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The Ultimate Guide To Self Tanning

The Ultimate Guide To Self Tanning

Most of us have had a cheeky experience with self tan before (good, bad, and everything in between). Some of us are fanatics, some of us are still learning.

Regardless, you’re here because you’ve decided you want to become a bronzed goddess.

In this easy guide, I’ll talk you through the self tanning process step by step and get you on your way to becoming a seasoned self tanner in no time.

The best tans take a bit of preparation, so we’ll start at the very beginning of the tanning routine to make sure you’ve got it covered.

Anne Hathaway, Credit: Bauer-Griffin

I’ll show you how to avoid this. This happens to the best of us, Anne.

Step 1: Exfoliate
Pro-Tanning Tip #1
Get your exfoliation and hair removal ticked off the list the day before tanning. This will stop your self tanner from seeping into your pores. However, if you’re pushed for time or you’re a ‘wing it' type of person (like me), wait at least an hour before applying your tan.

Think of this as cleaning a canvas before you paint on it. It’s the most underrated step and will actually help you avoid any patchy areas.

Firstly, turn up the heat in the shower (who doesn’t love a hot shower?) and use an exfoliating mitt or body scrub. I have been obsessed with this thermafoliant body scrub from Dermalogica. 

Don’t forget to exfoliate the face as well if this is on your to-tan list.

Take the opportunity here to shave if you haven’t already. You’ll thank me later. Just be careful as your skin might be sensitive after exfoliating.

Ok, great. Now you want to lower the water temperature as much as you can (you can do it). This will, of course, help to close the pores and prevent any annoying dark/odd spots.

Step 2: Moisturise
Strange, I know. But, for best results, the next step is to apply a layer of moisturiser all over your body to stop any dryness creeping in.

If you completely ignored my first Pro-Tanning Tip, and you’re exfoliating the same day as you tan, only apply moisturiser to certain places like your hands, feet, elbows and knees. This helps to prevent your self tan from clinging to these areas for a flawless finish.

Pro-Tanning Tip #2
To nail a natural-looking tan, apply a light layer of moisturiser to your wrists, so your golden glow blends in with minimal harsh lines.

Step 3: It’s Time
First, make sure you have the right tools. The best way to self tan is with a mitt. Try this one.

Pick out your favorite self tanner and apply a small amount to your mitt. Self tanning foams are usually great for beginners.

Now, sweep the tan over your body in long strokes for a better finish. Work in small sections and make sure the tan is buffed in before you move on to prevent any potential patches.

Pro-Tanning Tip #3
If you’re worried about self tanning your face, try mixing some self tanner with your favourite moisturiser to dilute it slightly.

Step 4: The Waiting Game
If you’re using a developing tan, giving yourself enough time to let it do its thing is essential. Right after tanning, let it dry off completely before putting on loose, dark clothing to prevent your tan transferring.

You can either apply your self tan in the morning (for daytime development), or apply before you go to bed to wake up looking all bronzed and beautiful.

Maintenance Tips

You're all done and ready to enjoy your new tan.

If you're in need of a good pick-me-up, I have been loving this bonus from Technotan here. It is basically a tan extender and builder which will work to prolong your tan. The scent is incredible.


Reach out via live chat or email as always! 


Ava, Editor at Troya Beauty
I love long walks on the beach, procrastinating, casually complaining about my spending habits, and annoying my boyfriend with my (apparently ‘not so funny’) fashion and beauty related memes. In all seriousness, I love anything related to skincare and makeup. If it's worth using, I am your gal and I will tell you everything I know. Currently studying a Dip. Beauty Therapy.



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