You might be looking for a temporary fix to cover scars on your body, or even a more permanent cover. There are ways to cover scars on your body, whether from injuries or acne. You can choose to use body oils or a waterproof concealer, or even an airbrush concealer.
Many people also look to fake tan to cover scars. This could either be a spray tan at a salon or a self-tanner used at home. These fake tans give you an opportunity to avoid the harsh rays of the sun, they give you an instant glowing tan, and help to cover any scars.
Looking to tan in the sun is never a good idea, and above all the bad conditions UV rays cause to your skin, the sun might make your scars more pronounced.
Avoid using permanent solutions such as laser or microdermabrasion therapy if you are not ready for that, and instead, try using a fake tanning solution to hide your scars.
There are many different self-tanner or spray tanning options to choose from, and each suits a different person.
What will be best for you will depend on your skin type, what type of coverage you are looking for and the type and extent of your scars?
Finding the right fake tanning product will help you cover your scars and give you the extra confidence you are looking for to feel comfortable and beautiful in your skin.
Self-Tanner and Spray Tan For Scar Cover
Many people choose to use fake tanning products instead of concealer to cover scars and other blemishes and cellulite.
Fake tan is a transparent color solution, which creates a sheer shade of color on the surface of the skin. Concealer and foundation can work to cover scars for a shorter period of time, but it is not opaque and is thicker on the skin. T
he denser pigment used in concealers and foundation help to fill in skin discoloration, scars and even cover pores. This coverage is removed once you wash your makeup off at the end of the day.
Fake tan gives the skin a sheer wash of pigment and color, which actually changes the color of the dead skin cells found on the surface of the skin.
After the application, this solution is washed from the skin and it leaves the skin tinted. This does not cover the skin like foundation, and the skin is still visible through the fake tan, it just has a sheer tint applied to the skin.
The chemical used in fake tanning products is called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which interacts with the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, causing them to darken, which lasts for several days before it wears off.
This sheer pigmentation does not always cover the skin evenly, and at times scarred skin might not absorb the solution and won’t darken as much as the rest of the skin.
How well the fake tan covers the scarring will depend on the scar thickness, depth, color, how it has healed and the amount of damage. Your skin type and pigmentation will also have a big role in how the coverage turns out.
Older scars and stretch marks that have aged and turned white or silver might be more absorptive to the fake tan solution.
So older scars might have better absorption and develop a darker color, while others might remain pale. You might have scars on your body that react to fake tan differently, with some gaining a pigment that matches the rest of your skin, and others that remain white.
How Fake Tan Makes Scars Appear Less Prominent
The first thing to do when applying fake tanner to scarred skin is to do a spot test. This will help you determine how each scar will be affected by the fake tan solution.
Use a cotton pad to apply fake tan to the area, let it develop for 8 hours and then rinse it off. You might notice that scars on your body react differently to the self-tanner.
It is perfectly fine to apply self-tanner or spray tan over scars, as long as they have healed completely and are not sensitive or tender. A scar can take up to a year to complete heal, changing in both color, texture and appearance.
Skin needs to be properly prepped before undergoing a fake tan, and over the counter treatments used to treat scars such as creams and acids can affect the skins coloration, exfoliation, and tan fade rate, causing the false tan to fade quicker. It is best to apply fake tan to clean, product free skin.
Scars and stretch marks which have aged will be less pronounced and could absorb color from the self-tanning product, blending it in with the rest of the skin.
However, this is not something that can be predicted, and a test-swatch will have to be done first to determine how scars will react to fake tan.
Self-Tanner Balancing Out Scars
When helping to cover scars, gradual tanners are a great option to bring about a light color change that will blend in scars gradually and in a more natural looking way, whereas longer-lasting darker fake tans are good for almost instantly covering up deeper scars.
If you are battling to get even coverage with fake tanners, you could look into self-tanners that can be mixed with make-up or creams to conceal the scars even further.
Self-tanner can be a base for your coverage, and you could work in some foundation, bronzer, and blush to conceal scars on the face even further.
Does Fake Tan Help Cover Acne Scars?
Acne scars can be a big source of low-confidence, as they are on the face and not as easy to hide as scars on other parts of the body.
Fake tanning products can be a great option when it comes to covering acne scars. Combining a self-tanner with make-up can help to almost completely cover up acne scars. When using self-tanner on your face, it is a good idea to use a lighter tanner, especially if you suffer from oily skin. These will give a more natural looking tan, and won’t clog up pores to make current acne even worse.
