Applying self tan can be no easy thing. As someone who uses a self tan once a week, I’ve had my fair share of mishaps with areas that look patchy or streaky. First there’s choosing the right type of tanning product, either a mousse, mist or lotion, and that’s before you even get to how to apply it and make your self tan last.
In the years that I’ve been applying self tan in the privacy of my own bathroom I’ve picked up a few tips along the way. If you’re after that lovely even holiday glow then here are a few rules that I follow and it doesn’t usually go far wrong.
It’s important to prep your skin first, especially in the days leading up to applying your self tan. Exfoliating before tanning will help get rid of any dry patches, giving you a more even colour and making your tan last longer.
I gently exfoliate every morning in the shower with an exfoliating glove and I’ve really noticed what a difference it’s made. I also use a body brush or salt scrub to gently exfoliate my skin throughout the winter months when I’m not wearing any tan, this helps keep my skin in good condition for when it is time to start wearing fake tan.
It’s best to shave at least twenty-four hours before and waxing two days before tanning. This allows the pores time to seal over again or any wax residue to be washed away leaving your skin clear.
I use a body moisturiser every day so my skin is soft and smooth, this also helps to achieve a much more even colour. There are areas of your body that need a little extra attention, such as elbows, knees and wrists, so I like to apply my daily body moisturiser directly to those parts to avoid them looking muddy when I’ve self tanned.
First of all, never use your bare hands to apply fake tan, that’s just asking for trouble. Using a mitt will not only protect your hands but also give you a more seamless, streak free application. I squeeze one pump of mousse onto the mitt for each section of my body, first the left lower leg, then left thigh, right lower leg, and so on until my whole body is done. I use gentle sweeping motions when applying the product and gently buff in whatever residue is left on the mitt to go over my ankles, feet, elbows and hands.
Always leave yourself enough time to apply your tan, rushing can lead to a tanning disaster. I like to do mine about an hour before I go to bed, that way I don’t rush and it’s had time to dry before I get between the sheets.
Mix a few drops of gradual face tanning drops into your daily moisturiser or serum and it’ll do all the hard work for you. This will give you a subtle, sun-kissed glow without an orange tinge or any patchiness. Make sure you go right up to the hair line, avoiding your eyebrows as you don’t want those to change colour. If you do get any on your eyebrows, gently wipe over them with a little cleansing water on a cotton pad.
Face Bronzing Water Serum St. Tropez
Unless you have someone around who can apply your fake tan to your back for you, this can be the most trickiest part to do. One tip I’ve learnt is to use a tanning mist rather than a mouse and spray it over your shoulder. Then turn the tanning mitt around the other way so the applicator side is on the back of your hand and this will give you more flexibility when it comes to buffing in your self tan.
Fabulous Self Tanning Mist Vita Liberata
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6. Immediately After Tanning
Give your tan plenty of time to dry and wait around 10 minutes before getting dressed. It’s best to wear loose, dark clothing immediately after a tan, that way you’re less likely to sweat or rub any lines into your freshly applied tan. I find the best material to wear is cotton, that way if any tan does transfer onto your clothes it’s easy to wash out.
A neat little trick I learnt is once your self tan is dry apply a light dusting of baby powder onto areas you’re likely to sweat, especially the inside of your elbow and backs of your knees. It will prevent the sweat from lifting your tan off your skin and causing any staining on your clothes and sheets.
7. Making It Last
Now you’ve perfected the art of applying your tan, you’ll want your golden colour to last more than a day. Try not to have too many hot baths as your tan is more likely to fade a lot quicker. Use a body moisturise every day and gently exfoliate your whole body to get rid of any dry patches, this allows your tan to gradually fade over the week.
Black Exfoliating Glove Glo By Lydia
Have you had any tanning disasters? What are your favourite tips or products for self tanning?