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How to Apply Self Tanner Like a Pro

self tanner, application tips, how to, loving tan, spf, anti-aging

June means it is officially summertime (!!!). Which also means it’s officially time to have to worry about looking bronzed & glowy again.

Maintaining a tan all summer with a 9-5 job is honestly way harder than I thought it would be. I swear it’s sunny & warm all work week long just in time to rain on the weekends. AND ALSO. The sun = wrinkles. So as good as it feels to lay out in the sun, I’m kind of over it. Hats, sunscreen & self-tanner are my new best friends.

To learn all about my SPF & anti-aging tips & tricks, listen to my podcast where I chat all about those topics HERE!

Don’t get me wrong, self tanner can be a b*tch to deal with. It can turn out streaky and orange (ew) if you’re not careful. So I’m here to help ladies! After a few years of playing around with self tanners, I officially have application down to a T. Want to apply self tanner like a pro? Here’s how to do it:

THE BRAND YOU GOTTA TRY

Loving Tan. I’ve tried tons of different self-tanners like St. Tropez, Vita Liberata, Jergens, Banana Boat, etc. and none look as good or lasts as long as Loving Tan (plus you can find it at Ulta now yayyy). The formula you go for is up to your preference. The Deluxe Bronzing Mousse allows you to develop a deeper tan, but you have to wear it for 6-8 hours. The 2 Hr Express Self Tanning Mousse doesn’t get quite as dark, but you only have to wear it for a couple hours!

*Hot tip #1*: 1 layer of the 2 Hr Express isn’t dark enough for me so I always apply 2 layers. And if you have a couple extra hours, leave the 2 Hr Express on for 3-4 hours to make the color even darker!

PRE-APPLICATION

*FYI: MAKE SURE TO DO THIS WHEN YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO CHILL IN YOUR HOUSE. YOU WILL LOOK LIKE YOU DUNKED YOUR FACE IN BROWNIE BATTER SO GO OUTSIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK LOL K*

Shower Time

Shower before applying your tan so you can shave & exfoliate. I shave first, and then I use the Loving Tan Exfoliating Mitt (with body wash) to scrub off any leftover tan & dead skin cells.

After you shower, fully dry off & don’t apply lotion to your body. This will prevent the self tanner from adhering to your skin, which means it won’t get as dark it possibly can!

*Hot tip #2*: The earlier you shower before applying your self tanner, the better. This will ensure your skin is fully dried & doesn’t have any shower gel residue. I always wait at least 30 minutes after showering to apply my self tanner!

“Barrier Cream”

Ever gotten a spray tan & applied barrier cream to the dry areas of your body? This is still a crucial step in the self-tanning process because it prevents the self tanner from building up & looking orange on those dry areas of your skin. I take a little bit of lotion (Hempz is my fave brand, but any will do) and apply it to my elbows, fingers, knuckles, achilles & toes. Then I let that lotion dry for 5 minutes.

APPLICATION

I use an applicator mitt to apply the self tanner to the majority of my body (legs, arms, torso). Loving Tan has an applicator mitt, but you can use any brand.

I use a makeup brush like this to apply the tanner to my face, hands & feet. This helps you apply it more evenly than with a mitt and allows you to work in between your fingers and toes more easily.

While applying the product (with both the brush & the mitt), I always apply in circular motions. If you rub it back and forth in straight lines, you’re much more likely to streak! After applying 1-2 layers of product, I use a brush to rub out any areas that are streaky on my body. This step is a life saver to making your tan look more natural!!!

Make sure you save enough time to apply. If I’m adding multiple layers, the whole process usually takes me 30 minutes (because I’m a psycho and stare at every inch to make sure it looks right). 15-20 minutes should do the trick for most people!

POST-APPLICATION

Getting Comfy

Loving Tan dries extremely quickly, but I still like to wait a good 5 ish minutes before putting clothes on. Any time you put clothes onto self tanner, it’s going to rub a little bit, so the clothes you wear are crucial! If you put on tight clothes (like leggings), it’s 100% going to remove some of that product. Loose, baggy clothes like sweatpants & boyfriend tees are ideal.

Preventing Cheeto Fingers

This part is my sneaky secret to preventing orange hands & feet. 30 minutes after I finish applying Loving Tan I rub a makeup wipe all over my hands & feet. Then, after 1-2 hours of sitting in the tan, I wash it off of my hands and feet with water (but leave it on the rest of my body). Orange hands are never cute & they stick out like a sore thumb in photos!

Shower Time

If you’re using the 2 Hr Express, wait at least 2 hours before you shower off your Loving Tan. If you can wait longer, you’ll get even better results! If you’re using the Deluxe Bronzing Mousse, wait at least 6 hours before you shower off. I’ve found that 8 hours is best with this formula, so if you’re okay sleeping in self tanner, that’s a perfect window of time. During your initial rinse off in the shower don’t use any sort of wash cloth or loofah on your body. This will exfoliate the tan you just applied! Just wash your body with your hands.

You will see a lot of the product wash off into the shower. Don’t worry, that is just the temporary bronzer. The true color will continue to develop over the next 8-10 hours!

Moisture!!!

Moisturizing is key to preserving your tan. Any time you get wet (shower, pool, etc.) you should apply lotion after. This will help lock in the color. If your skin is dry, the color will start to fade!

*Hot tip #3*: Apply your self-tanner 1-2 days before your event (or if you’re like me, before the weekend when you just want to be cute & tan lol). I find that it looks the most even and natural on the second or third day.

Are we feeling ready to get our glow on? Yay for tan skin and no wrinkles!!!

Can’t wait for more health, fitness & beauty content? I got you:

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Xoxo,

Abbey

This entry was posted in: Beauty

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Abbey Yung is the Creator of the platform Ask Abbey- a Blog, Podcast & YouTube Channel. She is also the Creator of the E-Book series called The Healthy Lifestyle Project. She's obsessed with all things health, fitness, wellness, makeup & skincare. Anything that can make us feel our best & look our best, she's all for. She loves researching, testing out what she finds & sharing only the best of the best. Growing up, she wishes she would've had a one stop shop to ask questions & find answers on these topics, so that's why she created Ask Abbey. You ask, she'll answer. xx

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