7 Home Remedies You Must Try

  • Self-tanners help you achieve a tanned look without sun damage, but they can leave streaks or spots.
  • Home remedies include baking soda mixed with baby oil or lemon juice, vinegar, and body scrubs.
  • Use these treatments with caution and apply moisturizer afterwards to avoid damaging your skin.

Self-tanning products offer a great way to get a safe summer glow and keep it year-round, but they do involve a bit of a learning curve.

It’s normal to notice some streaking or dark spots as your self-tanner dries. And if you end up with orange skin or hands much darker than the rest, you might not feel like going out in public to get some self-tanner.

But here’s the good news: You may already have everything you need to open an orange or streaky tan on your kitchen shelves or bathroom cabinet.

Read on for seven tips to fix tan lines or dark spots yourself and help your tan fade a little faster.

1. Lemon juice and baking soda

You can make a natural, acidic exfoliant by mixing lemon juice, which contains citric acid, and baking soda in a one-to-one ratio until they form a paste.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Start with a quarter cup of each ingredient.

2. Combine in a small bowl and stir until combined.

3. Add more lemon juice and baking soda, in equal amounts, as needed.

4. Apply this paste to your skin with your hands or a cotton pad, then rinse with warm water, says Dr. Anna Chacon, dermatologist at MyPsoriasisTeam.

This combination of citric acid and baking soda can lighten and even out minor self-tanning mishaps. Your arms, for example, may end up darker than the rest of your body after applying self-tanner. Rubbing some of the paste between your palms can help even out the color on your hands.

2. Baby oil and baking soda

If lemon juice proves too harsh for your skin, you can mix baby oil and baking soda to create a gentler paste.

Baby oil can help even out a full-body self-tan or help it fade more naturally if some areas remain a little darker than others.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Combine a quarter cup of baby oil with a quarter cup of baking soda until the mixture forms a paste.

2. Add more of each ingredient as needed, in equal amounts.

3. Apply the mixture generously and let it soak into your skin for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Rinse it off in the shower or bath.

3. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Dabbing or lightly rubbing the vinegar on your skin with a cotton ball can help correct small areas of discoloration from self-tanning.

Just be gentle when rubbing vinegar on your skin – both white and apple cider vinegar can irritate and dry out your skin. Leave the vinegar on for just a minute or two before rinsing it off.

If you have sensitive skin, try diluting vinegars with a little water before applying. Chacon also recommends applying a moisturizer after using vinegar on your skin to help combat dryness.

4. Get in the shower and exfoliate

If you notice any streaks or dark spots on your skin, a warm shower can help smooth out the streaks and give your tan a more natural look.

The combination of hot water and steam can help lighten any dark spots, lighten your overall tan and soften your skin. Exfoliating with your favorite body scrub can also help smooth out stretch marks and reduce any discoloration.

Try these exfoliating tips:

  • Gently exfoliating any dark spots every two or three days can help your tan fade more evenly.
  • If you don’t have any exfoliator on hand, you can try gently buffing the problem areas with a towel.
  • Avoid scrubbing too hard or too often—exfoliators can damage your skin’s barrier, so overusing them can cause skin sensitivity, irritation, and dryness, says Dr. Mamina Turegano, dermatologist and co-founder of Skintap.com.

5. Mix the sugar with the olive oil or coconut oil

Fresh body scrub? You can try making your own with just a few ingredients. Both olive oil and coconut oil are extremely moisturizing, and by mixing them with sugar, you can make a homemade exfoliator that softens the skin in just a few minutes.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Combine half a cup of olive or coconut oil with a quarter cup of sugar and mix until smooth.

2. Optionally add a teaspoon or two of vitamin E oil to the mix if you want to give your skin an extra layer of protection

3. Add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oils to enhance your scrub with a relaxing or refreshing scent.

Sugar scrubs help remove dead skin cells from your epidermis, the layer of skin where self-tanner absorbs, Chacon says.

Just use them sparingly — like any exfoliant, sugar scrubs can cause skin irritation if used more than two or three times a week.

6. Hair removal cream

Hair removal creams like Nair or Veet can help lighten or remove a spray tan. Just keep in mind that they may also remove some of your hair with them.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Apply hair removal cream to targeted areas to lighten or smooth out stretch marks.

2. Start with a pea-sized amount for streaks and a quarter-sized amount to lighten a full tan. Add more as needed, in small amounts

3. Leave the cream on for no more than half the recommended time on the bottle, then wash or wipe gently.

4. Keep in mind that the longer you leave the cream on, the more likely you are to remove your hair.

7. Bronzer

If you don’t have time to scrub your suddenly orange skin, you can try dusting on some bronzer to tone it down.

This temporary fix can help fix your tan until you have time to try a more labor-intensive solution.

Packaged interior

If your tan didn’t turn out exactly as you hoped, try not to panic – some household items can help lighten an orange or streaky tan if you don’t want to wait.

Just keep in mind that using things that aren’t meant for the skin can cause dryness and irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Be sure to wash off these medications completely and use a moisturizing lotion to avoid drying, Chacon says.

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