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Ultimate Guide to Sunless Tanning

Are you searching for the best tanning methods, tips, and products? Here is an inclusive guide to the best tanning techniques and maintenance tips so you can flaunt your gorgeously tanned legs and body on the beach or an event.

Let’s start with how spray tanning is different from self-tanning.

Spray Tanning vs. Self-Tanning

There is just one significant difference between spray tanning and self-tanning. In spray tanning, you have to rely on professional equipment compared to using your products at home to self-tan.

For spray tanning, choose sprays that emulate the light mist you get in a booth. You can also opt for sunless tanning moisturizers and lotions for giving your body a whole and even tan. The best part about using tanning lotions is that you can control the depth of your tan by applying it less or more.

However, people who are always on the go prefer a spray tan for a quick, convenient, and full-body tan. If you don’t wish to scrub your floors and walls later, applying it in your bathroom is the safest way. Typically, women apply tanning lotions and sprays with an applicator mitt. But we will also offer some alternative application methods if you don’t want to use a mitt at the end of the article.

How to Make the Most of a Self-Tanner

Here are some tested tips and tricks to help you get the best results of a self-tanning session.


For an even and smoother tan, don’t forget to exfoliate your body from head to toe. That way, you will remove dead skin cells for maintaining your faux glow for long.

Use an edge-like and straight facial razor on your face to scrape off any peach fuzz or skin cells. If you don’t like this idea, a gentle and oil-free scrub will do the job well. Another way to prepare your skin is to scrub your body with a loofah. Soak in a bubbling tub of water, and an oil-free body wash for removing dead cells. Don’t forget to close your pores by rinsing off with cool water. Finish off this step by drying off with a towel to slough away any dry or flaky skin.


Once you exfoliate your entire body, apply a lightweight and oil-free moisturizer to hydrate all parts of your body. Some common areas that women tend to forget to include the knuckles, palms, cuticles, feet, and elbows.

Use a Mitt or an Application Accessory

Tanning mitts are popular for guaranteeing smooth and flawless coverage. For ideal results, begin from your feet and work your way up to your neck. Through vertical and long strokes, apply the tanner using a mitt or other accessories such as gloves.

Remove Excess Product

Use an oil-free makeup wipe to remove any excess formula because you don’t want to leave it on your palms or any area you don’t want to tan. Typically, the most overlooked areas include the toes or fingers.

Some products require you to rinse after application. Do not rinse unless the formula instructs you to complete the tanning process. Pat your skin with a towel, but avoid rubbing, so you don’t lift away the tan.

Which Self-Tanner Should I Get?

When searching online for the best self-tanning products, remember to consider the product’s price, features, and brand for making the best selection. To make things easier for you, here are some of the most popular self-tanner products that you can easily find online. Each of these comes from a reliable brand, so you don’t have to worry about any severe side effects.

Californium Self Tanner Mousse from Skinerals

If you want an organic and vegan self-tanner product, the all-natural sunless tanner is one of the best products available on the market. With fabulous ingredients, including orange peel, lavender oil, shea butter, and vanilla bean extract, you can give the perfect tan to your skin without using any harsh chemicals.

The light-weight mousse does not leave any streak or strong odors behind. The formula is free of fragrance, paraben, and sulfate, making it perfect for women with sensitive skin.

Glow Oil from The Chemistry Brand

The fantastic tanner features a raspberry-based keto-sugar oil with no DHA to give a beautiful golden glow to your body. There is no oil, alcohol, and water in this product. The oil is free of nuts, gluten, and silicones and gives off a whimsical fragrance. Apply for an even glow to look great in your beach outfit or a little black dress.

Honey Bali Bronzing Foam from Coco & Eve Sunny

There is a reason why this self-tanner totes itself as the world’s first self-tan body treatment that offers multiple benefits for skincare. The 100% natural foam of this premium brand provides complete coverage. Don’t panic when you spot DHA as an ingredient in this popular self-tanner. Many people who have sensitive skin can be allergic to DHA, but DHA can also be derived from natural sources, making this one great for all skin types. You will love its delicate fragrance and the tanning performance of this fabulous formula.

Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum from Coola

The anti-aging face serum provides an instant tanning result with its lightweight formula. Enjoy a natural tint of color and benefit from its nourishing capabilities to prevent dryness. The product features DHA, but it is derived from sugar beet, which means you can use it even if you have sensitive skin. Other ingredients include hyaluronic acid and Centella Asiatica to firm your skin and give a radiant glow.

Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist from St. Tropez

A few spritzes of this refreshing mist will hydrate and tint your skin to make you look straight from a fashion magazine. The best part about this self-tanner is that it gives a natural glow to your complexion and contains natural tanning agents such as the hibiscus extract for refreshing and soothing your face. If you want to tan your face only, this one from St. Tropez is a must-have addition to your self-tanning kit.

How to Make a Spray Tan Last Longer

Here are the best tips for making your spray tan last longer.

Don’t Take a Shower Right after Application

You must wait for at least six to eight hours before you can shower after your spray tan. This time will allow your skin to absorb the formula for giving the best results.

Shower Quickly

When the time comes for your post-tan shower, avoid using any harsh soap or product high in pH. Pat yourself dry, Avoid hot tubs, long baths, and rubbing when you wash your body for the first time after tanning.


Use a good moisturizer for locking in your tan after the shower. You should also drink reasonable amounts of water to hydrate your skin to get better tanning results.

