The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

7 Self Tanner Mistakes You Need to Stop Making ASAP

The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

When it comes to self tanning, there have been big improvements made over the years. You rarely see people so orange they look sweet potato/human hybrids.

Still, it's not getting a faux glow is foolproof, even to the most experienced self-tan fans out there. If the look you're going for is more J.

Lo than Flamin' Hot Cheeto, there may be a few crucial mistakes you're making. We had three tanning experts break them down for us.

Mistake 1: Forgetting to Remove Your Old Self-Tanner

If it’s not your first time at the self-tanning rodeo, you probably already know that exfoliating in advance is the No. 1 rule for an even, natural-looking tan. The main purpose is to create a smooth surface for the tanning formula to penetrate, yes. But it's equally important for getting rid of your old self-tanner.

“Without exfoliating those dead, tanned skin cells, they’ll eventually shed unevenly, leaving you looking patchy or even speckled a leopard,” explains celebrity spray tan pro Kristyn Pradas. You can even help the process along by taking a hot bath right before you exfoliate, too.

Mistake 2: Screwing Up Your Exfoliation

pretty much everything else in the world, it all comes down to timing.

“You need to exfoliate either eight hours or just before self-tan application,” says Sophie Evans, celebrity spray tan expert and brand ambassador to St. Tropez Tan.

“If you want the very best result, exfoliating eight hours before allows skin's pH balance to neutralize, which is the ideal condition for the color to develop.”

Mistake 3: Prepping Skin With an Oil-Based Scrub

A quick beauty riddle: Why in the world is your tan so screwed up even though you did everything right? You might want to check your scrub.

“If you exfoliate with oil-based scrub, the oil can create a barrier between skin and self-tanner,” says Pradas. “You’ll be left with weird marks and both dark and light spots.

” Try a scrub formulated for self-tanning prep, Vita Liberata Super Fine Skin Polish.

Mistake #4: Using a Tiny Amount of Product

If you’re a self-tanning newbie—or coming back to it after a long hiatus—you probably think it’s a good idea to start slow. But skimping on the self-tanner can actually result in streaks and stripes. “When people are scared of a self-tan, they use a very small amount of product to tan a large area,” explains Evans.

“The lack of product and over-rubbing causes streaks.” Instead, use a tan applicator the St. Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt. You can load up product and then use it to sweep off any excess. Don’t worry: “You can never use too much self-tanner, as the skin can only absorb a certain amount of the tanning chemical,” says Evans.

Mistake #5: Not Spot-Treating Certain Areas

The telltale giveaway of a fake tan? A suspiciously dark elbow. Certain areas of the body absorb self-tanner more quickly and require a little extra work.

“Get ahead of the game and wipe your knuckles, knees, elbows and ankles immediately after tanning—even if you think you don't need to,” says Alyson Hogg, founder of Vita Liberata Luxury Tan.

Alternately, Evans suggests using a moisturizer before tanning to create a barrier on those areas of the body so less self-tanner can penetrate.

Mistake #6: Leaving the House ASAP

Your new tan needs six to eight hours to develop. So until then, consider yourself under house arrest. Hot weather and heavy sweating can cause self-tanner to drip—and dry that way.

“Even putting on shoes will remove any self-tanner that the inner part of the shoe touches,” says Pradas. So, working out is the question too, as is going for swim.

Instead, pop open a bottle of wine, slip on a pair of sweatpants, and queue up Netflix.

Mistake #7: Choosing Your Self-Tan Shade Your Skin Tone

If you're naturally fair, it seems it would make sense to opt for a light shade to avoid going to the way-too-dark side.

But playing it safe could mean that your self-tanning efforts barely register, since shades are labeled according to intensity, not your existing skin tone. “Choose your self tan shade the result you want, not your skin tone,” says Hogg.

“If you want to deepen your skin tone a little, choose medium. If you want a deeper result, choose dark.”

Originally Appeared on Glamour

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How to Remove Self Tanner Streaks – 9 Best Self Tan Removers

The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

Getty Images

Two things you need to know about me: (1) I'm super impatient and (2) I don't have a steady hand. Translation? I'm basically the world's worst candidate for self-tanner (and, well, life as a whole).

But since even someone as lazy and ill-equipped as myself can't help but want bronzed, glowy-AF skin without the sun damage, I decided I was finally ready to give self-tanning a go this year.

Before I tried any mousses, creams, or sprays, though, I first became an actual expert on how to remove self-tanner—'cause, let's be real, there was no way I was going to get through it without a few f*ck ups.

