How to Self-Tan Like a Pro

There’s no doubt about it: excessive sun exposure damages our skin. But just because our days of intensive sunbathing are behind us, doesn’t mean we don’t want a summer glow. Here’s how to achieve the perfect faux-tan – you won’t even need to leave your bedroom!

From moisturisers to mousses, there’s a self-tanner for everyone. We however are fans of spray. The reason? They’re ideal for getting to hard-to-reach spots and are easy to rub in. However, when it comes to your face, nothing beats a lotion for a natural looking tan. 

To avoid patchiness, always exfoliate. An exfoliator will remove any dead skin cells and dry patches, resulting in an even application and a longer-lasting tan.   

If you’re in need of a shave, be sure to do it prior to applying your self-tan. Why? If you do it afterwards you’re likely to strip off the product, leaving your body a streaky mess.

Avoid turning orange by hydrating your skin before application. Use a light moisturiser all over your body, paying special attention to the extra-dry bits: feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists tend to need extra care. 

Most self-tanning products take between six to eight hours for your skin to absorb. During this period you’ll want to avoid contact with water – that means no exercise, as you don’t want to sweat! And of course, immediately after application, you’ll need to allow at least five to ten minutes for the product to dry before getting dressed. Self-tanning like a pro requires patience. 

Always (and we mean always) apply self-tan in a cool and dry place. If you apply in a steamy bathroom, you’re guaranteed to look blotchy! To avoid orange palms, wash hands regularly throughout application. And for tricky-to-reach places – like your back – spray your self-tan directly behind you in circular motions. Then walk backwards into the mist allowing the droplets to land on your skin. 

No one wants a streaky looking tan, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. If you find a strip that’s a darker colour, hop into a hot shower. If it doesn’t budge, repeat the next day.

Words by: Photographs by: Oriflame