8 STEPS TO A GREAT FAKE TAN
1) Skin Preparation
If you have dry skin--and most of us do when it comes to arms and legs--start prepping a few days before applying your favorite self-tanning product. Moisturize two to three times a day, especially right after bathing. Use a gentle exfoliant all over three days beforehand as well as the day of applying self-tanner (beforehand). Also, apply a thick salve-like cream to especially dry parts like elbows, knees and hands and let it soak in to soften skin. Self-tanner will "grab" on to dry areas and tend to look unnatural, so get those areas softened before proceeding.
2) Before Applying
Test the self-tanner on an inconspicuous part of your body (like the inner elbow) before applying all over. We know you never test, even though we always warn you that you must, but trust us on this one. Self-tanner doesn't wash off easily at all. Testing will save you from having a hilarious story that you won't find funny.
Start with clean dry skin.
Give yourself 20 minutes if you've just bathed to ensure that your skin is completely dry. If your skin isn't clean or if you have on lotion, you might get uneven patches that will be hard to correct. Also, with dry, unmoisturized skin, it will be easier for you to tell if you've missed a spot.
3) Work Quickly
Whether it's spray, cream or gel, the key is to work quickly and evenly.
Cover a single area all at once. If you're doing a leg, don't do the lower leg, then the knee and then the thigh; do the entire leg at once. Use enough self-tanner so that you can get the whole leg at once, working quickly. (It's good to practice with lotion a few days before, just so that you're used to quick, all over coverage.) And work evenly.
4) Go lightly on knees, ankles, elbows and chest
These are the areas that typically have dry skin patches, so just barely brush over them. You can always apply more if you want.
5) Wear Gloves with tanners that have bronzers.
If you want color on the top of your hands, but you don't want your cuticles and palms to look like you've been playing in wood stain. Wear one glove and apply tanner to the other hand without the glove, then put glove back on and remove the other glove and apply to other hand. Apply Vaseline or baby oil gel to tips of fingers and cuticles. This will prevent the cuticles from turning tan.
** Helpful hint for removing self tanner/bronzer from hands after applying. Try shaving cream to remove residue from your hands
6) Don't touch anything!
The instructions on some of these products state that you can dress immediately or within 30 minutes of application, but most suggest waiting one to two hours. If you love your clothes, we suggest waiting the full two hours. Paint your nails, fix your hair, and let at least an hour go by before putting something on. And don't sit on any white sheets or furniture (just sit on a dark-colored towel or wear black colored clothes).
7) Don't Shower!
Wait at least three to four hours before swimming or showering. Applying before going to sleep is the best practice. This allows maximum exposure time for the DHA to develop.
Our users found that their tans lasted between five and seven days before fading. You don't have to wait for your entire tan to be gone before reapplying. When you first begin to notice that your color is fading, go ahead and apply more tanner. Don't forget to exfoliate thoroughly before apply. This assure best results.