So, if you're starting your fake tan journey for the very first time—or even if you're a seasoned pro who makes a mistake every now and again—do yourself a favor and grab one of these top-rated oils, creams, exfoliators, and sprays, below, before you get started. I'll save myself the public embarrassment by admitting just how terrible my first self-tan came out (I've since gotten the hang of it, k?) but I will say that these babies are actual life savers. Trust me, an actual newb.

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How to Remove Self-Tanner from Hands

Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil

One of the telltale signs of a fake tan gone wrong is orange streaks and discoloration on your palms or knuckles.

Avoid the problem all together by (1) lightly coating the area with lotion before your self-tanner and (2) only applying a tiiiiiny bit of product (whatever is left over on your mitt should do the trick).

But if your hands are still looking a little orange, gently rub the area with baby oil, which'll help lift any excess product for a more even, natural-looking tan.


How to Remove Self-Tanner from Face

Sephora Collection Glow Peel Pads

Here's the thing about removing self-tanner from your face: Even though your immediate reaction might be to scrub that sh*t off, you can actually end up with something way worse if you do (see: red, irritated, and broken-out skin).

Stay away from physical exfoliators and instead go for a gentle alternative— these peel pads, which are loaded with glycolic acid and aloe vera.

Smooth one pad over clean skin every three nights and your tan will start to look way less intense (just make sure you're moisturizing afterwards).


How to Remove Self-Tanner from Knees

Tanologist Tan Eraser + Primer

Another area that takes a little too well to self-tanner? Your knees, so make sure you've got this easy-to-apply remover on deck. You gotta wait three days post-application to use this one (sry), after which you can smooth a light coat over your skin for five minutes. When you rinse it off in the shower, your self-tanner will buff away super easy.


How to Remove Self-Tanner from Fingers and Toes

Model Co. Exfoliating Self Tan Remover Soap

This genius fake-tan remover is an exfoliating mitt and bar soap all in one. Keep in mind that it's way too harsh to use on your face or sensitive areas—it's basically a pumice stone for your body—but it's a godsend for those areas that look orange loooong after your tan has faded ( in between your fingers and toes).


How to Remove Self-Tanner Streaks

Kopari Coconut Crush Scrub

Since the goal here is to remove just the streaks of your tan, versus the all-over glow, use a gritty formula to exfoliate only the areas where you have too much pigment.

 Sophie Evans, sunless-tanning guru and St.

Tropez ambassador, recommends using a gentle body scrub this one from Kopari, which uses brown sugar to lift away dead skin and coconut oil to mitigate irritation and keep skin moisturized


How to Remove Self-Tanner Buildup

Veet Spray On Cream

Disclaimer: If you have sensitive skin, this is not the option for you, so scroll along, my friend.

But if your skin has a normal response to hair-removal creams, Sophie says these potent formulas can be really effective at dissolving major tanner mistakes.

She recommends leaving a thin layer of depilatory cream over the patchy area for half the recommended time on the bottle (usually just a few minutes) to exfoliate and fade the mark. 


How to Remove Uneven Self-Tanner

CeraVe Daily Body Moisturizing Lotion

At the first sign of a faded glow, you may be tempted to slather on more tanner, but don't—you'll risk getting a muddy, unnatural-looking finish.

Instead, gently slough off the darker parts with a body polish (you can't remove them completely, but you can slightly lessen them), before mixing together a few pumps of oil-free body lotion with a dollop of your tanner.

Massage the diluted formula all over your skin for an even wash of color that hides patches.


How to Completely Remove Self-Tanner

St. Tropez Remover Mitt

If it’s been a few days since you applied your tan and you want to start over with an even base, try a tan remover. This mitt from St. Tropez works to gently wipe away old tan—just lightly buff and rub it in circles over your wet skin to lift a layer of pigment.


How to Remove Splotchy Self-Tanner

Jergens Natural Glow 3 Days To Glow Moisturizer

If you’re looking to fix your slap-dash application but don’t want to lose your tan altogether, massage a gradual tanner onto the lighter areas of your skin to slowly even out the splotches. Because these formulas don’t develop as quickly or as deeply as an instant or overnight tanner, you'll be able to add on color without looking an even worse mosaic. 

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7 Easy Fixes for Top Self-Tanning Mistakes

The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

Just in time for the unofficial kick off of summer, you decided to do something about your pasty, post-winter skin tone. So you busted out the self-tanner and hoped you’d end up looking a golden goddess.

