I hope you love the products I recommend in this article. Just so you know, Bronze Booty may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page. This helps me keep Bronze Booty updated with all of this great information. I hope you find exactly what you're looking for!
Most people who have tried some form of sunless tanning method or product have likely experienced those dreaded streaks and blotches on their skin, usually, during the first couple of times, they have tried the process.
The likelihood of experiencing streaks is part and parcel of do-it-yourself spray and sunless tanning products, although it could usually be perfected after a few tries, and there are also remedies for tanning mistakes.
Exfoliate Before Tanning
No matter where you look, every guide and article on tanning would tell you to exfoliate before self-tanning. Tanning specialists would always recommend to exfoliate and moisturize before any tanning session or application because streaks and other uneven color results can happen if the skin is not adequately exfoliated or moisturized.
Exfoliation clears out the dead skin cells from the top layer while moisturizers make the skin more conducive for the tanning process. If you do not prepare your skin well, chances are streaks would be seen.
Make sure to pay extra attention to your knees, elbows, feet, and neck, as they’re usually the body parts that absorb the tanner easily.
Shave Before Tanning
Body hair can also cause streaks and uneven tans, so make sure you have shaved a day before applying tanning products or getting spray tanned. This is so your skin won’t be too sensitive to the tanning formula.
While the purpose of shaving is to trim off body hair, this process also scrapes and cuts away your dead skin cells, leaving your epidermis with open micro-cuts. If these tiny open wounds make contact with the tanning formulation, there’s a big chance that it would result to skin irritation.
It is also not recommended to shave a few hours after your tanning procedure; it would interfere with the tanning and would exfoliate the built-up tan. It’s best to do it a few days after application. Splashing water over areas of your body can also cause streaks.
Use Tanners With Color Guides
There may have been instances when some open their tanning bottles to find the formulation too dark–darker than their chosen shade. This is not something to fret about, though. The dark pigment is simply a color guide.
Many self-tanning lotions and other products contain color guides or tints that leave instant color on the skin. They are there primarily to help you easily see where you have applied the tanning product and where you need to apply more. They are temporary, and wash off or fade away after a few hours.
Getting a tanner with a color guide is recommended, as they are helpful in achieving an even, bronze color minus the streaks. We also love gradual self-tanners for a streak-free tan, as they help you achieve the optimal glow over a few applications.
Don’t Rush Through Application
The most common reason for streaky tans is simply a rushed, uneven tanning application. For instance, if you use a tanning lotion or apply a tanning spray yourself, you may have missed a couple of spots or applied more product on one area of your body than others. After a few days, the uneven color becomes very apparent.
At-home tanning is usually the culprit, especially when it comes to those body areas that are hard to reach. Which is why self-tanning should never be rushed. It takes a careful process to ensure a streak-free, even tan.
Tanning experts and specialists recommend to set aside the time for self-tanning, usually during the night. It is advised to apply section by section, starting from the bottom and saving the arms and hands for last. Also remember to start with the large areas of the body first before focusing on every nook and cranny.
Use a Tanning Mitt
Tanning mitts are an essential part of self-tanning. As tanning is like the makeup for the body, tanning mitts are the equivalent tool of a makeup brush or sponge. That said, one should never apply a tanner with bare hands.
First off, putting on tanners without a tanning mitt would result in a streaky and uneven application. Tanning mitts exist solely for the purpose of achieving that flawless, perfect tan easily. It helps you spread the product on your body, especially on the hard-to-reach areas.
Also, tanning mitts save you from having orange-stained fingers and palms that scream “Faux tan!” within a mile away. So, if you don’t want a tanning faux pas to happen to you, it’s best to use a tanning mitt when applying your tan. It would save you all the trouble and is a good investment piece for tanning aficionados.
Let It Dry Completely
This may be obvious but a lot of people tend to overlook this tip, especially when in a rush or when their patience runs thin. However, after all the tanning steps you did, you owe it to yourself to be sure that your tan is completely dry before you put on loose clothing.
Tanning formulas tend to dry in approximately 10 minutes, however, there are instances when it dries longer than that. Check especially the small areas of your body, such as the elbows, neck, and back of the knees. If it still feels tacky even after 10 minutes, then the formula hasn’t completely dried.
For faster drying, you can also use the aid of a blow dryer when your tan is almost dry but not just quite. There’s no rule or warning that says you can’t use other tools to completely dry yourself off. This way, you don’t have to awkwardly stand naked, waiting for your body to dry off!
Just because you’ve achieved that perfect tan glow doesn’t mean you should abandon moisturizing. Not only does it keep the skin healthy and supple, but it also preserves and prolongs the longevity of your tan.
It’s best to apply moisturizing body cream to keep your skin hydrated, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin from within. As your tan fades, using an after-tan lotion would help you avoid a blotchy skin tone, too, a common occurrence after self-tanning.
While the promise of a safe and healthy bronze glow lies on self-tanning, the process is surely not an easy feat, and should not be taken lightly or in a rush. Tanning by yourself is hard to do, especially if you’re a beginner in doing so. And, nobody wants the risk of orange hands, streaks and looking like a tanned zebra.
Knowing the tips listed above will help you avoid this tanning faux pas. It’s best to follow them and research before you tan by yourself or get another streaky tan.