How to Avoid the Biggest Self-Tanner Mistakes
Tan gone wrong
Streaky spots, awful smell—self-tanner comes with some not-so-pretty side effects. But new-and-improved formulas aim to get you glowing without a single gripe.
What's up with my orange hands?
Fix it: Those dark palms and brown spots between your fingers tell the world you’ve been self-tanning. But Spray di Sole Sun Gelee kit ($50; spraydisole .com) is hands-free: Simply apply the gel-based formula with the enclosed brush—no latex gloves or endless hand washing.
The color turns blotchy and uneven!
Fix it: Dry patches on skin absorb more color, leading to streaks. Brazilian True Tan Dual-Action self-tanner ($39; brazilianpeel.com) uses glycolic acid, which sloughs away dead skin cells as you apply. Translation: You can skip the pre-tan scrub and still end up with even color.
I can't stand the smell!
Fix it: That odor occurs when the active ingredient in self-tanners, DHA(dihydroxyacetone),cinteracts with skin. Jergens Natural Glow Daily Foaming moisturizer ($9; at mass retailers) contains odorabsorbing compounds that not only mask the stench, but also block the olfactory receptors in the nose that would typically detect it.