Go for the gold
Applying self tanner at home? Asia Vogel, a faux-tanning guru and aesthetician at Continuum Studio follows seven simple steps to ensure a streak- and splotch-free, natural-looking hue.
Exfoliate your skin Vogel does two rounds of exfoliation. Begin with “dry exfoliation” outside of the shower. Slip on those little scrubby gloves you can purchase at any grocery store (we saw them at Walgreens for $4) and gently rub your body. Next, comes “wet exfoliation.”
Wax or shave first Excess hair also makes it harder to get tanner on smoothly, so consider shaving before applying it.
Apply moisturizer When your skin is hydrated, the tanning lotion goes on smoothly and is absorbed evenly, Vogel says.
Find sneaky spots Take a damp towel and softly buff areas where color tends to look unnatural. The usual culprits? Your knees, the tops of your feet, under your chin and your inner forearms.
Save the face for last. Applying tanner on your face is a little scary, but don’t be timid! Just act like you’re rubbing on moisturizer before bed. After you’ve got the tanner on, take a damp cotton boll and run it along your eyebrows and hairline.
Stand and dry After you’ve put on the tanner, let it dry so it doesn’t stain clothes or smear. You can put on a robe or loose fitting clothing….it should take about 5 to 10 minutes, max.
Let it work Most tanners take hours to show up, so give it some time. Vogel recommends waiting at least 5 hours to shower or work out, so your skin has a chance to fully absorb the lotion.
Don’t sweat a mistake If you do get a streak or splotchy spot, rub a raw lemon over the area. It lightens skin and hair naturally and will help lift out the stain. Exfoliating the spot will also help—which is also why you should avoid exfoliating for about a week if you’re happy with your new golden glow.