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How to apply self-tanning products avoiding patches

Although many people are afraid to use tanning products, applying them is much easier than it seems

Do you anxiously wait for summer every year to get a tan? If you want to get a head start on beach days, there’s a simple (and almost magical!) way to get sun-kissed skin without necessarily having to expose yourself to the sun’s damaging rays.

Self-tanning is an effective alternative, but these products tend to be looked at with a weary eye. The fear lies in the fact that the result is unknown – we don’t know whether it will look natural or “patchy” and uneven. It is true that if self-tanning products are applied incorrectly, this will be the result. To help you prevent this from happening, we want to explain how to use tanning products correctly so that you can look your best with a smooth, magazine-worthy tan.

Woman looking in the mirror©Istock
Many people don’t trust self-tanning products because they’re afraid of getting a bad result

Skin care

First, you have to prepare your skin, regardless of whether you use a self-tanning cream or spray. Be sure to wax at least 24 hours before applying any products to ensure that your pores are able to breathe. If you apply the self-tan the same day as waxing, traces of the product may appear on remaining hairs, or it could cause irritation.

After waxing, you need to properly exfoliate all the drier areas of the body, such as elbows and knees, so that the product doesn’t come into contact with rough spots which may cause patches. Lastly, don’t forget to use a good moisturizer.

Woman exfoliating her skin©Istock
Before applying the product, it’s essential you exfoliate the skin to leave it feeling smooth

The secret is in how you apply it

The final result will depend on how you apply the self-tan. It is best to gently apply it from the bottom up, using consistent circular motions without leaving any gaps. Do it slowly.

It’s important to let the product dry completely to allow your skin to absorb it and to make sure you don’t stain any clothes or bed sheets. Once it’s dry, be sure to wear dark, loose-fitting clothes in the hours following application.

Woman applying body cream©Istock
Woman applying body cream

Try these self-tanners!

There are a lot options to choose from, and out of the many available, these three are definitely worth a look:

1. Self Tan by The Organic Pharmacy: its light formula will work gently on any skin type, including the most sensitive. Credo Beauty ($69).

2. Photoderm Self Tanner Spray by Bioderma: since it’s a spray, you’ll find it much easier to apply. Amazon ($19.90).

3. Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion by Kora Organics: with a formula based on vegan ingredients, it will make your skin glow while also nourishing it. Sephora ($48).

Self-tanning products©Credo Beauty / Amazon / Sephora
Try these three self-tanners, they’re very gentle on your skin.

If you’re looking for a deeper tan, wait a couple of days to repeat the process. That’s how easy it is to get sun-kissed skin without having to spend hours in the sun!

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