When you’ve decided to use self tanner to get the perfect sun kissed glow, knowing how to apply it correctly is very important. But even if you’ve done it before successfully, you might run into trouble, so it’s important to know how to avoid and fix any problems.

Learn more about the biggest self tanning mistakes and find the perfect solutions to keep them from ruining your gorgeous tan. From preparing your skin carefully to getting a uniform look, here’s what you need to know.

1. Trying Self Tanner Before a Big Event

Stick to the brands that worked for you in the past if you’re planning or using it right before a big event. Otherwise, if you’re just starting out with self tanner, you better start using it in advance in order to get the desired effect. Exfoliate well 24 hours before using self tanning products and avoid the same-day application so you’ll have time to correct any mistakes, especially if you’re planning on wearing white.

2. Ignoring the Face/Body Recommendation

Avoid one of the biggest self tanning mistakes by sticking to facial products for your face and body products for everywhere else. Mixing them up might end up as a crucial error. Also, it’s better if you use face and body self tanning products from the same brand, so you know that you’ll get an even finish. Using two different brands can create different tones for your face and body.

Fake Tanning Mistakes

3. Not Being Prepared

In order to stay on top of streaks and blotches, you should always try to fix your mistakes immediately. Prepare a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda and keep it at hand when you’re applying self tanner. Using cotton balls, fix any mistakes quickly. If you don’t have time for that, whitening toothpaste can also be an option to fix darker areas.

4. Going Orange

Applying too much product at one is one of the biggest self tanning mistakes, and it might end up giving you a horrible orange hue or a darker shade that looks completely unnatural. Start with light coverage and even mix your self tanner with moisturizer for a more even effect. Let it dry before adding more to get a deeper tan.

See more: Tips for the Perfect Fake Tan

5. Getting Your Hands Stained

If there’s one way to tell that your tan is fake, it’s the dreaded stains on your hands and in between your fingers. There are quite a few ways to avoid the problem. You can buy a self tanner with a brush applicator, you can use latex gloves or you can simply wash your hands thoroughly and repeatedly during the tanning process, with soap and a little lemon juice with baking soda.

Fake Tan Mistakes

6. Staining Your Clothes

Making sure that you don’t sweat through the application process is very important to keep streaking to a minimum. However, two of the biggest self tanning mistakes are putting your clothes on too fast or choosing the wrong fabrics. Don’t get dressed in less than 15-20 minutes after application. If you want to speed up the drying process, use your hair dryer on the cold setting, and wear loose cotton, not clingy synthetics.

7. Not Exfoliating Your Elbows and Knees Thoroughly

You shouldn’t even dream about applying self tanner without exfoliation, but elbows and knees don’t always get the attention their need. If they’re not properly exfoliated, you might notice that they’re too dark the next day, even though they looked good right after the application.

8. Exfoliating Again After Tanning

You know better than to reach for the scrub quickly after getting the perfect glow, but shaving soon after is also one of the biggest self tanning mistakes. Get your legs in shape before applying the self tanner, and keep the razor or wax away for at least 3 days after.

Fake Tan Bed Sheets

9. Rubbing Your Skin with a Towel

If you can skip the towel altogether, that’s best for your new tan. If you can’t, use the softest towel to pat your skin dry, no rubbing.

10. Going Too Far

It’s important to avoid one of the biggest self tanning mistakes by paying attention to how a natural tan occurs. You need a light touch for your feet and the top of your hands, and you don’t need any on the insides of your arms. Applying too much on these areas, as well as your face will make it look fake.