Does self tanner cover stretch marks?

Having tanned, glowy skin has been extremely popularized ever since the early 2000s and the trend doesn’t seem to go anywhere any time soon!

Before, it would take me hours of lying on the beach or going to tanning beds over and over again to achieve the perfect level of bronzed skin.

Apart from taking forever, both options prove to be very bad for my skin, the latter one also equally bad for my pocket. That is until self-tanners took over.

A self-tanner is a cosmetic product made to help with darkening the skin in a safer and faster way. Can a self tanner cover your stretch marks too? Find out in this guide.

How Do Self Tanners Work?

How Do Self Tanners Work

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a chemical that is one of the main ingredients of self-tanners.

When reacting with the amino acids in the surface layer of your skin, it results in a temporary darker tan that lasts up to a week.

They come in different forms, including creams, lotions, mousses, and others.

You can put them all over your body and face to get an evenly-distributed tan everywhere and they are perfectly safe for you.

This means I don’t have to expose myself to dangerous UV rays anymore to get a nice, glowing tan, as now I have a much more practical and healthier alternative.

Just apply some self-tanner and I’m fresh and good to go in a matter of minutes.

However, it must be noted that self-tanners usually either do not provide you with protection against the sun or they contain low SPF.

That’s why it’s important to use them in combination with sunscreen to protect my skin from sunburn and damage.

Do Self Tanners Cover Stretch Marks?

The answer is yes – to a certain degree! Just like other skin imperfections, applying a self-tanner can definitely help cover my stubborn stretch marks minimizing their appearance and giving my skin an evened-out and radiant look.

With that being said, it is important to say that a self-tanner colors the top layer of your skin only, so it can’t always help with textured, deep stretch marks.

In other words, while it does make stretch marks much less visible, it doesn’t magically make them completely disappear visually.

If I’d like to remove stretch marks as they affect my self-confidence, I might want to see a dermatologist for possible treatment.

Nevertheless, if I decide to opt for a self-tanner to help me cover up my stretch marks as much as possible, these are some of the most useful tips to follow:

Tips for Using Self Tanner on Stretch Marks

How to use Self Tanner on Stretch Marks

Choosing the Right Shade

It’s very important to know how to pick the right shade of my self-tanner, as I don’t want to look dirty or orange.

I should try to find the shade that matches my skin tone exactly, or go for the one that’s one shade darker than mine. This is easily achievable these days, as lots of brands provide me with a wide range of shades.

Avoid going too dark, as this can make my stretch marks look even more prominent instead of concealing them.

Strategic Application

The best way of applying a self-tanner to cover my stretch marks is to use thin layers. This is a good strategy, as I can easily build up layers of fake tan until I’m satisfied with the final result.

I should focus on the area where my stretch marks are the most visible and apply the self-tanning product carefully, using a tanning glove to prevent my hands from staining.

When spreading the product, I need to make sure to distribute the fake tan evenly, especially on the edges of the stretch marks, so that they are seamlessly blended with the rest of my skin.

Combining Self-Tanner and Bronzer

One of the best and fastest ways to cover up my stretch marks is to use my fake tan product combined with a bronzer.

It instantly camouflages stretch marks and gives me the glowy, tanned effect immediately.

Building up a Fake Tan Gradually

A lot of brands that create self-tanning products advise their consumers to gradually build up the color over a few days.

This is done to help prevent a sudden change in skin tone. If I apply multiple layers at once, this can prove to be counterproductive and, consequently, draw extra (unwanted) attention to the areas of my body most affected by stretch marks.

Using Body Makeup

If using a self-tanner to cover my stretch marks doesn’t prove to be enough, I should try using body makeup.

This is usually specifically designed to cover more prominent skin imperfections such as stretch marks.

I can use a big kabuki brush to apply body makeup, or even a sponge, as this will help me to evenly distribute the product throughout the problematic area.

Best Self Tanners for Stretch Marks

Okay. I’ve finally decided I want to use fake tan to try to cover up my stretch marks the best that I can.

Now, here comes the tricky part – choosing the right self-tanning product for me.

There are numerous cosmetic brands worldwide that have incorporated self-tanners into their wide range of beauty products.

The majority of these do the job they’re supposed to do: conceal stretch marks while also giving me a bronzed, tanned, beachy kind of look.

However, not all of them are of great quality, so I might want to do my research before buying and applying one to my skin.

