self tanner, self tan, skin care

(Photo : Vecteezy/Denys Golub)

Achieving a sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of UV rays is a goal many beauty enthusiasts strive for. 

Self-tanners offer a safe and effective way to achieve that coveted bronzed look. However, applying self-tanner can be tricky and may result in streaks or uneven color if not done correctly. 

With the right technique and a bit of preparation, you can master the art of self-tanning and achieve a natural-looking tan that lasts.

Self-tanners have come a long way, offering formulas that cater to various skin tones and preferences, whether you prefer a subtle glow or a deep bronze. Learning how to apply self-tanner effectively involves understanding the importance of skin preparation, choosing the right product, mastering application techniques, and maintaining your tan for a lasting radiance.

In this guide, we'll walk you through each step of the self-tanning process, from preparing your skin to ensuring an even application and extending the life of your tan.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Self-Tanner Effectively

1. Prepare your skin

Start by exfoliating your skin thoroughly in the shower to remove dead skin cells. Use a gentle scrub, focusing on rough areas like elbows, knees, and ankles. This step helps achieve an even application and prevent patches, according to GlowPro Tans.

2. Moisturize dry areas

After exfoliating, apply an oil-free moisturizer to your skin, especially to dry areas such as elbows, knees, and ankles. Skipping this step may result in patchy color on both your face and body, as per L'Oréal Paris.

3. Choose the right self-tanner

Select a self-tanner that matches your skin tone and type. Consider your desired tan intensity and the formulation (gel, mousse or lotion) that suits your preference for ease of application.

4. Apply the self-tanner

Using a tanning mitt or gloves, start applying the self-tanner from your legs and work your way up in sections. Use circular motions to blend the product evenly into your skin. Be cautious around joints and delicate areas to avoid buildup and streaks.

5. Allow tan to dry and develop

After applying the self-tanner, allow it to dry completely before getting dressed. Use a fan to speed up the drying process if needed. Follow the product instructions regarding the development time; some tans can be rinsed off after a few hours, while others require overnight development.

6. Rinse off guide color

Once the tan has developed (according to the product's instructions), rinse off the guide color with lukewarm water. Pat your skin dry gently with a soft towel.

7. Moisturize regularly

To maintain your tan, moisturize your skin daily with a hydrating lotion or cream. Apply moisturizer to damp skin after every shower to lock in hydration and extend the life of your tan.

8. Apply fake tan-friendly SPF daily

After your tan has fully developed, apply sunscreen daily to protect your skin. Choose a sunscreen that is compatible with self-tanner formulas.

Coco & Eve recommends waiting at least 12 to 24 hours after tanning before applying SPF to prevent interference with the tan's development.