Acne scars can often appear red, purple or brown as they heal. Severe acne scars might actually become more pronounced with the use of fake tan, so opt for a lighter color spray tan and do a test swatch beforehand to see what the outcome will be.
On top of being able to cover acne scars on the face, fake tanners can also help to even out discolored or uneven skin tones. Every person has slight variations in skin tone, but some conditions cause the skin to have a distinct discoloration, such as melasma or vitiligo. A spray tan or a light self-tanning lotion for the face can help mask the discoloration and create an evener skin tone.
Does Fake Tan Help Cover Self-Harm Scars?
Self-tanning scars can be unpredictable. More recent scars have a tendency to stay lighter than the surrounding skin when a fake tanning solution is applied as they absorb less DHA from the fake tan. Older scars have the ability to absorb more DHA, so they can blend in more with the surrounding skin. If the scar is in a rougher area, such as elbows or knees, they could even darken more than the surrounding skin as there are more dead skin cells to react with.
However, scars found on the wrists, forearms and upper legs are easier to cover as these are lighter areas of skin. This allows you to use a light, gradual self-tanner which can be built over time, naturally blending in the light scars to the rest of the skin.
Does Fake Tan Help Cover Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks can be a sign of achievement for some women, showing off the effects of pregnancy, but many women wish to hide their stretch marks, especially when wearing a costume.
Stretch marks, like other scars, react differently to fake tanning products depending on their age. New stretch marks will not absorb tanning solution efficiently, and therefore won’t darken, whereas older stretch marks will be able to be blended into the rest of the skin by absorbing more DHA. Stretch marks will not darken in the sun, and exposing them to UV rays might actually impair healing.
A light spray tan over stretch marks, especially on the upper thighs, can be an effective solution to hiding them by blending them in with the rest of the skin, resulting in an even, glowing tan.
Does Fake Tan Help Cover Cellulite?
While cellulite isn’t necessarily scarring, it is another condition which can lower confidence in women. Cellulite is visible because of the shadows caused by cellulite dimpling. The shadows and therefore cellulite is easily spotted on lighter skin, so by applying a darker tan, the cellulite will be less visible. This is an ideal and effective way to camouflage the bumps and lumps.
Does Fake Tan Help Cover Varicose and Spider Veins?
Sometimes veins can pop up and be visible from under the skin. Varicose veins and spider veins are generally harmless but are not ideal cosmetically. A spray tan will help make the veins less visible and diminish the shadows where the veins appear to bulge above the surface of the skin.
How Do UV Rays Affect Scars?
Damage to the skin from UV rays can be very serious and can cause lifelong complications. One of these complications is the affect UV rays have on scars. Scars need to be kept out of sunlight as much as possible, and protection needs to be applied if your scars will be exposed to UV rays.
Overexposure to UV rays on scars, either from the sun or indoor tanning lightbulbs, can cause hyperpigmentation. This is when the scar and surrounding skin become a darker color than the natural color of the skin. This happens because the excess melanin, which is the brown pigment responsible for normal skin color, creates deposits in the skin. This hyperpigmentation can last for many years or even be permanent.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the noticeability of scars is to keep them out of sunlight. Scars should be covered with sunblock, even in the winter months. The higher the SPF of the sunblock, the better protection for the scars. This way they will be protected from darkening from the sun, which makes them even more noticeable, especially on the face.
How To Prepare for A Fake Tan
A fake tan isn’t as simple as spraying some product all over your body and getting a glowing new tan. You have to prepare your skin beforehand, and even more so if you are wanting to cover scars. Preparing your skin before the fake tan application will help make it look more even, and prevent you from have a blotchy, streaky and orange tan. Here is what to do:
• Exfoliate – Exfoliating is so important the day before your fake tan! It removes any excess dead skin cells, which allows for the fake tan to develop evenly over the skin. It also stops your razor from gunking up when shaving and stops irritation of the skin when shaving as well.
• Shave – You need to shave your legs the day before your application. You won’t be able to properly apply the fake tan over hair, and you will more than likely land up with a blotchy tan if you don’t shave before.
• Moisturize – It isn’t a good idea to apply the product to your skin right before applying a fake tanning product, but it is advised to apply some light moisturizer to your skin after shaving. It stops the skin from drying out and moisturized skin holds a fake tan much better, and for longer.
