Where would the fair-skinned girl be without her self-tanner? Probably somewhere looking pale, pasty and as we just watched off a show of the Adams Family. Self-tanners are beauty godsends that come along with a love/hate relationship.
Mastering that healthy glow of a sun-kissed tan without those streaky orange lines is a feat in itself. To help you avoid a haphazard, self-tanning application disaster, we have complied 9 Commandments that will guarantee that your faux glow looks one hundred percent natural.
1. Prep your body
Do whatever you need to do before you apply your self-tanner. If you need to get a manicure or a waxing or even shave your hair, then do it before applying your self-tanner. Many of the above treatments can remove your self-tanner, leaving your skin looking blotchy or streaky.
2. Exfoliate, exfoliate and exfoliate a little more
Self-tanners are absorbed by dry, dead skin leaving ugly dark patches that look like you have been infected by a zombie plague. Exfoliate your skin before applying your self-tanner using a coarse scrub, focusing on dryer areas such as your ankles, elbows, knees and heels.
Use a cleanser with a salicylic acid to remove any dead skin cells. Avoid cleansers or exfoliates that contain oil, as the residue will make your self-tanner look streaky when applied.
3. Dry off
Moisture is one of the main reasons your self-tan looks splotchy. Be sure to dry off after your shower using a towel and wait at least 15 minutes until your totally dry, which includes your hair too.
4. Moisturize your skin
We know that this might seem contradictory but once you are totally dry from your shower, you will need to add a touch of moisture back into your skin. Apply a lightweight lotion to your dryer areas such as your ankles, elbows, and knees and around your nostrils to prevent them from transforming into a dark orange color.
5. Choose your product
Mousses are fantastic for rubbing all over your body, but sprays are helpful for reaching those hard-to-reach spots. When choosing a self-tanner, opt for one designed for your skin tone and not the desired tan tone. And if you are fair-skinned, look for light to medium formulas and for olive-skin tones, look for darker formulas.
6. Work your way up
Start at the bottom and slowly work your way up for a radiant faux glow. Using clean hands or latex gloves, apply your self-tanner in circular motions starting at your ankles, working your way up little by little. Add your self-tanner one-teaspoon at a time to avoid splotchy patches. You should do your arms last, so you won’t have any odd marks when you bend over.
7. Keep your face natural
Your face is the most visible part of your body, so it has to look natural. Dab a tiny bit of self-tanning lotion on the places where you would normally get a tan such as your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Then using your fingertips, blend the lotion outwards from these areas for a more natural look.
8. Allow it dry
Give your lotion time to dry and absorb into your skin. If the product says to wait 5 minutes, then you need to wait at least 10 minutes more. Once you have waited for enough time, brush your entire body with baby powder, as this will seal the tanner into your skin and prevent it from rubbing off on your clothes. Don’t have a shower for 8 hours.
9. Prolong your tan
Preserve your faux glow by keeping your skin moisturized. Once you are ready to renew your tan, follow the steps above again.