(Part 1 of 2)
Click Here for Part 2
What’s with those Sunless Tanning Lotion Streaks?
You keep hearing it everywhere you turn… the sun is bad for your skin, tanning beds are bad for your skin too, but you want to look tan right? So you break down and try a sunless tanning lotion thinking you’ll have the best of both worlds… a beautiful, golden tan without the skin damage associated with the sun or beds.
You pop open the bottle, slather some on and wait a couple of hours for your bahama mamma tan to appear. Ouch, what’s with those streaks? A few days later your skin starts looking a bit strange with patches of white skin mixed with patches of tan skin. You’ve just encountered the dreaded blotchy skin syndrome. Blotchy skin, you say…. what’s that all about?
Just when it appears hopeless and you’ve wasted your $30 bucks on sunless lotion, alas - there is hope and you CAN have a beautiful sunless tan straight from the bottle.
First, let’s talk about why you have those streaks. You thought you worked so hard at applying the lotion. What gives?
Well, streaks occur and are formed during the application phase and are usually caused directly from one of two things. One: Streaks appear when you have missed applying the sunless lotion to an area of your skin. Some areas get tanned and others simply do not. And two: You may have reached all areas, but some places may have a “heavier” coat of the lotion than others. Okay there is a possible third: You have accidentally splashed small droplets of water onto your skin while washing your hands. There may be a few other reasons too, but this pretty much covers the main culprits.
So what can you do about streaks? First and most importantly, you want to buy a sunless tanning lotion that contains a “color guide”. A color guide isn’t the main ingredient that gives you your sunless tan. Although, it can provide an instant illusion of temporary color. A color guide is simply a dark coloring added to the tanner so that you can see where you apply. Hmmm…. what a great idea! If you can see where you are applying the lotion, you are much less likely to miss a spot! Check your sunless tanner to be sure that the color guide is water soluble and NOT a stain. Most on the market these days are not stains, but it never hurts to ask.
In part 2 of this series, we will walk through a perfect sunless application step by step. You may not need every detailed step, but you are sure to pick up some helpful tips anyway.
Now, for the blotchiness issue. Blotchiness occurs when your sunless tan starts to wear off. Since sunless tanners only tan the outer part of the skin, it only makes sense that when your dead skin starts flaking off that it takes your sunless tan with it. Applying more lotion to skin already coming off will simply not work.
Dead skin flakes off the body little by little every day. It’s a perfectly normal process. One that you don’t really even notice…… unless you have a sunless tan. In this case, it would be great if all your dead skin fell off at the same time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite happen like that. Instead, it comes off bit by bit taking your beautiful tan with it.
The aftermath can be quite shocking especially to a first time tanner. It can leave you thinking that something has gone terribly wrong. Actually, it can be prevented. Yes, you heard me right.
The absolute best way to prevent blotchiness from occurring is to exfoliate. Some will argue that exfoliating with soap and a wash cloth are enough and maybe it is for a handful of those blessed with moisture laden skin. For the rest of us, exfoliation by itself is not enough. If your skin is dry it will accelerate the flaking process… which in turn helps lead to blotchiness. With just a little preparation you can stop this cycle and enjoy a great sunless tan without all the hassle.
For the best results, hands down - try exfoliating with a sugar scrub that is made with pure essential oils like sweet almond oil. Not only will the scrub remove the dead skin, the natural oils will help form a moisture barrier that will prep your skin for a much smoother application. Do this 2 to 4 times per week depending on how quickly your skin sheds. And always rinse off with cool water and pat your skin dry - don’t rub it. You’ll want to leave the beneficial oils behind on your skin where they can help fight the “blotchies”.
Another important tip to note is to use a moisturizing lotion in between your sunless lotion applications, but be sure to use one without any type of alpha hydroxy acids. Body lotions that contain these kinds of acids can interfere with the actual tanning process of your sunless lotion. The best ones to use are the ones loaded with gentle yet highly moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter and cocoa butter.
Well, there you have it. The underlying reasons for sunless tanning streaks and blotchy skin and some simply ways to avoid them while truly enjoying your tan from a bottle.
In part 2, we will talk about how sunless tanners work and how to apply your sunless lotion step by step for the best application you’ve ever had. Click Herefor Part 2
Lynn Hopkins is co-founder of Spa Sentiments, owner and distributor of MyTan Sunless Tanning Lotion - designed for the face and body. MyTan contains a special, water soluble “color guide” to help eliminate streaking and provide even application. Learn more about MyTan, sugar scrubs and other professional spa treatments you can use at home by visiting Spa Sentiments online: www.spasentiments.com