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Do’s and Don’t of Self Tanner

If your legs look like Casper the friendly ghost when you put on shorts these days, then stay tuned. We are going to be talking about self tanners. May is also Ultraviolet Awareness Month, so there is no time to waste!

Avoiding the Orange

Ok I said it. When most people think of self-tanners, they are worried about turning yellow or blotchy. So we combed the innerwebs for some solid Do’s and Don’ts before and after application to get the best results. Self tanners are a great way to get that “sun kissed” look without exposing your skin for extended periods of time to UVA/UVB rays. Maybe you are like me, and the heat affects your body differently and, so you can only be in it for short periods of time. Whether you have a reason, or you are just curious, here are some tips to help you to take the plunge!


  • Exfoliate- This is a MUST before application. You can use a washcloth, but make sure you spend some extra time on those elbows and knees. This removes the dead skin cells for a more even application.
  • Dry your skin- Skin must be dry prior to application.
  • Apply in sections-Using a circular motion, apply in sections such as arms, legs, torso, etc. This way, if you are using your hands, you can wash after each section to avoid orange hands and nails. There is also an applicator mitt you can buy to help make the application easier and keep those hands from being saturated with the tanner.
  • Go light on wrists and ankles- These areas tend to be a lot drier than others, so they will absorb the tanner quicker, making them darker than the rest of your body.
  • Wait until skin is dry- Give your skin time to dry at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. Try to avoid tight fitting clothes for the first 3 hours.


  • Skip the sunscreen- You still need to apply it. Self tanner is not a sunblock, so you need to apply it every day, and make sure it is SPF 30 or higher, is water resistant, and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB.
  • Rush- Research the right brands for you and tones. If you have a special event you are wanting to do the tanner for, try to do it in advance. Rushing can lead to missed steps and undesired results.
  • Be afraid- There are foams, there are creams, there are sprays. So many option can be intimidating, but with a little patience, you can find a great option.

Now that we have loaded you down with some tools for your self-tanner journey, we hope you feel a little bit better about taking the plunge towards a healthier bronzed glow.