How To Self Tan: Tips and Tricks for a Flawless Tan at Home

Summer is just around the corner, and if you're like most people, you're probably eager to get that perfect sun-kissed glow. But with skin cancer rates on the rise, it's more important than ever to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. That's where self-tanning comes in – a safe and effective way to get that beautiful bronze look without the risk of sun damage.

But self-tanning can be tricky, especially if you're new to the game. From choosing the right products to applying them correctly, there are a lot of factors to consider. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about how to self tan, from prepping your skin to maintaining your colour.

Prepping Your Skin for Self-Tanning

  • Exfoliate 24 hours before applying self-tanner to remove dead skin cells and ensure an even application
  • Moisturise your skin thoroughly before applying self-tanner to prevent dry patches
  • Shave or wax at least 24 hours before applying self-tanner to avoid irritation

Choosing the Right Self-Tanner

  • Decide on the type of self-tanner: lotion, mousse, or spray
  • Consider the color depth – lighter shades for a subtle glow, darker shades for a more dramatic look
  • Look for a formula that suits your skin type – dry, oily, sensitive, etc.

Applying Self-Tanner Like a Pro

Use a tanning mitt or gloves to avoid staining your hands
Apply self-tanner in circular motions, blending well into your skin
Be sure to cover all areas, including your face, neck, and ears
Use a lighter touch on areas that tend to be drier, such as elbows, knees, and ankles
Buff away any excess tanner with a dry cloth to avoid streaks and uneven color

Maintaining Your Tan

Moisturise your skin regularly to prevent dryness and flakiness
Touch up any areas that may have faded with a self-tanning spray or lotion
Avoid exfoliating too frequently, as this can cause your tan to fade faster
Avoid swimming or showering for at least 6-8 hours after applying self-tanner to allow it to develop fully.

Self-tanning is a great way to achieve a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow without risking sun damage. With the right preparation, product selection, and application techniques, you can achieve a flawless tan that lasts for days. Remember to exfoliate, moisturise, and shave or wax before applying self-tanner, choose the right formula and color depth, and apply in circular motions with a tanning mitt or gloves. With these tips and tricks, you'll be a self-tanning pro in no time!

Top Self Tanning Brands

Sally Hansen

Sally Hansen are known for their amazing line of airbrush legs sprays. A strong consideration to getting that perfect glow on your legs.

sally hansen


Trusted by households across the UK. Bellamianta formulas make self tanning effortless and stunning.



Palmers bronze lotions can help you get that ever glow skin. Featuring cocoa butter and coconut oil, these make for highly skin moisturising self tanners.

palmers bronze

Way To Beauty

As stated on their brand, their self tanning formulas are must haves for those looking for streak free and natural looking glow.

way to beauty

Self Tan FAQs

How long does self-tanner last?

Self-tanner typically lasts 5-7 days, depending on your skin type, the formula you use, and how well you maintain your tan.

Can I use self-tanner on my face?

Yes, you can use self-tanner on your face. Just be sure to choose a formula that is specifically designed for facial use and be extra careful around the hairline and eyebrows to avoid any staining.

Will self-tanner protect my skin from the sun?

No, self-tanner does not provide any protection from UV rays. It is important to still use sunscreen when going out in the sun to protect your skin from damage.

How can I avoid getting self-tanner on my clothes?

Wait at least 10-15 minutes after applying self-tanner before getting dressed. You can also wear loose-fitting clothing while your tan develops to avoid any staining.