No matter how often you've applied self-tan, even the pros amongst us have mishaps. We know the usual culprits - orange elbows, stained fingers, streaks and white patches in places you couldn't quite reach. But you'll be very glad to know that for every self-tan mistake, there's an easy fix. Self-tan mistakes are unfortunate, but thankfully not permanent. If you're a beginner check out our helpful guide to choosing the right tan for your wedding day - because eliminating problems really start there. If you're planning a bronzed goddess look for your engagement drinks, hen party, DIY-ing your wedding day tan, or even just laying a base for your honeymoon, then bookmark the following tips in case you fall victim to streaks and dodgy dark spots. These seven easy fixes for self-tan mistakes will save the day.
Problem: Patchy Tan
Solution: This happens to all of us. Along the sides of the feet and wrists are common spots for weird stripes and patches. It might be from dressing too quickly after applying tan or that we've applied too much to these dry, high contact areas, but it's easily fixed. If the tan has dried and developed there's no point scrubbing at it, instead, get glycolic acid toner such as Exfoliate Glycolic Acid from Pestle & Mortar, €29. The acid in toner helps boost radiance in the complexion by dissolving away dead skin cells that dull it. Apply it to tan patches and it will fade the offending stripes and tan build up.
Problem: Your Hands Are Too Dark
Solution: The general rule of tanning hands and feet is that you leave them to the very end of your session, layering the limbs, back, and torso before moving on to these tricky parts. Use no extra tan on your mitt, just the residue that's left on it to sweep over your hands and feet. Some people swear by curling their fingers into a fist shape to avoid white marks on the knuckles, and it does work if your self-tan is a dark shade. For the feet, avoid the lines that can form along the sides by not putting on shoes or socks too soon after application.
Problem: Self-Tan Streaks
Solution: Yes, you can be as careful as you like, but streaks happen to us all. The backs of the calves and upper arms seem to suffer the most with streaks. Not something you need if you're wearing a sleeveless gown or short hemline. To avoid disrupting the rest of your tan, this is the time to use a self-tan remover like Over It from Isle of Paradise, €29, or an exfoliator. Usually, in mousse form, self-tan remover can be applied to targeted areas and tends to contain glycolic acid. Follow the instructions and watch those offending streaks disappear!
Problem: You've Used Too Much Self-Tan
Solution: It is possible to go too far with self-tan in order to get a deeper glow. Not to worry, there's a pretty easy fix to tone down this self-tan mistake. Contrary to what you might think, don't over-scrub the skin, as that won't guarantee an even fade. Instead, take a dollop of regular body scrub and gently rub it over the skin, so you reduce the result evenly. If the situation is really bad, add a few drops of body oil to the scrub. Self-tan does not like body oil because it breaks it down, the scrub/oil mix will reduce the look of a too dark tan in a single session. Follow with lotion to rehydrate the skin.
Problem: Your Back Has White Patches
Solution: Not everyone is flexible enough to self-tan their entire back without missing a spot. There are two solutions here. Firstly, you can opt for a mist formula tan like Skinny Water Tanning Mist, €26.45, to deliver an even dose of colour, making sure the centre of the back is completely covered. Alternatively, grab a wooden spoon from the kitchen and pop your tanning mitt on the end. To stop it from slipping off, secure it with a hair tie or elastic band. Put tan on it, then, over your shoulder, use the spoon to sweep the tan across your back. Either of these solutions will work, but if there's anyone about you can trust, it'd be easier to ask them for a helping hand. Check their work thoroughly though after they've finished!
Problem: Your Tan Isn't Fading Evenly
Solution: Regular self-tan users will identify with this problem. You have that important occasion coming, but your old layer of tan is hanging around and looking patchy. Naturally, exfoliating will shift a lot of it, but you need to plan your sessions carefully. Exfoliate and moisturise with a rich body lotion one day, and the following day apply your tan. Self-tan tends to be sucked up by dry skin which causes dark streaks in the drier areas, while exfoliated and hydrated skin develops a more even, natural looking tan, which will fade accordingly.
Problem: Your Tan Isn't Dark Enough
Solution: When your tan has developed, but not as deep as you'd like, there is a hack that can get that darker bronze you desire. Self-tan takes six to eight hours to develop fully, so use the clock to gradually get the best tan of your life in less than two days before your big day. Day one apply a layer of high quality tan, such as the Illuminating Body Mousse by Amanda Harrington, €44, in the morning and leave it for eight hours. When it has developed, shower it off, dry the skin and apply another layer and go to bed with it on. After showering on the morning of day two, see how tanned your skin is. If it's satisfactory, moisturise and go about your day. If your want it darker, apply the third layer of self-tan and wait another eight hours before rinsing. At the end of the second day, you should look as though you have been holidaying in Marbella for a month. Happy tanning!
Loved these easy fixes for self-tan mistakes? We've got tonnes more expert hacks and beauty dilemma advice for you to read below!