Will Spray Tan Cover Vitiligo?

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Up to three million people in the United States alone have vitiligo, the skin condition that causes discoloration to happen in random patches, due to a breakdown of melanin production. This condition is what makes model Winnie Harlow’s skin so unique and beautiful.

However, not all of those with vitiligo can make it work like a supermodel! And they spend lots of energy, time, and money attempting to even out their skin tone somewhat. There are many techniques available, but one of the most popular is spray tan.

So, will spray tan cover vitiligo?

We’ll discuss it below!


Will Spray Tan Cover Vitiligo?

Vitiligo happens when the cells that produce your melanin die off randomly, which causes areas that whiten compared to the rest of your skin tone.

So, the answer to ‘will spray tan cover vitiligo?’ isn’t as simple as yes or no.

Yes, obviously spray tan will work to give your skin a darkened color. However, depending on your vitiligo, it will just make your pigment-free patches of skin slightly less visible, and the contrast will be somewhat reduced.

Depending on your vitiligo, it will just make your pigment-free patches of skin slightly less visible, and the contrast will be somewhat reduced.

For instance, if you already are naturally pale, and you also tend to stay out of the sun, then using a spray tan to cover your vitiligo does have the potential to work. The contrast won’t be so different and it will blend somewhat.

However, if you have olive or an even darker skin tone, and your patches of vitiligo show up as very pale, then the contrast will likely be so different that even a dark spray tanning session won’t blend things.

This is because your pigment-free skin will still be a lot lighter than your darker areas. You might narrow the tones a bit, but it won’t even out completely.

Also, regardless of how light your patches are, the skin on your hands and feet will probably hold onto the tan for longer due to the fact that these are places on your body that absorb things more.  

This is because tanning products work by a chemical reaction, not sunlight. DHA reacts with your surface dead skin cells, which also means, depending on your skin type, your spray tan could fade in blotches, rather than more evenly.


The Professional Spray

If at all possible, first visit your local spray tanning salon to explain to the technician your condition. They should explain to you how applying the spray tan will work.

For example, on your paler areas, they will need to use a smaller airbrush or possibly apply it by hand with a sponge to ensure the color blends as much as possible.

They may tell you that you will need several visits, because you might have to have different spray tan solutions and techniques used to work for your skin’s type and the tone of your patchy areas.

This will be a time-consuming job, and could even take up to an hour to do.

The lighter patches on your body will be colored first, using a sponge to blend it in with the rest of your skin. Your tanning technician will then spray tan your entire body, before blending it to even out the color all over.

If you are happy with the look of your spray tan, then talk to your technician again so that you can plan a routine to build up the color on your skin. Spray tans typically only last about a week, so figure you’ll be doing this repeatedly

Of course, this schedule can change, depending on how your skin reacts after the first couple of sessions.

During your building color sessions, any lighter areas that develop can be touched up more easily, because there will be less of a contrast. It will also be easier to better match the pigment-free areas with your more dominant skin tone.


The Self Care Option

If the thought of repeated visits to the spray tan salon doesn’t fill you with excitement, then you also have the option of creating a self care ritual at home to cover your vitiligo, as well as give yourself an all-over tan.

If the thought of repeated visits to the spray tan salon doesn’t fill you with excitement, then you also have the option of creating a self care ritual at home to cover your vitiligo, as well as give yourself an all-over tan.

By applying the self tan to your pigment-free areas first, you’ll be able to see how they can be blended in with the rest of your skin.

You might have to do this for two or three days before you decide to apply the self tan to your entire body, while taking note of patches that may need going over or avoiding altogether.

After doing this, then you can exfoliate before starting the above routine all over again, until your skin is blended enough to mellow out your vitiligo.

One great product that will help you to achieve this process is .

Brought to you by the OG in self tanning products, it contains St. Tropez’s most advanced formula, which allows you to completely control the depth of tanning you want on your skin.

For example, leave it on for just an hour for a sun-kissed glow, or for up to three hours to help blend in very light patches.

This self tan bronzing mousse is easy to apply, and has a streak-free formula that creates a non-orange natural glow, depending how you choose to apply it. The tan will develop within your dead skin cells in around eight hours, without the fake tan stink of other products. And, it’s 100% vegan.


Conclusion

Vitiligo can look radiantly beautiful and unique, as Whitney Harlow shows. But you should have control of your skin, and you get to choose how you present yourself to the world.

Should you decide you want to mellow out your vitiligo, spray tans (and more particularly, self-tanning products) can help blend the pigment differences so that contrasts are less noticeable.

Written by Kayla Young

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