How to Lighten Dark Spots on a Fake Tan

cotton balls

Q: I have a question. I applied sunless tanning lotion to my legs this morning after exfoliating and drying off completely, but I still have darker spots on my ankles and knees. How can I get rid of them before applying another coat of tanner? I heard that mixing your tanning lotion with regular body lotion can help with the application, is that true? Thanks for your help.

A: You can lighten the darker areas with a damp paper towel and just rub it off. If you need something more powerful, exfoliate the area again and use rubbing alcohol, fingernail polish remover or (yes) toothpaste with a cotton ball to rub the excessive color off.

The best way to prevent darker spots on your fake tan is to use regular lotion over your dry, rough areas and let it soak in. Then apply the sunless tanner. With the dry areas already being moist, they're less likely to soak up as much of the tanner.

If your self tanner gets your skin too dark overall, you could try adding lotion. I personally wouldn't do this, some lotions may not mix well. If you think you need a lighter shade of lotion, then it wouldn't hurt to try since you'd be out the money anyway if you would have to toss the darker shade.

For a quick-fix, you can even try using a light face foundation to lighten up areas that don't want to let go of the color.