A good-looking self-tan depends on two things: choosing an appropriate product and focusing on careful application and maintenance. With a few tricks, you can prevent not only a streaky finish but also fading.
Using a self-tanner is the safest and best way to give your skin a healthy, bronzed look. However, mastering the art of self-tanning can feel like a challenge at times. You want your tan to look as natural as possible, and an uneven, blotchy finish can give the game away completely.
Choosing an appropriate self-tanner and then learning some tips and tricks for application and maintenance can prevent not only a streaky finish but also premature fading, so you look sun-kissed for longer.
Choosing your self-tanner
If you're new to the world of self-tanning, the product selection may be quite daunting, as there are so many different formulas available. You'll see mousses, gels, creams, and lotions; instant and gradual tanners; products that go on tinted and others that go on transparent. It can be confusing!
For novices who haven't quite got the technique down yet, we recommend a gradual tanner such as St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower. This product lets you build up the colour over time and is less likely to leave you with a blotchy or uneven skin tone.
Alternatively, if you want an instant tan, sprays are the least likely go streaky. Try Ella Baché Great Spray Tan for even and natural results.
As you become more confident with your self-tanning routine and technique, you can begin to experiment more with different formulas. Mousses and gels generally have the fastest drying times, whereas lotions are known for lasting the longest.
Before applying your self-tanner
One of the most failsafe ways to ensure an even and streak-free tan is by prepping your skin thoroughly before application.
- Shave or wax: About 24 hours prior to self-tanning, you should shave or wax the areas you want to tan in order to ensure an even surface for smooth application.
- Exfoliate: A fake tan clings to rough patches and dead skin cells. Use an exfoliant to leave your skin as smooth as possible. We recommend the Aromatherapy Associates Polishing Body Brush as a great tool to buff and prepare the skin for tanning.
- Moisturise: Once you've exfoliated, you need to moisturise your skin to keep it nourished and hydrated. Be aware that moisturiser can work as an adhesive, so wait until it's fully absorbed before tanning.
Applying your self-tanner
Once your skin has been prepped, you're ready to go! Use a tanning mitt such as the Jbronze Tanning Applicator Mitt to keep your hands blotch-free and ensure an even application all over.
Buff your product in circular motions to avoid a streaky finish. Start at your shins and work your way up to the top of your body. Only use leftover product on your feet, hands, wrists, elbows, and knees. These are areas are particularly prone to blotching, so less is more.
Stand in front of a mirror when tanning so you can accurately see the areas you're working on. When it comes to tanning your back, either ask a friend to help or attach your tanning mitt to a rod.
Maintain your tan
You may have a few mishaps, but each time you apply your tanning product, you'll learn from your mistakes. In no time at all, you too will become a self-tan expert!