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Image / Editorial

How To: Fix a Botched Self Tan


By Lauren Heskin
24th May 2015
How To: Fix a Botched Self Tan

It’s almost time to lose those tights but what happens when you meticulously apply fake tan only to wake up looking like the orange-smeared collar of a white shirt in Topshop? From a quick whizz around the office it appears that not only are streaks a universal problem but there are loads simple hacks to remove them. From cotton balls soaked in Windowlene (supposedly it works a treat) to jumping into a hot bath, here are the tried and tested ways to get a streak-free tan.

For Light Streaks: Tooth-Whitening Toothpaste

If you just have a few small streaks that you want to neaten then try a whitening toothpaste. The whitening chemicals help to fade tan so just rub it in and wash off.

ICYMI: 1/4 of Irish Skip Brushing Teeth

For Serious Streaks: Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

This is home remedy is the business. Mix some lemon juice and a few teaspoons into a paste and then give your skin a good exfoliation. Rinse off in some warm water and go again if necessary. It’s also great for removing tan from your knuckles and ankles so you can pretend you’ve been in Saint-Tropez rather than wearing it.

For An Oompa-Loompa Territory Tan: Exfoliation or Investment

It’s so bad you need to start again? Run a hot bath, add some bath oils, jump in and exfoliate with a loofah. The bath oils will help soften the tan and make it easier to exfoliate away.

If you’re still that orangutan-colour then invest in a tan eraser mitt. It’s expensive but it does work a treat and it also preps your skin beautifully for a new tan application.

Patching It Up

Now you’ve removed the streaks you need to fill in the paler patches of your tan. MAC’s face and body foundation is ideal for blending in pale areas and it also guarantees that your face will match your tan. There are a few different shades so go in wearing your fake tan to test out which one best matches your ideal take.

If you have time, try just blending in a gradual tinted moisturiser and adding more as it builds until you get a close match. And really minor spots can be done with a bronzer and a blending brush.

Once you’ve perfected your self tanning skills check out our piece on body contouring with tan. Jennifer Aniston’s legs not guaranteed.

CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 12: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Women In Film 2009 Crystal And Lucy Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on June 12, 2009 in Century City, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
CENTURY CITY, CA – JUNE 12: Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the Women In Film 2009 Crystal And Lucy Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on June 12, 2009 in Century City, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)