Tips & Tricks
Below you will find all the tips and tricks necessary for the perfect self-tan application. I decided to post the application guide I made for my self-tanning company, Beautisol so everyone can learn how to apply a body self-tanner successfully!
Additional Tips and Tricks of the Trade:
Wipe When Done!
An easy way to soften or slow down the absorption of self-tanner on areas that tend to grab a lot of product such as the elbows, knees and heels is to use a dry wash cloth to gently buff the areas. It will pick up some of the excess self-tanner and prevent you from looking like you have a jersey shore / guido tan! A sign that you got into a fight with your self-tanner and lost!
Keep Your Q-Tips Close!
Ever notice that spots like sun-spots, melasma or old acne scars get darker and more noticeable when you’ve slathered self-tanner over them? I have the solution! Once you apply self-tanner to the area, take a dry, clean Q-Tip and gently buff the area of excess product. This will minimize the appearance and create a more even tone.
A flawless tan is all about preparation…
Applying self-tanners to hydrated skin is just one key element to long lasting color. Once you exfoliate, use a water-based moisturizer to ensure that the skin is free to absorb all the tanning product. If you use an oil-based moisturizer before self-tanning, the oil can sit on the skin, creating a barrier that can cause self-tanners to streak! One quick way to tell if your moisturizer is water or oil based –> look at the first ingredient listed on the label. Chances are it’s water (Aqua) or possibly aloe vera, but steer clear if the first ingredient is an oil of any kind. Salt, sugar, and diatomaceous earth scrubs are an excellent way to exfoliate – just make sure they are not sitting in heavy oils and do not leave a residue on the skin. An easy way to make sure there is no residue is to wash your body after exfoliating with a body wash!
The Longer, the better…
Generally the longer you leave a self tanner to process, the darker the results. The DHA or variations of DHA need time to develop. Some products can take up to 12 hours to develop fully so I recommend that you use concentrated self tanners at night so it can do it work while you are sleeping. Water is self tanners nemesis, so stay away at all costs which means… no washing dishes, no working out, no showering for 8 – 12 hours, no dogs or cats licking your skin – you get the picture! Hey it’s your perfect excuse to take the night off, practice a little “OM” time while you beautify.
Maxi Pad Protectors!
Don’t think I have lost my marbles, but thin pantyliners make great underarm protectors in light colored shirts or blazers.
During the summer when I am sweating profusely but want to wear lighter colored clothing, I will cut panty liners (Carefree or Maxi Pad) and attach them into the inside of my shirt. It’s an easy way to save on dry-cleaning costs with those nasty self-tanning sweat spots we sometimes get!
Ring Around The Toilet!
Regular Self-Tanner’s or Spray Tanner’s alike… Have you ever taken a close look at your toilet seat?!
Sad to say but my toilet seat develops a slight beige / tan color during my “processing hours”! You might want to check yours…! The guide color in most self tanners or spray tans can come off on your toilet seat so every now and then, take some 409 or any other bathroom cleaner and spray your toilet seat, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it down. This should prevent permanent staining with frequent use!! ; ) Go ahead, check… you may not notice until you do a wipe over but your guest might! Yes this is a soon to be published funny story as well, I just need to get up the courage
Drying Time, speed up!
Is your self-tanner taking it’s sweet time to dry? Grab your hairdryer and put it on the cool setting and give your body a blast of cool air to help speed up the drying time! It’s quick and easy and certainly beats having to walk around your house in the buff!
Fashion Tape, your wedding dress’s saving grace!
One of my favorite products is Hollywood Fashion Tape! It is a fantastic way to line the inside of a tight fitting dress, such as a strapless wedding dress, to line it and protect the fabric from any self-tanner or guide color that may rub off during the course of the day. Only stick the fashion tape to your dress – no need to pull off the other adhesive side or it will stick to your skin which you don’t need! When you take off your dress or garment just remove the tape and vuallah – no browning of your clothes!
Application Mitts & Gloves are your best friends!
Successful tanning 101 – USE GLOVES or the SELF TAN APPLICATION MITT! Self tanners will tan your palms if you apply it with your bare hands so use an application mitt! If you are going to wear disposable gloves then get them as tight as possible as loose gloves tend cause streaking on the body.
