Best Self-Tanning Routine For (Fast) Golden Skin

By Patricia Rios

Understanding my love for self-tanning is easy when you know my background. Growing up with a Texan mother and a New Jersey father meant tanning was a given.

Best Self-Tanning Routine For (Fast) Golden Skin

After some regrettable experiences with tanning beds in college, I learned the value of at-home self-tanning. It provides a sun-kissed glow without the risks of sun damage, evens skin tone, and hides imperfections. Here’s how to get the perfect self-tan every time.

Prep Your Skin for Self-Tanning

Skin preparation is key to a flawless self-tan. Proper prep prevents a patchy, uneven tan.

  • Exfoliate Thoroughly: Use a scrub on dry skin three days before tanning. This removes dead skin cells, creating a smooth base. Example: The Brown Sugar Body Polish Exfoliator is excellent. Apply in small circles on dry skin, then rinse off.
  • Moisturize Regularly: Hydrated skin absorbs tanner better and looks more even. Example: Use a rich lotion like Brazilian Bum Bum Cream daily. On tanning day, focus on dry areas like elbows and knees.

Essential Prep Products

Using the right products can make a huge difference in your tanning results.

  • Chemical Exfoliant: A glycolic lotion can smooth your skin and eliminate issues like “strawberry legs.” Example: T.L.C. Glycolic Body Lotion is great. Use it a few days before tanning for best results.
  • Hydrating Oil: Add moisture without greasiness by using a dry oil. Example: Organic Radiance Precious Oil hydrates and preps your skin. Apply it after lotion in the days leading up to tanning.

Applying Self-Tanner

The application process is crucial for a streak-free, even tan.

  • Use a Fresh Mitt: A new tanning mitt ensures even application. Example: A Double Sided Luxe Tan Applicator Mitt works well. Use circular motions to apply the tanner.
  • Choose the Right Tanner: Pick a tanner with undertones that suit your skin. Example: Deluxe Bronzing Mousse has olive undertones, preventing an orange tint.

Quick Tan Options

Sometimes you need a fast tan. Express tanners are perfect for this.

  • Express Tanner: Develops in a few hours, perfect for last-minute plans. Example: Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse by St. Tropez works in 1-3 hours. Adjust the time for the desired shade.

Post-Tan Care

After applying your tan, proper care is essential to maintain it.

  • Dry Properly: Use a blow dryer on low to dry creased areas. Example: Focus on the back of your knees and elbows with a blow dryer.
  • Wear a Dark Robe: Prevents staining furniture and clothes. Example: A Lightweight Long Waffle Kimono in black is perfect. It’s comfortable and hides any residue.

Enhancing Your Tan

For special occasions, add a bit more glow to your tan.

  • Highlight and Contour: Use a brush to add depth and highlight areas. Example: Use a Professional Body Makeup Brush to apply a glow balm on your collarbones and legs.
  • Glow Balm: Adds a shimmery finish for an extra glow. Example: Major Glow All-Over Glow Balm gives a beautiful finish. Apply it just before heading out.

By following these steps and using the right products, you can achieve a flawless, natural-looking self-tan that lasts. Enjoy your perfect glow!


Patricia Rios

I have been writing makeup and beauty content for more than ten years. My passion is to uplift you, my reader, to feel better about yourself.

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