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8 Rules for Self Tanning

I’m always a little bummed on Labor Day because it means summer is over.  Now that I live in Arizona, Labor Day is kind of a good thing.  It means cooler temperatures are not too far away.  Maybe I can stick around for awhile! Ha!  But seriously – one of the best parts about summer is the healthy glow that you get from being in the sun.  Most people feel like that makes them look a little bit better.  If you are sad to see this go, try prolonging it with sunless tanner.  When you do, make sure to follow these eight rules:

1 – Apply Self Tanner Last

Self tanner should be applied last – after shaving, applying serums, lotion, and/or treatment products.  If you apply it before, the other products might ruin the appearance of your faux tan.

laura mercier exfoliator

2 – Exfoliate

Any dead patches of skin should be removed with an exfoliator before you apply sunless tanner.  Most drugstore brands make exfoliators that work well.  If you want to indulge, try the Creme Brûlée Sugar Scrub from Laura Mercier.  It’s incredible, and there is even a matching lotion.  I have never loved an exfoliator as much as I love this one!

3 – Add Moisture

Before you apply self tanner, it is important to add moisture to the areas of your skin that are dry.  This might be your entire body, or it could be your elbows, knees, and ankles.  If your skin is too dry, the sunless tanner is more likely to turn orange.  Therefore, it is always a good idea to error on the side of more than less.


4 – Choose the Right Product

There are a variety of different types of sunless tanners.  Some come in mousse forms.  Others apply like gels and lotions.  There are also different shades.  A dark sunless tanner is made for someone with olive skin, not for someone that is lighter and looking for a darker tan.  I’ve heard the best things about Xen-Tan and Lorac’s TANtalizer.

5 – Start at the Bottom

Always apply at the bottom of your body and work your way up.  This eliminates any streaking or cracking from bending.  You should work with small amounts at a time and rub in circular motions.

mono tan




6 – Go Easy on Your Face

Be careful how much you apply on your face.  If you get too much on your skin, you will look like you have a monotone. This does not create the healthy glow that you get from the sun.  Also, make sure to use a sunless tanning product that is specifically for the face.

7 – Set Your Faux Tan

Wait twice as long as it is recommended for your sunless tanner to dry.  Then, set it with baby powder.  This prevents the tanner from transferring onto your clothes.  Also, do not shower for eight hours.


8 – Clean Up Mistakes

If your fake tan streaks or splotches, don’t worry about reapplying.  Instead, rub a lemon on the area to remove the splotch.  Then, buff it out using a towel.

Let me know if you have any questions!  Happy bronzing!

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