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Self-tanners are a great way to get a bronze glow without all of the harmful effects of the sun's rays. However, self-tanners can present their own sets of problems. After self-tanner application, many users complain of minor issues such as streaking, spotting or orange hands. Some users face more serious issues, such as developing a rash from the use of self-tanner. There are, however, precautions that can help prevent such serious results.

Read the label before you buy. Most rashes are caused by preservatives or fragrances in the self-tanner. Reading the label thoroughly can help you avoid these added chemicals and will lessen the chances of rash developing. Perfume-free self-tanners are more gentle on the skin and a great alternative for anyone concerned about rash.

Prepare your skin. Prior to applying a self-tanner, cleanse your skin thoroughly. After cleansing, exfoliate your skin to ensure an even surface for the tanning cream. Having a clean surface will help avoid possible reactions between products.

Use a self-tanner that contains a moisturizer, such as aloe vera. The moisturizer will help soften and soothe your skin upon application, decreasing the likelihood of skin rashes.

Consider using a tinted lotion rather than a self-tanner. Tinted lotions darken more slowly, and thus need more frequent applications in order to give your skin a tanned appearance. In exchange, they are more gentle on your skin and less likely to cause a rash.


If, after taking the above precautions, you still develop a rash from the use of self-tanner, you might be allergic to the tanning agent dihydroxyacetone. In this case, you should avoid using self-tanners.