Get the perfect fake tan with sunless tanning products by exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing well before, during and after applying a self-tanner.

With the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure, and UV tanning beds now confirmed as being “as deadly as arsenic, mustard gas, plutonium, and other known carcinogens,” according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, more people are turning their backs on harmful ultraviolet rays and reaching for tan-in-a-can. An option, thanks to innovative sunless tanning products and new technology, that can finally look real.

A perfect sunless tan depends on smooth, fresh, moisturized skin to ensure an even application and absorption of the self-tanning lotion or foam. Follow these easy steps to apply your sunless tan the right way, and increase the longevity of your glowing skin.

How to Apply Self Tanner
The best way to apply sunless tanner.

How Does Sunless Tanner Work?

According to, the Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in the sunless tanner reacts with the keratin protein in your skin’s top layer, temporarily dying the skin. Your “tan” will fade away as this top layer of dead skin cells flakes away.

Exfoliate, Cleanse, & Moisturize Skin for a Perfect Sunless Tan

When it comes to self-tanner, you should faithfully follow the rule of three: cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize. You should be sloughing away unwanted skin cells for at least a few days prior your sunless tanner application, and following the exfoliating with a generous application of rich moisturizer.

Exfoliate Skin Often

By exfoliating with either a mechanical scrub (like this divine sugar scrub) or washcloth, you will give your skin a natural, dewy glow. Your fresh skin will allow products to penetrate better, and you’ll have rid yourself of dry, scaly patches of skin that soak up sunless tanner, resulting in unsightly uneven patches.

Cleanse & Moisturize Skin

On “tan” day, lather yourself up in a bath or shower, exfoliate as you have for the past few days, shave your legs, and moisturize your skin, paying special attention to those tough spots, like your knees, ankles, feet, and elbows.

Following up with moisturizer will help the tanner glide on seamlessly. Keep the water warm – not too hot – to avoid getting steamy and sweaty. Wait for your body to cool down and open your bathroom doors so that the air dries up, too.

How to Apply Self Tanner

Dyes don’t discriminate; they’ll tint any part of your skin that they touch. Avoid getting caught orange-handed by washing your hands every five minutes through your session, or by slipping on a pair of plastic gloves.

If you’re home alone or don’t mind being in the buff around company, keep your tanning ensemble to a minimum. Go naked for the all-over bronze look, or sport an old bathing suit if you’re looking to create some “authentic” tan lines.

Apply an Even-Coat of Self Tanner

Focus on applying self-tanner to one area, and don’t move on until you’re finished. Apply more than you would your average moisturizer, and don’t wait for the product to soak in completely – just try to get an even coat. Keep your eye on the clock and go to the sink to thoroughly wash your hands every few minutes.

Apply Less Self Tanner to Knees, Elbows & Rough Spots

When working on those trouble spots – ankles, knees, feet and elbows – slow down and use less tanner. Such dry, hard areas soak up heaps of product. If you’re an expert mixer, create a combination of one part self-tanner to one part moisturizer.

Use a Special Self Tanner for Your Face

If you want your face to have the same (fake but realistic) sun-kissed glow as the rest of your body, be sure to use a face-specific tanner and apply with care. Blend well into the hairline, and work product into the skin behind your ears. Your neck and face will absorb and react to the product more than the rest of your body, so use less self-tanner for the same color.

After Applying Tanner

Wait for the sunless tanner to dry completely before getting dressed, and avoid contact with water, especially chlorinated water, for several hours. Depending on the product, your “tan” will appear within one to two hours and will last for a few days, eventually fading away. You can keep your fake tan by routinely applying new product, but be sure to continually exfoliate and moisturize between applications.

By using these tips to apply your sunless tanner, you’ll achieve a beautiful sunkissed glow at any time of the year – without exposing yourself to the sun’s harsh rays.

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Fins out how to apply sunless tanner the right way. Achieve a beautiful flawless tan without having to expose yourself to the suns harmful rays. #tan #sunlesstanner #beauty #selftanner

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