8 Smart Self Tanner Application Tips

8 smart self-tanner applications

If you’re dreaming about a perfect glowing tan look for the warmer weather, self tanner can be a great help to you. If you want to walk around looking like you just stepped off the idyllic beaches of the Caribbean, make sure you first know the ins and outs of proper and smart application.

1. Make Sure You Don’t Look Orange
While a bronze glow is beautiful, a bright orange shade on your skin isn’t the most flattering look. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a sugar that’s often responsible for the orange look that some people get when they use self tanners. If you use immoderate amounts of self tanner, don’t be surprised if your skin takes on an unsightly orange color rather than a glamorous bronze one. This can also happen when people use self tanning products that have excessively high DHA percentages for their specific kind of skin. While some skin can handle more DHA, other skin cannot. It depends a lot on your skin pH. If you want to steer clear of using a self tanner that could turn your body orange, try the product out on a little patch of your skin first.

2. Get Your Skin Ready For Application First
Never apply a self tanner out of nowhere, no matter how excited you might be about getting bronze. If you want to make the most out of your upcoming faux tan, prep your skin beforehand. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin in the days leading up to application. If you fail to do both of those things, you could end up with dry flakes all over your body – and an overall splotchy, blotchy and uneven tan. When you’re finally ready to put the self tanner on, do so in front of a large mirror so you don’t accidentally miss any spots. Take your time, too. If you approach it like it’s a race, you could potentially end up with unattractive streaks all over your body. No, thank you. One important thing to remember is to never apply self tanner over wet skin. If you put self tanner on your damp body right after you step out of a shower or bath, it’ll end up looking like a total uneven mess – the absolute last thing you want.

3. Invest In Disposable Gloves
When you apply self tanner, wear disposable gloves that fit your hands tightly. If they’re loose, they could fall off. If you apply the product with your bare hands, you could end up with unsightly and unnatural looking bronze palms. Frequent hand washing can also prevent this problem from happening.

4. Lay Off The Perfume And Deodorant
Wash off any perfume or deodorant you might be wearing before you apply any self tanning product. These things are capable of disrupting self tanning products and influencing how your tan looks in the end – not fun. The same goes for essential oils.

5. Handle All Your Other Grooming Duties First 
If you’re planning on applying self tanner and also need to shave or wax, for example, make sure you take care of these grooming duties first. If you shave or wax your body after you apply the self tanner, those things could potentially fade your self tanner and reverse all of your hard work.

6. Tackle Mistakes With Grace 
Occasional mishaps with self tanners are inevitable, even if you’re a pro at the whole process. If you do something wrong when you’re applying self tanner, don’t panic. You don’t have to begin the entire process again. If your tan develops streaks, massage a lemon on the spot for roughly two minutes or so. Then gently buff the spot using a moist cloth. Voila! You’re ready to proceed.

7. Keep Your Glow Intact For As Long As Possible 
Applying self tanner takes time and effort, so it’s only natural that you’d want to keep your tan looking fresh and gorgeous for as long as possible. If you want to extend the life of your glow, keep your skin hydrated all of the time. When you wash your body, use a mild cleanser. Refrain from using retinol products over your self tanner. Skincare products that contain retinol can remove the color from your complexion, after all.

8. Put Lotion On Dry Spots
Put lotion on parts of your body that are prone to dryness – think the heels, elbows and knees. Doing this can stop saturation of your self tanner. If you want to keep your tan looking even and natural, this step is key.

Have you tried self tanner lotions in the past? How did you like it? What other tips do you have to achieve that glamorous bronze look? Share in the comments section below!


  1. May 17, 2015 / 2:20 am

    Thank you for visiting Mary. I'll visit your blog shortly.

  2. May 17, 2015 / 2:21 am

    Thank you Valentina! I'm glad this post was helpful.

  3. May 28, 2015 / 1:11 am

    Your post appeared in my google feed and I was just thinking the other day that with the beach season upon us I need to do some self tanning. I definitely don't want to look orange, so thanks for the tips.