Need to start over?
There are times when you need to just start over with your tan. Nothing is worse that old self tanner that has exfoliated off in one area but dark as ever in another. That is when it’s time to sit in a bath and just soak it off. Think of it this way… What is the best way to remove burnt rice off of a pan? Soak it with water! That is exactly what you should do with your tan! So light some candles, bring your Deep Exfoliating Hammam Mitt, put in some bubble bath, pretend you are Julia Roberts in a penthouse bathtub and say aaahhhh for a few minutes!
After about 20 minutes, take your Hammam Mitt and exfoliate away! Your tan will remove easily and you have a fresh slate for the next application!
Foot file for tough areas.
Got a really stubborn self tan area that is way too dark? Take the finer side of your foot filer and gently rub it over the areas that you are trying to lighten while in the show. Areas around the feet are often “whoops” areas so try a little deeper exfoliation with the file to lighten. My favorite foot file – the Swedish Foot File! PLEASE PEOPLE – ONLY USE THE FINE SIDE AND DON’T SCRUB TOO HARD!
Do a little mixin’!
If you ever get home and feel that your self tanning lotion is too dark and too intimidating try mixing it with a regular body lotion. It will dilute the guide color, spread a little easier if it is really thick, allow you more time to work in the product before it dries so you can end up with a flawless finish. Then as you continue to practice using self tanner, use less and less body moisturizer and you will become a tanning pro in no time learning what is easier for you as you go.
Protect all dry areas FIRST!
Self-tanning tip: Use a bit of lotion first on really dry areas like your knees, elbows, heels and knuckles! It prevents the self-tanner from grabbing too much product and turning too dark!
Before applying any self- tanner it is best to use a little body moisturizer on areas such as the hands, elbows, knees and heels. These areas tend to have lots of creases and folds and are dryer than the Sahara Desert! By doing this you allow the moisturizer to grab first not the self tanner so it looks more even and help you blend it into the areas so the tan looks more natural. There is nothing worse than dark, dark heels and knees!
Stay away from white clothes while you are processing
If you apply a self tanner that contains a guide color (the color you see and is the instant color that appears on your skin) do not wear light clothing. Some of the guide color will rub off and you don’t want to ruin your white oscar gown do you? Once the self tanner has processed and you have showered, go ahead and wear anything white that can be washed or dry cleaned easily. Just remember keep it dark and loose when processing! Some other fabrics that don’t fare well with self tanner are light colored cashmere, silk, suede and leather.
Seeing dry cracking on your legs or arms?
There are certain self tanning products that tend to be more drying than others. Spray tans and spray self-tanners tend to have a higher alcohol content (so the spray product dries faster after you have been hosed down and it allows the product to spray through the can or machine more efficiently). This can sometimes lead to cracking on the skin, especially if you do not moisturizer enough. Try gently exfoliating 4 or 5 days later to help prevent “alligator’ish” from being so apparent.
Invest in a Deep Exfoliating Hammam Mitt!
One of my most prized possessions is my Deep Exfoliating Hammam Mitt! It is a very necessary item if you are going to be a successful self-tanning queen / king! You can get old self-tanner off in no time, plus your skin always looks amazing right after exfoliating.
Self Tanning PJ’s!
OK so I am a little over the top but I love my self-tanning PJ’s!! My man always knows he is going to get the “Sorry honey, not tonight… I’m self-tanning” when he sees me in these! Dark colored PJ’s help protect the bed sheets on the nights that the self-tanner is processing by preventing the guide color from rubbing off directly on to the sheets. This prolongs the need to change the bed sheets so often!
OxiClean is my best friend!
This is one company that I wish I had stock in – yes I am talking about your company Mr. Billy Mays!! OxiClean ROCKS and is my trusty secret weapon! It has helped save so many of my white t-shirts and light colored dress shirts! I toss a scoop or 3 into all my white loads and WHAM – like magic all my clothes are bright again. Any hint of self tanner or yellowing of my clothes is gone in a flash! So my advice to you fellow self tanners… RUN, don’t walk to your nearest grocery store and stock up on OxiClean – Trust me… your clothes and your friends will thank you!