Six self-tan tips for an even, natural looking glow

21 July 2019, 13:19 | Updated: 21 July 2019, 14:00

Now that summer is here, if you haven't got a natural tan, fake it 'til you make it and give your skin a glow with our top tips for a streak-free look

Shave or wax before you tan

It’s all about the prep. Ensure you shave or wax so that the tan can’t build up at the follicle. It’s important to create a smooth base. This leads us on to...

Create a silky smooth base
Create a silky smooth base. Picture: iStock

Exfoliate the day before

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and helps to soften any dry patches. If you do it the day before you tan, it will help to create an even base for it absorb – which means less streaks and a more natural look. 

There are many different exfoliation tools out there to give yourself a good slough – whether it’s exfoliating mitts, a loofah or a body brush. Team it with an oil-free scrub and your skin will be feeling baby-soft in no time.

Get rid of dead skin cells and use an exfoliator to help create an even tan
Get rid of dead skin cells and use an exfoliator to help create an even tan. Picture: Getty

Don’t moisturise, but use body lotion on dry patches

Applying a body lotion creates a barrier between the product and the skin so leave the skin as is, apart from your body’s dry spots — palms, knuckles, cuticles, elbows and feet, where you should apply cream so that these don’t absorb too much colour, and help to keep your faux-glow looking natural.

Body lotion on dry patches helps to create a barrier
Body lotion on dry patches helps to create a barrier. Picture: Stock image

Use a self-tan mitt 

Not only do you not want to get tan on the inside of your hands (ultimate tanning fail!) but slathering it on with your fingers is a big no-no and will cause streaks. However, there’s the perfect solution: tanning mitts. Providing a flat, smooth surface for even coverage, apply to your mitt and start at your ankles and work your way up to your neck using long, vertical strokes.

A self-tan mitt helps to create an even tan
A self-tan mitt helps to create an even tan. Picture: Bali Body

In case of blunders...

If you do get any self-tan where you don’t want it, use an oil-free make-up wipe to carefully remove it from your skin. Alternatively, lemon juice is a beauty insider’s tip: since it’s a citrus fruit, it’s acidic and can help to lighten tans, so simply blend it with some raw sugar to easily and swiftly exfoliate your skin.

Wipe away any excess tan
Wipe away any excess tan. Picture: Alamy

And finally...

Ensure that your tan has fully dried before getting dressed and wear loose, dark clothes for the rest of the day.

Avoid tight-fitting clothing
Avoid tight-fitting clothing. Picture: Jumia