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Streaks, spots... how to erase these self-tanning marks on the skin?

Achieving a year-round golden tan has become possible thanks to self-tanning products, and this without any sun exposure. Having become a staple in skincare routines, self-tanners can provide the desired result, provided their application is mastered. Unfortunately, achieving a natural and even tan, without streaks or demarcations, is not as simple as it seems. But what to do when this happens? Discover here our tips for evening out the complexion in case the self-tanner has been poorly spread.

Self-tanning Residue: What are the Solutions?

Unsightly streaks, dark elbows, and bothersome spots between fingers and toes are part of the process. This striped effect is the result of a "poor" application of self-tanner, thus ruining the bronzed effect. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to get rid of the active self-tanning agents once they have been applied.

Misguided Idea #1: Applying an extra layer of self-tanner to try to even out the complexion's appearance.

However, it is possible to speed up the process of removing self-tanner, and thus to "quickly" erase tan lines and even out the tan. This is done through exfoliation using a grainy scrub, a chemical peel, or a loofah. Therefore, if you are looking to correct an uneven tan, gently and daily exfoliate the streaked areas (once a day).

Given that self-tanning active ingredients produce temporary brown pigments (melanoidins) after reacting with the amino acids in the stratum corneum, the principle of exfoliation allows for the removal of tinted dead cells and thus accelerates the process of epidermal regeneration. However, it is not necessary to over-exfoliate or scrub too hard as this risks damaging the skin and causing irritation.

Misguided Idea #2: Applying whitening products, such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide, to the skin in an attempt to eliminate brown pigments.

How to apply self-tanner without leaving streaks?

While self-tanners provide a temporary sun-kissed glow to the complexion without the skin risks associated with sun exposure, dark and streaky spots can, however, appear on the skin. Although difficult to apply, certain techniques can help to avoid this blotchy appearance.

  1. Exfoliate before application. A few days before applying the self-tanner, remember to exfoliate gently all over your body to remove excess skin cells that could make the tan uneven, but also to remove the old layer of self-tanner. Moreover, this will also prevent the absorption of more self-tanner on skin areas where dead cells are more abundant (knees, elbows) and thus create different shades.

  2. Hydrate certain areas. Apply a moisturizing cream to specific parts of the body (knees, elbows, ankles, etc.) that tend to absorb self-tanner more quickly to avoid an excess of self-tanning product. Indeed, the layer of cream will create a barrier on these body areas so that less self-tanner can penetrate.

  3. Use a glove. Whether you're using a foam, cream, milk, or gel, apply your self-tanner with a applicator glove for a more even result. Additionally, using a glove also helps to protect the hands.

  4. Apply correctly. Slowly and gently spread the self-tanner in circular motions, working section by section. Similarly, do not excessively rub your skin when applying the self-tanner as this can cause streaks.

Despite all these tips, if self-tanning products still "frighten" you, it is possible to opt for a bronzing drops with an immediate natural sun-kissed finish.


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.