What To Do If Your Self-Tanner Just Won't Work On Your Legs

Everyone loves a good winter glow. Whether its the sparkle of Christmas lights or an impeccable self-tan, winter is the perfect time to add a little radiance to your life. Winter is a particularly great time to apply self-tanner, as it gives your skin a summer glow it can't naturally get during the season. While it seems more natural to self-tan in summer, it can be even more necessary to continue it in the cold months if you want to prolong a sun-kissed look.

Although self-tanner is a great help when there's no sun, it can be a little challenging to apply. When your self-tanner just doesn't work, it can be a struggle to fix it later on. When you need a nice, even tan, there's nothing worse than looking down and seeing your legs are still their normal shade. Unfortunately for self-tan lovers, it's almost a given you will get a bad tan at some point, and legs happen to be one of the common problem areas. The founder of Cocoa Brown Marissa Carter tells Byrdie, "It's really common to find that your legs below the knees are often left paler than the rest of your body after washing off your guide tan." Thankfully, there are various ways you can prevent giving yourself a faulty tan.

Why your self-tanner won't stick

Before you can fix a tan that didn't work, it's important to know why it fell flat the first time. According to beauty spa Island Glow, the most likely culprit is that you might be doing your pre self-tan routine incorrectly. If you usually wax or shave your legs, this might be the reason why your self-tan is not sticking to your legs. When you shave or wax, you are opening the pores on your legs, which creates an uneven base for your tan and may even trap the product inside your pores when they close. The website explains that hot showers or baths before tanning can also open pores, to the same effect. 

Custom Tan explains that there are various other reasons why you may still left with pale legs after a self-tan. Since your shin area has the thinnest skin, it is more likely that the tan will not properly stick here. This area is tricky for self-tan as it will usually be the first to shed skin, which will lead to your self-tan rubbing off. 

Even if you can't do much about the skin on your shins, there are ways you can ensure you are doing everything you can for an even and spotless glow.

How to fix your self-tan

Self-tanning should be a seamless process that leads to sun-kissed skin year round. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can fix patchy spray tans and ensure you have an even glow. St. Tropez recommends buffing away excess tan and going over a patchy tan with an exfoliator. All you need to do is scrub the patchy areas until the pigment is no longer there. If you feel it would be easier, simply fill in the lighter areas with another coat of self-tan.

On the other hand, Be Bronze Studio explains that there are plenty of home remedies you can use to get rid of a bad self-tan on your legs. Use a combination of baking soda and lemon juice to make a natural paste that will exfoliate patchy areas. This trick comes in handy if you find yourself needing to remove patches. As well, hair removal cream is another product you can easily use to remove a faulty self-tan. Simply smear the hair removal cream over the affected areas and follow the product's instructions.

To prevent your tan from going patchy or rubbing off your legs in the first place, Island Glow recommends showering in cold or lukewarm water and avoiding clothes that are too tight on your skin.