How to Fix Spray Tan Faux Pas

Posted by Audrey Kunin, MD There have been 0 comments

Spray Tan Faus

With the skin challenges of winter weather in full effect, there isn't a sallow, moisture-starved complexion around that wouldn't benefit from a sun-kissed glow. And being that the real thing is off the table (wrinkles, melanoma, dark spots—no thanks), self tanner and daily sunscreen is the smart way to go.

The beauty equivalent of a new pair of Spanx, few things can transform your dull, drab skin better—and faster-- than a little self tanner. Applied correctly, a good faux glow can make you look younger, thinner and noticeably more rested in a few short hours (make that minutes if your formula is tinted).

Whether you're a spray tan fan or a DIY type, achieving a flawless faux glow can be tricky. From zebra-striped legs to brown-stained palms and color soaked cuticles, knowing how to fix your mistakes is key.

Here are a few tips for when your new tan turns out looking less than perfect:


When it comes to correcting a botched application, a supercharged exfoliator, such as DERMAdoctor KP Duty dermatologist body scrub, can be your best ally. This dual action scrub, packed with proven anti-aging ingredients, provides both chemical exfoliation and physical exfoliation to speed up cell turnover and gently fade away embarrassing streaks. It's especially helpful when you have a large area to cover. Rub a small amount to damp skin and lightly go over dark spots in a circular motion. (KP Duty is not recommended for use on the face, so if fixing a spot on the face, use DERMAdoctor Physical Chemistry)


For extra stubborn streaks or spots that were missed all together, a good tinted bronzing cream (waterproof if you can find) will keep you covered until the self tanner fades. Rub on and around uneven areas to buff out imperfections. The color will blend into your skin and the edges of the streaks will look softer and less noticeable.


Applying self-tanner two days in a row will help make your tan look more even, and any botched spots from the first application look less noticeable. Use a tinted formula to help you zero in on missed spots.


If you chose to forgo the gloves or forgot to wash your hands after an application, scrub your palms with a paste of lemon juice and baking soda to help eliminate brown stains. A good cuticle remover (look for one containing potassium hydroxide) will help combat overly dark cuticles, as will whitening toothpaste which contains hydrogen peroxide that will remove extra color.


DHA, the active ingredient in self tanner, bonds more easily to dry, dead skin cells than healthy ones. This is why your knuckles, joints and the soles of your feet tend to soak up extra color when you fake bake. A quick fix: rub them with half a lemon. The acid in the juice will help bleach away dark patches pronto.

By Cindy Fedida
DERMAdoctor Staff Writer

This content is sponsored by DERMAdoctor. The author receives compensation for its creation. All content is the legal copyright of DERMAdoctor, Inc, and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.

The information provided is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical, legal or other professional advice.

This post was posted in Self Tan, spray tan, Blog Posts, Exfoliation, Discoloration and was tagged with self tan, fake tan, spray tan

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