A Beginner’s Guide to Self Tanner

With the beginning of summer, there seems to come a sudden desire to be as tan as possible as fast as possible. For some people (like the younger version of me), this isn’t a problem. They walk outside and are immediately bronze. But for others, myself included, this just isn’t a reasonable option anymore. Whether it’s worries about skin cancer or just no time to lay out due to responsibilities (like a job), and that’s where self tanner comes in. Now, I think we’ve all known who’s gone in for a spray, and come out looking like a cheese puff. It’s not a look we like to see, so here’s my tips and tricks, as well as a few of my favorite self tanners, to give a try.

  1. Exfoliate First!

So before you even put on self tanner, you need to prep your skin first, so shave and exfoliate. Personally, I have two forms of exfoliation I do: the St Tropez remover mitt and a sugar scrub. Now there’s two main reasons to do this: 1. Getting off all of the dead skin so you get the closest shave possible and super soft skin, but also 2. if you self tan regularly, you want to get off all of the excess or build up from the old so your new is as even as possible. As an example, my tan tends to wear down fastest around my elbows and armpits, while the rest of my body fades pretty evenly. Since I don’t want those spots to be way lighter, I need the rest of my body to match that particular shade when I apply new. Make sense?

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

One of the biggest mistakes most people make when self tanning is moisturizing AFTER they self tan instead of BEFORE. The fact is that the oils from your lotions are going to break down your self tanner faster so make sure that you apply lotion before, let that sink in, and then apply self tanner. I personally love Sol de Janero’s Bum Bum Cream or (a more affordable option) is Tree Hut’s Firming body cream (they almost smell the same!).

3. Choosing the Right Self Tanner for You

Let’s be clear: not all self tanners may be right for you, and not all self tanners are right for all occasions. On a personal level, I rotate between three different tanners, and sometimes I mix them to find my perfect color. If you’re worried about transferring color onto sheets or clothing, then a water mousse is going to be the best fit for you (give Tan Luxe’s Hydro Mousse or Tanologist’s Mousse a try.) Need to be tan by that night for a special event? Express Tans are going to be your friend (B. Tan’s Tan AF or Loving Tan’s Dark Express are my favs). Have no one to help you with your back, that’s what spray tans are for (the two best are St Moriz and St Tropez). The concoction I’m currently using is the St Moriz spray with the B. Tan mousse. I usually do the spray, rub that in with my mitt, let that sit for an hour, then top with the mousse. I sleep in baggy clothes to try and prevent as much transfer as possible, and then rinse in the morning. If I want to be a little darker, I will repeat the tan again the next night. After I’m to the level I want, I usually only have to touch up once a week.

4. The Art of Face Tanning

Applying self tanner to your face is a little different than applying to your body. For one thing, you basically have to tan your face every other day since the ingredients in your skincare tend to break the tan down faster. Me personally, I don’t like using mousse on my face; I just always think it looks streaky. Instead, I love using tanning drops and serums for my face with both of my favorites coming from Tan Luxe. When I use “The Face” drops, I only use one or two drops, then mix it with my moisturizer and apply (there is definitely some color, so you’ll know it’s nice and even). Compare that to “The Glow” serum (which is more along the lines of skincare), I use a full dropper full and then apply moisturizer. Both are amazing and the bottles last forever, I just like switching things up.

Thank you so much for tuning in, and I hope that these tips and tricks help you avoid a self tanning mishaps this summer. My socials are all linked if you want to give them a follow, and tune in next week to see what’s new!

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