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How To Remove Self-Tanner Without The Streaky Mess

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Fake tans are a fantastic way to achieve a sun-kissed glow without running the risk of overheating, getting a sunburn, or damaging your skin with UV rays. But there are still downsides to sunshine in a bottle: When applied incorrectly, or proper after-care instructions aren’t followed to a tee (aka you accidentally shower right after application), uneven streaks and patches can form on the skin, resulting in more of a multicolored look than that bronze glow you were going for. And this bad self-tan might remain longer than most people are willing to wait.

“A standard fake tan begins to fade anywhere between four to seven days,” Liz Agresta, founder and director of Australian Glow, tells Bustle. This fading happens as the skin you’ve temporarily tinted begins to shed, she explains. “Our skin has a natural process of shedding dead skin cells, and this is what the self-tan stains.” Translation? Fake tans don’t technically fade. So, then… how do you remove self-tanner? It’s simply a matter of speeding up the skin’s natural shedding process.

If you find yourself stuck with a less-than-ideal fake tan, don’t fret: There are dozens of products and beauty hacks that will help buff it off. Read on for experts’ tips and tricks for how to remove self-tanner so your complexion is back to its normal state.

We at Bustle only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

1. Try Tan Remover With Urea

Before reaching for something like rubbing alcohol (which Agresta says is a “big no-no;” more on that below), try a product specifically formulated for self-tanner removal. “There are different self-tanner removers on the market,” Natalia Radosz, tanning expert and CEO of Glow 2 Go NYC, tells Bustle, adding that she personally loves Bondi Sands’ Self Tan Eraser. “It actually works, even though it smells intense.” Agresta also suggests Australian Glow’s Tan Removal Mousse. “It helps to speed up the natural process whilst still leaving the skin hydrated and ready for your next application,” she says.

These products work to remove tans without harming the skin because they contain urea, a keratolytic agent that moisturizes the skin while also breaking bonds between dead skin cells (it also helps treat calluses, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, and eczema, FYI). Translation? While it acts as a chemical exfoliant and helps cells shed faster, it does so without drying out the skin.

2. Use An Exfoliating Body Scrub

If your tan still isn’t budging, experts suggest opting for a body scrub that contains a manual or physical exfoliant. “Manual exfoliation is the use of a gentle scrubbing agent that sloughs off the top layer of skin,” Dr. Tahl Humes, M.D., founder and medical director of Vitahl Medical Aesthetics, previously told Bustle. “These treatments gently ‘sand’ the skin and [can improve] skin tone and texture issues.” In this case, they can help polish off the remnants of a fake tan, too.

Exfoliating tools and products are the keys to removing fake tan,” Agresta concurs, explaining that buffing the tinted skin will indeed accelerate the process of shedding the dyed skin cells. Just be sure to exfoliate in a warm shower — not hot — to ensure that you’re gentle enough on your skin, as the heat can dry out your skin. “This is essential in preparing the skin and lifting those dead skill cells,” Agresta says.

3. Buff With An Exfoliating Mitt

On the other hand, Radosz suggests using an exfoliating mitt over a standard body scrub, as scrubbing tools often help boost the benefits of a standalone skin care product.

Radosz is especially fond of the Glow 2 Go Tan Eraser and Exfoliator, but whichever one you go with, the protocol is the same. “Get into a nice steamy shower and lather the body in body wash,” she says, then use the exfoliating mitt on wet skin. “This works very well, and your tan will come off much faster than with a [traditional] scrub.”

What Not To Do

While you may have heard that rubbing alcohol or oil can help fade fake tans, Agresta and Radosz note they not only don’t work, but can have negative impacts on the skin. “Rubbing alcohol will strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling extremely dehydrated,” Agresta explains, adding that this will also result in a bad self-tan application afterwards. “Hydration is key and you want to be gentle with your skin,” she reiterates.

As for oil? This will create a film between your skin and the exfoliating mitt you’re using, Agresta says. “This makes the process much more difficult than it needs to be.” Stick with your three expert-backed options and you’ll have a much smoother time removing that bad self-tan.

