Even though you might avoid the sun as much as possible, to prevent damage done to your skin by the UV rays from the sun, tan lines can often be inevitable. While they might not seem like a big deal at first, tan lines might take away from that gorgeous dress you have bought to wear to a big event, and you would rather your skin look flawless.
However, there is a way to remove tan lines or rather hide them, almost instantly, using self-tanner.
How do you hide tan lines using self-tanner? Self-tanners work well to hide tanning lines. They develop a darker color on the skin which blends in the tan lines evenly, creating a flawless and complete look, giving the skin an even tan, free from white lines and patches.
Self-tanners are a gift to those who want to achieve a golden tan at home and fix up any uneven tans.
However, they can be tricky to work with, and understanding how to use them properly is important to ensure that you can blend in your tan lines, and keep your skin free from any streaks and blotches.
How to Fix Tan Lines with Self-Tanner
Here is how you can use self-tanner to hide tan lines at home.
Prepare Your Skin
You cannot just massage self-tanner onto the skin which hasn’t been prepared. It is so incredibly important to take the time to get your skin ready for the self-tanner, to ensure it is given a clean canvas to work on, which helps prevents patches and streaks.
Exfoliate – Exfoliating your skin before helps to remove the natural tan as much as possible, which might even help reduce the appearance of tan lines. Exfoliate all over your body with a gentle exfoliator, or with an exfoliating mitt. While you should exfoliate your whole body, pay attention to the drier areas, such as knees, elbows, and ankles, and tan lines.
Here’s the complete guide to exfoliating before applying self-tanner.
Cleanse – You can choose to use a gentle cleanser at home, or a special self-tanner cleanser which helps to cleanse and prime your skin, perfectly setting it up to make the most of the self-tanner.
Moisturize – Some self-tanners can dry out the skin, due to the DHA active ingredient. To protect your skin against this, you should apply an oil-free and fragrance-free lotion. Once again, pay attention to the drier areas such as knees, elbows, and ankles.
Cocoa butter is a great moisturizer to use with self-tanners.
Preparation is the absolute key to ensure you get an even looking tan. Without the exfoliation, cleansing, and moisturizing, your skin will not be able to hold the tan evenly, and you might land up with more streaks to add to your tan lines.
Apply The Self-Tanner
Once you have properly prepared your skin, it is time to apply the self-tanner. There are two types of self-tanners you can choose from, gradual tanners, or normal self-tanners.
Which one you use will depend on how quickly you need to hide your tan lines, using a gradual tanner if you have a few days, and a normal self-tanner if you need a quick fix.
A gradual self-tanner is best to use, but you will need to plan a few days in advance and apply the self-tanner daily to your skin.
Here’s how to use it:
Use a makeup brush or the edge of a tan applicator mitt to place the gradual self-tanner onto your tan lines and the skin around it.
Dab the self-tanner gently onto the lines and blend them out towards the rest of your skin. You will have to repeat this daily to grow the tan to your desired tone and to get the tan lines to fade and match the rest of your skin.
You can then use the gradual self-tanner every other few days to maintain your tan, allowing you to keep your desired tone for a longer period of time.
Gradual self-tanners are also gentler on the skin, as they do not contain the same strength of ingredients as regular self-tanners, so they will not dry out your skin as much, and they are safe to use regularly.
To read all of the differences between gradual and regular self-tanner, check out this article.
A regular self-tanner is good to use if you need to fix your tan lines quickly. Regular self-tanners are stronger than gradual tanners and offer a complete tan in one application rather than having to apply it daily to build one up.
Using a regular self-tanner to cover up tan lines is a little trickier, as you have one shot to get it right. It will be a little more of guessing game as to how much to add to the tan lines, as the color does develop over time and you will not be able to see it instantly.
You will need to gently dab the self-tanner onto the tan lines with a makeup brush or tanning mitt, and blend it out towards the rest of the skin.
If you have fair skin, only leave the self-tanner to develop for an hour. For darker skin, two hours should be a good amount of time to cover the tan lines properly. Once you have left the self-tanner on your skin for the right amount of time, you can rinse off in the shower.
Once you have rinsed off, you can add a little more self-tanner to the tan lines if they need some extra coverage, but do not leave it on as long as you did the first time, as this might cause the tan lines to become darker than the rest of your skin, and therefore they would stand out again.
Even It Out
Once you are happy with your application of self-tanner, you should then look to apply a gentle self-tanning formula such as self-tanning water or treatment. This will just help to further even out your skin tone, and these usually have moisturizing ingredients that help to keep your skin hydrated and nourished, which is much needed after a self-tanning application at home.
You can use a tanning mitt to even out your skin, as you will be focusing on the whole body and not just the finer areas such as the tan lines, which you would need to use a makeup sponge or brush to delicately cover and blend.
As important as it is to prepare your skin and to perform the proper application, it is just as important to continue to moisturize your skin in the days following the self-tan application.
Continuing with a good moisturizing routine will ensure your skin remains hydrated and smooth and does help to keep the tan lines seamless for longer as well.
Moisturized skin allows a tan to fade more evenly as well, so it will not appear blotchy as time goes by.
Gradual tanners are good to use for this reason – as they contain moisturizing ingredients that help to keep the skin nourished as you build a tan daily.
Even though you have gorgeously even skin without tan lines after your self-tanner application, you will still need to protect your skin from any more tan lines, and damage to your skin.
Apply a light suntan lotion daily, with an SPF 15 or higher, and especially when you are planning on going out into the sun. Self-tanners do not contain sun protection, so you will need to apply over this to ensure your skin is protected.
There is no point going through the process of applying self-tanner to even out your skin, to then just go back into the sun unprotected and develop brand new tan lines again.
Can you put fake tan over an old fake tan?
It is not advised to put fake tan over an old tan. The only way you can do this is with a gradual tanner, as these have been formulated to build over an existing tan.
Placing a self-tanner over an old self-tanner will make the old tan appear more obvious, and you will have some darker patches amidst the tan.
How can you remove fake tan?
If you have tried to cover your tan lines and it turns out patchy and streaky, you might be eager to remove the tan. There are a few ways to do this.
You could exfoliate using a mixture of lemon juice and brown sugar, you can use a tanning cleanser, or you can go swimming.
The chlorine in water helps to strip the skin of the tan, and this is why it is recommended to avoid the swimming pool to avoid your tan fading.
Using Self-Tanner To Fix Tan Lines: Conclusion
Tanning in the sun is not the best way to get a tan, with all the damage done to your skin from the UV rays. However, tan lines are often inevitable, and they can get in the way of you completing that perfect outfit for a night out.
Using self-tanner is an easy way to patch up tan lines, to give your skin a more even tone, and it is easy enough to do this at home with your favorite self-tanning product. You can choose to cover the tan lines over a few days using a gradual tanner, or you could use a regular self-tanner to cover them in one go!