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How to Remove Self-Tanner Streaks

Go (Un)Streaking With These Self-Tanner Removal Tips

So, you've had an unfortunate encounter with a self-tanner. Even though you followed the directions carefully, you ended up looking less sex kitten, more striped kitty. Have no fear, we're going (un)streaking. For tips on how to make the patchwork look a little less obvious, just keep reading.

  • Think fast: The faster you see the streaks developing, the easier they'll be to remove. Consider using a fast-developing self-tanner so you can see the "oops moments" as they unfold, or use a gradual tanner, like Jergens Natural Glow ($10). This way, bad results are less obvious.
  • Exfoliate: Since tanners dye your skin, try to get those pigments out by sloughing off skin cells through exfoliation. Whether you use a loofah, body scrub, or plain old baking soda on a washcloth, these types of scrubs will help newer (untanned) skin cells to surface more rapidly.
  • Prepping power: To prevent streaking in the first place, exfoliate first and make sure your body is not damp when applying your self-tanner. Wear gloves as you work the tanner into your skin, and take a towel or paper towel to gently blend over all areas evenly, avoiding excess application to the ankles, in between the toes, the elbows, and knees.
  • Tan removers: Several companies offer tan remover pads or creams to help lift the dye away. Try St. Tropez Tan Optimiser Remover ($18) for your palms or Uh Oh Self Tan Remover ($13).
  • Go suck a lemon: Not literally, of course. Applying lemon juice to those splotches is a natural way to help exfoliate. Use a cotton pad to apply, and scrub away.
  • Hit the bottle: Of rubbing alcohol. Dunk a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol and apply to the spotty areas. This method can be somewhat drying, though, so be sure to moisturize after.
Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
pinkpeonygirl pinkpeonygirl 6 years
I find the most difficult part to do evenly are the feet, especially on the sides and the toes. The results are horrible no matter what I try.
haleylovesjohn haleylovesjohn 6 years
I like to get a small spray bottle and mix 2 parts lime juice and one part rubbing alcohol. It works wonders.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 6 years
Comet? Oi. I'll deal with the splotches!
Allytta Allytta 6 years
comet, are you for real? maybe we should use industrial strenght bleach next time?
Allytta Allytta 6 years
i just went throught that ;) i used Boots No7 tan spray. It is pretty good, but I was expecting less work, i thought it'd be just a spray, but noooo - the next morning i was blotchy all over. And it stayed on for 12 days :D So kudos for the long life, but if exfoliating for 12 days streight was exhausting and somewhat painful at that point.
Allytta Allytta 6 years
i just went throught that ;) i used Boots No7 tan spray. It is pretty good, but I was expecting less work, i thought it'd be just a spray, but noooo - the next morning i was blotchy all over. And it stayed on for 12 days :D So kudos for the long life, but if exfoliating for 12 days streight was exhausting and somewhat painful at that point.
dallasvialondon dallasvialondon 6 years
You can also scrub with Comet or for orange hands try a cream facial bleach!
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 6 years
I tried an "airbrush" (read: spray can) tan last year, and the results were frigging catastrophic. I was STRIPED. Apparently I didn't hold the can far enough away from my skin. I scrubbed the living daylights out of my legs in the shower, then wore pants til it wore off. Whooh that was bad. So now, I leave the self-tanner in the hands of the pros!
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 6 years
I tried an "airbrush" (read: spray can) tan last year, and the results were frigging catastrophic. I was STRIPED. Apparently I didn't hold the can far enough away from my skin. I scrubbed the living daylights out of my legs in the shower, then wore pants til it wore off. Whooh that was bad. So now, I leave the self-tanner in the hands of the pros!
aimeeb aimeeb 6 years
I can't be bothered with self tanners-they all have a funky odor, stain and end up looking ick. And who can ever do their own back?!
sofi sofi 6 years
Lemon juice!!!
sofi sofi 6 years
Lemon juice!!!
emalove emalove 6 years
I just stick with Jergens Natural Glow--it's so subtle and pretty, and best of all, close to impossible to mess up!
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