So, you’re dying to become a bronzed goddess, but you don’t know the first thing about applying self tan. Don’t stress - we’ve got you covered!
In this guide, we’ll talk you through the whole self tanning process step by step, with some of our self tanning tips thrown in for good measure. Even if you’re a tanning novice, this guide is sure to get you on your way to becoming a seasoned self tanner in no time.
A natural-looking golden glow takes a little preparation, so we’ll start at the very beginning of the tanning routine to make sure you’re in the know about everything you need to do to look like you’ve spent a week on Beach.
Step 1: Say Goodbye To Dead Skin
One of the secrets to an even tan is to get rid of any dry or flaky skin before application. Applying self tan to dry skin could make the finished result look patchy, which is definitely not the look you’re going for. So giving your skin a good scrub is a must!
Crank up the heat in the shower to open up your pores and use an exfoliating mitt or use our Coconut & Sea Salt Body Scrub to leave your skin looking fresh and feeling smooth. Don’t forget your face too!
This is also the time to shave if you want to, but be gentle. Freshly exfoliated skin is often more sensitive, so tread lightly with your razor to avoid any redness.
Before you get out of the shower, change the shower’s temperature to cold. This will close your pores and prevent those annoying dark spots.
We recommend that you get all of your exfoliation and hair removal ticked off your list the day before tanning to stop your self tanner from seeping into your pores. However, if you’re really pushed for time, try and wait at least an hour before applying your tan.
Step 2: Smooth It Out
The next step to ensuring you get an even base for your self tan is to moisturise. If you’re exfoliating the day before you tan, apply a layer of moisturiser all over your body after showering to stop any dryness creeping back in.
If you’ve left it a little late (we’ve all been there!) and you’re exfoliating the same day as you tan, only apply moisturiser to certain places. Your hands, feet, elbows and knees to be exact. This helps to prevent your self tan from clinging to these areas for a flawless finish.
To really nail the natural-looking tan, apply a light layer of moisturiser to your wrists, so your golden glow blends in seamlessly with no harsh lines.
Step 3: The Main Event
When it’s time to tan, make sure you have the right tools. We believe the best way to self tan is with a mitt. Our Self Tanning Mitt is perfect for the job as it keeps your palms free of the telltale signs of self tan, as well as helping you achieve a streak-free application.
Pick out your favorite self tanner and apply a small amount to your mitt. We love all our self tanners, but our self tanning foams are perfect for beginners. The guide colour will help you see where you have already applied product, so you can fix any patches before they dry.
Sweep the all tan over your body in long strokes for an even finish. Work in small sections and make sure the tan is all buffed in before you move on to prevent patches and streaks.
If you’re worried about self tanning your face, you could try mixing a little of your self tanner with your favourite moisturiser to dilute it slightly for a lighter application.
Step 4: Sit Back & Relax
The next step might be your favourite - do nothing! If you’re using a developing tan, giving yourself enough time to let the formula do its thing is essential. Immediately after tanning, let it dry completely before putting on some loose, dark clothing to prevent your tan transferring.
Either apply your self tan in the morning for daytime development, or apply before you go to bed to wake up looking bronzed and beautiful.
To minimize time spent waiting for your tan to dry, you could try using your hairdryer on a cool setting or brushing some loose powder over your skin to really lock in your tan.
Step 5: Reveal Your Bronze Tan
When you’re ready to rinse and reveal your freshly tanned skin, pop back in the shower. Use lukewarm water and try to be as quick as possible. As soon as the water runs clear, hop back out and gently pat dry with a towel.
If you’re using one of our instant tans, like the Wash Off Instant Tans or our GLO Range, you can skip this step and get straight to glowing.
Step 6: Keep Your Glow Going
Now that you’ve achieved the golden goddess glow of your dreams, there are a couple of things to can do to ensure you stay bronzed for longer.
Every few days, lightly exfoliate your skin in the shower to keep it nice and smooth. After exfoliation, pat dry and apply an everyday gradual tanner, like our Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk or Foam, to give your tan a little top up.
To really fight the fade, try applying some of our Liquid Gold all over your body to boost your tan.