Self-tanner can be a great way to achieve a sun-kissed look without the harmful effects of UV rays. However, it can be tricky to apply self-tanner evenly and without streaks. Here, we will discuss the best way to apply self-tanner as well as share some tips and tricks to help you achieve a flawless, natural-looking tan.
- Exfoliate before applying self-tanner - Exfoliating your skin before applying self-tanner will help remove any dead skin cells, which can make your tan appear uneven. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or loofah to gently buff your skin. Spend extra time on the thickest areas of skin such as your elbows, knees, and ankles. The main ingredient in self-tanners, DHA, will stick to dry patches of thick skin more easily, so it is very important to have a regular exfoliating routine.
- Dry your skin – Don’t hop out of the shower and apply self-tanner on your damp skin. This will thin the product and result in an uneven tan. Make sure your skin is moisturized but not wet when you apply your self-tanner.
- Moisturize dry areas - Areas of your skin that are prone to dryness, such as your elbows, knees, and ankles, tend to absorb more self-tanner, which can result in darker patches. To avoid this, apply a small amount of moisturizer to these areas before applying self-tanner. It is also helpful to use a full-body moisturizer daily to prevent dry, flaky skin.
- Use a self-tanning mitt - A self-tanning mitt is a great tool for applying self-tanner. The mitt helps to distribute the tanner evenly and prevents your hands from getting stained. When you apply self-tanner with your bare hands, the skin on your palms absorbs the tanner, and you are left with dark, unnatural-looking palms. Our Glow by Skalla Bronzing Mitt was designed to prevent excessive exposure to your hands and aid in the even application of our self-tanner. For best results, use our Bronzing Mitt with Glow by Skalla Flawless Finish Bronzing Mousse.
- Apply self-tanner in sections - To ensure an even application, break your body into sections, such as your legs, arms, and torso. Apply the self-tanner in circular motions to each section, making sure to blend well at the edges. For those hard-to-reach areas, use the Glow by Skalla Bronzing Back Band. Made from the same material as our buttery soft Bronzing Mitt, the Bronzing Back Band will help you achieve evenly spread application for a natural-looking tan.
- Wash hands after each section – We always recommend using a mitt to apply your self-tanner, but if you do not have one, then you must wash your hands after applying each section of product. This is extremely important because as the self-tanner dries on your hands, the active ingredient in the product will begin to darken your palms. The best way to prevent this from happening, other than using a mitt, is to wash off the self-tanner before it has time to dry. It can also be helpful to gently scrub the palms of your hands after application. The palms of your hands can sometimes be dry, which results in faster self-tanner absorption. Careful and timely washing is essential if you choose not to wear a mitt.
- Blend at your wrists and ankles – For the most natural looking tan, you need to lightly blend your self-tanner from your arms to your wrists and from your legs to your ankles. You will not need to apply as much tanner to these areas of your body because the skin on these areas is naturally drier and thicker. That means it will absorb more of the self-tanner. A lighter application in these areas will result in a more natural look.
- Dilute over your joints – dilute the self-tanner you apply to your knees, ankles, and elbows by gently rubbing these areas with a damp cloth after application. These areas of skin are naturally darker and do not need as much product applied to them as your arms, legs, and torso.
- Give your skin time to dry – This is a very important step. Do not put clothing on before your self-tanner has fully dried. Doing so could result in an uneven, streaky appearance. Once your self-tanner has dried fully, you can wear loose fitting, dark clothing to prevent transfer of product. This drying process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Start with a light application - One of the most important tips to remember about self-tanning is to begin with a light application. If you're new to self-tanning, it's best to start with a light application and gradually build up to a darker tan. Do not over apply product to achieve a darker tan. Over applying can result in a streaked or scaly tan. Start with a light layer of self-tanner to avoid any mistakes and ensure a more natural-looking tan. Then you can build on the base layers to create deeper color and pigmentation.
- Experiment with different formulas - Different self-tanner formulas, such as lotions, sprays, and gels, can work differently on different skin types. Experiment with different formulas by mixing them with your current moisturizer. Glow by Skalla’s Flawless Finish Bronzing Drops are specially formulated to mix with a daily moisturizer or be used directly on your skin. Experiment to find the perfect tint for your skin tone!
- Still apply sunscreen every day – The final step in sunless tanning is to apply sunscreen when you are going to be outside, especially for prolonged periods of time where your skin is exposed. Self-tanners may provide a beautiful, natural-looking tan, but they do not provide UV protection. Use a sunscreen that is 30 SPF or higher to protect your skin from skin cancer and premature aging.
By following these tips, you can achieve a beautiful, natural-looking tan that will last year-round. For more information, you can watch our video on the best way to apply self-tanner.