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How to Use Self-Tanner Mist for a Gorgeous, UV-Free Glow

You’re just a few spritzes away from the perfect faux glow.
June 10, 2022

If you’ve ever used self-tanner before, chances are you’ve had a mishap once or twice. Unless you’re a pro, it can be pretty easy to mess up — and that means you could be left with streaky, patchy color. 

But using a self-tanner is the best way to get that sun-kissed glow you crave year-round (yep, even in the middle of winter) because, let’s face it, no one has the time or the money to get a professional spray tan every other week. So, what can you do to avoid streaks and splotches when applying a self-tanning spray? Keep reading as we break down all you need to know about self-tanner mists, including how to use one without mistakes for a flawless faux glow.

What Does Self-Tanning Mist Do?

Think of self-tanning mist as a DIY spray tan. Instead of having someone else spray color on you in a booth, a wide-angle jet applicator with continuous coverage allows you to spray yourself for a gorgeous air-brushed tan. It lets you achieve a faux bronzed glow on your own time and schedule.

Is Self-Tanning Lotion Better Than Self-Tanning Mist?

You may be wondering — is a self-tanning lotion or mist better? While both are great options for giving yourself an at-home faux glow, each serves its own purpose based on your needs. They’re both easy to use once you get the hang of it, and they both can offer natural-looking, sunless color.

If you want an instantly bronzed complexion, a self-tanning mist may be the better option. If you prefer a more gradual faux tan, consider using a self-tanning lotion. Self-tanning lotion is also a great option to use a few days post spray tan to prolong your bronzed glow.

The L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist Medium Natural Tan and the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Mist Deep Natural Tan offer salon-inspired airbrush tanning results at home. The self-tanner mist has a 360-degree  wide-angle jet applicator that provides continuous coverage for a completely natural-looking tan. 

The super-fine mist applies evenly, dries quickly and is easy to apply to hard-to-reach areas (like your back and shoulders) because of the spray nozzle. The applicator can even be used upside down — without leaking — so you can worry less about making a mess when trying to hit those tricky spots.

Of course having a full-body tan with a dull face is just odd — so reach for the L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Water Mist, Vitamin E to complete your look. This water based formula features vitamin E for an extra dose of hydration and there is no prep required.

Apply this to the face, neck and décolletage for a natural bronzed glow free of orange hues.

How To Use Self-Tanning Spray Mist

Never used a self-tanner mist before? No problem! You’ll ace the application in no time. We’re sharing instructions on how to use self-tanning spray mist for a seamless, bronzed glow. 

Step 1. Cleanse And Exfoliate Your Skin

Pay attention: This is the most important prep step. Dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your skin and this buildup can cause self-tanner to appear splotchy when you apply it. Self-tanner naturally clings to areas of dry skin, like elbows and knees, so you’ll want to be sure to exfoliate all over beforehand.

Use a gentle scrub cleanser in the shower to remove dead skin cells. Remember to pay extra attention to areas that tend to get dry, so they don’t end up darker than the rest of your body. You can also use a gentle face scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub, to exfoliate your face before tanning.

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Step 2. Apply Moisturizer

The next step in your journey to perfectly bronzed skin is moisturizing, of course. After you’re done exfoliating in the shower, apply a hydrating moisturizer on damp skin. (Applying moisturizer when skin is damp can help lock in hydration.) Moisturizing before using a self-tanner will help for an even color, so you don’t want to skip this step.

Step 3. Apply Your Self-Tanning Body Mist

For the body, hold the can of sunless tanner at arm’s length and spray onto your skin. Apply the self-tanner sparingly around high absorption areas: we’re talking knees, elbows, and feet. Bend your knees to keep skin taut while spraying the self-tanner mist to help get an even application and don’t forget to hit your back, too. When you’ve applied an even layer of self-tanner to all the areas you want to tan, don’t rub in the color. Think of it as a DIY spray tan and proceed as you would.

Step 4. Tan Your Face

Self-tanning your face can feel taboo and scary, especially if you haven’t done it before. Will my face turn orange? Not with the right product — grab a self-tanner intended for the face like the aforementioned Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Bronze Mist. Spray this mist on a cotton pad and swipe all over your face. Then, spray 10 inches from your décolletage and neck in a sweeping motion. The result is a customizable, natural glow that’s free of orange hues and sticky textures. 

Editor’s tip: This facial bronze mist is a more subtle formula than what’s used on your body so if you want a darker tan, increase the number of sprays you use and the frequency. 

Step 5. Wait It Out

Time is your friend when it comes to getting a flawless-looking faux tan from a self-tanning spray (or any self-tanner, for that matter). While you might have the urge to throw on your clothes before your self-tanner is fully dry, this could result in a splotchy finish — and even stained clothes. No thanks. 

So, after you’ve finished misting yourself, wait a bit. Once your tan has dried, put on loose, dark clothes to help prevent staining.

How Long Does Self-Tanning Mist Last?

Self-tanning mist usually lasts up to a week, but you can make it last longer with proper care and maintenance. You can use self-tanning mist daily until you reach your desired level of color and then once or twice a week to maintain it. 

If you prefer, you can use the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion Medium Natural Tan up to three times per week between your self-tanning mist applications to maintain a streak-free glow. Along with this is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize — it’s the best way to extend any type of faux tan.

If you've received a professional spray tan and you’re asking, can you put self-tanning mist over a spray tan to extend it? — the answer is yes. If your tan is in need of a touch-up, you can layer a self-tanning mist over it. The one thing to keep in mind is that the end result may not be totally seamless if your spray tan isn't fading evenly. 

Next: Beauty Myth Busters: 8 Self-Tanner Myths You Should Stop Believing Now

Edited by Reece Andavolgyi; Photo by Matthew Kelly

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