Studies referenced:

Farage, M. (2013). Characteristics of the Aging Skin. Adv Wound Care. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3840548/

Celleno L. (2018). Topical urea in skincare: A review. Dermatologic therapy, 31(6), e12690. https://doi.org/10.1111/dth.12690

Verzì, A. E., Musumeci, M. L., Lacarrubba, F., & Micali, G. (2020). History of urea as a dermatological agent in clinical practice. International journal of clinical practice, 74 Suppl 187, e13621. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijcp.13621

Rodan, K.Skincare Bootcamp: The Evolving Role of Skincare. Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open vol. 4,12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp e1152. 14 Dec. 2016, doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001152

Experts:

Liz Agresta, founder and director of Australian Glow

Natalia Radosz, tanning expert and CEO of Glow 2 Go NYC

Dr. Tahl Humes, M.D., founder and medical director of Vitahl Medical Aesthetics

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11 E-Girl Hairstyle Trends That Basically Scream Y2K

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From regencycore to the coquette aesthetic and the “clean girl” look, TikTok has introduced the world to so many style movements it feels impossible to keep track. Currently, there’s another noteworthy trend on the rise: the e-girl aesthetic (short for electronic girl), a term you might recognize from Doja Cat’s e-girl makeup tutorial.

If you’re unfamiliar, the e-girl look is essentially a mismatch of trends pulled from pastel goth, anime, and indie sleaze styles — the result of which is rather reminiscent of Tumblr circa the late 2000s and early 2010s. And one of its most standout features is the e-girl hairstyle: think two-toned hair colors, pastel shags, and heavily accessorized Y2K-inspired hairstyles, all juxtaposed with ultra soft glam.

“The e-girl look is very cutesy,” says Lauren Milici, digital trends expert and entertainment writer at GamesRadar+ and Total Film. She describes the standard e-girl makeup as having blush on the nose, white eyeliner to make the eyes look bigger, and overlining the upper lip for a “pouty” appearance. As for why it’s so popular? It’s super versatile. “People are able to adapt it to their vibe, whether it’s gothy or bright,” she says. And contemporary TikTok can’t get enough of it: #egirl and #egirls have amassed a combined 19.3 billion views on the platform.

Feeling inspired? Read on for 11 trending hairstyles that’ll help unleash your inner e-girl.

Instagram.com/emmalangevinxo

Since the e-girl aesthetic is all about everything “cute,” it’s only logical that one of the most popular hairstyles would pull its inspiration from ultimate cute girl icon Baby Spice with ’90s-era pigtails.


Instagram.com/makhyli

While pastel hair is an e-girl trademark, you can opt for a more subtle taste of the trend by dip-dyeing your tips à la Avril Lavigne. The end result is just as edgy as if you dyed your whole head.


Instagram.com/Abbyroberts

For another way to rock just a pop of color, try a bright, face-framing money piece — think Bella Hadid’s copper-hued highlights. A little bit of color can go a long way.


Instagram.com/nyane

Nicknamed “grunge buns,” this half-updo is easy to style, works with all hair types, and has been spotted on practically every e-girl imaginable.


Instagram.com/DanielleMarcan

The wolf cut, which is essentially a mullet and shag combo, is both edgy and chic — and it’s a look e-girl queen Billie Eilish has recently sported… so it’s a prime example of the aesthetic.


Instagram.com/pattyeffinmayo

E-girls also love statement braids. You can clip in extensions for extra length or simply braid your natural hair and tie colorful tinsel or string (or any accessory) throughout for a bold Y2K aesthetic.


Instagram.com/ee1yse

Sleek buns are forever chic, but for a more Y2K-style e-girl look, go with baby buns, a miniature version that’s customizable — wear them as a single bun or cover your head in them for ultimate cutesy vibes.


Instagram.com/georgiamayjagger

If you’re looking for some fringe, you could get some ultra-chic curtain bangs (another look sported by Billie Eilish). The face-framing chop is still edgy, but not too dramatic, and looks good no matter the hair color or texture.


David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Shags reign supreme in the land of e-girls, and so too do two-toned hair colors. Reminiscent of Cruella DeVille’s iconic ‘do, the look leans more into the “goth” side of pastel goth — and it’s just as legendary as the character who made it famous. (Wait, so was Cruella an e-girl?)


Instagram.com/afiya_muir

Bubble braids, and their close cousin the bubble pony (as seen on Euphoria) are shockingly easy to style: All you need are a handful of rubber bands. Plus, they can be accessorized according to your mood, so while the style is simple, it’s still show-stopping (and Gigi Hadid and Olivia Rodrigo-approved).


Instagram.com/iamhalsey

You can never go wrong with late ‘90s, early 2000s-era butterfly clips. The bedazzled look is a whimsical way to add some color to your hairdo.

