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Tips & Tricks for a Flawless Self Tan!

Updated on May 20, 2016

Self tanners are a great alternative to get a nice golden tan without the sun. I have fair skin and I do not tan so I depend on getting my summer color from using a self tanner. There are many important steps to take before, during, and after you apply your fake tan. These steps will help you avoid the dreaded self tanner mishaps and help maintain and prolong the life of your tan.






Before Applying Self-Tanner

  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!! It is very important to exfoliate your skin to get rid of any dead skin cells. Self-tanner will collect and build on rough skin patches and will look uneven or blotchy. Any exfoliate with micro beads (used for scrubbing) will work. Stay away from sugar scrubs. They leave your skin feeling soft and clean but leave a residue that will prevent an even application of your self tanner.
  • Shave! Use a high quality razor to shave at least 12 hours before applying your self tanner.
  • Have clean skin! Apply your self tanner to dry, clean skin that is free of perfumes, oils, and sweat. I like to shower, wait about an hour, and then apply my self tanner.

Application

  • Choose a good self tanner. Do your research, look at reviews, and read blogs. This will help point you in the direction of the best self tanners on the market. These may be more pricey compared to drug store self tanners but will leave you looking golden bronze rather than orange. I prefer to use St. Tropez Self Bronzing Mousse ($40, 8 fl oz bottle). The application takes only about 10 minutes with the fast dry technology. The color guide helps you see any missed areas during application.
  • Use continuous strokes, moving in a circular direction. Apply the self tanning in circular motions. Don't stop and change places when applying your self tanner. This can cause blotchy patches and streaks.
  • Work quickly! Pretty simple, work fast to prevent the self tanner from drying causing uneven color.
  • Apply with a tanning mitt or rubber gloves. The only thing worse than a streaky fake tan is orange palms! Once self tanner gets on your hands it will cause a dark ugly stain. Using an applicator or gloves will help prevent this from happening.
  • Apply moisturizer to knees, ankles, elbows, feet, and hands. These areas are more likely to have dry, rougher skin, Applying the moisturizer to these places will dilute the self tanner and prevent it from showing up darker in these areas.

After Application

  • Stay away from water! Just about every self tanner out there directs to avoid contact with water for at least 4-6 hours. This gives the self tanner time to develop. I recommend applying self tanner at night before going to bed.
  • Moisturize! Use a moisturizing body lotion that will keep your skin hydrated. Moisturizing daily will prolong your tan and prep your skin for your next application of self tanner.

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