Self Tanning Questions

Does Fake Tan Cover Stretch Marks? (Self & Spray Tanners)

Written by: Anastasija

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In the day and age of social media, magazines, and photoshop, it can be so easy to feel conscious about stretch marks and you may be wishing to hide them. If this is the case for you, read on to find out whether fake tan can cover your stretch marks.

Does fake tan cover stretch marks?

Self-tanners usually add an overall tint to your skin and tend to stick more in dryer areas, like your elbows and knees, which is why they’re normally darker. The overall tint the add is usually the same regardless of how dark your skin is already (e.g: if a person with extremely fair skin and slightly darker skin used the same self-tanner, the darker one would still probably go a deeper colour than the fair one) and just boosts your natural colour by a few shades.

Also read:
What Is The Best Self-Tanner For Fair Skin? (5 Favorite Ones)

So, fake tan is known for obviously making your skin look darker, but also making it appear smoother and more even-coloured. Some people even find that it highlights and tones their arms and legs more, as it creates darker shadows.

Because of this, stretch marks will often just go darker with the rest of the skin, so they’ll be just as obvious as before, just darker. However, these results vary between products and brands as they all have different ingredients and formulations.

Some self-tanners have actually been created to cover up stretch marks or make your skin look more even overall, by balancing out all the colours and tones in your skin – however, in most cases, that’s just false advertising.

Personally, when I’m using Bondi Sands tanning foam, I notice that it covers my stretch marks slightly, but not completely. I’m happy with it, as long as it doesn’t make them more visible.

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At the same time, self-tanner can sometimes make your stretch marks more obvious, which we’ll talk about later, so you should be careful and aware of this.

If you are worried about your fake tan highlighting your stretch marks, even more, you can always look out for product recommendations that claim to conceal your stretch marks. You can also have a look at the reviews about the self-tanner you are interested in buying to see what people say about them covering up stretch marks.

Do darker shades cover stretch marks more?

It makes sense that darker shades will cover up your stretch marks more, as they have more pigment, which makes your skin appear darker. If you’re wondering whether darker shades really do cover up stretch marks more, you may be surprised.

If you have found a product which is made to cover stretch marks and does so effectively, then a darker shade will be suitable for anyone, and won’t make much difference in terms of the appearance of your stretch marks. The only difference you’ll notice between a dark and light shade of this kind of self-tanner is the colour itself, nothing to do with your stretch marks.

On the other hand, some self-tanners won’t stick to the skin on stretch marks very well, as it has a different texture to the rest. Others may stick to the skin, but not as much and still appear different. If the self-tanner doesn’t stick to the stretch marks, it will cover the rest of the body, but leave the stretch marks the colour they were before.

As you can imagine, this may make them more obvious, so you should keep this in mind when using a darker self-tanner as the contrast will increase.

Can self-tanners damage stretch marks?

The skin on and around stretch marks can feel more fragile, so you’ll probably be more inclined to think certain products can damage your stretch marks. In short, no, self-tanners don’t damage your stretch marks in any way.

When your stretch marks are covered up by fake tan, that doesn’t mean they have been damaged in any way; it just means that certain product was effective in doing so as it probably stuck better.

The chemicals and ingredients in self-tanners which cause the pigment, mainly dihydroxyacetone (DHA) don’t damage the skin and so they won’t damage the skin on and around stretch marks either.

Some self-tanners can make stretch marks more obvious, but we’ll talk about this later. Even if the fake tan has highlighted your stretch marks, it isn’t a sign of damage, it’s just that the product hasn’t stuck to this area of skin.

Can self-tanners make stretch marks more visible?

In answer to the question above, generally, no, self-tanners don’t make stretch marks more visible. Some self-tanners won’t be as effective at covering them up, but they won’t highlight them even more.

If you pile a lot of product on top of the areas where you have stretch marks and it ends up looking very different to the rest of your skin, so this may draw attention to the area where your stretch marks are. To avoid this, just apply the same amount of product all over your body.