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Miranda Kerr’s Nighttime Skin Care Routine Includes Affirmations

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Though she truly needs no introduction, Miranda Kerr is perhaps most notably recognized as the founder of the certifiably organic, sustainable-centric, and completely vegan and cruelty-free brand KORA Organics. Powered by active ingredients native to her homeland (like the antioxidant-rich superfood, noni, which is a common thread throughout the entire range), KORA’s mission is to approach product creation with love for the body and mind, as well as Mother Earth.

Along with being a hands-on CEO and skin care mogul, she also happens to be one of the most sought after international supermodels, a wife, a boy mom of three, an author, a passionate wellness warrior, a home design aficionado, a crystal-loving yogi … and that’s only scratching the surface, as it’s her character, grace, and kindness that truly stood out the most during our chat.

With an exciting KORA Organics launch on the horizon, I had the opportunity to speak with Kerr about the newness, affirmations, and more — just as she was waking up (and fighting jet lag) in sunny Australia, and my afternoon sky began to turn shades of deep blue all the way across the world in New York.

Harnessing the power of the ocean by way of active algae, the KORA Organics Active Algae Lightweight Moisturizer brings something fresh to the brand’s range. After incorporating it into my own routine for the past few weeks, I would describe it as a bouncy, hydrating, and light-as-air formula that brings some much-needed calm into my daily routine. Giving my complexion a juicy glow, while working to heal and smooth any blemishes or texture I may be struggling with, the moisturizer’s formula is completely fragrance-free — though the natural aromatherapy quality is softly floral with traces of the crystal-clear ocean, fresh alpine rose, sweet basil, and earthy geranium.

Aside from the powerful formula (that has personally created my most radiant, glowing complexion to date), Kerr goes on to explain the added benefits of incorporating this moisturizer into your routine: “Every single KORA Organics product has its own positive word on the back of the bottle, as well as its own crystal infusion process in addition to the rose quartz crystal that every single product is filtered through. With the Active Algae Lightweight Moisturizer, it is energized with aquamarine crystals, which really helps calm and soothe your spirit — so it’s nourishing your mind, your body, and your skin. The affirmation on the back of this product is peace, and is part of that ritual for creating that calming and soothing experience — along with the aquamarine stone, and the actual physical affects of the formula.”

During my college years, when I was in such a state of discovering who I was (and who I wanted to be), I stumbled upon Miranda’s book entitled Treasure Yourself. As an avid journaler, I had always written positive quotes and poems for myself, but Kerr introduced me to the power of using your voice and speaking affirming words into the universe as an act of self-love and care.

In honor of my younger self who needed her words at that time, I asked Kerr about some of her favorite affirmations that bring her peace. “For me, words are so powerful, and I have quite a big toolbox of affirmations,” she tells me. One that she repeats frequently: I am a being of light that is capable of infinite possibilities.

“Even forgiveness affirmations can create a lot of peace in your life — we are all human, and we might think something that is not a high vibration towards ourselves or others, and having that little ritual and peace-making is so important,” Kerr says. “I’ll do forgiveness prayers while I’m brushing my teeth, or putting on my skincare to cleanse my skin and my spirit at the same time. I’ll say something like: I forgive myself, and I forgive anyone that has upset me intentionally or unintentionally.”

Expressing the importance of finding some time to pamper herself and be still each and every day, Kerr shares just how much she prioritizes routine — in more areas in her life than one.

“I’m pretty strict about my children’s routine. My grandmother had four children and many many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and she taught me from a young age that routine is the most important thing for them, so that really stuck with me. You can find consistency and moments for yourself around that routine, so when my children go to bed after reading three books together, I often dim the lights, put the lamps on, and light a non-toxic candle. If my husband is finishing work or perhaps at the gym, I’ll then take a bath maybe once a week, or do my skin care routine — and thats when I really lean into those products that are very soothing, and I feel as if they are giving back to me.”

After agreeing that we both love those nights when we get to turn in for bed early, she shares the exact skin care routine she has created for peace and pampering once the moon replaces the sun’s light.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Miranda’s Nighttime Skin Care Routine

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Dua Lipa Wears Ugly ’90s Trends So Well

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Dua Lipa is a head-turner, to be sure, marching to the beat of her own drum style wise. Be it on stage or off, she loves to take a questionable trend from decades past and turn it into a hyper-chic look worth copying. Ahead, all the times Dua turned the “ugly” so freaking cute.
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