General Question

rangerr's avatar

How do I fix an extremely uneven tan?

Asked by rangerr (15661 points ) May 26th, 2010

So…
I realized that my tan is kind of like this…
My arms are a light tan, but I have a farmers tan going on. yay, working outside.
The tops of my shoulders and a stripe on the back of my neck are a darker tan. yay, concerts.
The rest of my body is incredibly pale.

I go to the beach.
I lounge around in shorts and tank tops.
I’m not a fan of being multi-colored.

How can I fix the tan so it’s even without a tanning bed? Or lotions, because I don’t trust myself to not make it streaky?

And no, I’m not tanning naked. Thank you, chat room.

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37 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

So, I guess by lotions and streaky you mean you don’t want a tan from a bottle. What you have to do is get SPF 15 and cover where you are tan, and then spend an hour out in the sun for a couple of days tanning the white parts. Or, use SPF diligently so you lose your tan and go back to pale all over.

chyna's avatar

You can get a spray tan at the tanning bed places now. I’ve seen several people that use them and they are even. Dancing With the Stars use the spray tans.

rangerr's avatar

@JLeslie So only cover the tan parts? How hard would that be for me to make it worse?
@chyna Are there like.. steps to doing that so it doesn’t look fake? I’m terrible at being a girl.

chyna's avatar

I don’t know, I’ve never done it myself.

jaytkay's avatar

Don’t fix it, accept it, who cares. Maybe you have to be a bald guy with a bicycle-helmet-skull-tan to really embrace this.

“Dots on my head? Where?”

SeventhSense's avatar

Spray tan.

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rangerr's avatar

@jaytkay Clearly, I care. Or I wouldn’t have asked the question.

lilikoi's avatar

I don’t like spray tan / lotion tan crap, and I would never allow my body inside of a tanning bed. So, the best suggestion I’ve got is:

Do activities outdoors in your bikini. Often. This could be sitting around on the sand, building a sand castle, swimming, kayaking, volleyball, going for a run, etc. Always apply your sunscreen, and give it a LOT of time. Eventually it will even out. When you’re working outdoors or at concerts, again make sure to use sunscreen and you could try to cover up – wear long sleeve shirts for working and maybe leave your hair down or wear a wide brim hat for concerts…

Avoid being outdoors 10 am to 2 pm. Always wear sunscreen when you’re in the sun. Check out this study for guidance in finding a decent sunscreen (bad news: the good ones are pricey!).

jazmina88's avatar

I feel healthier with a tan. Good luck!!

I’m tryin jergen’s foam this week. my friends say it’s awesome and my next door neighbor has an awesome tan!

JLeslie's avatar

@rangerr Yes, only cover the tan parts with sunscreen (spf 15 or higher). You will need to be fairly careful putting on the suntan lotion, because it really works. Get someone to help you pout it on your back. Depending on how fast you burn/tan, lay out to catch the other parts up over two or three days (don’t try to do it in one long day you might get a big burn). Once you are close, going forward always wear SPF when you are out with your t-shirt on, so those parts of your body showing don’t get tanner. Save tanning for when your at the beach and your just in your swim trunks.

Hint: If the lotion feels a little sticky and not comfortable for you to wear daily SPF 8 feels more like regular lotion, rather than suntan lotion. You will need the 15 or higher to even out your tan quickly, but for a daily going forward you can probably go down to the 8.

FutureMemory's avatar

@rangerr The tops of my shoulders and a stripe on the back of my neck are a darker tan. yay, concerts.

I can’t figure out what would cause a stripe on the back of someone’s neck…?

JLeslie's avatar

@FutureMemory I think he means a horizontal stripe from the area of the collar of his shirt to his hair line. At least that is what I assume…you know “redneck” he said he has a farmers tan.

rangerr's avatar

@JLeslie He’s a she! D:
@FutureMemory I had a pretty heavy necklace on. somehow the part in between my necklace and shirt collar got tanned, but above the necklace to my hair line did not tan at all.

So it looks like I’m going to by laying in my backyard.. lets see how this works.

CMaz's avatar

Keep tanning.

JLeslie's avatar

@rangerr Oh, sorry :). Good luck with the tan.

SeventhSense's avatar

Okay, so the answers that you apply sunscreen to only the exposed portions is kind of silly. As if you can determine the exact formula for the exposure time to allow the melanin in your skin to expose to the radiation of the sun (which has been shown to cause skin cancer) and achieve the identical same skin tone as the surrounding tanned area. And all the while using said sunscreen like an auto body worker at Maaco who masks the front end of an El Camino while he paints candy apple red on the hood and later pink glow on the quarter panels.
Actually come to think of it there is a very similar method for achieving a perfectly even and overall tan assuring that you neither get skin cancer or have an uneven tan.

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense Well, I do it all of the time. Out too long with a tank top…next time out in the sun apply sunscreen everywhere but the white lines, even things up. Knees get burnt lounging by the pool, next time spf on the knees and try to get some sun on the rest of my legs. It isn’t perfect, but it does work. After a few days you just go back to tanning everything, and it evens out. Or, of course can opt to stop tanning and let it all fade.

AND, the OP said she did not want to do tanning in a bottle. AND, there is an argument that these lotions have all sorts of carcinagenic chemicals, including chemicals that might affect hormones (found in many cosmetics, and probably also found in sunscreen lotion, so you just can’t win).

The way to get a “safe” tan is no tan.

SeventhSense's avatar

@JLeslie
Well I still question this even tan method.

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense And one more thing. I’m 43, I kind of know how long I can stay out in the sun before I tan or burn. I guess darker people who don’t burn might be less in touch with how long they can be in the sun, because they never or rarely suffer. I know I get 40 minutes tops in the sun before I pay dearly the next day.

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense ok. You can question it. I wonder if you have ever had to even a tan for a backless dress, or a sleeveless top?

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SeventhSense's avatar

Whatever.
Do us 43 year olds tan differently?

JLeslie's avatar

@SeventhSense I just mean I have a lot of practice trying to get a tan, getting burned, dealing with a uneven tan, etc. Like when my doctor dismissed that my hair was falling out with, “oh well it is summer and it is common to lose more hair in the summer.” Ummm, I am in my 40’s, I have been through 40 summers, I know that I have tons more hair falling out.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Remember, this question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

silverfly's avatar

I like the bikini idea! For you… not for me. I don’t think I could pull off a bikini or a speedo.

I have this same problem. Continuing to tan seems to just darken the tan parts along with the more pale parts. I might try some of these so I can surf in solid color this summer!

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