It is always a good idea to check out what’s on the ingredient list of self-tanning products. I should try to find products that are rich in ingredients such as hyaluronic acidvitamin E, and aloe vera.

These ingredients are exactly what nourishes and hydrates the skin, letting it absorb the product completely, making my stretch marks hardly visible all while leaving me with a fresh tan.

Here are a few self-tanners that may be particularly effective for covering stretch marks:

Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Gel

Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Gel

This self-tanning product comes in a gel texture, which is known to be more lightweight on the skin.

Being infused with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, it’s the perfect option for anyone who likes their skin to be left smooth and moisturized, without feeling sticky, as it absorbs pretty quickly. It has a natural tanning agent that will leave me with a long-lasting bronzed tan, without leaving streaks and patches.

Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands Aero Aerated Self Tanning Foam

Bondi Sands is a beauty brand that produces self-tanners known all over the world. This Aussie brand came out with this foam-textured self-tanner that has vitamin E as one of its top ingredients.

Vitamin E is known to be a great source of antioxidants, which help moisturize the skin while providing me with a natural-looking tan. It has a formula that is quick-drying, so I can get my fresh, beachy tan in a few minutes.

Tan-Luxe Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum

Tan-Luxe Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum

Tan-Luxe is a brand that is known for good quality self-tanners, and their Super Glow Body Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum is one of their best products for getting a long-lasting tan.

This serum is lightweight and hydrating, containing hyaluronic acid, which plumps and moisturizes the skin, giving me a streak-free glowy-looking tan. It is infused with vitamin E as well as raspberry seed oil, which are known to be powerful antioxidants that help protect the human skin from different environmental stressors.

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

While talking about some of the best fake tan products to cover my stretch marks, I can’t forget this amazing tinted body lotion.

It is filled with natural and nourishing ingredients including vitamin E, organic aloe vera, and shea butter, all of which contribute to giving my skin a hydrating, nourished, and smooth sensation.

This self-tanner can be used as a primer before makeup, or on its own. It will give me a natural-looking glowy tan that will skyrocket my confidence level!

Other Ways to Cover Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can be a real annoyance sometimes and can even lead to lowering my self-confidence.

Although they are a perfectly natural thing, being more normalized in today’s inclusive beauty standards, some people still have issues with their stretch marks being too visible.

If I aren’t into using self-tanners, either because I don’t think they will cover my stretch marks completely or I don’t want to end up with streaks and an uneven tone, I can still opt for other ways of covering them:

Body Makeup

Unlike regular self-tanners, whose main function is to provide a bronze beachy tan, body makeup is specially designed to cover skin imperfections such as stretch marks.

All I have to do is carefully choose a product that closely matches my skin tone and apply it to the skin using a sponge or a brush. Because of its more potent ingredients and texture, it is supposed to help cover those annoying stretch marks almost completely!

Clothing That Covers Affected Areas

If I don’t think I’m skilled enough to perfectly apply a self-tanner or body makeup, clothes might be another good way of covering stretch marks.

Wearing clothes that cover the area affected most by stretch marks can help to conceal them completely. Long-sleeved tees and pants are good options for this.

If I live in an area where the temperature is high, I can opt for something more breathable, such as a long dressloose pants, and flowy long-sleeved blouses.

Body Shapers

These have proven to be very famous in the last few years, especially with women.

Body shapers including camisoles as well as compression shorts can be additional help for smoothing out my skin, all while making the appearance of stretch marks as minimized as possible.

Laser Treatment

If the other suggestions don’t work for me, and I’m not afraid of spending a bit more, getting laser treatments can be the best option for minimizing the visibility of my stretch marks – if not completely removing them.

These treatments help stimulate collagen production in my skin, which then helps the skin regenerate and reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. I should consult a dermatologist and see if this might be the right choice for me.

Advantages of Using Self Tanners

Nowadays, with the fast-paced lifestyle everyone is a part of, going to the beach and sunbathing for hours on end doesn’t seem like a practical idea anymore.

Besides, people like using self-tanning products for a wide variety of reasons. Here are the most common ones:

Achieving a Nice Tan Without Sun Exposure

One of the best ways of getting glowy bronzed skin without having to expose my skin to dangerous UV rays is by using self-tanning products.

Apart from being able to get an instant, natural-looking tan, I am reducing the risk of skin damage, premature aging, and potentially getting skin cancer, which can all be results of sun-tanning and using tanning beds.

