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Using self-tanner is the easiest way to get the sun-kissed glow you crave. And as you know, if you want a tan, self-tanner is the way to go, since spending prolonged periods of time out in the sun without wearing SPF protection can lead to some serious skin damage. Still, when it comes to self-tanner, you might have some pre-conceived notions about the product—maybe you think it’ll make you look orange or that your tan will come out streaky. That’s not necessarily true, though. There are a lot of self-tanner myths out there—and we’re debunking them today. Want a golden glow? Get the low-down on all the different kinds of self-tanner and how to use them properly for a pretty tan that doesn’t require any time spent outside.
It’s a common misconception that all self-tanners are the same—they’re really not. You have to make it a point to find one that best suits your needs. Self-tanners come in an array of forms such as gels, foams, sprays, lotion, towelettes, and wash-off formulas, just to name a few! Put in the time by doing some research to find a formula that you feel most comfortable using. Test a couple of different products out to see how it looks on your skin. Need a place to start? Below are a few options from L'Oréal Paris.
Self-tanning serum: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Serum
Self-tanning lotion: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion
Self-tanning mist: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Mist
Self-tanning towelettes: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Towelettes for Body
Wash-off body makeup lotion: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Summer Express Wash-Off Body Makeup Lotion
Wash-off face bronzer: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Summer Express Wash-Off Face Bronzer Cream SPF 20
Think you shouldn’t exfoliate before applying self-tanner? Think again! Exfoliating is one of the steps you should take to prep your skin before using self-tanner. Exfoliation involves sloughing off dead skin cells from the surface of skin, which can help you get a more even application if you do so before applying color. When you’re exfoliating as part of your self-tanner prep, focus on areas like your knees and elbows, since they tend to absorb color quicker. (That’s why they tend to get darker than the rest of your body when you use self-tanner without exfoliating first.)
Nope, not true! After exfoliating, the next step in your self-tanner prep routine should be moisturizing your skin. Moisturizing can actually also help you get more even coverage and make the application process go smoother. Remember to apply moisturizer to areas like your ankles, knees, and wrists, which tend to soak up more color since they can be on the drier side. You can also mix your self-tanner with a moisturizer to help dilute the color if you want just a hint of golden tan.
Wrong! If you want a believable-looking tan and an even finish, make sure to follow the directions that come with the packaging of your self-tanner. Generally, you’ll want to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize your skin before applying your self-tanner of choice. You’ll also want to wash your hands thoroughly after you’re done to help avoid them ending up darker than the rest of your body—and investing in a self-tanning mitt can help to keep your palms from getting stained. What’s more, you’ll want to wait until your self-tanner has completely dried before putting on clothes—and when you do get dressed, opt for wearing dark loose clothes. Generally, you can use self-tanner every day or every other day until you reach your desired level of color and then once or twice a week to help maintain the results.
So now you see, using self-tanner doesn’t have to be so difficult!