Stained palms, scary streaks and an orange afterglow all three are the telltale signs of the botched self-tan. Consider those faux-glow faux-pas’ a thing of the past thanks to these pro tips from St. Tropez Celebrity Tanner and Body Finish Expert Fiona Locke. “An at-home self-tan allows you to look golden without the harmful effects of the sun,” says Locke. Here’s how to make sure your self-tan looks naturally gorgeous, instead of painfully fake.
1) Do the prep work. According to Locke, the biggest mistake most women make when self-tanning is not properly preparing their skin for self-tanner. Thoroughly exfoliating your skin will get rid of dry patches, which absorb too much self-tanner and cause blotching. Self-tanner will also go on more smoothly if your skin is silky smooth. Locke also suggests applying a light moisturizer to extra dry areas (knees, elbows, cuticles) to prevent them from absorbing too much self-tanner.
2) Start from the bottom up. Apply a generous amount of self-tanner from your toes to your knees in a long, sweeping motion. This will ensure the tanner goes on evenly and streak-free. Then work from your knees to your hips and up the rest of your body. We like St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse because it contains Aromaguard technology to eliminate that sickly self-tanner smell. “Wait at least six to eight hours before you take a shower, swim or perspire excessively,” says Locke. To avoid staining your clothes or smudging your bronze, wear loose, dark clothing. Wash your hands immediately after you are finished applying.
3) If you make a mistake, don’t panic. “If you catch the problem within four hours, use a self-tanning remover to correct the problem” says Locke. If you don’t notice the mistake until later, soak your skin in a warm bath with several drops of baby oil to soften the skin, then exfoliate the area with a body scrub or exfoliator.
4) Maintain your tan. To ensure your tan looks bronzed and beautiful, continue to hydrate your skin daily to keep it soft and smooth. Locke recommends using a gradual tanning product that contains a hint of self-tanner mixed with lotion to subtly enhance and prolong your tan.