How To Apply Self-Tanner, According To Experts

Looking tan and sun-kissed will not be as carefree of a course of because the glowing aura exudes. Considered one of your most secure choices is to make use of a self-tanner, which may be an intimidating product when you’ve by no means used it earlier than. For those who’re outfitted with the proper info, nevertheless, you possibly can learn to apply self-tanner efficiently at residence.

Nowadays, there are numerous completely different self-tanning products, software varieties, and progressive formulation to select from in your bronze luminosity. Usually, all of them use dihydroxyacetone (DHA) because the star lively ingredient that naturally darkens your pores and skin.

After all, it’s quite a bit completely different to DIY your sunless tan than it’s to get a spray tan at a salon. With skilled remedies, you merely step right into a futuristic bathe stall-looking area the place you’re evenly sprayed by a machine. At residence, there’s undoubtedly a method required — you’re coping with the danger of streaks, hard-to-reach components of your physique, and a product that may be fairly finicky.

No must stress: Right here, consultants share the six steps to observe with a purpose to apply self-tanner for a flawless glow.

We solely embody merchandise which were independently chosen by Bustle’s editorial staff. Nonetheless, we might obtain a portion of gross sales if you are going to buy a product via a hyperlink on this article.

1. Exfoliate Your Pores and skin

Earlier than you even start to consider the tanning product, you need to exfoliate someplace between eight and 24 hours earlier than you propose to self-tan. This ensures your pores and skin is calm and prepared for the appliance, explains Sophie Evans, St. Tropez’s celeb self-tanner professional. “Exfoliation removes lifeless pores and skin cells, previous self-tanner, and different issues like deodorant and make-up,” she tells Bustle.

You must also take away any undesirable hair earlier than utilizing self-tanner. “In any other case, the self-tan software can settle into hair pores and create a spotty look,” says Evans. Whether or not you’re shaving, waxing, or sugaring, she recommends a 24-hour buffer interval.

2. Moisturize

For the perfect self-tanning outcomes, your pores and skin ought to be supple and moisturized, says Jordan Cook, a tanning professional and St. Moriz ambassador. In any other case, your tan is extra more likely to be spotty and even, she explains, and also you’ll wind up with a tan that adheres to the flakiness of dry pores and skin (exfoliation will assist forestall this as properly).

That stated, you need to moisturize a minimum of two hours earlier than your self-tanner software. “You don’t need the moisturizer to dilute the tanning product, so this [buffer] will forestall that from taking place,” says Cook dinner. To your greatest wager, Evans recommends utilizing an oil-free body lotion to keep away from making a slippery canvas in your tan.

An necessary factor to notice: your fingers, ft, knees, and elbows are the exceptions to the two-hour rule. As an alternative, moisturize these areas proper earlier than self-tanning since they are typically drier and might subsequently look patchy or orange as soon as the tanning product units in.

3. Apply Your Facial Self-Tanner

The pores and skin in your face is extra delicate and infrequently a bit lighter than the pores and skin in your physique, so consultants suggest utilizing a separate self-tanner that’s particularly formulated for the realm.

There are a slew of various facial self-tanners to select from — together with mists, drops, and lotions — however, in the end, the selection comes all the way down to your choice and tanning objectives, says Cook dinner.

For those who’re utilizing a self-tanning serum or drops, she says you possibly can combine just a few drops into your moisturizer at evening each second or third day to get up with a pure glow. Or you possibly can go along with a self-tanning mist, an easy-to-use method that may be spritzed on because the tan builds all through the day (or evening). Every product could have its personal particular directions, however, usually talking, Cook dinner notes the extra drops you utilize, the deeper your tan can be — which provides you extra management over the ultimate end result.

No matter what kind of facial tanner you select, Evans recommends utilizing your fingers for mild software. “Simply bear in mind to clean your fingers afterwards,” she warns (it will forestall them from turning orange or blotchy). And hold child or cleansing wipes close by to wash the nails and cuticles earlier than the tanning product has time to stain.

4. Apply Self-Tanner To Your Physique

Onto the physique. Earlier than you start, be sure to have your instruments prepared: Evans says this implies your self-tanning applicator (normally a mitt or gloves), cleaning or child wipes (for errors), a moisturizer, and the precise tanning product.

