I’m NUTSO about my skin. I’m never without sunscreen, I chase the shade. Hate being without my sunglasses… you get the picture. Do I want to look 35 when I’m 50? DUH. But I really am scared shitless about skin cancer. My Mom had it once! And I’ve met other women who have too. They all say the same thing, wear your damn sunscreen.

Here’s my skin bio: I’m half Czech and a quarter Spanish, so when I do lay out I get really dark. But I haven’t laid out since I was 24! So 4 years. And lastly, I’m a quarter English, so when I don’t get extra sun I am pretty damn pale.

But thanks to self-tanner, a lot of the time it appears that I’m tan. It’s great. 😉

I find all skin colors beautiful- pale included. But MY pale skin can get splotchy or irritated. And often. It’s not very pretty. Real talk, the skin follicles on my legs and backs of my arms are supposedly larger than normal (or so my Derm tells me) and because of that I have very sensitive and often dry skin. I also battle with minor eczema so THAT is shitty. So for me, I feel a little more confident with color that helps cover up those annoyances.  Real sun does it better, yes… but, oh well! There’s worse things than a self-tan 😛

So this list of self-tanner woes and solutions is for the ladies who have self-tanner on alllllllll the time like me. Whether they’re about that #SelfTanLife just to be safe, just for vanity, or simply because they can’t develop a good color naturally… I think we can all agree that self tanner is a BIOTCH to keep up with.  Here’s hoping these tips help you out as much as they did for me!


Self Tanner Woes

Woe 1. Ankles. Your knuckles. Parts of your toes. Your elbows. 9 times out of 10 they will be darker than every other part of your body.

Solution: Use a makeup brush to rub in the self-tanner. It deposits and spreads product more evenly. I also like to mix a bit of coconut oil on these parts so it doesn’t deposit as harshly due to the dryer skin.

Woe 2. When the spot between your boobs fades faster than everywhere else. It especially gets worse with wire bras that tend to cut in.

Solution: Only sometimes will adding extra tanner to that spot will work… hate to break it to you. Dreading that fading white circle will always be something to look forward to. Softer bras or going braless can help but.. never entirely. Is what it is.

Woe 3. Working out and after having a sports bra print on your skin after. 

Solution: Softer sports bras? Eff man, I don’t know. We need support and it’s difficult looking for ones that don’t grip too hard but still work. What can help is putting lotion under the edges of your sports bra. It’s just annoying to do. And kinda even though not really gross. Your call.

Woe 4. When extra product sits in your skin follicles and you have those tiny dark brown dots.

Solution: After you shower, slather on lotion and then wait an entire hour to put on self-tanner. This lets the follicle close up more and doesn’t let the product seep in as much– or at all depending on your skin.

Woe 5. When your self tanner is still developing and you get ANY amount of water on you (even a speck!) and it messes the whole thing up.

Solution: Pray that no one spills on you, that it doesn’t rain, and that you don’t forget you have new self tanner on and accidentally start doing the dishes.

Woe 6. Fresh self tanner rubbing off on your clothes.

Solution: Honestly, you just gotta wear clothes you don’t care about when it’s fresh. No other solution.

Self Tanner Woes 2
**Splotchy AND all over my clothes. Grrrrreeaaat.

Woe 7. Speaking of clothes, when you wear jeans and then there is a line imprinted on your legs afterward where the seams are.

Solution: Tight jeans aren’t your friend. Try to limit yourself. And with a fresh self-tan, maxi dresses ARE your friend and the perfect initial go-to.

Woe 8. Sleeping in developing self-tanner and ruining your sheets/ dealing with the smell for a week afterward.

Solution: Let self-tanner develop during the day. If that’s not an option, swap out your A team blankets and pillows for the B team for a night. Also, long sleeves and pants and socks. Layer! Let the clothes, not sheets, soak it up!

Woe 9. Needing to self-tan, but also needing to exfoliate. THE STRUGGLE!

Solution: Try to give your skin a few days off to breathe. If this isn’t an option- get into a routine. Here’s mine: Self-tan on Friday and Tuesday. I exfoliate on Monday and let my skin get a break.

Woe 10. Self-tanner fading unevenly. 

Solution: Here’s a power play by play on what to do. It all comes down to how you shower and moisturize. When showering….
A- Lotion before
B- Short showers (seriously about this one!)
C- Moisturize after while still wet. Body will be half water, half lotion kinda mix if that makes sense. Give it a minute or two.
D- Pat dry, don’t rub.
E- Moisturize AGAIN. Yes it’s a damn process but boy does it help.

Woe 11. When your self-tanner highlights all of your zits or scars, or makes your belly button look a million times deeper.

Solution: Go lighter on those areas, try to “spot tan.” Don’t let it develop as long. It won’t be perfect, but we can try!

Woe 12. When skin is dry… flakiness = bye self-tanner!

Solution: Dry Brush over dry skin before a shower. Some will argue with me on this one because dry brushing exfoliates. In my experience, when done softly it helps exfoliate lightly but doesn’t take it entirely off. I actually think it helps it fade more evenly for me.

Self tanner woes 3
***The self tanner mit. A faux tanned girl’s best friend.

Woe 13. Stained fingers and palms.

Solution: Use a damn mit! What are you doing mit-less?! At least put on lotion before! And use a q-tip with water and a bit of soap on it to go over your cuticles and under nails. Another thing for palms? BABY WIPES. Also, change your nail polish asap.

Woe 14. Hot tubs practically destroying your tan.

Solution: Don’t go in the hot tub. Sucks but… sacrifices.

Woe 15. When one arm is tanner than the other. Or the space between your shoulder blades is splotchy. Or for whatever reason your neck, foot, stomach, whatever is fading/splotching more than out of the ordinary.

Solution: Let’s face it, with a self-tanner you can look incredible but perhaps never 100% perfect. Deal with it. Think of the big picture- gorgeous skin for a long ass time! And enjoy the high-five your dermatologist will give you, knowing you worked hard for that healthy skin check up.

And by the way, the best self-tanner I have used to date for a dark color (which my close girlfriends all use as well too) is St. Tropez Mousse. Always my recommendation. But for the best one that fades evenly (but doesn’t get you as dark) I’d recommend Vita Liberata. Also in mousse.

St. Tropez

Self Tanner Woes bloopers

What it took to get that photo… haha. Any other tips or funny self-tanner woes I missed? What kind of self tanners do you guys use? Let’s discuss!