O's Summer Beauty Survival Handbook
Illustration by Peter Arkle
Self-tanner reacts with the proteins in the upper layers of your skin to produce a bronze tint, so buffing away that surface skin will soften the color. In the shower, squeeze an exfoliating scrub (preferably one containing glycolic acid, like Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Body) onto a loofah and rub it in circles over the darkest areas. If you don't have an exfoliator handy, the citric acid in fresh lemon juice can help slough away excess color. You can even cut a lemon in half and rub it directly on the splotchy areas. Once your skin is dry, a tinted bronzer (which rinses off easily) will help even things out; you can also minimize remaining streaks by applying a subtle gradual tanner (like Lorac SelfTantalizer Body Bronzing Gradual Self-Tanner) all over. And next time, exfoliate thoroughly before applying self-tanner; when you're done applying, gently rub a damp washcloth over your elbows, knees, ankles, and feet (the areas most likely to streak).