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 South Seas Skincare Uh Oh Self Tan Remover ($24) for your palms or Bronze Buffer Self-Tan Remover Sponge ($10).
- 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.