The Art of the Tan: How to Avoid Orange Palms and Correct Mistakes - Beauty Addict

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Art of the Tan: How to Avoid Orange Palms and Correct Mistakes

Dozens of readers have asked these questions across my various self-tanner posts, and while I touched on these issues a couple of times before, I thought it was high time for a dedicated post.

Caught Orange-Handed

To avoid orange palms, the easiest option is to wear surgical or "hair-dye" gloves during the application process. Lots of people have success with this method. However, I can't seem to find any gloves that fit my hands tight enough to offer enough control, so I'm outta luck on this one. Loose gloves equal a smeary tan, at least for me.

What does work is a thorough scrubbing process that takes a good bit of effort and some chemical help. First, wash your hands with regular hand soap to rinse off the first layer of tanner. Then, scrub them thoroughly using a nail brush and an exfoliating scrub. My secret weapon is St. Tropez Self Tan Remover. It reeks of ammonia, but gets the job done like no other.

Even with this product, though, you need to put some elbow grease into it if you really want all that tanner off your hands. Think of the way doctors scrub up before surgery; 30 seconds for the fingernails on each hand, and another 30 seconds for each hand. (You probably won't need that much, but it's good to keep in mind.) Make sure you get in between the fingers and the area where your palm meets your wrist - these are always telltale spots.

The White Glove Treatment

OK, so your hands are clean - now what? As I've mentioned in a previous post, ghostly pale hands attached to brown arms are just as bad as the aforementioned orange palms. Avoid it by blending just a bit of tanner onto your hands. Squeeze a dot of tanner onto the back of your hand, followed by a dot of body lotion. Rub the backs of your hands together, making sure to blend upward toward the wrist and just a tiny bit, gradually, onto the fingers. Also - make sure the lotion is mixed equally with the tanner, or you'll end up with streaks. This is why tinted self-tanners are so handy.

Destroying the Evidence

To correct mistakes after your tan has already developed, there's really only one way to do it -- you'll need to exfoliate that top layer of skin that's been dyed by the DHA. Unfortunately, serious scrubbing with a loofah is only going to leave you red and irritated, especially if you already exfoliated prior to applying the tanner. So, go for something that'll slough off the tan with a little chemical help.

Oddly enough, Avon Foot Works Pedi-Peel Pads work amazingly well here. Sure, they're for your feet, but these little pads pack enough glycolic acid to erase those self-tanner mistakes quickly and easily. Rub them gently over your orange spots and watch them fade away. (Um, they're great for your feet, too.) At $4.99 for 22 pads, they're an inexpensive and convenient solution. Just don't use them on your face; I think that would be a little much.

Any other burning questions about self-tanners? Ask in the comments and I'll answer in a future post!