4 Tips to Fade Your Farmer’s Tan

While we all know farmer tans are SUPER glamorous and everything, they’re not exactly compatible with any outfit that doesn’t consist of a polo shirt or t-shirt and long pants.

You may think you have to take a trip to the tanning bed or apply messy self-tanner to get rid of your farmer’s tan. Stop right there! There is no need to damage your skin further or look like you stepped off the set of Jersey Shore. Here are a few useful tips to help reduce the appearance of your farmer’s tan.

Don’t let it start to begin with. As spring starts to turn to summer in much of the northern hemisphere, you may be just in time to prevent a farmer’s tan from ever setting in. Keep a can of spray sunscreen in your grooming tote right next to your horse’s fly spray—that way it will be easy to make sunscreen part of your everyday riding routine.

Raid the kitchen. If it’s too late to prevent a farmer tan, there are home remedies you can try to speed up the process of healing.

  • Lemons: Rubbing half of freshly cut lemon on your suntan just before taking a shower can help to exfoliate dead skin cells and will help the suntan fade faster (as long as you avoid the sun for an hour afterward).
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are high in vitamin C and can lighten skin as well as soothe sunburns. Peel and chop a potato, then puree in a blender to make a paste to spread on any suntanned or sunburnt areas. And if you’re short on time and don’t mind looking ridiculous, you can just rub half a potato on your suntan to achieve some of the same effect. (Don’t ask me why it’s more ridiculous to rub a potato on your skin than a lemon—it just is.)
  • Aloe vera: Though aloe vera gel is often used to soothe sunburned skin, it also helps to lighten suntanned skin. For best results apply at night and wash off in the morning.

Farmer Tan  copy

Or just use actual products. There are plenty of after-sun products marketed to soothe sunburn, but they also can help even before skin gets to the point of being burned. A few to try: Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother ($10), Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel ($26), Clinique After Sun Rescue Balm With Aloe ($23). In addition to these specialty products, regular old moisturizer on your skin is especially important after a long day in the sun!

If all else fails, wear it proudly. Take satisfaction in alarming your friends and neighbors with your blindingly white legs and upper arms on the rare occasions you’re not in riding clothes this summer, and don’t forget to put sunscreen in your grooming tote for yourself and your horse!

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