As we find out more and more about the hazards of overexposure to the sun and tanning beds, many of us are turning to self tanning lotions to achieve the perfect bronzed glow we all covet. While self tanners don’t expose us to harmful UVA and UVB rays, if not used correctly, or applied in a rush, we may end up with streaks or dark patches that turn a healthy looking glow into a hot mess.
In order to achieve a natural, seamless tan with a tanning lotion, one of the most important things you want to do is exfoliate in the shower with a body scrub or loofah sponge, prior to applying your self tanner. Not exfoliating your skin can result in the self tanner attaching itself to patches of dry skin on your body which will leave you with an uneven looking color.
After exfoliating, you want to apply your self tanner in long, even strokes. Remember to go very lightly on your elbows and knees, as those areas tend to be naturally darker and too much self tanner will leave them looking too dark, and oftentimes even orange.
Exfoliating and carefully applying your self tanner are great ways to achieve a natural glow, however, there will be times when even these two steps are not enough to achieve a flawless tan. We’re human, and accidents happen, which is why it’s important to have a few simple tricks up your sleeve to make your tanning accidents fade away leaving you looking worthy of a St. Tropez beach.
If you find that the skin on your palms, around your cuticles, on your knees, elbows and around your ankles and feet look much darker then the rest of your skin, an easy fix is to take a facial cleansing pad such as the ones made by Neutrogena or Desert Essence and rub them in a circular motion over the darkened areas until they become lighter. If you don’t have facial cleansing pads on hand, try cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the juice on the affected areas until you achieve the desired results. The acidity in lemon juice virtually disintegrates the excessive layers of tanning lotion. Try using these tricks on the smaller areas of your body that get streaked or over darkened, as they may be too drying or irritating to larger portions of your skin.
If you have a large, thick streak of tanning lotion, your best bet to lighten it is to make a thick paste out of baking soda and water, apply it to the streaked areas and then massage it in with a washcloth, body brush or exfoliating body puff until the streak disappears. In case that you find yourself with streaks more often than not no matter how hard you try to apply the self tanner evenly, try one of the new tanning sprays on the market like Banana Boat’s Summer Color. Sprays tend to go on much more evenly as well as make application much easier for far to reach, and easy to streak places like the backs of your legs and torso.
A beautiful, bronzed glow is high on our list of beauty must-haves, and with a few simple fix-it tricks, you can have a gorgeous, streak-free tan from a bottle anytime of year.