How to Self Tan and tips with self tanning

Summer is almost here!  Now is the time people start to have those lovely golden tans.  But suntan comes with potential skin damage from the sun.  Sunscreens will protect your skin from the suns damage but will also  prevent you from having a that beautiful tan.  So here comes self tan.  Self tan is the healthy option for that sun kissed glow.  If you have never self tanned though it might be a little intimidating. Hopefully these steps will help you become a self tan pro. So now is the best time to find your self tan and start practicing.

Here are the steps for the perfect self tan.

  1. Find a self tan that you like.  Do a patch test with your potential new self tan.  Apply the self tan on just a portion of your body to see if you like the color.
  2. Exfoliate-The purpose of exfoliating is to remove all the dead cells.  A self tan will tan dry, dead skin darker and faster.  You will also want to shave if you are self tanning an area that you shave. Make sure all of your deodorant is washed off.
  3. Make sure your skin is dry before starting to self tan.
  4. Tie your hair up
  5. Optional- And what I do-Put some lotion on your feet lightly.  You can also lightly apply a little lotion to your elbows and knees.  The self tan will tan dry areas darker (feet, knees, elbows).
  6. Now to protect your palms of your hands- Option 1- apply a lotion on your hands and a few times during your application of self tan go wash your hands.  Option 2- Use latex gloves
  7. A self tanning mitt is a great tool to help prevent streaking.  However, you will lose some product into the mitt.  I would absolutely recommend the mitt if you are new to self tanning.  As you practice self tanning you might do away with the mitt.
  8. Put the self tanner on your mitt or hand and start rubbing.  Rub in circular motions. Take your time, make sure you go over all of the area your are wanting to tan.  Remember the self tanner will tan dry areas darker so you want to put less self tan product in those areas.
  9. I recommend applying light coats of self tanner and then reapplying to desired color.  That way if you do make the mistake of not putting the self tan on evenly it won’t be as big of an issue.
  10. Now wait!  The self tanner should tell you on the package how long you should wait before applying clothes(not white clothes) or how long until you should bathe.  I  find that most self tanners are best if left on for 6-8 hours.  I typically apply self tanner, allow it to dry, go to bed, then bathe in the morning.


  1. A self tan will even tan dark spots.  If you have spots that you don’t want  darker (ie old acne scars or melasma) have a q-tip ready.  After you apply your self tan, take the q-tip just on that spot and gently rub the self tan off that area.
  2. You don’t have time to wait after you self tan.  Then turn your hairdryer onto the cool setting and speed the drying up.
  3. To prolong your self tan.  Reduce your shower time, reduce the heat in your shower, don’t shave or  exfoliate if possible.
  4. The self tan might look like a tan but it’s not.  Your skin will burn just like normal while you have self tan on so don’t forget your sunscreen.
  5. To keep the tan up, continue to self tan 1-2 times per week.

If you find you don’t love your self tanner.  Don’t give up there are many options out there.  Try another one.

Now you know how to self tan.  I will be reviewing a few self tanners that I use.


2 thoughts on “How to Self Tan and tips with self tanning

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