Boosting Self-Confidence

Even though pale, porcelain-looking skin is finally getting some recognition in recent years, for most people, looking tanned gives them a much-needed boost of self-confidence.

Tan skin is connected with good production of melanin, which is a clear sign of looking healthy. Not to mention, having a tan makes my body look more toned and fit, which is what a lot of people strive for.

With self-tanners, it’s just a matter of minutes until I achieve the tanned, glowy look that will provide me with the confidence level I need.

No Tan Lines

The biggest concern for people who sunbathe on a beach or beside a pool (apart from being exposed to UV rays) is being left with tan lines.

This is a major annoyance for girls who like to wear sleeveless tops, and open-back dresses in summer.

With using self-tanners, I can easily avoid having tan lines, as I’m doing the application on my whole body in the comfort of my home.

Evened-Out Skin Tone

If I am one of those people who struggle with skin imperfections such as blemishes, acne scars, and an uneven skin tone, self-tanners are the perfect choice to help with that.

Using these kinds of products can help even out my skin tone, providing a nice tan while giving my skin a more radiant glow and consistent color.

Quick and Convenient

Getting a tan used to take hours lying on the beach or going to tanning salons to use tanning beds numerous times before achieving the perfect skin tone.

Nowadays, I can get my bronze skin and a glowing tan, as well as cover my skin imperfections much easier and quicker by using a self-tanner.

Using a mitten, or a glove, I can apply a self-tanning lotion, mousse, or serum in about 30 minutes or so.

The process is practical and fast, and I can build up as many layers as I want until I reach the wanted tone.

Enhances Muscle Definition

If I’ve ever seen a bodybuilding competition, I must have noticed how bronzed they all are.

This is because a bronzed skin tone enhances muscle definition and makes your body look fitter and more toned.

This is easily achieved by using self-tanning products. A lot of fitness enthusiasts use it as well, to show off their hard work at the gym.

It’s Temporary

Sure, a natural tan that I get from sunbathing on the beach lasts for much longer, even for weeks or months.

While this is probably the thing most people want, it’s still not good for the skin, due to the harmful UV rays your skin is exposed to during tanning sessions.

Self-tanning products provide me with a tan that lasts for a week or so, which can be short-lived, but also good for all those who don’t like having a tan for too long or want it just for a special occasion.

Different Kinds of Self Tanners

Self-tanning products have loaded the beauty industry in recent decades, as the bronzed look has been popular for quite a while.

There are several types of self-tanners available on the market, differing in formulation, application methods, as well as the duration of the tan.

Some of the most common types of self-tanners include:

  • Lotion self-tanners: The most common and popular type, applied by hand or using a tanning mitt. These normally take a few hours to develop and last for a couple of days.
  • Spray tan: Great for those who don’t want to bother applying the self-tanner on their own. It is applied by using an aerosol can or spray bottle, and it’s usually done by professionals in beauty parlors. It dries quickly, leaving you with a tan that lasts for up to a week.
  • Mousse self-tanners: Lightweight and easily applied, this kind of fake tan dries quickly, normally without leaving streaks or patches.
  • Tanning wipes: These aren’t as efficient as the other kinds of self-tanners, but they are more convenient if you want to quickly touch up on your tan while traveling or if you’re on a busy schedule.

How to Prepare Skin for Self Tanning

To achieve an even and long-lasting tan by using a self-tanner, I must do proper skin preparation prior to applying the product. I can do so by following these easy steps:

  • Exfoliate – I should exfoliate my skin the day before tanning to remove any dead skin cells and allow for an even application.
  • Remove body hair – Shaving or waxing the day before prevents the self-tanner from absorbing unevenly.
  • Moisturize the skin – Hydrating my skin allows the self-tanner to glide on smoothly. I should avoid oily moisturizers.
  • Avoid body lotions and perfumes – These can create a barrier on the skin and cause uneven tanning.
  • Wear loose clothes – Tight clothes can rub off the self-tanner before it sets in. Loose, dark clothes are ideal.


To sum up, applying a self-tanning product can prove to be an effective and quick way of achieving the perfect beach tan, covering skin imperfections such as stretch marks, and boosting my self-confidence.

I should just remember to store my self-tanner properly, prepare my skin before applying it, and make sure to always use sunscreen to protect my skin at all times.

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