How to Prep Your Skin for Self-Tanning

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If you’re planning on apply a self-tanner this summer, you’re in luck. You don’t have to use the formulas from previous years that left an orange tint on your skin. Newer self-tanners are easy to apply, last longer, and some provide skincare and anti-aging benefits. It’s important to prep your skin for tanner so you can achieve the sun-kissed glow you want without causing any damage. Here are some practical steps to get an attractive tan.

Take off All Perfumes, Deodorant, and Makeup

Whether you apply your tanner in the morning, late at night, or anywhere in between, you need to start with a completely clean canvas. Rinse your body in the shower with cold water to remove any lotions or oils on your skin. The cold water also makes your pores smaller so the tanner won’t absorb into your skin and dry unevenly.

Exfoliate Your Skin

You have to apply the tann on a smooth surface so the product can develop and dry properly. Splotchiness is a sure sign that you have a fake tan. You can try a head-to-toe peel to get rid of dead skin cells or an exfoliating mitt to smooth your skin and prep it for tanning. It’s also important that you shave for extra exfoliation and to remove unwanted hair, which can also cause uneven tanning.

Moisturize Extra Dry Skin

Your skin should be free of residue and completely dry before you start tanning. However, dry skin areas like your elbows and knees cause the tanner to settle between the lines. Give these parts of your body a little extra attention by applying a fragrance-free lotion enriched with shea butter or vitamin E to nourish the skin before you apply the tanner. You can even use the exfoliating mitt on these areas to make them as smooth as possible.

Apply Tanner from the Bottom Up

Start applying tanner on your feet and ankles first, then work your way up. This will help you avoid lines and smudges. Since you’re working with your arms and hands, apply the tanner to these spots last. To keep your palms from turning orange, apply the tanner with a mitt, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. Don’t rub the tanner directly onto your knees and elbows. Spray or massage the tanner on larger areas like arms and calves, and use the remaining product for your knees and elbows. If you’re in a rush, it’s best to use a tanner that allows you to rinse after just 10 minutes. The tan will gradually develop on your skin in the next few hours. A spray tanner is also convenient, and many of these products are enriched with vitamin C, argan oil, and hibiscus to nourish the skin.

Don’t Forget to Tan Your Face

If you don’t want people to know that you didn’t actually get your tan at the beach, you can’t forget to apply the tanner to your face so that the color matches the rest of your body. You may want to use a gentle exfoliating mitt for your face to prep it for tanning. Choose a tanner that is safe for the body and face and use an anti-aging serum after tanning (and add it to your skin routine) so you can maintain the tan and keep a glowing complexion.

Moisturize and Protect the Skin

Once you’re done tanning, you should moisturize your skin. Make sure the tanner is set before applying skin-firming lotion to prevent cracks and to keep the tan from fading. Apply an intense moisturizer to the skin daily — if your skin gets too dry, the tanner will start to streak. A moisturizer can also improve circulation and decrease inflammation, so choose a product with ingredients like shea butter, shitake, or green tea.

SPF is also essential, especially for your face and hands, since the tan will fade the fastest on these areas. Hand cream with a high SPF is ideal. Make sure your foundation and facial moisturizers are treated with SPF as well to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. When your skin is well-moisturized, you can hold onto your tan for an extra week or so.

Keep these tips in mind when applying a self-tanner to get the results you want. Once you use these steps in your first self-tanning session, reapplying the product will be a breeze.

About Author

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LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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