How to Apply Self Tanner!


My tips and tricks on applying a sunless, streak less glow all over. As many of you know, my favorite tanning lotions vary. Currently, my favorite is St. Tropez, which I will talk about in my April Favorites.

I am a seasoned Self Tanner. I always use it. During the summer and winter. I love having a summer-time glow without risking the chance of getting skin cancer! While I still do like to lay out or go swim with friends by the pool, I always like to enhance my glow with some self tanners. I have tried everything from drugstore to brand name, gel, lotion, and foam. Here are my tips and tricks I have learned along the way.


What kind of tanner should I use?

Typically, the best kind of Self Tanner you should use to receive the best results are foam tanners. The foam is easier to blend in and is much lighter on your skin (not color though, don’t worry). Foam penetrates the top layer of skin, giving you the best tanning experience without streaks. Using a hand mitt to apply the tanner works great.

How do I apply tanner? 

Applying self tanner can be tricky. Once you get the hang of it though, it is so easy, I promise! Using the hand mitt given to you when you buy a Foam tanner, pump one pump onto the mitt. On the desired part of your skin, rub in tanner gently in long strokes. Some like to do circles; however, I have found that doing long strokes produces a blend-able (and believable) tan.

Where do I start?

Always start with your legs first. When applying self tanner, if you start with your upper body, as you bend down you will get creases and smears because the tanner has not dried yet. Starting at your foot/calf and working your way up to your thigh, stomach, back, arms, chest, and lastly face (if desired) will produce the best tan.

How long until it dries?

Every tanner consistency is different, so with any tanner you try you will have to be the judge of how long you wait. Typically, with foam tanners, they go on lighter so the wait time is MUCH shorter than a lotion or gel. What I like to do is apply my tanner all over my body and chill for about a minute, making sure not to touch anything or sit or anything! Then, once my skin feels pretty dry, I put on my shower robe and loosely tie it so it stays closed but not tight enough for it to hinder my tan on my stomach. Then I get ready for the day, do my hair, watch Netflix, troll YouTube, whatever, for about 20-30 minutes to make sure my tan is perfectly, 100% dry. After that, I either get changed for the day, or usually I put on my pajamas and crawl into bed! I have found that applying the tanner on at night gives me the best glow because it can set for 6-8 hours.

How do I prep for self tanner?

Shower first. EXFOLIATE. When you do not exfoliate before applying Self Tanner, the millions of dead skin cells on your body will attach to the tanner and your tan will look scaly and not smooth. So, grab your loofa and exfoliate your arms, legs, chest, stomach; anywhere you are putting your tanner!

After the shower, it is crucial to moisturize. I don’t always lotion my legs/arms before applying tanner, but it is important to apply lotion to the key areas; elbows, elbow creases, feet, hands, and face. This will cause for a more even tan application. If your skin is dry or you just shaved, it is probably best to add some moisture back in your skin so it can soak up the tan without getting blotchy.

How long does a tan typically last?

Again, this depends on what brand/type of tanner you use. Usually, my one application of a self tanner will last 2-3 days until it starts coming off. Time to reapply!


Current tanner I use: Here

Tanner Mitt: Here and Here

Monogramed Waffle Robe: Here

Let me know if you have any questions!






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