How to Apply a Self Tanner

 Everyone looks great with a beautiful summer glow. However, baking yourself in the sun causes sun burn, wrinkles, and can lead to skin cancer. So the best way to get a healthy glow is to apply a self tanner.  To most people a self tanner is a scary thought. They picture a fake, smeary, orange tan but the reality is that self tanners have come a long way. You can find self tanners in a variety of shades, making it easy to get the perfect glow! The hardest part is the application and if you follow these tips that will be a cinch also.


Picking Your Product: This is the most important step to ensure you get the perfect tan for your skin tone. You need to test several products to find which one gives you the most natural color. The more expensive tanners are not necessarily the best! Go to the store and try out a few on the inside of your arm and let them develop. You can also ask for samples so you can try different brands at home. Doing these patch tests will help you choose the color that is closest to your natural tan. Also pick a tanner that is tinted. Even though tinted and non-tinted tanners work the same, tinted ones are easier to see. This will make the process of getting an even tan a lot easier!


Allow Yourself Enough Time:
It will take a good 90min to 2hrs for application and drying time. Although most products promise a 15 to 30 min drying time, it will really take at least an hour for a flawless tan. That may sound too long, but your smooth, glossy, safe tan will be worth it! Think of it as a spa treatment.  The best time to apply your self tanner is a few hours before you go to bed. This is because self tanners do not contain an adequate amount of sunscreen for the day.  

Prep Your Skin:
  Wash and exfoliate your face and body thoroughly before applying the product. This will wash away any dead skin which otherwise would make the tan uneven and blotchy. Concentrate on areas that are prone to excessive dryness like your elbows and knees. It is also helpful to moisturize the rest of your body, apply more moisturizer on more porous areas such as your elbows, knees and ankles bones before application as well. Be sure to use a moisturizer that is fragrance free because the fragrance can sometimes affect the self tanner. Also, make sure your legs are shaved or waxed a day or two prior to applying your self tanner. The more often you shave or wax after that, the quicker your tan will fade. If you shave your legs, don’t shave immediately before applying a sunless tanner. This can cause irritation.


Let’s Get Started:
After your skin is toughly dried, exfoliated, and moisturized, it is time to apply your self tanner. Now, take your time and apply self tanner in one area at a time, working quickly but thoroughly. Gently rub in the self tanner by using a circular motion rather than an up and down motion. This will help prevent streaking. The recommended way is to start at your legs, moving to your arms, then your torso, and finally your face. However be very careful around your hairline and eyebrows to avoid getting tanner on them. Hair shouldn’t tan.


Drying Time: You should not put on street clothes, exercise, clean the house, swim, bathe, or do anything that will make you sweat for one hour. You will want to avoid contact with everything for at least 15 min. If possible, however, we recommend waiting thirty min. before putting on a loose t-shirt or night gown. Stay away from any tight clothing like bras or jeans for at least an hour but the longer you can wait the better. Our recommendation is to apply your tanner, let it dry for an hour, put on a loose night gown, and go to bed. The next morning you will wake up with a beautiful tan!


Reapply: Reapply self-tanner as you feel the need. Generally it will start fading in about three to four days as the surface layers of skin shed.


     Helpful Hints:

    • Apply moisturizer to the areas that are extra porous, such as elbows and knees, to avoid to dark of areas.
    • Less is more, it is better to reapply than to look too dark.
    • If you have any patches, go back with the exfoliater and soften them down.
    • Gloves are the best way to apply a self tanner without getting your palms way to dark.
    • Be aware that different parts of your body “pick up” self-tanner easier than others. For example, some people find that their legs turn brown more easily than their arms or torso, while others find that their faces and necks change color fastest. Experience will help you determine which is true for you. Be careful around your nose, eyes, ears, hairline, and lips. A cotton swab, makeup sponge, or synthetic makeup brush can help blend a thin, even amount smoothly over those areas. To keep light hair from turning color, apply a layer of conditioner or Vaseline over the hairline.
    • Using a makeup sponge to apply self tanner to your face and the tops of hands gives you more control in small areas.
    • Applying self-tanner on your back requires a friend with a helping hand, although you can use a long-handled paintbrush (note that this poses some issues of potential dripping and uneven application if you are not able to blend the product in).
    • Ideally you should apply a self tanner naked. However, if you have to were something make sure it is tight fitting and does not rub (like panties and a bra), and something that you don’t mind getting stained. Whatever you wear should fit tightly enough that you can put the sunless tanner right up to the edge of it without it seeping underneath.
    • 20 volume peroxide developer. Commonly used for hair bleaching, this product (available at beauty supply stores) is your spot "eraser." Dip a Q-Tip in this liquid and apply to areas where you want to remove the tan — commonly, that might be a streak on the inside of your arm or on your heel. (Make sure you rinse well afterward!) Do NOT use this to remove your entire tan or on a large section of your body.


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