Self tanning is a fantastic way to achieve a sun-kissed look without subjecting your skin to harmful UV rays. Whether you're preparing for a special event or simply want to maintain a healthy-looking tan all year round, self tanning can be a game-changer. Here, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of self tanning, ensuring flawless results every time.
By the way, if you're feeling a bit intimidated by the idea of self tanning, don’t be. Formulas have improved tremendously over the years and are easier to use than ever. Even the scent of the formulas have changed for the better! From choosing the right products to mastering the application technique, here's everything you need to know to get you self tanning like a bronze goddess.
Self Tanning 101: How To Self Tan Like A Bronze Goddess
Step 1: Prepping Your Skin
Before diving into the self tanning process, it's crucial to prepare your skin properly. Follow these steps to ensure an even and long-lasting tan:
Step 2: Choosing The Right Self Tanner
Selecting the right self tanner is crucial for achieving a natural-looking tan. With so many options available, it's essential to consider factors such as your skin tone, desired intensity, and application method. My best suggestion when it comes to choosing an actual self tanning product to use is to find a formulation that is tinted enough for you to see where it's been applied. Personally, I use a mousse or foam formulation with color. Mousses and foams tend to go on easily and dry quickly, which is primo when it comes to fake baking.
Here are some popular self tanning options to choose from:
Self Tanning Lotions: These are the most common and beginner-friendly self tanning products. They provide gradual color development and are easy to apply evenly.
Self Tanning Sprays: Sprays offer a quick and convenient application. They are ideal for reaching difficult areas and often dry quickly for minimal transfer.
Self Tanning Mousses: Mousses are lightweight and easy to blend, providing an instant and streak-free tan. They are great for achieving a medium to dark tan.
Self Tanning Drops: Drops allow you to customize your self tanning experience. Simply mix them with your regular moisturizer or body lotion for a subtle and buildable tan.
Remember to choose a shade that complements your skin tone and opt for a product that is labeled "streak-free" or "natural-looking" for the best results.
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Step 3: A Flawless Application
Now that you've prepped your skin and selected the perfect self tanner, it's time to apply it like a pro. Follow these steps for a flawless application:
Apply When You're Dry: Apply self tanner when your skin is completely dry. This will help to avoid those dreaded streaks. Note: being nervous about applying color and only using a little on a large area will ALSO lead to streaking, so while I don't suggest you be generous, I also don't recommend being stingy with the color, either.
Use a Tanning Mitt: To ensure even application and avoid stained hands, use a tanning mitt or latex gloves. This will help you blend the product seamlessly onto your skin.
Start from the Bottom: Begin applying the self tanner from your feet, working your way up to avoid any creasing or smudging. Use long, sweeping motions for an even coverage.
Apply to Hard-to-Reach Areas: When tanning your back, use a back applicator or ask a friend for assistance. For hands and feet, lightly buff the self tanner with a damp cloth or cotton pad to prevent excess product buildup.
Blend Well: Take extra care to blend the self tanner around joints and areas where the skin naturally folds. This will prevent any telltale signs of self tanning, such as dark patches or streaks.
If you want to self tan your face (I do!), use a formulation specific for that area. The pH on your face is higher and your tan may develop darker. Formulations made specifically for the face will have less DHA (the active ingredient in self-tanners) than body formulations. Apply much like you would a body formulation, using upward, circular motions.
Pro Tip: Your tan too deep? Apply baby oil for ten minutes, then exfoliate with a damp wash cloth before rinsing off. It should help to fade the color.
Step 4: Maintaining Your Tan
Congratulations! You've successfully achieved a beautiful self tan. Now, let's ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Follow these tips to maintain your faux glow:
Moisturize Daily: Hydrated skin helps to prolong the life of your tan. Apply a moisturizer or tan extender every day, focusing on dry areas.
Avoid Excessive Exfoliation: While regular exfoliation is essential, avoid harsh scrubs or exfoliating treatments that can fade your tan quickly.
Avoid Prolonged Water Exposure: Extended baths, hot tubs, or swimming in chlorinated pools can cause your tan to fade faster. Take shorter showers and pat dry your skin gently.
Touch Up as Needed: To keep your tan looking fresh, touch up any fading areas with a gradual self tanning lotion or a tanning spray.
Test The Waters
If you aren't ready to fully commit to fake baking just yet, you can test the waters with a wash-off tanner, such as Sally Hansen Airbrushed Legs Tanning Mousse. It’ll bronze your skin instantly and washes right off with soap and water. You can also use a gradual tanner like Jergens Daily Glow which puts you in control--use it everyday to reach max glow, or every other day to keep that sun kissed look.
Another option for smaller areas (such as your décolletage) and touch ups is to apply a bronzing powder. You can sculpt collar bones and contour cleavage and cheekbones with a loose or pressed bronzer. This NYX Matte Bronzer is available in five different shades.
Achieving a stunning, sun-kissed glow is easier than ever with the right self tanning techniques. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you'll be well on your way to becoming a bronze goddess! Remember to prep your skin, choose the right self tanner, apply it evenly, and maintain your tan for long-lasting results. Now go ahead and rock that beautiful, natural-looking tan with confidence!
FAQs About Self Tanning
FAQ 1: How long does self tanner take to develop?
The development time varies depending on the product you use. Generally, self tanners take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to develop fully. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results.
FAQ 2: Will self tanner make me orange?
No, self tanners have come a long way in recent years, and most high-quality products will not leave you looking orange. Opt for a reputable brand and choose a shade that suits your skin tone to achieve a natural-looking tan.
FAQ 3: Can I still go in the sun with a self tan?
While having a self tan provides some level of protection, it's essential to use sunscreen when exposing your skin to the sun. Self tanners do not provide sufficient sun protection, so always apply sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF before heading outside.
FAQ 4: How long does a self tan usually last?
On average, a self tan lasts for about 5 to 7 days. However, with proper maintenance and regular moisturizing, you can extend the life of your tan up to 10 days or more.
FAQ 5: Can I apply self tanner to my face?
Yes, you can use self tanner on your face. However, it's essential to choose a self tanner specifically formulated for facial use. These products are typically lighter and less likely to clog pores.
FAQ 6: How often should I self tan?
The frequency of self tanning depends on personal preference. Some individuals prefer to self tan once a week, while others do it every few days. Experiment to find a routine that works best for you and fits your desired level of tan.