How to Fix a Self-Tanner Mistake Stat

Since I have pale skin, I am always thrilled to find skincare or cosmetic products capable of giving me a beach day glow. I came across a tanning sheet mask in Sephora (from a brand that will remain nameless) and decided to try it that evening. I spread the paper mask evenly on my face, and once it was in place, I went to print out my homework. My computer had trouble connecting to the printer, and as I tried to fix it, I completely lost track of time. I was supposed to leave the mask on for 10 minutes but it ended up staying on for double that amount of time. I ran to the bathroom and peeled off the mask right away--thankfullly, my skin color didn’t seem any different but the instructions said to expect “gradual results.” I went to bed that night feeling relieved that the product I blew my gift card on hadn’t done any damage. Until the next morning: I woke up, glanced in the mirror, and saw that my face was as orange as an Oompa Loompa! I’d also forgotten to rub the serum from the mask into my neck so my skin looked splotchy and color-blocked, too! As a result of this beauty blunder, I became a lot more informed about tanning, which is why I decided to share this guide on how to fix your self-tan stitch stat. Though a sunkissed look is popular, remember that tanning is not the end all, be all. Pale skin is beautiful. If Snow White can rock it, so can you.

Tip #1: Exfoliate!

The DHA in sunless tanning products reacts with amino acids in dead skin cells to produce melanoids, which only tint the top layer of the skin. Because of this, you can easily remove the top layer (the discolored part) by scrubbing the dead skin cells affected by the self-tanning product with an exfoliant. Look for ingredients in the exfoliating product that target dead skin cells, such as oats, baking soda, sea salt, and ground rice. But remember not to scrub too hard; your skin will end up inflamed. Easy does it...

Tip #2: Undo the Damage...Literally

Applying tan remover solutions, whether lotions or towelettes, is most effective when used immediately after noticing undesirable discoloration from a self-tan. Using a tan remover solution before the DHA has completely colored the skin will remove most streaks and blotches completely. Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser removes coloration in a mere five minutes while leaving behind a boost of moisture as well.

Tip #3: Skip the Makeup for a Few Days

Adding layers of heavy foundation, bronzer, and blush on top of a tan will only irritate your face further and draw more attention to a self-tan mishap. Instead, focus your makeup look on the eyes (by applying eyeliner and shadow) and lips (with a pretty shade of lipstick or gloss) to draw attention away from your tanning mistake.

Tip #4: Whiten and Brighten

Most whitening sheet masks contain a generous amount of brightening ingredients that are absorbed deep within the skin, resulting in a refreshed, illuminated, even skin tone. Bonus points if the mask has soothing benefits as well, which will calm down irritation caused by the self-tanner.

Tip #5: Add More Tan?!

If your self-tan looks spotted and uneven, try to fill in the light spots by using a gentle product that will get the job done. Using towelettes--rather than a heavy lotion--can also smoth out your color.