Spring has sprung and bare leg weather is upon us. If you’re like me and you’re legs haven’t seen the light of day in ages and you’re afraid those pasty stems will blind small children, then fear not! I have a super simple self-tanning process that will get you spring/summer ready in no time. It’s so simple, that there are only 3 steps and it’s practically foolproof.
I have spent YEARS trying out different self-tanners and have been satisfied with quite a few. But when things went wrong, I was quick to blame the product rather than my prep process. It’s so important to prep your skin for self-tanning or you will end up looking like an Oompa Loompa.
This should go without saying, but you would be surprised how many people just throw self-tanner on without exfoliating. Guilty part of one right here! I always notice a difference with the application and how the color develops if I do not exfoliate prior. So hop in the shower and scrub away. This is not only great to do for tanning but just in general. Out with the winter dry patchy skin, and hello to the bright, smooth spring skin. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra time in the shower to make sure you exfoliate all over and get every little bit of your skin. Don’t scrub too hard! You want to leave your skin intact!
Next up, moisturize! But DO NOT MOISTURIZE ALL OVER. Pick the small areas that are naturally dry – elbows, knees, ankles, feet, fingers….If you have self-tanned before, these are the areas that tend to look more “orange”. I know it may be habit to hop out of the shower and moisturize all over. Just this one time, don’t do it. You need the self-tanner to really penetrate your skin and you won’t achieve the best results if you apply lotion all over your body. Again, just the small dry parts will do. Let it absorb completely before moving on to the third and final step.
Don’t be scared as I know the application of the self-tanner can be intimidating. I like to use a gradual tanner, like Jergens natural Glow (don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like burnt skin anymore!) and build my color as the week progresses. Even if you are using an instant tanner, or tanning wipes, this process is still the same. Start with a small section, such as your lower leg and begin applying the tanner. Work it around well getting to each and every section. Once you finish an area, move on to the next. It’s literally that easy! Just don’t try to do your entire leg, arm or back at once. Small sections at a time.
– Don’t over apply. There is a point where you can apply to much, even with a gradual color tanning product.
– Wash your hands after each section or wear gloves. This can help from keeping the palms of your hands from turning orange.
– Apply a small dab on the back of your left/right hand, take the other non-lotioned hand facing back of hand to back of hand, and rub around spreading the tanner over the back side of both hands and fingers. This is the easiest way to get your hands tan without using your fingers.
– Re-apply every few days. Most self-tanners should last you a 5-7 days, if not longer.
– After tanning, try to wait at least 24 hours before showering. I always find you want that color to really penetrate and develop to it’s maximum potential before showering and rinsing off the excess.
– Wait before getting dressed. Most products are quick-dry but you can never be too safe. The last thing you want is to stain that new white cotton sundress with self-tanner.
– Apply tanner to your face if you want. I personally don’t only because my face is super sensitive to most products. If you wish to apply the product to your face, work from the outside in. This makes it easier to blend, spread and obtain a more natural look.
– Want to apply the product to your back? Grab a partner, friend or someone close that will follow the steps above and help get the product applied evenly to your back.
– Mists and Mousses are a great product to try is you have mastered the art of self-tanning. If you’re not a pro yet, stick to the lotions. It’s easier to learn and easier to control.
Check out some other graet self-tanners below!