Whew! Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? I told you it's a lot of work! Now that you've picked your tanner and applied it... let's talk about what to do if you've somehow managed to make a mistake (which you shouldn't have if you have followed my instructions to the T) and how to care for that fabulous new tan of yours.
SO YOU LOOK LIKE A FRIED ZEBRA. NOW WHAT?
Let's go area by area to solve your tanning disaster:
- Your tan shouldn't last more than 36 hours on your face. You can either use a toner, makeup remover or an exfoliating face wash to remove the tan and reapply if necessary.
- Hands/Wrists and Feet/Ankles
- A cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide blotted over the area will help lighten the color, but be careful that you don't lighten it too much!
- The Orange Goop mechanics use will also lift any unsightly orange tanning disasters from more calloused areas like hands and feet. Do not use this on large areas of your body!
- My dad has been in the automotive industry for almost 40 years and car restoration is one of his favorite hobbies. Needless to say, Orange Goop was in ready supply around our house and I can personally assure you that this trick works.
- This is important: Only use ONE of these methods (Hydrogen Peroxide or Orange Goop). NOT BOTH. If you use both, you run the risk of severely irritating your skin. Red, blotchy skin is not an improvement over orange skin! Also, under NO circumstances should hydrogen peroxide be applied to large areas of your body. It is for spot treatment only!
- Fingernails and Toenails
- Denture cleaner works well for fingernails and body hair bleach cream will take out stains from your toenails and cuticles.
- So your fake tan disappears from shaving and using deodorant... use a soft washcloth to buff the sharp edges of your tan lines, exfoliate your armpits and reapply. Pay careful attention to blending when you reapply your tanner!
- Knees and Elbows
- Combine lemon juice and sugar to make a scrub. The lemon juice will lighten the color of the tan and the sugar is a great exfoliant. Just don't rub enough to make the area raw. A little buffing is all you need!
- These areas of your body have lots of soft flesh. Coat yourself in baby oil for half an hour, then take a nice, long bath. Use a soft washcloth to gently exfoliate. Your water should be brown by the time you're done!
- ...You're orange. All over.
- Sometimes, it's unavoidable. Especially if you've never used the product before. Again, take a long bath. One might be enough to lighten you up. If not, continue taking baths every day until your tan is either where you want it to be or completely gone.
And that is it! Everything you need to know about DIY sunless tanning in three installments. I have written all of these before any of them were posted and I am going to publish them in reverse order so that you can read them from the top down instead of having to read and then scroll all the way up to the next entry.
- Your face will have to be exfoliated and redone every day to every other day, same with your armpits.
- Avoid shaving as much as possible. Shaving removes the entire top layer of skin... which is where your tan is. If possible, use a depilatory cream before you start tanning.
- Avoid sweating as much as possible. Sweating will also shed the top layer of your skin... which will end up all over whatever you're wearing. Say, have you ever noticed how fantastic you look in colors like black, navy blue and dark purple? If not, now's the time. :)
- You should be able to push 3-5 days out of the rest of your tan. At the end of that period, you need to completely exfoliate and reapply to your entire body.
- If you are using a gradual self tanner, you need to apply it every day and exfoliate every OTHER day. Exfoliating every day will most likely irritate your skin.
I'm not gonna lie. This was a LOT of work and took a lot of time, y'all. I really hope you like it! Or at least learned something from it. Please let me know if you have questions that I haven't answered. And, I'd like to also add that these are MY tips and tricks based on my own experiences and disasters.