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6 Self-Tanner Hacks to Help You Get a Golden Glow

Sun Care & Self-Tanning

6 Self-Tanner Hacks to Help You Get a Golden Glow 6 Self-Tanner Hacks to Help You Get a Golden Glow 6 Self-Tanner Hacks to Help You Get a Golden Glow

Ah, the perfect golden glow. Whether it’s summertime and you have a beach vacation planned or it’s smack dab in the middle of winter, self-tanner can help you achieve that bronzed color no matter what time of year it is. Of course, apply self-tanner is easier said than done. How many times have you tried it yourself, only to be disappointed by streaks or uneven color? Don’t worry: We’ve got a few self-tanner hacks up our sleeve that can help make application easier. Want to learn how to use self-tanner like a pro? Here are six self-tanner hacks to help you get a golden glow all year-round. (Spoiler alert: You’re going to want to keep a moisturizer on hand!)


Start by choosing a self-tanner that best suits your needs. Self-tanners come in a variety of different forms such as sprays, towelettes, gels, foams, wash-off formulas, and more! Do a little research to find the self-tanner formula that you feel most comfortable using. If you want, test a few self-tanners out to see what works best for you. We’ve got plenty of self-tanner options to choose from ranging from lotions to mists to towelettes. Take your pick from the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Towelettes for BodyL’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning MistL’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning LotionL’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Gelee, and L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Self-Tanning Serum. Once you’ve found your self-tanner match, it’s time to move on to the rest of our self-tanner hacks!


A lot of people forget to exfoliate before applying a self-tanner, which is a major beauty faux pas. If you want to rock a gorgeous golden glow, you should properly prep your skin for self-tanner. Exfoliating can help you get an even color application. Before you use self-tanner, help slough off the dead skin lingering on your skin’s surface, and pay particular attention to areas like your knees and elbows, since they can oftentimes be drier than the rest of your body (and applying self-tanner to dry skin can result in uneven coverage).


Another self-tanner hack you should remember? Moisturize before applying self-tanner! After exfoliating your body, continue the prepping process by applying a moisturizer. You shouldn’t apply self-tanner without moisturizing first, because skipping out on this prep step could potentially leave you with patchy color. Simply pat yourself dry with a towel after showering and apply a body lotion to help your skin feel softer, which can also help make self-tanner application easier.



If you want a believable-looking tan and an even application, pay attention to this next self-tanner hack. Apply your self-tanner in sections, making sure to massage the formula onto your skin in a uniform circular motion. Consider investing in a self-tanning mitt to help keep your palms from getting stained. If you do decide to use your hands, make sure you wash them well with soap and water after applying self-tanner to each section, otherwise your palms will end up darker than the rest of your body.



Typically, the trickiest places to apply self-tanner are your joint areas, such as your ankles, knees, and wrists. These areas tend to soak up more color since they’re on the drier side, and this can leave you with a dark, uneven finish. What you can do: If you’re using a self-tanner lotion, dilute it with a moisturizer when applying to these areas to help make the color appear a little lighter. 


Time is your friend when it comes to getting a flawless-looking fake tan. Oftentimes, people throw on their clothes before their self-tanner is fully dry. This can result in a splotchy finish and even stained clothes. Yikes! After you’ve finished applying self-tanner, give it time to fully dry. Not only that, but there are specific types of clothes you should wear after applying self-tanner. Stick to loose, dark clothing, since you’ll be less likely to rub color off on these pieces. You should also avoid showering or sweating for the next couple of hours to help avoid any streaking.

Not sure when to break out self-tanner? Here are The Best Times to Use Self-Tanner.