5 Rules for Sunless Tanning

5 Rules for Sunless Tanning

Use these five guidelines to ensure your sunless tan is glowing and not splotchy.

By: Amber Katz

I get it: Once mid-summer rolls around, it's tempting to skip the sunscreen and get a tan the old-fashioned way (aka: the damaging way from a health and aging standpoint). But a chicer (lobster-red is so last season) and far healthier option is the faux-tan. Here are five rules for ensuring your tan is glowing and even, rather than splotchy and orange. Just faux for it!

Rule No. 1: Exfoliate
My preferred starting method is to slather up a gritty sugar scrub on my dry skin pre-shower. If you really want to eradicate flakiness, first begin with a pre-scrub rubdown with a dry skin body brush. For extra hydration, lather up in the shower post-exfoliation with Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter.

Rule No. 2: Hair Removal
After soaping up in the shower or bath, make sure to do a thorough job shaving your legs. The area should be as smooth as possible before you self-tan. I like the new Gillette Venus & Olay Sugarberry Scent Razor, which includes cream-infused bars on the razor's blade so you can skip the whole separate shaving cream song and dance.

Rule No. 3: Lotion Up
Apply your favourite body moisturizer — the thicker the better — to elbows, knees and heels. I like Olay Soothing Cucumber Body Lotion. Concentrate on these three areas specifically as skin there tends to be dryer and will show up darker once self-tanner is applied if you don't prep the area first. The layer of lotion dilutes the product so it won't cake and settle into dry areas of the skin.


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Rule No. 4: Tan Time
Novices should use a cream or lotion self-tanner. The spray versions are good, but not quite as user-friendly for a beginner. Start with arms and legs, and then smooth the product in circular motions on your chest. Enlist a friend or significant other to get your back. Don't forget your face or the tops of your feet!

Rule No. 5: Handling the Backs of the Hands
Leave the lid of your self-tanner open, and then wash your hands thoroughly with lots of soap and warm water to avoid orange palms. Dry your hands and use your knuckle to scoop out a tiny amount of tanner onto the back of one of your hands. Then rub the backs of your hands together to evenly distribute the product.

What's your go-to self-tan method?

Quick Tip: Don't go more than a few shades darker than your natural skin tone to avoid an unnatural look.

Amber is a freelance writer and the founder of Beauty Blogging Junkie, a
hilarious pop-culture infused beauty blog that covers everything from eye shadow to hairspray. Amber has written for Instyle.com, MTV.com's Buzzworthy blog, New York Press and Girlfriend Getaways magazine.

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