Self Tanning Tips: Tricks For Using Self-Tanner

Self Tanning Tips: Tricks For Using Self-Tanner

 Achieving that perfect sun-kissed glow isn't always straightforward; we understand that self-tanning requires patience and practice. Let's navigate the nuances together, offering you expert self tanning tips to ensure every fake tan looks effortlessly flawless.

How to Choose a Self-Tanner

Whether you are a seasoned professional or trying self-tanner for the first time, achieving the “perfect tan” can be a daunting task. One of the most important self tanning tips to understand is how to choose the right self-tanner, especially when there are so many different types.

Self-tanners have reactive properties mainly because of their ingredients like dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and erythrulose. "DHA works by reacting with your skin’s stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin's surface, to temporarily darken it and simulate a tan," says Hailey Hemmer, a scientist on the Jergens Research and Development Team. So, when selecting a sunless tanner, you’ll often see these two ingredients.

Now, take a moment to decide whether you want your skin to look instantly tan, or you'd prefer to tan gradually over a few days. There are many tanning options available, so it's essential to find one that will meet your expectations:

  • Instant Tanner: If you need a sunless tanner to give your skin a healthy, golden glow for a last-minute girls night out, try instant tanning mousse for an immediate tan. It works with your skin tone to mimic results from the sun.
  • Gradual Tanner: If subtlety is more your thing, try a gradual tanner. With daily application, this type of sunless tanner creates a natural-looking color that darkens over a few days.
    • Face Tanner: For a natural-looking tan on your face, look for a sunless tanner designed for your face. Many formulas also include SPF so you can protect your skin while achieving a sunless glow.

    It’s also important to understand which type of product to use depending on your needs. Typically, here’s when or why you’d use each type of self-tanner:

    • Lotions: Ideal for those seeking a controlled all-over tan.
    • Serums: Designed predominantly for facial application, serums give a subtle radiance, setting a glowing pre-makeup base.
    • Oils: Apply this oil overnight for a refreshed morning glow.

    Expert Self-Tanning Tips: Getting That Flawless Fake Tan

    Now that you know what self-tanner works best for you, ‘ets guide you through expert tips for a flawless application from start to finish.

    1. Prep Your Skin By Exfoliating 24 Hours Prior

    Sunless tanning products work best on clean and dry skin that has been gently exfoliated. "Exfoliating helps remove the proteins in the outer layer of the skin. These proteins can interfere with DHA's ability to create a tanned look," says Hemmer.

    For areas that don't need shaving, exfoliate gently in the shower with a loofah or exfoliating scrub. Spend a little more time exfoliating dry areas like your elbows, knees, and ankles.

    Hair Removal: Before applying tanner to your legs, wax, or shave carefully with moisturizing shaving cream or body wash to prevent irritation. This will not only give your tanning lotion a smooth canvas, but also slough off the top layer of dead skin cells.

    2. Moisturize Your Skin Before Applying Sunless Tanner

    The biggest question we always see is “Should I moisturize before self-tanning?” The answer is YES, but avoid moisturizing your skin immediately before applying sunless tanner. Doing so can cause your tanning lotion to go on unevenly. Instead, use a moisturizing self tanner to nourish your skin while adding natural-looking color. Keep your skin moisturized in the days before applying sunless tanner. Apply a hydrating moisturizer and focus on areas that tend to be drier than the rest of your body, such as your elbows, knees, and ankles.

    3. Apply Self Tanner in Sections

    To apply self tanner, first, read the directions on the package carefully. Different self tanners have different directions, so it’s essential to understand the instructions completely before getting started. Then, apply the formula in a circular motion starting with your feet and legs, working your way upwards in sections.

    4. Use a Tanning Mitt

    The best solution for how to apply self tanner evenly, especially to your back, is to get help from a friend—but if you can’t do that, you can use a tanning mitt. Using a tanning mitt ensures a smooth and even distribution of your chosen self-tanner, eliminating the risk of streaks or patches. It's a must-have tool to achieve that seamless, professional-looking bronze while also preventing stained palms.

    5. Bend Your Joints For An Even Tan

    Make sure that you slightly bend your joints, such as your knees and ankles, so that the formula reaches these cracks.If you want a deeper color, apply a thin amount of product at first. You can always add more product to get a darker tan!

    6. Use a Facial Tanner For a Natural Looking Glow

    Facial self-tanners are designed for the more delicate skin on your face and often contain SPF to protect your skin from the sun. Before applying, gently exfoliate your face and moisturize your brows and hairline with a facial lotion. When applying sunless tanner to your face, make sure to apply it in good lighting as if you were applying makeup. Start with a small amount of product—you can always use more tanning lotion if you'd like a deeper color to safely tan your face.

    7. Let The Formula Dry Completely

    When you’re done applying sunless tanner, relax! Let the product dry completely before showering or doing anything active. After you’re done applying self tanner, wash your hands immediately.

    8. Take Steps To Maintain Your Tan

    • Continue to moisturize your skin daily. Also, apply SPF 30 anytime you plan to be outdoors. "SPF products should still be used. A sunless tan does not contain sunscreen, unless specified, and does not protect against sunburn," according to Hemmer.
    • Avoid exfoliating or overwashing your skin. Self tanners add color to the outer layer of your skin, so exfoliating can remove the top layer of your tan.
    • Avoid waxing or shaving. Make sure to wax or shave before applying self tanner to ensure smooth application and prevent premature fading.
    • Avoid long soaks in water. Hot water, chlorine from the pool, and salt from the ocean can cause your self tanner to fade.
    • Avoid washing with hot water. Hot water can cause your skin to dry out and shed, taking your sunless tan with it.
    • Apply a gradual tanner as a daily moisturizer. This type of self tanner moisturizes your skin while extending your glow. You can also fill in any patchy sections with gradual self tanner to help blend the color on your skin. The skin on different parts of your body sometimes sheds at different rates, which can make your tan look patchy as it starts to fade.
    • Use a body bronzer. To highlight your tan and add a subtle shimmer to your skin even after your initial tan, a body bronzer is the way to go.
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    Self Tanning Tips: Key Takeaways

    • Sunless tanners are a safe and effective alternative to tanning outside or in a tanning bed.
    • Sunless tanners can be instant or build gradually over time.
    • Understand what shade you’re looking for to help you choose the right self tanning product.
    • Moisturize a few hours before applying self-tanner, and not immediately beforehand.
    • Exfoliating is essential for an even, all-over sunless tan, but avoid exfoliating, shaving, or waxing after applying sunless tanner to extend your tan.
    • Moisturize and wear SPF 30 daily to protect both your skin and your tan.

    Achieving the perfect self tan takes time, but with these expert tips, you're on your way to achieving that flawless, radiant glow. Here's to confident, sun-kissed skin, no matter the season!