Five self-tan mistakes and how to fix them

Monday, 23 October 2017

We all know that the only safe tan is a fake one, but despite formulas getting better each year, many of us still haven’t mastered the art of the at-home tan. Here are five of the most common self-tan mistakes, and simple solutions to fix them:

1. Your colour is too dark

Gently exfoliate your skin with a body scrub– it won’t remove the colour completely, but it will help lighten it. Ten minutes before exfoliation, apply a rich body oil (coconut oil) will also do the trick). Oils plump the skin and will aid the exfoliation. A quick dip in the pool will help too – chlorine is known for fading self-tan but obviously not really an option anymore for those in the Western Cape.

2. Your hands, knees, and elbows are blotchy

Exfoliating will help, but if you have a hair removal cream, you’ve hit the jackpot. Apply to the areas but only leave on for half the amount of time indicated on the packaging. Alternatively, make sure these areas are thoroughly moisturised before you apply your self-tan – this is the easiest way to avoid discolouration.

3. Your hands are a different colour to the rest of your body

For hands that are too dark: Mix one teaspoon of baking powder with half a teaspoon of water and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Massage it into your hands for a couple of minutes before removing with lukewarm water.
For hands that are too dark: Apply self-tanner again, but be very cautious (leave it on for a shorter period than you normally would). Apply some moisturiser to your wrist area to make sure the colour from your hand to your arm blends without leaving a discerning line.

4. Your tan looks uneven

There are many reasons for this – did you wash your mitt thoroughly after the last time you used it? Did you use too little product? Did you use more product on some areas of your body than others? Best thing to do is try your best to remove/lighten the tan (see step 1) and start again.

5. Your pores have a “pitted” look

If you shaved/threaded or waxed within 24 hours of applying your self-tan, then this will sadly be the result. With hair removal, your follicles need at least a day to recover, or else the tanning product will sit in your pores and have a stippled effect. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done, except to avoid more hair removal for a couple of days.

Other articles you may be want to read:

12 self-tanners that work

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Tell your friends

    Thank you for this. Self tanning is stressful and can turn out completely wrong! But with these tips I feel more comfortable

    6 months ago •


    Tanning is luckily one thing I never have to do.

    11 months ago •

  1. Annika Joubet

    I have always been to scared to use self-tanners due to the discoloring of hands, knees and elbow. Will give it another try with these tips

    12 months ago •

  1. Diana Van Den Berg

    very true and interesting, I have recently had the pitted look as i though i had to shave before putting on tan lotion

    12 months ago •

  1. Fayyaadhah Bux

    Thank you so much for the information .

    12 months ago •

  1. Humaira Motala

    A very informative article. Thank You!

    12 months ago •

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