Avoid Products Containing Alpha Hydroxy Acid

Avoid any facial products that feature this ingredient. That’s because acids like these can strip your tanning formula. We also suggest you switch to a gentle foaming cleanser or water instead of using wipes for makeup removal.

Sunbed Tanning Tips: How to Prepare

When going for a sunbed tanning session, don’t forget to prepare your skin. That’s because ultraviolet rays won’t penetrate your dirty or dry skin.

Shower and exfoliate your skin thoroughly. You can also shave to ensure that there will be nothing between the tanning bed light bulbs and the tanning lotion but your skin.

Remove other lotions, makeup, or fragrances. You should also remove any jewelry.

What Should You Wear

Most people wear a bathing suit for sunbed tanning. However, you can also go au naturel for complete coverage.

Wearing a bathing suit only means you will get tan lines after the session. That should not be a problem if you are getting a tan for your next beach trip.

Wear Protective Gear

The lightbulbs of the sunbed emit UV rays that can damage your vision. That’s why you should always wear eye protection whenever you choose a tanning bed. The tanning salon you choose is likely to offer you tanning goggles, but you should have your own in your bag whenever you are going to your tanning session.

Your lip area is another sensitive part of your body that you must protect. Always wear an SPF-rated lip balm to protect your lips. Wear nail covers to safeguard your manicured nails.

Tanning Lotions

A wide variety of tanning lotions to choose from and different categories of tanning lotions can help you achieve varying results. Bronzing tanning lotions feature amino acids for encouraging your skin to release more melanin for quicker tanning results. These products also contain bronzers that give you an instant color after application. Remember to apply the tanning lotion evenly on all parts of your body.

If you go to tanning beds frequently, you can consider some tanning lotions called tingle lotions. They get their name from the tingling sensation they cause for speeding up the tanning process.

How Long Should be the Tanning Session

Although sunbed tanning is safer than various other tanning techniques, you should know about safe tanning time limits. Get professional advice to know your skin type and don’t spend longer than required for achieving maximum results.

How to Apply a Tanner without a Mitt

Using mitts will help you apply a tanning lotion evenly. But the trick is to use them the right way. Many women and men prefer using their hands, but that is sure to give an orange color to your palms and fingers. Let’s find out some other interesting methods to apply a tanning formula without using a mitt.

Rubber Gloves

The idea of using a rubber glove to apply a self-tanner sounds silly. However, it does a great job to guarantee an even and smooth tanning glow. Many people who don’t’ want to use a mitt, for any reason, can choose a glove for enjoying the same results.


Another exciting way to give your body a complete tan is to use a sock. Don’t forget to turn the sock inside out for applying the tanner to the skin. Use the sock to spread out the formula on your body. You are likely to observe that this accessory is more effective than the rubber glove we just mentioned. That’s because the fabric of the sock will always hold some tanner to guarantee an even application.

Use Hands

While using your hands is not the best way to apply a tanning product, you can rely on them if you don’t want any other accessories such as gloves or socks to use the formula. After all, nobody wants to walk around with a perfectly tanned body but orange-colored hands on the beach.

However, if that’s how you like it, we don’t think there is any reason why you should not use your hands to apply a self-tanning product.

Tanning Wipes

Another fabulous alternative to mitts is self-tanning. Not only do these popular tanning solutions deliver instant results, but they are also convenient to use. Use them when you need an instant tint on your face or arms for flaunting a new dress or when you don’t have tanning mitts or any other option available.

When Can I Shower After A Spray Tan?

Don’t shower for at least six hours of your tanning session. That way, you will give your skin enough time to absorb the solution, so you get an even shade. Many newer self-tanning products in the market claim to deliver instant results. Avoid buying any such products because they may contain harsh chemicals.

How to Take off Your Spray

Another important aspect of your tanning process is the removal of your self-tanning formula. Follow the instructions closely on the label of the product you use for tanning your face or body. However, some tips can help you enjoy your tan for an impressively more extended period.


That’s right. You begin your tanning session with exfoliation, and then you finish it with the same. Exfoliate your skin gently for removing the formula. You can also use a washcloth or a mitt for scrubbing your skin. For removing the tanning solution completely, you will have to remove the first layer of the formula on your skin. Once you remove this layer, you can clean the skin underneath for removing any residue.

While you can choose a popular exfoliate product from a trusted beauty brand, you can also prepare some homemade solutions for rejuvenating your skin.

Here is how:

●        Mix baking soda and lemon juice until it forms a paste

●        Scrub this paste onto your skin when you are taking a shower or a hot bath

●        Rinse off immediately

Continue your bath or shower as normal.

Since lemon juice is full of Vitamin C and citric acid, the mixture removes the tan from the skin and removes any dry or flaky skin.

Take a Hot Bath or a Shower

Now is your time to enjoy those long showers and hot baths again. When you want to remove every bit of the tanning formula, prepare a hot bubbling bath for relaxing your mind and removing the tan off your body. Scrub with a loofah to remove the product for allowing your skin to breathe.


Finish off your tan removal routine with a gentle moisturizer. You can choose a gentle moisturizer from a trusted beauty brand to use on your face, neck area, and entire body. Using shea butter is also great for indulging in some natural goodness after a tan.

Final Thoughts

Now you know all about the most popular tanning methods, products, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of your tan. Don’t forget to follow our guide and tips for ensuring perfect results from your tanning session.


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