Want to try self-tanning at home? Read these self-tanner tips to avoid a self-tanning disaster.

7 Tips for Applying Self-Tanner

1. Prep Your Skin

Before you get out the fake tanner, you need to get your skin ready. Take a shower or bath and exfoliate all areas of your skin, paying special attention to your elbows, knees, and neck. This will help the product absorb more evenly and improve your final results. You can use your favorite type of body exfoliator, whether that’s an exfoliating mitt, scrub, or glove.

Don’t forget to exfoliate your face! Use Perfect Cleansing Scrub to buff away dead skin.

2. Use a Lightweight Moisturizer

Many self-tanners are formulated with hydrating ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about moisturizing before applying a fake tanner. However, if you feel the need for some extra hydration, choose a moisturizer with an oil-free formula.

3. Start with Your Face

Use your bare hands to apply fake tanner to your face, avoiding your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Wash hands immediately to prevent staining of the hands and fingernails. Make sure to wash in between your fingers!

4. Bottoms Up!

For this next part, we recommend using an application mitt. Why? Because an application mitt prevents the fake tanner from staining your hand and helps to create an even-looking glow. Starting at the feet and working upwards, apply the fake tanner to your body using gentle, sweeping motions.

5. Blend It

To blend your hands with the rest of your body, apply a small amount of self-tanner to a cotton ball. Then sweep the cotton pad across the tops of your hands, being careful to avoid your nails.

6. Let It Dry

Now it’s time to be patient! Make sure to allow your self-tanner to dry completely for the best results. Drying time will vary by formulation, so make sure to check the label on your self-tanner to see how long you should wait before dressing. When you do get dressed, avoid tight clothing (i.e. opt for a loose, flowing skirt rather than leggings). This will prevent your clothing from rubbing off your hard-earned tan.

7. Avoid Water (and Sweat)

Make sure to avoid moisture for several hours after applying a fake tanner. That means no baths, showers, swims, or sweat sessions at the gym. Once 24 hours have passed, you can shower again. Just make sure to gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel (rather than rub) to avoid streaks.