Nobody talks much about how tanning can give you an extra boost of confidence. Your skin looks like you just took the most fantastic vacation in the tropics. However, not all of us can afford to just hop on a flight for a weekly vacation and stay under the sun. Not to worry though because self-tanners are the answer to your tanning woes!
If you are addicted to tanning, you probably encountered a few tanning mistakes in the past. Meanwhile, if you are new to the self-tanning world, you might have a few questions about how to achieve the perfect tan. It might be daunting at first to do it yourself (because who wants to look orange on their first try), but if you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll ace it like a tanning professional. Keep reading to get your beautiful bronze glow.
How to Prep Your Skin to Avoid Tanning Mishap
Follow this pre-tanning routine to prep your skin and avoid any tanning mishaps:
#1. Shave or Wax Before Getting a Tan
This is one of the most overlooked steps in the pre-tanning routine (unless you don’t mind being hairy). If you’re one of those who likes to be completely hairless and shave your legs, you need to make sure that you do it 24 hours before a tanning session. Shaving can open your pores and if you apply your self-tanners on the same day, there will likely be a chance for splotchy application and uneven spots.
Amp up your tanning game by creating a perfect base for application. Make sure to exfoliate 24 hours prior to tanning. This is particularly important to remove dead skin cells, strawberry legs, dirt, and other skin impurities that often stick to the skin. Exfoliating will provide a soft smooth canvas for tanning so that it will glide evenly. We recommend using Pure Biology Turmeric or Probiotic Body Scrub to polish and nourish your skin before tanning. If you prefer to scrub with a dry brush, try this M3 Naturals Boar Bristle Dry Brush complete with a detachable handle for hard-to-reach areas like the back.
#3. Spot Moisturize
On the day you plan to tan and after you have shaved and exfoliated the day before, take a shower and pat your skin dry. Strategically apply an oil-free moisturizer only on dry areas such as your wrist, fingers, heels, elbows, and knees for a smooth and even application of the tanning spray or tanning mousse. If your skin is not well moisturized and hydrated, the self-tanner may cling to the dry areas and creases that can result in a patchy finish instead of a beautiful even glow.
#4. Skip the Perfume and Deodorant
Skip the deodorant before tanning if you don’t want your skin to turn green. Some fake tanners can turn your skin green if it reacts with other ingredients in your deodorant or perfume. Another reason you should not use deodorant before your tanning session is that your deodorant can act as a barrier to your spray tan making your tan harder to absorb and stick to your skin.
How to Self-Tan Like a Professional
#1. Start From the Ankle Up
The first thing to do is to find a cool area to self-tan. This will ensure that you will avoid sweating and getting messy tan streaks. Once you’ve spot moisturized, the next thing you need to do is to apply your tanning product to your mitt and start from your lower leg and ankle up. Apply only a light swipe of tanning mousse on your knees and use the leftover tan from your mitt on your feet. When tanning the elbows and ankle, use only the remaining tan from the mitt to avoid it from getting darker than the other area.
Apply and spread to your thighs, bottoms, back, stomach, décolletage and breast area. Make sure to blend it equally up to the neck and don’t forget the ears and the back of the neck. Avoid streaky knuckles by bending your fingers into a claw then go over the crease with your tanning mitt in a circular motion or use a sponge brush or a blending makeup brush when applying tan to parts that creases such as in between your fingers, toes, or knees. The number of pumps you use and how long you leave it on will depend on how dark you want your tan to be. Be sure to check the label for reference.
#2. Use Self-face Tan Mist or Drops
Some people like to use the same tanning mouse or spray for their body and apply it on their face as well – this is totally fine. However, this may be hard to blend if you are using a fake tan for the first time. A body tan mishap is easy to hide but not if it’s on your face (unless you're okay covering it up with a full-face mask like some burglar). For a subtle and even blend, try using a face tan mist or tanning drops.
Have you heard of this fake tanning hack that helps contour your face, so it gives you a sculpted look without using contouring or bronzing makeup? All you need is a tanning product and a blending sponge. We were blown away with the results!
TikTok user @abbybaffoe walked so you can run. Check out her face tan hack here:
@abbybaffoe Reply to @jurassicaa_ ♬ Send Me on My Way - Vibe Street
If you want to see her results, check it out here:
@abbybaffoe Reply to @kialarenae ♬ original sound - Abbybaffoe
#3. Scan and Do a Quick Cleanup
After fully covering yourself with the fake tanner, do a body scan for mistakes and wipe it off with a baby wipe before it sets on your skin. The areas where you usually need to wipe are the palms, nails, and feet. If you see a scratch or a sport that needs a redo, just grab a wet wipe, and dab it on that area. No need to redo everything and start from scratch. Just a few baby wipes and retouching will do the trick.
#4. Let It Bake
The most crucial step of tanning is to let it bake on your skin. One trick we do is to let it dry first for a few minutes before dressing to avoid rubbing wet tan on your clothes. Once it is dry and you are sure that it will not stick to your clothes, find loose-fitting clothes or a black robe to put on while you wait for it to develop. If you are using a wash-off tan, let it develop for 4-8 hours or longer depending on how dark you want it to be. Some people sleep on it and wash it off in the morning to help it develop better. If you plan to do this, make sure you protect your bed sheets and pillow from getting stained.
#5. Rinse It Off with Cool Water
When washing off your tan after you leave it to develop for a few hours, make sure to use cool water. Avoid scrubbing because it will remove and fade your tan. Avoid using bar soaps or those with harsh chemicals that may strip your tan off faster.