• Do not wax the day before – Waxing the day before a fake tan application can cause some skin discoloration. This happens because waxing leaves the pores open, which allows the fake tan product to sink in deeper than usual. This could cause a freckle-like an appearance. Wait at least one or two days to have a fake tan after a wax.
• Do a test swatch – While it is always a good idea to do a test swatch of fake tan prior to application, it is even more so when applying fake tan to scarred skin. This will help you determine what the skin will look like after a full application has been done, and how the scars will react to fake tanning products.
The Different Types of Fake Tan
For covering scars, there are different types of fake tanning products to use. The effectiveness of each will depend on your skin type, your scars and what you are looking for. These are the most effective types when trying to cover scars.
Spray tans are a sunless solution to tanning, and spray tans are usually done by professionals in a salon. A fine mist is sprayed onto your body, and the mixture contains DHA which bronzes your skin by reacting with your skin’s chemistry.
Spray tanning is incredibly easy because someone else does it for you. You will have the benefit of it being applied by a professional who will be able to provide an even and flawless tan. It is not time-consuming as you don’t have to worry about spreading lotion all over your body and spray tans tend to dry quicker than other self-tanning solutions, so you will be less likely to get stains on your clothes or linen.
Spray tans work well to cover fine, light scars as it evenly coats the skin in a sheer coat of tanning solution.
Gradual tanners are perfect for those who like to build a tan over time and not instantly bronze. Gradual tanners can be used daily, almost as a moisturizer, and they gradually lighten your skin. You are able to build up your tan over time until you are satisfied with the tan shade, and from there you can maintain that specific color by only applying the tanner every now and again.
Gradual tanner works well with scars as you can easily give your scars coverage with a light tan over time. It also avoids the tan being too dark and your scars standing out too much. You will be in full control of your tan and how it develops.
Bronzers work to darken the skin somewhat drastically after one application. This gives a beautiful dark tan within a matter of hours, so those who want quick results will benefit most from using a bronzer. A bronzer also gives the skin a beautiful glow that lasts for up to two weeks, depending on the product.
Bronzer helps to cover older scars which can absorb the DHA more than newer scars. This works well to cover old stretch marks and older scars found on the skin.
Choosing The Right Self-Tan For Your Skin
Different fake tanning products are made to suit different skin types, so the perfect fake tanning product is out there for you! It is important to know your skin and understand what type of skin type you have. With this information, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a self-tanner that will not only give you a gorgeous glow but also help to cover your scars.
If you have sensitive skin, it would be best to look for a product that contains naturally derived ingredients. There are many wonderful self-tanners which contain naturally derived DHA, which does not dry out the skin as much. Look for added ingredients such as argan oil and coconut oil.
The last thing that oily skin needs is more oil, especially if your skin is acne-prone. Opt for a self-tanner which contains natural ingredients such as aloe vera and Vitamin E. These are lighter weight ingredients and have cleansing properties, which help to keep pores unclogged. Spray or self-tanning mousse is a great option as their consistency is lighter and better for oily skin.
Dry skin needs some extra moisture, especially when it comes to self-tanning products. Self-tanners can often dry the skin out, which will only make the situation worse. Look for a product which has ultra-hydrating ingredients such as coconut water or argan-oil. You should also apply moisturizer after tanning, focusing on dryer areas such as the elbows and knees. Moisturizing regularly after a self-tan will help you keep the tan for longer, especially when covering scars.
Choosing The Right Base Color
There are so many different shades of skin color, and then there are the right base colors of self-tanners to compliment these skin shades. Choosing the right base color for your skin tone will help you achieve a natural looking tan, and will help your scars blend in better with your natural tone.
Violet-based – These are better suited to medium and darker skin types, or someone who wants to have an instant, dark tan. Violet and red based self-tanners suit olive tones or skin that tans easily.
Dark ash-based – This is best suited for light to medium skin types or anyone who wants an instant, dark bronze tan.
Caramel-based – Caramel based tanning products are suited to most skin tones, dark to light. It will give a sun-kissed tan.
Green-based – Green is a pink correcting pigment, and is suited for all skin types, but is most suited for those who have fair skin.
Fake Tanning Over Scars
While self-tanning and spray tanning products can help to lessen the appearance of scars, it might take some trial and error before you find the right product to cover your scars. You might find that you need to touch up with some concealer and foundation for scars found on your face, but with the right products, you should be able to successfully reduce the appearance of your scars, and feel more comfortable in your own skin. Not to mention being able to enjoy a gorgeous, glowing tan as well!