Self-tanning is a process which takes skill, and some getting used to, especially for beginners. Once you have used self-tanner for a while, you’ll know exactly how to apply it in certain areas and how to avoid certain mistakes. However, bad fake tan on your hands is something everyone experiences at some point, and here’s how you can fix it.
How do you fix bad fake tan on hands?
Bad fake tan on your hands can be so frustrating, especially when the rest of your body has applied perfectly. Luckily, there are some things you can do towards fixing any mistakes you may have made.
The most common problem which cause ‘bad fake tan on hands’ is streaks or orangeness, which are usually as a result of not wearing a mitt when applying your self-tanner – something which you can easily prevent in the shower. If you have noticed that there is bad fake tan on your hands after it has developed and been rinsed, you should always wait 24 hours before trying to ‘fix’ it, so you’ve given it enough time to fully develop.
However, if you notice streaks or patches of self-tanner on your hands during application, try to remove these straight away, and using a dry or slightly damp cloth is best.
There are a few things you can do to remove self-tanner from your hands:
- Self-tanner remover
- Lemon juice and cotton wool – keep the lemon juice on for 10 minutes and then rinse
- Exfoliate your hands with an exfoliating mitt of scrub
- Blend it out with a blending stick
Remember, the tan on your hands generally washes off much faster than the rest of your body anyway, so you could always just wait it out.
What if you over-did it?
Over-doing the fake tan on your hands is something that everyone makes the mistake of doing at some point in their self-tanning career. Here are some detailed tips for removing or fixing this:
- Wait: as mentioned earlier, the tan on your hands generally only lasts for 2 or 3 days, as they get washed so often, which gradually fades the colour. If you don’t have time, or you don’t think it’s worth it, you could always just wait for the self-tanner on your hands to fade off.
- Self-tanner remover or lemon juice: both self-tanner remover, a product which is sold by many tanning brands, and lemon juice, that versatile kitchen ingredient, can be used to remove the fake tan on your hands if you think that they’re better off completely bare. Just apply one of the two, leave for 5-10 minutes, and rinse with cold water. This method is best for use on the palms, as doing so on the backs of the hands can end up looking worse, leaving a big line where you’ve removed it.
- Wash off earlier: if you’re worried about the fact that you’ve over-done the self-tanner on your hands whilst you’re waiting for it to develop, you could always wash of this tan earlier than rest. Again, the danger here is that you may end up with a line between the two contrasting shades on your wrist.
2. Knuckles and other dry spots
Hands aren’t the only place with potential for over-doing the self-tanner. Places like the knuckles, knees and ankles, which are really dry, can react in different ways with the ingredients in the self-tanner to the rest of the body. If you find that these areas have been a little over-done, here are some ways to fix it:
- Blending stick: the first, most failproof choice if you’re looking for a way to blend out the self-tanner, and perhaps tone it down just a little, is to use a blending stick. All you need to do is rub the blending stick around the area until you think that any harsh lines, patches or streaks have been blended out and voila!
- Moisturiser: the reason why this problem happens to most people is because these areas of the body are extremely dry, so they absorb much more of the product in the self-tanner, because they are naturally just looking for ways to nourish themselves. To prevent this problem happening again in the future, apply a little bit or moisturiser to each area before you apply the self-tanner, and this should no longer be a problem.
- Exfoliate: if you’re at the end of the self-tanner’s ‘lifetime’, and you find that the pigment has faded everywhere on your body except these places, use an exfoliating scrub or mitt to gently exfoliate all the colour away from your skin.
What if you didn’t use enough of it?
Unlike over-doing the self-tanner on certain areas, not using enough of it is very different when it comes to ‘fixing’ it. You should still try to avoid not using enough self-tanner to begin with, as it can still be tricky to top up, but here are some tips:
- Use a blending stick: while this product isn’t something widely available from many brands at the moment, Isle of Paradise’s Blend It stick ($22) can be used to blend out any areas of uneven tan. For example, if you haven’t used enough on a certain area, and there is a large patch or streak which makes this even more obvious, you can use the blending stick to gently blend it out. This option is good if you’re in a rush, or the area which isn’t tan enough doesn’t bother you, as long as it’s rubbed in.
- Use a gradual tan: if there’s a large area, such as your arms or legs, which you don’t think has gone quite as dark as you would have liked, a gradual tanning lotion or something similar may be the trick for you. Just apply the gradual tan as you normally would if you were using it alone but do so at least a day after applying the tan. After 2 or 3 days, your colour will be perfect!
- Use tanning drops: tanning drops are great for topping up those areas, like your hands or face, where the self-tanner is washed off much faster than on the rest of the body, as these areas are washed more often. 2 or 3 days after the initial application of the tan, you can start to mix some tanning drops into a moisturiser or serum for your face, or a hand cream for your hands.
Self-tanner is easy to fix once you know what you need to do, and the entire process of application gets easier the more you do it. If you’re ever worried about overdoing or underdoing it, don’t be – as long as you use appropriate judgement of what you think you need. Now that you know how to fix your fake tan, there’s no need to worry!