Do's And Don'ts For The Perfect Sunless Self-Tan


When applied correctly self-tanning lotion can give you a natural-looking, gorgeous glow and boost your self-confidence making you feel healthier all-round.

Check out some safe self-tanning do’s and don’ts below.

Do Exfoliate

When you exfoliate you are getting rid of the layers of dead skin cells that build up during the day. Rubbing in an exfoliating scrub in your morning shower will improve your chances of an even tan as it will stop the tanning lotion from building up on your skin. Exfoliating a couple of days before you tan will not only make your skin softer and healthier, but will make your tan last longer.

Don’t Shave Right Before

It is important to get rid of any unwanted hair before you apply tanning lotion as it works better on a smoother surface, but don’t shave just before you apply as shaving opens your pores and can create cuts in your skin. It is also important if you wax to remember that tanning 24 hours before or after a wax is not recommended and will irritate your skin as well as ruining your tan.

Do Build Your Tan Gradually

If you’ve never tanned before and want to dip your toe in the bronze waters try a gradual tanning lotion first. It works well for paler skin as it won’t appear too dark and adds a subtle glow without a whole lot of attention in the application process. Most gradual self-tanning lotions have SPF protection and work mainly as moisturisers too, meaning your skin will get a double treat and great sun protection!

Don’t Ignore Your Skin

Everyone is different, so before you choose your tanning method you should consider your skin type. There is a lot to choose from depending on your skin including a great range of ethical and organic products that use natural ingredients for sensitive skin types. It is highly recommended that you do a small patch test with a cotton bud before you use a product, especially if you have sensitive skin.

It is also really important to your skin tone into account, for example if you are very pale don’t jump to a really dark tan as it won’t look natural. It’s best to work out which tanning lotion or spray is best for you and then start off going just one shade darker than your natural skin tone to give yourself that stunning, healthy glow.

Do Wear Gloves

Applying self-tanning lotions can be messy and take up a lot of time, so for the best results wear gloves or a pair of tanning mitts. As the tanning lotion changes the colour of your skin and takes a while to develop, it is important to make sure your hands are protected otherwise you will end up with bright orange hands,

If you choose not to use gloves be sure to wash your hands every five minutes throughout the application process to stop the lotion from taking on your skin.

Don’t Apply Another Coat

After applying the tanning lotion the best thing to do is wait it out. Don’t be fooled by products that give unrealistic developing times! Most self-tanning lotions take 8-12 hours for the full colour to develop and last for 2-10 days, so don’t decide you need another coat after an hour as this will darken your tan and could be disastrous for your look.

Do Apply At Night

Self-tanning is pretty time-consuming, there’s a lot of prep and then a long wait for the results to come through. A great way to get around this is applying your tanning lotion at night, a few hours before bed. Letting your tan develop overnight will allow for the full development time to take place and your skin cells will rebuild themselves while you sleep, giving you a healthy, sunless tan. Just shower in the morning to get rid of any excess and even out your tan and you’re good to go!

Don’t Forget Problem Areas

Moisturising is one of the most important parts of creating that sun-kissed look, so it’s paramount that you understand your skin and where you get dry, problem areas. The most common areas are knees, elbows and ankles but it can be different for everyone. An aloe vera based moisturiser works well with most tanning lotions and can either be applied a time before you start your tanning ritual or blended with the lotion on the driest areas to ensure an even tan.

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