As mentioned earlier, darker self-tanners can actually make your stretch marks appear ‘worse’, as it might not stick as well to the stretch marks and leave an even bigger colour contrast than before, making them more obvious. Not all dark self-tanners will do this, but be careful if buying a darker shade.

Does spray tan cover stretch marks?

If you’re wondering whether spray tan covers stretch marks, below is everything you need to know, and the answers to any questions you may have. In short, unfortunately, no – a spray tan won’t completely conceal your stretch marks, as this is not what the product is intended for.

Spray tan can help to blend out the stretch marks to make the contrast between them and your skin less obvious, and therefore make your stretch marks less visible. If your stretch marks are very faint, small, or don’t contrast much from the colour of your skin, there is a possibility that they may be covered completely after a spray tan, but this isn’t always the case.

If you are looking for something to cover your stretch marks, it may be worth finding an alternate product, such as a self-tanner, to do this. Not all self-tanners do cover stretch marks, but some have been formulated specifically for this:

    • Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Self Tanner: if you are looking for a spray-on self-tanner, this one from Sally Hansen is both affordable, and it gives you the results you want. It doesn’t completely conceal all stretch marks, but users have found it to help blend them out into the rest of the skin.
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    • Vita Liberata Body Blur HD Self-Tanner: for a self-tanner which blends out your stretch marks while still having a natural colour, Vita Liberata’s body blur is perfect. Although on the pricier side, this self-tanning lotion is a gradual, buildable colour so you can get the colour you like. It’s sort of like a BB cream for your body, as it’s really effective for blending out any imperfections.
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If you are planning to get a spray tan anyway, many people find that their stretch marks have been blurred afterward, and it also depends on the tanning product itself that is being used. There’s no harm in trying!

If you’re wondering about the possible disadvantages of using spray tan to cover up stretch marks, there are some answers to your questions below.

Do darker shades of spray tan cover stretch marks more?

It makes logical sense that the darker the colour of spray tan, the more opaque the colour will be, therefore meaning that it’s more likely to cover up stretch marks. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and generally, the darkness of the spray tan doesn’t make a huge difference to the visibility of stretch marks.

The reason for this is all to do with the colour contrast between the stretch marks and the rest of your skin. A darker colour will only add more colour on top of your stretch marks, but it will also do exactly the same for the rest of your skin around them. In other words, the same amount of colour is applied to both the stretch marks and the rest of the skin, so the contrast between the two will be the same.

Can spray tan damage stretch marks?

Stretch marks are generally more sensitive, gentle areas of the skin, as it has much thinner layers here, so you may be wondering about the possible negative effects spray tan can have on them. This is a sensible question, as it’s always good to look out for your skin where possible, but the general answer is no, spray tan will not damage your stretch marks.

Spray tanners are suitable for use on the skin, even sensitive skin, so they are formulated with gentle ingredients that shouldn’t cause any problems, even for stretch marks.

The only time spray tan can be a potential problem for your stretch marks is when you are allergic to the ingredients in it. This is obviously a problem for your entire skin in general, but this area could be more sensitive than others. To prevent this, ask your salon for a patch test if possible before having a spray tan (most people aren’t allergic to it, but you never know).

Can spray tanners make stretch marks more visible?

As mentioned, there is a chance of spray tan making your stretch marks more visible. It’s important to remember that this isn’t always the case, so you should use your judgment about how visible they are.

This can happen for those whose stretch marks are larger, more obvious, or have darker skin to start with (but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will affect everyone with these).

If you already have darker skin, you’ll probably notice that your stretch marks are more obvious due to the colour difference. Unless you have very light skin, there is usually a visible colour contrast between the stretch marks and the rest of the skin. When you spray tan, the colour adds an even tint over the top of all the skin, so it may not cover up stretch marks.

However, a more obvious appearance of your stretch marks is quite rare, and the worst case is usually that the stretch marks will look just the same as they did before. In most cases, the spray tan won’t make your stretch marks look more obvious, but it won’t always cover them completely.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, some self-tanners can be effective in concealing stretch marks, and some products are even made to. If you are feeling conscious about your stretch marks, you can use self-tanner to cover them, but you should also know that there is nothing wrong with having them in the first place.

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

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