The Proper Application of Self-Tanner: Not So Self-Evident

Women for years have bemoaned the use of self-tanner.  What happened to the good old days of beach blanket bingo, when spending all day (sans sun-block) at a beach filled with frolicking youngsters was considered hip?  These days, nobody wants to risk the horrors of skin cancer by sitting outside to achieve a sun-kissed glow.  And apparently tanning beds are just as bad.  And yet, contemplating the sticky, streaky mess of self-tanners is almost a deal-breaker.  But you don’t want to spend the winter months looking pasty and pale simply because you are loathe to lotion up.  Thankfully, there is a proper way to apply self-tanners so that you don’t end up orange or striped like a brown-and-white zebra.  If you follow a few simple tips and tricks, you can come out with a perfect and flawless tan every time.

woman applying self tanner

1.       Exfoliate and moisturize.  This is an absolute must for self-tanning that most people skip.  Of course, you don’t want your skin to be raw (or conversely, slathered in oil) when you start your application, so begin the process a few days prior with a regimen of gentle exfoliation and use of moisturizer.  Leave off with exfoliating a couple of days prior to tanning, and be sure to shower (but ditch the moisturizer) on the morning you plan to apply.

2.       Skip shaving.  Your razor is made for hair removal, but it can also slough off some of your top layer of skin (leading to an uneven surface).  For this reason, it is probably best to avoid shaving for a day or two before you use self-tanner.  You may also want to wait for a day afterwards since it can limit the life of your tan.

3.       Opt for lotion.  Foams and sprays can dry too quickly, leaving you with little time to even out the application.  If you go for a lotion instead, you’ll have plenty of time to rub it in and ensure even coverage.  You can even find self-tanning lotions that start light and build up with every application, so if you notice that you skimped in one area, you can apply a little extra there the following day.

4.       Know your natural color.  One of the most awful effects of using self-tanner is the penchant to pick the wrong color.  We’ve all seen those women who look like they’re trying to do an Al Jolson impersonation and it isn’t pretty.  So it pays to figure out what your natural skin tone is before you start so you don’t wind up looking like an oompa-loompa or a contestant at body-building competition.

5.       Touch up with wipes and a loofah.  Two problems that many self-tanners encounter are light and dark spots.  If you find, after the fact, that you’ve gone a little light on your application in some places, try out some tanning towelettes (like those made by L'Oreal Paris) to dab a little extra sunless tan where you need it.  If, on the other hand, you come across the common problem of knees, elbows, and ankles that are a shade darker than the rest of your skin, a little scrub with the loofah should fade this tanning blunder.


Carol Montrose is a writer for a t shirt screen printing company. If you’re looking to create your own custom clothing, take a look at the selection that T Shirt Printing has to offer.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow excellent tips. Thanks for sharing your all helpful and useful tips. I will definitely follow this.


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