How To Fix Patchy Tan

Dec 22, 2021 | How To: Tutorials

Whether you’re a tanning newbie or a glow-getting expert, mistakes are (unfortunately) inevitable. Lighter streaks, darker elbows and unflattering stains between your toes and fingers are all common tanning mishaps. That’s why we’ve created this guide on how to fix patchy fake tan and how to remove fake tan, so you can even out streakiness, for a smooth, flawless finish. 

What causes patchy tan?

At St.Tropez, we constantly strive to bring you high-quality products that can be applied effortlessly, so you don’t experience a patchy tan. However, other products on the skin (including perfume, deodorant and oil-based moisturisers) can cause your tan to breakdown if you apply your self tanner without cleansing the skin first. To prevent patchy tan, we recommend showering before you tan and using an oil-free moisturiser.

How to fix patchy fake tan

Knowing how to fix patchy fake tan can really help you to flaunt your most natural-looking, flawless glow yet.

how to fix patchy tan

@sttropeztan on Instagram

1. Gently buff away excess tan

Excess product often settles onto dry areas, like the elbows, knees, ankles, hands, and feet, causing an uneven, patchy tan. Luckily, our soft Buffing Mitt is designed to gently buff away tan build-up, leaving you with a smooth and even finish.  

Immediately after applying your chosen tan, use the Mitt to blot away any excess tan by gently rubbing darker patches on the skin.   

Top Tip: To prevent a patchy tan and product from settling onto dry areas, always moisturise with an oil-free moisturiser just before applying fake tan. We recommend using our Tan Enhancing Moisturiser.


2. Exfoliate the skin

Another way to fix patchy fake tan is with an exfoliator, as gently scrubbing the skin will tone down the colour. Massage our Tan Enhancing Body Polish and Exfoliator onto the streaky areas until the pigment has faded. 

Top Tip: The key to an even-looking tan is smooth skin. We suggest exfoliating 24 hours before application to create a clean, soft canvas for your fresh tan.


3. Fill in the gaps

When it comes to knowing how to fix patchy fake tan, sometimes darkening lighter patches is easier than trying to remove patchy tan, particularly if you’re in a rush. To give your skin an instant high shine and luminous effect, use a body foundation, like our Instant Tan Lotion in Light/Medium or Medium/Dark, to instantly add colour to any missed sections. It works just like makeup, delivering a natural tan that lasts for up to 24 hours. 

For best result, apply and blend onto dry skin using a Tanning Mitt. Remember to focus on lighter areas to create an even-looking, bronzed finish.   

Top Tip: The next day, wash off the Finishing Gloss with soap and water, then use our Tan Remover Mousse to remove all traces of tan before reapplication.


4. Always use a tanning mitt

Of course, the easiest way to fix patchy tan is to prevent it altogether. For a streak-free finish, use our Dual Sided Luxe Applicator Mitt. It allows you to evenly distribute your tanning product and seamlessly blend it into the skin for a flawless finish, every time. 


5. Opt for a gradual tan moisturiser

A gradual tanning lotion allows you to build your colour over time, so you’re never left with a streaky or patchy tan. Simply apply every day in place of your ordinary moisturiser until you achieve your desired glow. 

  • Our Gradual Tan Body Lotion develops into a subtle glow from day one, and keeps skin hydrated for up to 48 hours. After all, well moisturised skin is far less likely to lead to a patchy tan. Choose between our light/medium and medium/dark lotions for a beautifully even glow. 
  • Our Gradual Tan Tinted Lotion develops into a deeper tan over time while also giving skin an instant bronzed look.   


How to remove fake tan

how to fake tan

@kateromanoff via @sttropeztan on Instagram

If you’ve got a patchy tan and would prefer to start from scratch, or your colour has faded and you’re ready to reapply, it’s a good idea to learn how to remove fake tan. There’s no better way to prepare your skin for a fresh coat than with the St.Tropez Tan Remover Mousse. Infused with detoxifying cotton extract and probiotics, it purifies, rebalances and primes the skin, removing all traces of tan in minutes.   

  • Start by massaging the Tan Remover Mousse all over your dry skin. 
  • Using the Tan Remover Mitt, gently scrub the Tan Remover Mousse into the skin. Pay particular attention to difficult areas, like the elbows, ankles, hands, and feet. 
  • Leave the mousse to work its magic for 5 minutes. 
  • Rinse off in the shower with warm water.    

Top Tip: The St.Tropez Tan Remover Mousse is also suitable for sensitive skin.


And that’s how to fix patchy fake tan! Follow these five top tips to even out your glow, and, if all else fails, knowing how to remove fake tan effortlessly with our Tan Remover Mousse makes it easy to start the process again.

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