1. PREPARE AND CLEAN YOUR SKIN
Take a shower and exfoliate your body with our Pre-Tan Exfoliator. You want your skin to be clean and as free of dead skin as possible! Also make sure you shave to remove any unwanted hair BEFORE applying your self tanner. Shaving 12-36 hours before application is usually recommended. If you shave RIGHT before you tan, the self tanner will not take.
2. PUT A MOISTURIZER ON THE DRY PARTS OF YOUR BODY
Drier parts of your body like your feet, knees and elbows will "soak up" a lot of self tanner and appear much darker then other parts of your body. To reduce this effect, you can take a normal, everyday moisturizer and rub a little onto your feet, knees and elbows. This will serve to dilute the self tanner and make these areas look a little better than they would without the moisturizer. This part may take a little bit of trial-and-error to get it how you want it. As a side note, be careful putting moisturizer all over your entire body right before you tan. If you do, the self tanner may not take as well.
3. START BY APPLYING TO YOUR FACE AND NECK
Before getting started, be sure to use a self tanner designed specifically for your face. Facial skin tends to be a little more delicate and sensitive than skin on your body. That said, let's get to it! Carefully apply a thin layer to your skin taking care to go right up to the hairline. Once your entire face is done (don't forget your ears), apply to your neck. After your entire face and neck are covered, let's go to step 4.
4. WASH YOUR HANDS
You'll probably want to go ahead and wash your hands at this point. If you don't, you could end up with orange palms by the time you finish applying to your body. If you use a tanning mitt or gloves when applying to your face, you can obviously skip this step!
5. PUT ON A TANNING MITT
A good tanning mitt is absolutely essential to protect your hands and get a smooth, streak-free finish on your lotion or mousse application. We'll deal with tanning your hands in a minute. For now, use the tanning mitt to keep the self tanner off your hands! Here's the one we recommend.
6. APPLY TO THE REST OF YOUR BODY
Start from the bottom and work your way up. This will prevent creasing from bending over. Begin by applying to the tops and sides of your feet first (see tips below on hands, they work for feet too), then your calves, then legs, then torso, then arms. Using your tanning mitt, apply in a circular motion making sure to cover your skin completely. Don't worry about using too much; at this point it's just important not to "miss" any areas. Take your time if you have to :)
7. NOW DO YOUR BACK
Even if you're alone, this is very easy if you have the right tool. We HIGHLY recommend using our Back Applicator or similar strap. The way it works is you spread some self tanner over the strap, grab it on either end and then pull it back and forth over your back (see photo). It's actually really easy and extremely effective once you get the hang of it! If you have someone in the house with you, they can always apply to your back as well.
8. WASH YOUR HANDS CAREFULLY
If you didn't use our tanning mitt or some latex gloves, you'll need to wash your hands again at this point (luckily for the last time!). Be sure to wash them thoroughly this time with both soap and water. And don't be afraid to run them through several times. The palms of hands are notorious for sucking up a lot of tanner and turning orange if they're not washed properly. If you used gloves or a mitt, you can skip this step.
9. FINISH UP BY APPLYING TO YOUR HANDS
There's two different ways you could go about this. The first is to mix a little self tanner with your favorite moisturizer and just apply to the tops of your hands (works well on feet also). The other way is to first slather moisturizer all over your hands and then apply a tiny bit of self tanner over this moisturizer. You can then take a moist towelette and wipe over your palms. That will probably give you the best result. As a side note, we know some people like to skip their hands altogether. That's fine too :)
10. NOW LET IT DRY AND GIVE IT SOME TIME TO WORK!
Congratulations, you made it! Now all you have to do is let the self tanner dry a completely before putting on any clothes. Ideally, we recommend applying your self tanner at night and putting on loose-fitting clothing before going to bed. When you wake up, just shower to reveal a gorgeous new tan and better-looking skin! Keep in mind, most self tanners need 5-7 hours to develop. So please be patient! To maintain your beautiful glow, be sure to keep your skin very moisturized with our Everyday Tan Extender moisturizer.