Exfoliate to remove tan lines before a big event.

How to Reduce a Bad Tan Line

by S.R. Becker

No matter how much sunscreen you use, you'll sometimes end up with accidental tan lines. Tanning without sunscreen is dangerous, but even when you're careful, sunscreen can wash off with water and sweat. If you have a big event and have to wear an outfit that shows your tan lines, sloughing off dead skin is the key to getting rid of the lines.

Darkening with Self-Tanner

Exfoliate your skin every day by scrubbing with exfoliating cleanser or a loofah, body pouf or sponge. To make your own exfoliating cleanser, add 1/4 cup of sea salt or coarse sugar to 1 cup of body wash. Rinse off the exfoliating cleanser and wash your skin with the soap of your choice. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel.

Apply self-tanning lotion to the untanned skin, preferably one made for tan lines. Leave the tanner on overnight or according to the package directions.

Wash the tanner off in the morning with soap and water. Wear old pajamas and put old sheets on your bed in case the tanner leaves stains. Repeat steps 1 and 2 daily until your tan lines are gone.

Fading with Lemon Juice

Cut a lemon in half and juice it in a lemon juicer. If you don't have a juicer and can't get one, squeeze the lemon halves with your hands. Pour the lemon juice into a small cup and take it into the shower with you.

Exfoliate your skin by scrubbing with exfoliating cleanser or a loofah, body pouf or sponge. To make your own exfoliating cleanser, add 1/4 cup of sea salt or coarse sugar to 1 cup of body wash.

Rinse off the exfoliating cleanser and wash your skin with the soap of your choice. Apply the lemon juice to your tan lines, and rinse the juice off after 2 to 5 minutes, taking care not to rinse it off too early.

Pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Apply facial moisturizer or unscented body lotion to the tan lines while your skin is still damp from the shower.

Items you will need

  • Exfoliating cleanser
  • Loofah, body pouf or scrub brush
  • Sea salt or coarse sugar
  • Body wash
  • Soft towel
  • Self-tanner
  • Lemon
  • Knife
  • Lemon juicer
  • Small cup
  • Soap
  • Moisturizer

Tips

  • If you have homemade exfoliating cleanser leftover, save it in a jar in the shower and use it over the next few days.
  • It might take longer to fade your skin with lemons than darken it with self-tanner.

Warning

  • Lemon juice is an astringent and can dry out your skin. Always apply moisturizer afterward and stop using lemon juice if your skin becomes dry or irritated.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images