We’ve all been there. Fell asleep in the sun. Went for a long run. And the next day: tan lines.

My worst tan line experience happened while I was studying abroad. My friend and I took a boat (a glorified ferry) from Italy to Greece. In the morning, I went up to the top deck to take in the sights and I fell asleep on a bench. Wearing leggings. Fast forward a few hours and I was left with a bright red lower calf cut off by a straight line right at mid-calf. It was the worst tan line you could ever imagine (yeah, worse than the sunglasses tan line most often seen on guys who are too macho for sunscreen). My attempts at “evening it out” on the beach failed and just left me with more awkward lines up and down my legs. It took the rest of the summer for it to fade away and for me to not be embarrassed having bare legs in public…

Now you know I’m not perfect when it comes to staying safe at the sun (see my recent adventure with lava tights) but I have learned a few tricks for helping to fade those baaadddd tan lines (things I wish I had known summer of 2009)…

Exfoliate. This is the big one. Be sure you are exfoliating everyday in the shower, use a loofa with a good (gritty) scrub. It will help to slough off dead skin cells and speed up your tan line fading process. If you’re extra adventurous, try dry brushing (I just started doing it, will report back on my feelings/findings very soon!). Remember, don’t start exfoliating until after your burn has heeled!

Stay moisturized. Just like when you get a bad burn, you want to keep your tan skin hydrated.

Go sunless. This is reserved for seasoned pros (or if you really need to get that tan line covered up fast)– grab your sunless tanner and get to work. I prefer the gradual building sunless tanners when it comes to evening things out (I like Jergens Natural Glow), less risk envolved but it will take a bit more time. If you need a quick fix, try James Read Wash Off Tan, it delivers color right away (but I recommend using it with a tanning mitt for even application).

Okay, since we are all friends here, tell me about your worst tan line. And then tell me your tricks for dealing with it!

PS: This swimsuit is Thapleo Paris!