If you’ve ever spent an entire afternoon laying on the beach or forgotten to reapply your SPF poolside (guilty), chances are you’ve developed tan lines before. And while not everyone hates them, stripey tan lines can certainly make a strapless dress look weird. Or, worse still, ruin your happy snaps from important events like weddings or graduations.
Luckily, learning how to get rid of tan lines is easy peasy, and there are lots of natural methods that can help fade them or even out your skin tone. (Including a simple step to avoid them altogether!) So, for a few of our favourite ways to send tan lines packing, read on.
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Exfoliating is the most important step towards naturally lightening a tan since it promotes skin cell regeneration. So make sure you exfoliate in some way along with trying out another method on this list for the best results.
Exfoliating is super simple (you’re literally just scrubbing your skin down to remove dead skin cells) and there are a couple of ways you can do it. One option is to use a nice, luxurious product like a sugar scrub paired with an exfoliating mitt to slough away the dead stuff. Or you can make a simple formula at home by combining equal parts brown sugar and olive oil, adding a little bit of raw honey, and then scrubbing yourself down with said solution and a washcloth. Both are great options, the first is just a little more indulgent – and less messy.
While you can technically use a multitude of different oils (olive, almond, etc.), coconut oil is one of the most common household oils these days. And we’re betting you have some lying around the house, ready to massage into your bod.
Natural oil of almost any kind is generally healthy for your skin and – surprise, surprise – also makes a great solution for fading tan lines. Simply take your coconut (or other) oil and rub it into the tanned areas. Repeat this process daily and your tan lines should become less and less visible with each oil treatment. As a bonus, your skin will also be super soft!
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Lemon Juice & Honey
This is another natural solution for tan lines where you probably already have the ingredients in the kitchen. All you have to do is mix lemon juice with honey and rub your tanned skin down with the mixture. Let everything sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse!
However, be aware that the high acidity of lemon juice makes this method one of the more powerful ones. While this might sound appealing, if you have particularly sensitive skin or are sunburnt at all, we recommend avoiding this method!
We all know aloe’s amazing for sunburn, but did you know an aloe vera gel or even a fresh aloe vera plant provides your skin with antioxidants and enzymes that can help fade tan lines? Well, now you do. Aloe vera is also a natural moisturiser and generally great for your skin’s health, so don’t be afraid to give it a shot.
Sunless or Self-Tanner
With this method, the goal is to darken your paler tan lines to match your tan instead of lightening your tan to match your tan lines. It’s therefore a good option for anyone that wants to save as much of their skin-darkening progress as possible.
The only downside is you can’t craft a self-tanner with ingredients that you already have sitting around the house, so you’ll have to go out (or online) and spend a little money. The process itself is simple though: just rub some sunless tanner across your tan lines and follow the instructions on the packaging to get the best results possible.
Even when you know how to get rid of tan lines and have the necessary tools for the job, you can’t always afford the time it takes for a tan to fade or for tan lines to darken. In these cases, makeup might be the only viable option. And that’s totally fine.
We recommend starting with a camouflaging foundation and finishing with a powder to set your work and keep everything in place.
Now that you know how to get rid of tan lines, maybe it’s time to learn more about self-tanner and how to properly apply it? Tanning can be dangerous for your skin’s health, so try fake tanning – a much safer practice that’s less likely to result in tan lines !
Edited by: Pip Jarvis and Iris