Applying self-tanner is a great way to get an awesome glow without putting yourself at risk of getting skin cancer from the sun or from the tanning bed. However, it can be a little tricky to get a natural look with self-tanner. There are several things you can do to help the process go a little smoother. Following are on how to apply self-tanner.


Today, we have so many options in self-tanning products, including lotions, gels, mousses, and aerosol sprays. All of them have positive results, it’s a matter of personal preference. For those terrified of not getting an even look, try an aerosol product such as Clinique Self Sun Body Airbrush Spray. It’s easy to apply evenly and doesn’t have a strong odour like other products. Your drugstore also offers good aerosol products including Neutrogena MicroMist Tanning Sunless Spray, which is almost 100% alcohol-free and even sprays upside-down.


To ensure an even, natural-looking tan, apply self-tanners to clean, exfoliated, and moisturized skin. Dry patches on your skin, especially in areas such as knees and elbows, will absorb more product than a moisturized area. People get dark splotches when self-tanning because their skin isn’t evenly moisturized, and the product soaks into some areas more than others. Before self-tanning, use an exfoliator such as The Body Shop’s Coconut Body Scrub.


When applying sunless tanners, work from the ground up, starting with your legs and feet and working your way up your body. Work with small areas at a time, for example, do one leg and foot before starting the other. Remember the idea is to apply the product evenly. If you’re nervous about getting even results, you can mix equal parts of your chosen tanning product and regular body lotion to dilute the tanning product a bit. Remember, you can always add more but you can’t remove it once you’ve applied.

So, start small when trying out a new product until you see its effect on your skin. Use sparingly around feet, ankles, elbows and wrists, and lightly apply the product to the tops of hands and feet only for a natural look. Wash the palms of your hands, in between your fingers, and around fingernails with soap and water when finished with the application to prevent tanned palms. Thoroughly read the manufacturers instructions, especially regarding how long to wait before getting dressed or touching fabric to prevent stains.


Again, follow the instructions on your tanning product, but generally, you will need to reapply your product every 1-4 days to maintain your tan. Keeping your skin moisturized will help your tan last longer and look healthier. Consider using a spray, dry oil after showering to lock in moisture and enhance the glow of your tan. My absolute favourite is Strawberry Champagne Body Dew. It smells amazing, gives your tan a red carpet glow, and leaves your skin feeling moisturized, but never greasy, all day long.

Final thoughts

You don’t necessarily have to go to a salon to apply self-tanners. You can find one product that is suited for your skin from your local druggist and you can apply the tanner on your body in the privacy of your home.