How To Even Out A Tan: Fixing A Farmer's Tan Before Wedding Season

How To Fix A Farmer’s Tan — Because That Strapless Dress Isn’t Going To Wear Itself

May 4, 2020 Updated May 14, 2020

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We know you’re here for beauty hacks on how to fix a farmer’s tan. We’ll get there. But, let’s start by getting something out of the way: Tanlines are not a sin. Somewhere between middle school and high school, people start to expect each other (girls, especially) to have tan, golden skin year-round and with absolutely no sign that they spend time in the sun while actually wearing clothes. The whole premise that someone must be tan to be attractive is ludicrous and unnatural. But, no tan lines? C’mon. You wear clothes in public. You’re going to have tan lines. It’s okay.

That said, we understand the weight of public pressure. We also get that farmer’s tans often go beyond lines from bikinis. When you spend too much time in the sun with higher-than-usual socks or a bigger, baggier T-shirt while planting your butterfly garden, you can be left with some pretty unsightly tan lines. That’s a farmer’s tan, for sure, and that’s the kind of thing we’re here to help you fix. And whatever you do, stay away from tanning beds.

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate

You can’t have a farmer’s tan if you don’t have any skin left on your body! Grab the sugar scrub. Find your most painful loofah. Hit the shower and don’t come out until you see bone. That’s obviously a joke, but, seriously, exfoliating with a gritty, exfoliating scrub and your favorite loofah will help you slough off the dead layers of skin. It might take a few tries, but it will eventually help you even things out. If it starts to hurt, you’re scrubbing too hard. Stop for the day.

Try A Spray Tan

Think of a spray tan as a fresh coat of paint. It can hide all manner of imperfections. Never had one before? The best advice we ever got is to go 2-3 shades lighter than you think. Don’t wear clothes you love on the first day, because it will stain them, and don’t make plans to go out that afternoon, because you’ll look like an Oompa Loompa until you shower.

Use Self-Tanner

Using self-tanner is probably your best option. Just make sure you test it out, first. Choosing the wrong tanner can be the difference between looking like a cheese puff and looking like a sun-kissed goddess. Your best bet is to go with one of those gradual options, like the one from Jergens. Each day, apply the lotion to the pale parts of your skin and by evening you can reevaluate things and see how well it matches. That will help you mask the farmer’s tan until you can even things out more naturally.

Use Milk or Lemon, Jan

Remember on The Brady Bunch, when Jan tried to fade away her freckles with lemon juice? It’s probably not going to work on freckles. But, just like lemon juice used to kind of lighten your hair, if you take enough milk baths and rub yourself in enough lemon, it will start to lesson the tan. It’s especially useful if you do that before exfoliating. Is it the best method? Probably not… but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Never Go Outside, Again

You might be ghostly white by the end of next summer, but at least you won’t have a farmer’s tan.