Despite giving it your best shot, you wound up resembling an oompa loompa (#WomenIRL).

We asked Sophie Evans, a skin-finishing expert, how to fix the most common self-tanning mishaps, so you can glow on with your life and have coworkers asking where you spent the weekend.

Believe it or not, a quick dip in the pool will do the trick, since the chlorine in the water will help lighten your dramatic hue. No time (or pool)? Jump in the shower and gently exfoliate with a body scrub.

Try St. Tropez Tan Optimiser Remover ($18, Boost results by slathering on body oil—baby, coconut, or almond will do—10 minutes before showering.

Oil plumps the skin, making it more pliable for exfoliation.

Similar to nailing a recipe, perfecting the art of self-tanning takes a little practice. For a quick fix (as in, you have to be somewhere, , now), dust on bronzer to help tone down the orange. Next time, apply self-tanner to a small patch of skin to determine if you the results before moving to the rest of your body.

If you look orange, you are using the wrong formula. Each one contains a different amount of DHA (dihydroxyacetone), a colorless sugar that interacts with the dead skin cells in the outer layer of the epidermis and changes your skin tone.

With all of the offerings on the market, there’s one best suited for your skin tone—it’ll just take some trial and error to find it.

Get in the shower and exfoliate with a body polish, which contains finer beads than a traditional body scrub. The tiny beads won’t tear or strip the skin, but they’ll help even out your color.

Look for formulas with oatmeal opposed to a sugar scrub. We Tree Hut Oatmeal Scrub for Sensitive Skin in Vanilla & Honey ($8,

Once skin is dry, apply a liquid bronzer (dilute it with your regular body lotion if it’s too dark) to help conceal and blend streaks.

If your hands came out darker than the rest of your body, try this DIY lightener: Mix one teaspoon of baking powder with half a teaspoon of water and two teaspoons of lemon juice until a paste forms.

Rub it onto your hands for about three minutes, then remove it with a warm washcloth. Repeat if needed.

If your hands are too light, reapply self-tanner and rub regular body lotion on your wrists to help fade your darker skin into your lighter skin.

Look for a self-tanning spray with a 360-degree nozzle applicator, so you can turn it upside down. Try L’Oréal Paris Sublime ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist ($10, Can’t run out? Enlist a friend or your partner.

Another option: Invest in a back applicator, Xen-Tan Hard to Reach Applicator ($18, Or make this at-home version.

Attach a self-tanner applicator mitt to a body brush with a rubber band or hair elastic, so you can target hard-to-reach areas.

Exfoliate or dab on a depilatory (hair removal cream) and leave it on your skin for half the amount of time as recommended on the instructions. Do a patch test first to make sure your skin isn’t sensitive.

When using self-tanner, lightly exfoliate every two to three days, concentrating on the neck, arms, and any other tricky spots that don’t tend to fade nicely. Doing so will help the tan fade evenly.

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9 things to know before getting your first spray tan

The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

By now, we should all be aware of the dangers and risks of tanning beds. As nice as it is to feel glowy and tan, especially when it's not the summertime, it's not worth the horrors of skin cancer.

Spray tans are a great alternative for people who want to get some color but don't want to hit the tanning bed or lay in the sun and risk their health. The risks of a spray tan are exponentially less serious. Usually, the worst thing that can come from a spray tan is turning orange.

Here's what you should know before your appointment in order for you to get the perfect tan, with no streaks or neon orange skin in sight.

They can help you steer clear of bad tans. Shutterstock

No matter what you're doing, whether it's making a dinner reservation or heading to a manicure, it's always a good idea to check out an establishment's reviews. Homework required.

When it comes to a spray tan, it's essential to look into the salon or technician, particularly for matters of color, ingredients of the tanning solution, and the level of hygiene in the salon. If not, you risk leaving your appointment looking orange or having an allergic reaction.

According to dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Y.

Lin, tanning solutions are often made with DHA, which is a “colorless sugar which cross-links with the top layer of your skin (the stratum corneum) to create a darkening of the skin.

The top layer of the skin consists primarily of dead cells, and the pigment is retained until the top layer of the skin is shed, which is typically in 14 days, although pigment will lighten in five to seven days.”

Even if a salon mentions that its ingredients are natural or organic, Lin says that their solution ly contains DHA, so make sure to inspect the company's reviews and photos of its past clients.

It needs time to settle.

Your instinct might tell you to get a spray tan the night before a wedding or a prom so that it looks fresh, but please, please ignore your instinct. Tans can be at their most intense the day after a spray, which can translate as unnatural or leave you risking looking orange if something goes awry.

