No two people self-tan the same way. Some can get through a session with zero troubleshooting, while some take a few tries to execute a self-tanning strategy that works flawlessly for them. There are so many factors surrounding the skin that one needs to develop a personal know-how for self-tan that works beautifully for you.
What we can do, however, is to give you a list of common self-tanning boo-boos and how to troubleshoot them. Here’s part one.
I may have used too much product. Is there an undo button for this?
Is it possible to over-glow? For sure. But the last thing you should do is to take your loofah and scrub your skin bare. Scrubbing too hard (or too much!) will only leave you with patchy and sensitive skin. Instead of applying pressure on your skin, grab your usual body scrub and mix in 1-2 drops of body oil. Rub the mixture onto clean skin and repeat as needed until you get to the amount of glow you want. Remember: patience is key.
I turned out all patchy. Is there a way to even this out?
For whatever reason, you may find yourself with a patchy tan and a need for a quick correction. No need to change your outfit plans to cover up every inch of patchy skin. Instead, find a product that contains glycolic acid to strip your tan without damaging your skin. If you have access to tan removers, most of them use this ingredient to help exfoliate and fade old or uneven tans faster. Just make sure to check the ingredient list.
As always, prevention is better than cure: make sure to prep properly before doing a self-tanning session. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate because dry skin loves to drink up tanning products.
My tan turned out orange. How do I avoid this next time?
Sometimes, emerging from a self-tanning session only to look like a pumpkin is not always your fault. There are times when it’s not you, it’s the formula you used. When a self-tanner has too much dihydroxyacetone (DHA) — the chemical that is responsible for producing temporary pigmentation — your tan can look quite artificial. You can easily avoid this by doing a patch test before making a self-tanner purchase. You can also browse through the ingredient list for colour-correcting actives that can help boost your natural colour.
My hands are turning out darker than the rest of my body. Why is this?
Some people have a tricky time with making sure their hands develop evenly in colour. Your hands tend to absorb more product, which makes them develop into a darker shade than the rest of your body. You can easily avoid this by puffing your palms, in between your fingers, and around your nails before and after a self-tanning session. After applying your self-tanner, add a tiny bit of moisturiser to the bottoms of your palms and inside your wrists, then blend them out for an even glow. Should your wrists turn out muddy, grab a towel and rub it between your wrists to get rid of excess product.