Health & Wellness Articles

6 Sunless Tanning Secrets

What the Bottle Won't Tell You

428SHARES

3. Protect your hands. Self-tanners work quickly and if you’re covering your entire body, your palms may get colored in the process. Wear a pair of disposable gloves while applying the self-tanner to your body, applying the tanner to the tops of your hands last. If you don’t have gloves, wash your hands several times and use some soap and a nail brush to scrub away any residue from your nails and cuticles.

4. Apply quickly and evenly. Whether you select a spray, cream or gel self-tanner, you must work quickly and apply the tanner evenly over a complete area. One way to ensure that you don’t miss any spots is to use a brand with a hint of color — that way you will immediately see a bare spot before it’s too late. Use enough tanner to cover a whole area of your body at once (such as your entire arm) using long, smooth, downward strokes for even coverage. Apply self-tanner sparingly on the knees, ankles and elbows, as these areas are typically dry and may turn out splotchy.

5. Wait it out. While you may be tempted to get dressed immediately, wait 30 minutes (or longer) to be on the safe side. Sitting on any light-colored fabrics (including sheets, furniture or towels) during this time can cause color transfer (and stains). Your self-tanner needs time to work its magic, so it has dried, wait at least three hours before bathing, showering or swimming. Afterwards, if you find some areas are darker than you’d like, exfoliate a few times over the next week and the color will fade as your skin cells come off.

6. Make it last. When applied properly, most artificial tans last between three and five days, depending on how fast your skin naturally exfoliates. When you first begin to notice that your color is fading, do another color test and see if you like the shade. If so, go ahead and reapply your self-tanner. Always apply the product in layers, a little at a time, to ensure the most natural looking tone.

Even though you'll be looking sun-kissed, don't forgo the sunscreen. Just as a "base tan" doesn't protect you from the sun, a faux tan doesn't offer any sun protection either. Even though you're sporting golden skin tones, you still need protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Always wear a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher and cover up to prevent sunburn when you're outdoors.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • BOOK-LADY35
    As an older woman with many "age spots", I cannot use sunless tanning products since they also darken the age spots. Boo Hoo - 7/18/2013 10:23:01 AM
  • My favorite self tanner to use is Fake Bake it doesn't turn that ugly orange color it actually looks like a nice brown tan. Another good thing is that the smell is so nice its a sweet not to strong kind of smell. The price isn't that bad either. When I purchased mine I bought a pack that had two bottles because it was cheaper and I figured if I liked it enough I wouldn't have to wait for another order to come to my house. - 7/19/2012 11:03:07 AM
  • I've always had the worse luck with sunless tanning. I tried it before vacation. Had a girl come to my house to spray me, and it came out very blotchy and uneven. I had to wear pants my entire vacation in the summer!! My friend had me try her self tanner and told me its not orange, it comes out so even, it smells good. I was like yeah b.s. but I tried it since it was winter and I wouldn't be showing to much skin anyway. Well it turns out it was amazing!! It came out so even and natural looking. It's a foam so it goes on really smooth. It doesn't even smell which I thought was the best thing. Its made by the same doctors who made Proactiv so they obviously knew what they were doing when they made it. I loved it soo much that I signed up as a consultant for it just so I can get the discount since I was ordering it soo often lol. I just put it on before bed, then I wake up and have this great tan. No one at work could believe it was a self tanner. They were complimenting me on how I look tan and where did I go and I told them it was a sunless tanner. They were like "what?!". Here is the link you can get it from. Just click on products then click on essentials and the sunless tanner is right there for you to buy. If anyone gets it please contact me after and let me know how it worked for you!! Www.fountainofyou
    thskin.myrand
    f.com - 7/7/2012 1:26:42 AM
  • Best "tan" of all is to eat lots of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables: which give a naturally warm colour to the skin that is healthy and natural and less "ashen" than tanning products. - 3/21/2012 8:24:25 PM
  • Sounds like too much of a bother for me! - 3/21/2012 8:06:38 PM
  • There are many spray only tanning salons now! Not as expensive as you might think either, very well worth it and natural looking! - 3/21/2012 12:43:28 PM
  • CIRANDELLA
    I've embraced my senescent Victorian pallor. Beats sweatin'. - 11/9/2011 8:32:50 AM
  • CIRANDELLA
    I've embraced my senescent Victorian pallor. Beats sweatin'. - 11/9/2011 8:32:41 AM
  • AZURE-SKY
    I've never understood the desire for a tan. Maybe it has something to do with a being fair-skinned person who cannot tan, just burn, peel & freckle. So I've been very careful all my life when out in the sun. I'm 59 and was just at the dermatologist for my annual skin cancer check & she told me I have beautiful skin.

    The thought of putting a chemical stain on my skin to change its color grosses me out. It just seems so senseless. People really don't look better with a fake tan - they just look painted. - 9/23/2011 1:49:34 PM
  • Wonderful article. Wonderful products. Mine has a nice smell to it. I've only got to use it twice, so far. I feel relieved that there is something out there I can use! - 8/14/2010 7:22:56 PM
  • I put it on about a half hour before bed so that it has all night to sink in and I don't have to put on clothes that it will rub off on. Then I shower first thing in the morning to get the smell off. My husbands not too fond of the smell in bed but I think he's gotten used to it. - 6/1/2010 3:45:39 PM
  • BIBIMOI
    It's true. I have also problems with the odour. I donít know if the others smell it, but I certainly do. - 4/30/2010 1:58:03 PM
  • I can't get past the stench of the self-tanner after it is applied and I've used several different brands, most claiming to be odorless. For some reason, they all make me smell like dirt. Ewwww. - 3/7/2010 5:31:30 PM
  • To reduce dark patches, try applying skin lotion to the dry areas about an hour before using the tanning product. Skin that is dry sucks up more cream and ends up darker than the less dry skin. Applying hand lotion to the palms and between the fingers before rubbing on sunless tan lotion will help to reduce the coloring of these areas. - 3/3/2010 12:20:12 PM
  • I think this article is GREAT! My sister passed away from Skin Cancer last month and to have this article here is wonderful! People do not realize just how much damage tanning beds and laying out can do. My sister suffered for years, due to her LOVE of the sun. People need to realize they need to protect themselves. - 5/20/2009 9:47:36 AM

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