Insider Secrets: No way! Ingenious new ways to use self-tanner

Tanning guru Anna Stankiewicz reveals how self tanner can hide body blemishes

Anna Stankiewicz
Photograph: Courtesy of Paul Wilmot Communications

To minimize age spots, use self-tanner everywhere but on them, says Stankiewicz, .  Her trick: Before slathering on your self-tanner, use a cotton swab to apply a heavy body cream or petroleum jelly to just the dark spots. “The moisturizer creates a barrier between the sunspot and tanning formula so the skin there won’t absorb as much DHA, self-tanner’s active ingredient. As a result, the skin around the spot darkens, but the spot doesn’t—and your skin tone looks more even,” says Stankiewicz. 

Spider veins
To help camouflage spider veins on your legs, apply self-tanner generously hip-to-toe. Try two sheer coats rather than one—or go a shade darker than you do on the rest of your body. Self-tanner will act like concealer, effectively canceling out the red or blue of the veins. If you need a little extra coverage, you can top off your self-tanner with a body bronzing lotion that contains light-diffusing properties such as DuWop’s Revolotion Body ($28;

Dry, flaky skin

If your skin is parched (and whose isn’t these days?) it can look dull and scaly. Self-tanner can mask all that—assuming you exfoliate before applying. Use a scrub—or just a washcloth and soap—to remove the dead skin cells clinging to your body. Then apply a moisturizing self-tanner formula. Stankiewicz likes the daily moisturizers with a small concentration of DHA, such as St Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan ($30;, which allow your tan to develop over the course of a few days while simultaneously pumping the skin full of much-needed hydration. The result? Skin that looks even, glowing, and moist.

Share Your Thoughts!


Cathy Harvey03.24.2012

Impossible to get the body cream just on the age spots. I've given up on self tanners. Can't anyone create one that doesn't darken age spots and freckles?

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