First up: “Be sure you have a tan applicator or mitt to guard your fingers from staining and a self-tan [product],” says Evans. To your greatest software, she additionally advises conserving the applicator flat in order that the tan is easy and even. Then, all the time begin on the backside of the physique and work your method up, utilizing the mitt to mix the product throughout your legs.

When you’re carried out making use of the product liberally over your gams, use any extra tanner on the mitt to mix over the ft, says Evans. Then, she recommends working your method up alongside your torso, down your arms, and stopping on the wrists. You’ll want to work in sections to make sure you’re overlaying each sq. inch of your pores and skin. Simply depart your fingers and ft in your final step.

There are, after all, arduous to succeed in areas just like the bottom of your physique, for which you have got a few choices. The primary is an application towel or device created particularly for this problem. These are typically merchandise with a bigger floor space. Cook dinner additionally recommends a DIY hack that entails utilizing an extended hair or physique brush — slip your mitt across the bristled finish and safe the underside with a hairband. Pump product onto it after which slather it on.

5. End With Your Arms And Toes

When you’ve tanned your face and physique, it’s time to sort out your fingers and ft, that are notoriously tough. “A typical mistake is growing the fingers and ft too darkish,” Evans says. The pores and skin on these areas is completely different than on the remainder of your physique, she explains, so a self-tanner tends to develop a lot darker.

To forestall over-darkening, Evans says to dilute your self-tanner with a moisturizer. Then, take your blended product and apply it over the tops of the feet and the heels. Lastly: “Use the self-tanner diluted with moisturizer to fade down your fingers from the wrist, mixing in-between fingers and alongside the perimeters making certain the wrist has additionally been coated,” Evans advises.

It’s necessary to make use of considered one of your wipes to wash your palms (so that they don’t wind up orange). And, as your absolute last step in your self-tanning routine, mix moisturizer out of your fingers to the creases of your wrists for a seamless end.

6. Let It Set

Your self-tanning product ought to have particular directions on how lengthy to let it set, however consultants suggest giving it a minimum of an hour to soak in. Wait a number of minutes earlier than you dress and, when you can, throw on free clothes to keep away from rubbing the tanner (and inflicting streaks).

To your first post-tan bathe, consultants suggest avoiding sizzling water (this may probably mess together with your bronzed end) and rinse at a lukewarm temperature. For the primary 24 hours after software, keep away from any harsh soaps or exfoliants, aka enemies of a contemporary tan. BTW: When you’ve showered, the professionals say you shouldn’t have to fret concerning the tanning product transferring to your clothes/sofa/sheets/and many others.

One other professional tip: The consultants additionally advise moisturizing diligently within the days following to seal in your tan and assist it last more.

Store Self-Tanning Merchandise

A Refined Face Glow Mist

St. Tropez’s tanning mist is formulated with the mild pores and skin of your face in thoughts. It’s a simple intro-product to the class because it’s straightforward to make use of: Simply shake the bottle, shut your eyes, and spritz it over your face. 4 to eight hours later, and bam — you’re left with a glowing complexion. For a longer-lasting bronze, use this for consecutive days.

A Physique Serum Tanner

The rising proliferation of body serums has reached the world of the self-tanner. This method is particularly made to present you a glowing, naturally darker complexion. It’s additionally buildable, so begin gradual and work your method as much as just-got-back-from-Aruba-status.

A Radiance-Boosting Face Serum

This can be a slow-glow product. Apply it liberally in round motions in your pores and skin, both alone or mixed with your moisturizer. After it’s utilized, your tan ought to steadily construct all through the day for a radiant, subtly sun-kissed complexion.

A No-Fuss Tanning Sleep Masks

For a extra low upkeep self-tanner, James Learn has a line of overnight tanning masks that take the fuss out of the method. Merely apply earlier than hitting the hay to actually get up with a glowing complexion. The precise cream itself is a transparent gel so that you don’t have to fret about staining your sheets.

An Applicator For Arduous-To-Attain Areas

Luna Bronze has created the right answer in your again and different arduous to succeed in locations. It’s longer and extra towel-like than different mitts, so you should use it for any massive floor areas in your physique for a foolproof tan.

A Bronzing Physique Mousse

This light-as-air mousse begins with an instant glow that in the end provides approach to a longer-lasting tan. It additionally doubles as skincare product because of hydrating components like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and green tea extract. Even higher? It comes with its personal tanning mitts for software. | How To Apply Self-Tanner, In accordance To Specialists


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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