After much encouragement from my Instagram fam (follow me here!), I put together this post to share my self-tanning tips & favorite products!
First let me just take a second to explain why I self tan. I grew up in Florida being outside basically everyday. I didn’t use nearly enough sunscreen (especially in my teenage years) and am now wondering just what the f*$% I was thinking?! Tanning burns your skin whether you become red or not, and it will give you sun spots, wrinkles, and other signs of aging as you get older (not to mention the risk of skin cancer!) Thus, I am now on team no-sun and have become a self-tanning addict. I do love a good spray tan for special occasions, but I honestly think I can achieve just as good results by self-tanning too. It is so quick and easy, I seriously wish I knew about this option when I was instead spending hours at the pool every day just to get that perfect bronze color.
- Self tanner adheres best to clean skin that is freshly exfoliated. I like to exfoliate off my self tan when it gets “old” looking and I am ready to start fresh. Be aware that if you exfoliate or use exfoliating acids in skincare products while you are self-tanned it can rub some of the color off and cause your tan become uneven.
- You should try to shave before self-tanning so that you don’t shave off the tan. Of course I shave every few days so there is no way to avoid shaving for as long as your tan really, but just be aware that shaving may take a layer off of your tan.
- I would advise you to never tan your body with your bare hands. Below I’ve linked the mitt that I use to apply my product in circular motions. I wash this off after every few uses and the particular mitt I linked can also be deep-cleaned weekly in the top rack of the dishwasher 🙂
- The frequency of application will determine how deep of a tan you achieve. If I want to be tan for the weekend, for example, I’ll start maybe Wednesday night applying my self tanner every morning and evening until the weekend arrives. I can of course see a difference in skin tone with just one use, but if I want a nice deep tan, I will need maybe 3-5 applications to build up to that. You will learn as you go how it affects and builds on your skin, so don’t be nervous! I also advise to only use one coat at a time. If you try to apply multiple coats at once it’ll dry kind of sticky and might have more of an odor.
- Moisturizing prolongs the life of your tan, so be sure to constantly lotion up your self tanned skin if you want the tan to last!
I’ve tried quite a few and by far my favorite self tanner for my body is the Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse • $12.99. This goes on very evenly, has a very natural look and is pretty hard to mess up honestly! It has minimal smell and you only need to wait about a minute before putting clothes on after application. I apply it in circular strokes with the Tarte Application Mitt • $6. I use the “Deep Bronze” shade and apply it a few times per week, but they also offer a “Light Bronze” shade that is good for those who are paler in skin tone or may be good for self tanning beginners who are scared 😉
My favorite way to self tan my face is by using the Tarte Brazilliance Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelettes • $21. These are made with natural ingredients that are good for the delicate skin on your face and actually contain anti-aging properties! I rub the towelette in circular motions all over my face, neck, and ears to get a subtle glow that is always natural looking and not one bit streaky. I cut each towelette in half so I get double the use out of each 😉
Another good self tanning product for a more instant, temporary tan is the L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Lotion • $11.99. This is gel-like lotion that you can apply to your body to get an instant, shimmery tan look that will last until your next shower. I used to use this all the time in college before a big night out. It especially gives a great look to your legs and would be great for special events or bringing on a tropical vacation!