5 tanning fails most of us have suffered and how to fix them

In partnership with
Vita Liberata
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If you’ve been in the pursuit of the perfect tan, chances are there have been some mishaps (or there will be). Here’s how you can deal with them…                 

Picture the scene: it’s a Thursday evening, you’re in the bathroom and you’ve got one leg propped up on the toilet. Your mitt has probably seen better days, but you forgot to pick up a new one.

More importantly, how is it that time again? Why does it only feel like 24 hours since you were last here?

The dedication to the tanning game is so real. 

It’s not always easy: in fact, sometimes it’s really, really difficult and you wonder why you bother, especially when no matter how hard you try, you end up with streaks down your legs, orange wrists and feet that look like they don’t belong to you.

We’ve all been there but then the joy of a perfectly golden faux glow is also worth the stress. And the sweat – even in this heat. 

So, to make you feel a little bit better, here are some hilariously terrible tanning tales that have happened – and some pro tips from VIP Tanning Expert Clara Anderson from Vita Liberata in case you suffer the same fate…

Chain reaction

“I once had a spray tan that had a hideous chemical reaction with the leftover at-home false tan I had on my ankles. I spent the first three days of a holiday bright green.” - Victoria, London

Pro tip: This does sound like a nightmare. It’s always best to make sure any previous false tan has completely faded before getting a spray tan or applying more at home. 

Make sure you exfoliate 24 hours prior to your spray to remove any dead skin cells and ensure a super smooth base.

And if you’re going to remove hair, do it at the same time - this gives pores a chance to close so you don’t get any tan in them and will be left with an even result.

Mum’s the word

“One of my friends smothered his face in his mum’s fake tan thinking it was sun cream and had to take a couple of days off work. Oops!” - Thomas, Ipswich

Pro tip: First, don’t let him forget it. And second, the quickest way to remove the tan is to use as many oil-based products as possible. 

So, try an oil cleanser twice a day, along with a generous application of a facial oil overnight. Oil based products will dissolve the tan in no time.

Wedding woes

“I got professionally fake-tanned a few years ago for the first time before a wedding. I did all the right prep, but I still ended up with orange hands and what looked like orange scales on my arms.

“At the wedding, I was sat next to a guy I really fancied, but I was so embarrassed that I sat on my hands for the entirety of the sit-down meal and would only eat when he wasn’t looking. It was pretty stressful to say the least.” Sophie, Croydon

Pro tip: When finding the right professional to spray tan you for a wedding, make sure they protect the palms of your hands with a barrier cream prior to the treatment and then thoroughly wipe them afterwards. Take a damp cloth to your knuckles and wrists to lift any excess tan.

This ensures there’s no tan where you wouldn’t naturally be tanned. Make sure you always follow Tanning Rule 101 and exfoliate thoroughly before tanning to ensure you have no dry patches of skin.

Plus, if you choose a moisturising tanning product such as Vita Liberata’s which use organic ingredients and are formulated without alcohol or perfume, there’ll be no chance of scaliness.

Bargain stunt

“I decided to fake tan for the first time after I’d drunk too much prosecco. For some reason, I kept my sandals on and ended up giving myself some pretty impressive David Dickinson-style tan lines…” - Lauren, London

Pro tip: Tanning after bubbly is probably not the best idea! Not least because hand-eye coordination will be somewhat depleted – but alcohol will dehydrate the skin too, leaving a less than ideal canvas for your tan to work its magic. 

Wait until the next day, drink plenty of water and then tan to your heart’s content.

If you do happen to be left with any leftover tanning mistakes and need to cover them quickly, hide the evidence with a body makeup like Body Blur - an instant tan that blurs imperfections, adds instant colour and contains light reflecting particles for a flawless finish. 

Orange is the new white

“I met a guy one night, one thing led to another and we ended up back at my house. 

“The next morning, I noticed some weird stains on my bedsheets, my pillows, the sofa, even the wall. It turned out he’d been rocking too much instant tan and it had basically covered my entire flat. We didn’t speak again.” - Natalie, Leeds

Pro tip: Hopefully, it was an aloe vera and water-based tan like Vita Liberata, in which case it will easily wash out of the bedding and the sofa cover. As for the wall, any stains should be easily removed using baby wipes – problem solved. 

Maybe get a friend to drop him a text and let him know there are clear self tanners (like Invisi Foaming Tan Water) - made up of a colourless mousse that applies to skin completely clear and develops into a golden tan after 4-8 hours, leaving no trace of fake tan on your clothes or bedsheets.

Fancy the chance to win a luxury trip to Santorini for you and your best mate? Along with the holiday, Vita Liberata are also gifting £1,000 of spending money to split between you, a VIP spray tanning experience, plus £150 each to spend on Vita Liberata goodies!

Find out how you can be in with a chance of winning here and shop the Vita Liberata range below.