Even as some places loosen their restrictions on lockdowns and quarantines, many of us are still choosing to do our favorite salon and spa beauty treatments right at home. After all, the rise of DIY kits and helpful videos on platforms like TikTok and YouTube gives us all the confidence we need to get that tan ourselves. 

Self-tanning at home can be tricky, it only takes one wrong step for your skin to end up uneven and streaky. The perfect even tan is achievable at home however, all it takes is a little smart preparation, a wide range of skin-care products and the know-how from this article. 

If you’re new to this world of spray tans and formulas, allow our helpful tips below to assist you in taking the first few steps. A lighter-toned formula is often the first step in this, allowing your skin to get used to a more classic shade and gaining the confidence needed to go as dark or as light as you wish. After achieving this flawless sunless tan, prolonging it is easy. Simply wash with a gentle cleanser and keep your face moisturized. It’s all about that TLC.

Before all that talk about maintenance, it’s best we help you achieve the tan you’re looking for. With product recommendations from our own highly trusted brands tips and tricks used by experts, it’s sure to be more than possible.

Exfoliate

Self-tanners tend to sink into dry skin that creates uneven and unnatural dark patches. Shed off any of these flakes with an effective scrub. Make sure to focus on areas like the knees, elbows, ankles and heels which are all rough spots. Another way is to use cleansers that contain ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid which helps in removing dead and dull skin. 

Avoiding oil-based products is always a must. Oils can create a barrier that produces uneven tans. The DHA in most spray tan formulas does not penetrate deeper than the skin which means that oils left on the surface can prevent the proper reaction from the DHA from happening

Dry Off And Moisturize

It seems obvious but keeping your skin completely dry has several benefits when it comes to self-tanning. The most apparent advantage is that water tends to dilute the tan being applied, resulting in streaks and patches which can be a nightmarish problem to solve.

So how exactly do you add moisture back to your skin before self-tanning? It’s easy, use a lightweight lotion around areas that may dry up first, this helps to keep them from turning too dark or off-colored.

Choose Your Formula

While there are some debates on what exactly the most effective self-tanning formula is, the best one comes right down to personal preference. Mousses are easier to rub in, meaning they can take down those hard to reach areas. Some beginners may prefer to use self-tanners with built-in bronzers which can help their sensitive skin get acclimated to the process.

There are other options like gradual self-tanners that can help with a consistent build-up of your desired tan tone while being as easy to apply as any typical body lotion.

Focus on Face

It’s best to start tanning the face before tackling the body. The face is the easiest area to apply self-tanning formulas with just your bare hands. Make sure to wash immediately to prevent uneven tans and staining. Apply the self-tanner to every part of your face, not just the high points like typical bronzers. The eyes, over the eyelids, ear tips, all around the neck and even behind the ears to ensure an all-around consistent color.

From The Bottom Up

Starting from the lower leg, ankle up and just skimming over the knee is the most recommended way to apply your self tan. Going bottom up helps prevent any streaking from happening as the self-tan solution drips downwards. From there, the rest of the body follows as such, apply to the thighs and bottom then the lower back, stomach and breast area, blending it into the neck.

For tanning your back, flip the applicator mitt over and stretch over each shoulder. Make sure to tan the nape and sides of the torso. Going into the underarms, tanning each arm and stopping at the wrist. Finally use any excess product on the mitt to blend from the wrist down to the hand, between the fingers and on each side.

Quick Moisturize

As important as it is before tanning, moisturizing helps even after you’ve finished applying it. A blend of moisturizer over the tan in those typical dry spots (the elbows, wrist, heel etc.) helps guarantee seamless and professional-looking results each and every time.

Moisturizing can also quickly patch up any missed spots. Exfoliate the area lightly, apply the self-tanner on only the lighter area while blending your moisturizer over the tan to prevent any unnecessary darkening.

Cleaning Up

Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean all your effort has come to waste. It’s recommended to use a smile cleansing or baby wipe during the application process for quick clean-ups of tan where they shouldn’t be. 

These, and any other mistakes, can be removed and fixed in a variety of ways. It all depends on the severity of the issue and how bad the mistake was. When dealing with dark streaks and patches, using an exfoliating mitt while rubbing in consistent circular motions on wet skin can help lift the color back to your desired shade. When dealing with lighter problems, exfoliate the entire area well and even out the area before reapplying the tan. 

Set And Maintain

Let your tanner dry for about twice as much time as written in the directions. Brush talc-free powder all over to prevent any of the tanners from transferring over to any of your clothes. Avoiding showering or sweating for six to eight hours straight can help maintain the lusciously bronze tan.