According to Jessica Bringas of Oasis Day Spa, it's best to get sprayed “two days before your wedding so you will have already washed off the first layer of the tan, it will have settled into your skin, and you can add your own moisturizer. You also have the ability to see how it turned out and make sure that it's perfect. And if, god forbid, it isn't [right], you have some time to get it fixed or touched up.”

Find one that works for you. Shutterstock

Not everyone's version of tan is the same color, so it's best to avoid salons that don't have a variety of tones and hues. Make sure that no matter what your skin tone is, you have a spray tan solution available for the color you want

Whether your skin tone is pale or deep, St. Tropez Tan recommends a few consistent strategies when it comes to choosing a color.

“Go a shade lighter in winter and a shade darker in summer. If you are a beginner and want to try a spray tan at a salon, ask your technician for help,” according to the website. “Most salons have detailed color guides that can help you make the right decision.”

They also recommend that if you're unsure, just go a little on the lighter side.

“When in doubt, go with a lighter formula,” the website reads.

“It is much easier to build lighter color up than strip down a darker tan, especially if you have naturally pale skin.

Remember that there are many tan-enhancing accessories you can use to darken your base tan, so there is no need to take risks to get the results you want.”

More: Features Beauty Style Tanning


The 7 Most Common Spray Tan Mistakes, Corrected

The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

When it’s done right, you’ve got that just-back-from-vacation glow. When it’s done wrong, you look you got a bad spray tan. And then there are all the scenarios in between—a little streak here, a bare spot there. No matter what the situation is, we’ve got the solution. Scroll through for seven fixes to the most common spray tan snafus!

Cane+AustinFace and Body Glycolic Acid Scrub$42


When your technician takes you to bronzed goddess status when you were looking for more of a sun-kissed glow, employ the exfoliate-and-soak method. Start by dry brushing to loosen dead skin cells, soak in the tub for at least 10 minutes to lift the color, and finish by scrubbing down with a physical or chemical exfoliator, Cane+Austin’s Face and Body Glycolic Acid Scrub ($42).

First Aid BeautyFacial Radiance Pads$16


If it’s your face that comes out too dark, employ a similar but gentler method. Thoroughly wash your face with a gentle scrub and then use a glycolic peel, First Aid Beauty's Facial Radiance Pads ($16). This will lighten the skin just enough. 

If you’ve got dark splotches in small areas the hands, feet, elbows, or knees, grab some cotton balls and your nail polish remover. Acetone fades DHA, the chemical responsible for skin darkening. But it is drying, so be sure to rinse off and moisturize well after using it. Switch to pointed cotton swabs if your knuckles need attention. 

Word to the wise: Always have a friend check out your ears the day after your spray tan. The solution can collect in your ears, leaving them way darker than the rest of your skin. Not cute. If this happens to you, use a damp cotton swab (or two) to clean up the residue. If that doesn’t work well enough, dip the swab in rubbing alcohol and try again. 

This is easier to spot and easier to clean up. For an overly tanned belly button, use a dry cotton swab. You can even do this preventatively. Just be sure to give your spray tan several hours to process before doing so, or you could end up with a white ring around your belly button.

Kate SomervilleSomerville360 Tanning Towelettes$48


Try as you might to avoid them, sometimes creases under your chest and bum just happen. If they do, the best way to target that specific area is with a tanning towelette. Kate Somerville’s Somerville 360 Tanning Towelettes ($48) give you control to just fill in the necessary spots with subtle color that will blend in with your existing tan.

Be sure to follow this clever hack and trim your towelette, so you don’t use an entire sheet on such a small area. And to prevent the creases before they form, apply a thin layer of baby powder before you go to bed. This helps prevent sweat from rubbing off the spray tan in those areas.

(Do this to your feet, too, before putting tight shoes or going out on a hot day.)

So you forgot to remove your deodorant before you got a spray tan, and now the reaction between the tanning chemicals and the aluminum in your deodorant has left you with green armpits.

Unfortunately, if this happens to you, your best plan of action is to catch it early, clean off the area, and hope for the best.

Since you probably can’t hop in the shower for a few more hours, use baby wipes instead.


Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Spray Tan

The Mistake I Made That Botched My Spray Tan

Hello lovely people! I’m sharing something a little different today and I’ve really been looking forward to writing this post for you guys! This is a lengthy post but it’s packed full of information and there may or may not be a discount code for ya at the end!