Remember that awful time you accidentally over-applied self-tanner and ended up resembling a Jersey Shore native? Don't worry, we've all been there. Thankfully, with the help of modern technology and years of trial and error, solutions are now available to get you out of your orange rut and into bronze goddess territory. Guaranteed we'll have you playing in the sun evenly toned in five minutes (or less).
Problem #1 - You look like an Oompa Loompa.
Here’s What Happened: Each formula of self-tanner contains a different amount of DHA which interacts with the outer layer of your skin to alter the color. The self-tanner you chose most likely didn’t interact well with your skin tone, and you should experiment with a few others till you find what works for you (in this blogger's experience, Fake Bake has seemed to work the best for most people).
Here’s How To Fix It: If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to properly fix it, dust some bronzer to help tone down the orange. It’s possible that you may need to remove the entire tan and try something new, which can be done by scrubbing with a mix of baking soda and lemon juice.
How To Avoid It Next Time: Apply a tiny bit of self-tanner to a small patch of skin to determine if you’re happy with the results before applying all over. If you look too orange, you’re not using the best formula for you.
Problem #2 - You’ve got random dark patches.
Here’s What Happened: This problem occurs when you apply self-tanner to dry patches on your skin (elbows, hands, knees, etc.).
How To Fix It: Exfoliate those areas with one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Rub for three minutes then remove it with a warm washcloth. If the area becomes too light, apply a dollop of self tanner until it evens out.
How To Avoid It Next Time: Prior to applying self-tanner, exfoliate with Urban Spa’s Exfoliating Gloves or with a nice body scrub to make sure your skin is smooth as butter.
Problem #3 - You’ve got zebra streaks.
Here’s What Happened: The self-tanner formula likely didn’t have enough time to dry before exposure to water, sweat or anything that might make it run.
How To Fix It: Hop in the shower and exfoliate lightly with the previously mentioned mix of lemon juice and baking soda. Apply in circular motions for no more than three minutes on the areas of extreme streakiness until they disappear. If it’s too light, reapply a bit of the self-tanner to even it out.
How To Avoid It Next Time: Wait 24 hours before getting exposed to any water (includes showering, sweating, swimming, etc.).
Problem #4 - Your tan is too dark.
Here’s What Happened: Either you left your tanner on for too long or the formula was darker than you intended.
How To Fix It: Cover your skin in baby oil and leave it on for 10 minutes. This causes the outermost layer of your skin to loosen and lift, leaving your skin less dark than before.
How To Avoid It Next Time: Again, a patch test is going to be a pretty decent indicator of whether or not the formula is right for you.
Problem #5 - Your hands are a different color than your body.
Here’s What Happened: Your hands got the brunt of the tanner when you were applying it to the rest of your body. Either that or they were too dry.
How To Fix It: Easy peasy, mac n cheesy - the lemon juice and baking soda trick (yes, it’s amazing). Rub it on your hands for about three minutes and then remove with a wash cloth. Repeat if it’s not light enough, and if it’s too light, reapply the tanner! Adding a touch of body lotion to your wrists will make the blending from dark to light look more natural.
How To Avoid It Next Time: Not always, but sometimes your self-tanner will come with application gloves (we're partial to the Fake Bake Original Self-Tanning Lotion, as it comes with everything you need). Use those babies! Then apply however much you need to your hands once you’re finished.
Posted by Sadie Upwall
Project Manager and Editor for the best little beauty business in town.