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Removing Self Tanners & How To Fix Tanning Disasters

Updated on February 24, 2013

Oops! Pick The Wrong Self Tanner? Are you orange, just too dark, or streaked? Here Are Some Tips To Fix These Problems

Just about anyone who has tried using self-tanners has had the pleasure of being orange, or some odd color that doesn't look natural, as well as some of the many other problems that occur with sunless tanning products. Don't panic, most of these problems can either be fixed or hidden and they all can be avoided completely the next time around. I made this lens into a little guide of what to do if you "Oops!" with a self-tanning product.

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Image: Simon Howden /

If You're A Strange Color Or Too Dark

If your skin is now some odd color or you are just way too dark, then chances are you have either chosen the wrong shade for your skin tone or you got your hands on a mediocre product. Don't panic. Remember that, thankfully, self tanners are temporary. The first thing you should do is take a shower and soap your entire body and rinse off, don't scrub, at least not yet. Pat yourself dry with a towel. Moisturize your skin all over with a good body lotion. Wait awhile, and then check your results again. This should make a huge difference from your original appearance. You may even be pleased with your results at this point.

If you have done all of that and you are still way too discolored to live with it for a few days then try using a body scrub and loofah sponge to GENTLY exfoliate your skin. After showering 2 or 3 days in a row, this horrid color will go away on it's own, so please don't over scrub and risk damaging your skin... it's just not worth it.

If you have tried the above and you just can't wait to get the rest off, then you can try adding a cup or two of baking soda to a warm bath and soaking in it. This MAY lessen the discoloration.

If You Are Un-Even, Streaked, Or Missed Spots

If you are happy with the shade, but not so much with the application, this is an easy fix. Just shower with a gentle soap, no scrubbing at first, rinse off, then take a loofah sponge or a body scrub product and gently scrub dark spots and streaks only until they blend in a bit more. Hop out of the shower and pat yourself dry with a towel, don't rub. Apply a good moisturizer to your entire body. Wait a couple of hours and then begin a second application of your tanning product. This time really take your time to distribute it evenly and pay close attention to spare any dark spots. Let your color develop, overnight is best, then repeat the showering and moisturizing steps. Your tan should be much more even now. At this point I recommend using a daily moisturizer that contains a gradual self-tanner. This will continue to even out your tan, prolong your tan, and keep your skin healthy and moist.

Don't Throw Away "Bad" Self-Tanners

Believe It Or Not There Is A Use For It!

Now you probably feel you have wasted money on a terrible product that will end up in the trash. Instead of throwing your sunless tanning product away, mix it with your favorite lotion to create your own gradual tanning lotion. Mix one part sunless tanning product and three parts regular lotion. Once diluted with lotion, the orange effect wont occur and you have a great product to both moisturize your skin daily, extend your tan, and build a gradual sun-kissed look.

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      estella8309 4 years ago

      Very helpful article. I know I have been there where the self tanner was not what I was epecting.


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