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5 Professional Tips for the Perfect Self-Tan


The perfect tan is possible. A tan that has even color, a healthy glow, and is streak-free. No UV rays, and no tanning bed needed. All you need is your favorite self-tanner, the right products, and some tips from the professionals:

1. SHAVE AHEAD OF TIME – 12 hours in advance (24 hrs. in advance if you’re waxing). This will ensure you avoid any sensitivities.

2. EXFOLIATE – It’s the secret to a perfect self-tan. When skin is layered with dulling dead cells, self-tanner will cling to these “invisible” clumps, and you’ll end up with blotchy, uneven color. So exfoliate your face and body prior to application for an even, streak-free tan. Start the process 2-3 days before you plan to self-tan for the best results.

  • For FACE: Use a chemical exfoliator with an alpha hydroxy acid to eliminate dead surface cells and even out rough texture. Bioelements Quick Refiner is a great choice (you can also use it on rough elbows, knees and feet!)
  • For BODY: Sweep away dry, dulling cells from neck-to-toes by dry brushing the body right before you shower. Again, focus on your elbows and feet – especially the backs of your ankles. The age-old technique of dry brushing is used by professionals in body treatments to shed cells and renew skin – it’s a great way to prep for an even self-tan.


3. MIX IT UP – Self-tanner often looks uneven or too dark around the knees, elbows and ankles. A fool-proof way to avoid this is to mix your self-tanner with a professional formula body creme before applying.

Mix 1 part self-tanner with 1 part body creme (try Bioelements Extremely Emollient). This will ensure even, streak-free color from head-to-toe – plus, your skin will be nourished and smooth with increased moisture and antioxidants! Proper head-to-toe moisturization will keep your skin hydrated and smooth – and extend the life of your tan – so keep using it daily.

2. DON’T RUSH – Self-tanning takes time if you want to get a flawless, natural-looking, even application. So give yourself enough time – about an hour for prep, application and complete dry time.

1. NIGHTTIME IS THE RIGHT TIME – A great time to apply self-tanner is at night – you have more time to let it dry, and you don’t have to worry about it staining your everyday clothes. Just apply it and wake up to a healthy glow!

Do you self-tan at home? What self-tanner do you use? Tell us in the comments!

UPDATE (5.24.12):

We asked the same question on our Facebook page, too – and here’s the most-mentioned brands:

Jergens Natural Glow, Fake Bake, L’Oreal Sublime Self Tanning Towelettes and Tan Towels.


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Comments (8)

Cara says:
May 22, 2012

I like the sunless tanners from fake bake. I use their anti-aging facial tanner all the time to have a nice glow! 🙂

Dianne Hofmeister says:
May 22, 2012

Our salon guests have great results with Fake Bake Self Tanner.

Tiara says:
May 22, 2012

Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning for Face and Decollete is my Favorite Tanner :)The results are amazing 🙂

Brittany says:
May 23, 2012

We use the Norvell Spray Tan system at the salon I work at. I love Norvell’s self tanning products(specifically the Mousse and Lotion) being a fair skinned individual they really help keep the spray tan effects longer and even. 🙂

Caitlin Laurette McCleave says:
May 23, 2012

I’ve never used a self-tanner before because I am a little weary of them mainly because I fear I’ll mess up bad. Hopefully Barbara’s blog will help me through this especially if I get the Bioelements Quick Refiner and Dry Brush Body Smoothing System. <3 🙂

pamela says:
May 23, 2012

I like to use a couple of products from Clinique and Estee Lauder. I’ve used them over the years and I have had amazing and happy results.

Elizabeth DeHart says:
May 23, 2012

I really like Josie Maran Argan Oil self tanner!

Beth says:
Aug 25, 2012

St. Tropez self tanning products work well!

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