How To Achieve A Perfect Sunless Tan

Photo by Concha Rodrigo on Unsplash

The warm weather is coming closer with each passing second and, with warmer weather, typically comes less clothes. If you love your skin the way it is then you can completely ignore everything I’m about to say! However, if you are a little on the lighter side (or Casper in my case) and want to bronze up a little bit without the bed or horrible rays than just keep on reading.

I am the prime example of a sunless tan gone wrong. You name a mistake, I’ve done it. The problem with sunless tanning is the fact that there IS a lot that can go wrong if you are new to the procedure. With aisles upon aisles of selfless tanners out there it is hard to know what you are getting yourself into. These are a few tricks I have learned from gradual self-tanners but, if you can’t work with all the fuss, then you can always opt out and head to a pro for the perfect tan without any hassles.

Pick the right potion
It takes a little guess work sometimes to know what you like and what works best for your skin. I love gradual self-tanners that have DHA in them (an ingredient that gives you a beautiful glow by reacting with the amino acids in your skin) and usually opt for a moisturizing cream as opposed to wipes, gels, or sprays. These usually are easier to apply and leave your skin moisturized as well as glowing!

An extra tip; start out with a tanner that is a couple shades darker than your skin tone. You can use darker but usually that is when mistakes are made. You can always build up! It is a lot harder to take away though.

Exfoliate everywhere, Moisturize where needed
Before applying any form of tanner you should always exfoliate beforehand. Color like this tends to cling to every crevice of the skin, even the dead ones that are about to come off! To get the most even and realistic tan you should always make sure all dead skin is off before starting out. No one likes a patchy look!

Another tip is to moisturize areas that usually grab on to color a little bit harsher (as in elbows, knees, feet, hands). I usually add a small amount of Vaseline or any lotion I have around the house. This will put a small barrier between your skin and the self-tanner that way you look even and not like you just gave a big hug to an oompa loompa.

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

Use hand mitts when applying
This isn’t necessary but hugely helpful! For one, your hands are usually the most prone to get build up in a bad way. The mitt will keep your hands from looking patchy and 4x darker as well as help apply the tan evenly and efficiently. Think about it; you have spaces in between your hands meaning your tanner might have spaces on the skin as well.

Extra tip: start at your feet and use long vertical strokes all the way up to your neck. This will get you the best selfless tan! Also, switch to a smaller mitt for your face and use sparingly!

Wait for drying before movement
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t do this process if you have things to do in 20 minutes. After applying everything get a fan (or a hair dryer on a cool setting) and let it dry down. If you immediately throw on clothes or bump into things without drying then you are more likely to rub off the product and get weird streaks. Afterwards you can use a makeup wipe to get rid of any areas that might have a little extra tanner. Don’t forget to get your hands and cuticles (same with feet) as they are usually more prone to build up.

Wash up if needed
Some self-tanners require a wash afterwards. If so, make sure to use warm to neutral water and PAT your skin dry afterwards. If you start scrubbing your skin dry it is just going to lift the product. Afterwards all you have to worry about is looking flawless with that new summer glow! You can build up to your desired darkness but make sure to exfoliate and moisturize each time before application for best results.


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