What’s Your Recipe When Removing Orange Streaks From Self-Tanners?

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Unfortunately, it happens; clients often find themselves in the bathroom the night before a big event slathering on self-tanner, only to wake up orange and streaky and faced with a nightmare of a problem. That is where we come in. The client will undoubtedly call their aesthetician for advice and maybe even book an appointment to reverse their at-home treatment. So what do you do?

First, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. You need to ask if there are small white spots or missed spots. If so, the client may be able to apply some self-tanner and fill the white areas. If the problem is more severe, they may have to remove the self-tanner and start again.
The only way to remove the problem is to exfoliate, but the product that your client uses and how they go about exfoliating is important. Clients should start by taking a long, hot shower or bath. If possible, have them sit in a chlorinated hot tub or pool as the chlorine helps to quickly fade self-tanning and spray tanning applications. After a long submersion, tell them to apply a thick layer of baby oil to the skin and to leave it on for about 10 minutes. After the oil has subsided, take some sugar (or a sugar scrub) and exfoliate. The client may have to repeat this process.
For stubborn spots, or areas of the hands and feet, a cuticle remover may be applied, which removes the skin and discoloration. I do not recommend applying cuticle remover to the entire body. Microdermabrasion scrubs and sticks will also help with the removal.
Streaks generally come from having moist skin at the time of application, so if your client has just jumped out of the shower, they should wait about 20 to 30 minutes before applying the product to their skin. Streaks can also come from sweating during the development process, so recommend the client keeps their bedroom cool if they are sleeping in the product, or that they refrain from working out.
Orangeness comes from over-application or too strong of an active ingredient in the product that the client is using. As a general rule, clients that are fair-skinned should use self-tanning products with less active ingredients, for example build-a-tan products or self-tanners for light to medium skin. Unfortunately, most products that are on drugstore or mass retailers’ shelves do not list the levels of active ingredients, so it is best to recommend that the client shop for professional-grade products at salons and spas, as staff should be able to tell you what the levels are and advise you on the proper product for your skin tone.
To avoid streaks and orangeness in the future, make sure that your client has properly exfoliated with a loofah or and oil-free, water-based scrub before the application. Ensure that the skin is dry and free of all moisture. Furthermore, if the client is not going to wear gloves will applying the product, make sure after an at-home application, they scrub the palms of their hands after they are done applying the product.


kelly-richardson2014Kelly Richardson is the owner of Sonoma Tanning and the creator of B.Bronz Sunless. Richardson works with the cheerleaders from the San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors, and the Oregon Ducks, as well as the contestants that compete for the title of Miss America. She also teaches spray tanning classes throughout the United States. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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