the meantime.


Patchy skin colour - Medline Plus

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