Self-tanning. It’s a bit of a controversial topic, honestly. Some think it’s repulsive while others love it for a faux glow to avoid sun damage you get from real tanning. If done properly, I truly think a self-tan is one of the best things ever. It makes you feel incredible about yourself and gives you a boost of confidence so many of us need!
But self-tanner isn’t anything new. Like many other women my age, I grew up using Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. Let me tell you, that stuff stinks. It also stains EVERYTHING! I recently tried the in shower version they launched this year and didn’t hate it but also wasn’t in love. Since then, I decided I wouldn’t give up on my bronzey, golden dreams and I’m happy to say I’ve (almost) mastered self-tanning. So, why not share my newly founded wisdom? Keep reading, babes!
STEP 1: Shower, exfoliate and shave
Before you self-tan, you should be completely clean, exfoliated, and shaved! This step is super important as self-tanner sticks much better and absorbs well into clean, exfoliated skin. If you’re not exfoliated, your self-tanner will appear patchy afterward. Start by showering as you normally would. Then, exfoliate your whole body with either a scrub or exfoliating body wash. After this, shave your legs with a brand new razor in order to get as close of a shave as possible. I love to use Harry’s Razors (more on this soon)!
STEP 2: Apply lotion to ankles, knees, elbows, and hands
I sound like a broken record, but this step is crucial too! Before applying any self-tanner, rub lotion onto your toes, feet, ankles, wrists, hands, elbows, and knees. These places tend to be dry and therefore suck up a lot of self-tanner if you don’t use lotion beforehand. I use Laline’s body cream in the scent coconut verbena because it smells like a tropical vacation and is super, super moisturizing.
STEP 3: Apply self-tanner with a mitt and buffer brush
So, by now I am sure you’re wondering, what kind of self-tanner do I use? Loving Tan’s 2 Hour Express Tanning Mousse in Dark. I have light to medium skin depending on the season and like the natural looking yet deep tan it gives me. I also use an applicator mitt from them and suggest getting it. It makes application practically foolproof!
I like to first start by applying the mousse to my face. I use this RealTechniques one but any makeup brush that works for buffing makeup (or self-tanner in this case) into the skin will work great. Afterward, I do my neck and make my way down my whole body. Beware, you’ll probably need a friend/roommate/significant other to help you with your back! Afterward, I do a second layer if I want to be very dark. For your feet and hands, feel free to use that same makeup brush to get every crease in between.
STEP 4: Wait for tan to dry and develop
This is the worst step, but now it’s time to sit around for two hours and wait for the tan to develop. I usually sit on a towel I don’t care about (even though Loving Tan hasn’t stained anything I own) on the couch and watch TV. Sitting in front of a fan or your air conditioning for the first few minutes helps to dry the self-tanner too. Be sure to set a timer for two hours so you know when to complete the next step!
STEP 5: Rinse off in the shower
Yay! Finally, a golden glow. Rinse off all of the self-tanner you applied in the shower. Gently use your hands to guide the color off your skin when the water hits you. Afterward, pat yourself dry with a towel and apply moisturizer to make your tan last longer. Don’t be alarmed if you wake up with a darker tan. Even though you washed it off, the color develops further 4-10 hours (depending on the product you’re using) after initial application. You may also find the color on your face fades after a few days if you wash it 1-2 times a day. To maintain the color, I love these super concentrated self-tanner drops from Clarins that you add to your facial moisturizer.
What do you think of self-tanning? Can it be foolproof or look natural? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Have a great week, everyone! P.S. If you want to learn more about self-tanning and other great ones, I suggest reading this great article on Into The Gloss here.