How to use a sunless self-tanner

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How to use a sunless self-tanner

Understanding Sunless Self-Tanners

Sunless self-tanners are a popular alternative to sunbathing or using tanning beds. They offer a safe and convenient way to achieve a bronzed look without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays. Sunless self-tanners work by applying a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) to your skin. This chemical reacts with the amino acids on your skin’s surface and produces a tan.

How to Choose the Right Sunless Self-Tanner

Choosing the right sunless self-tanner is crucial to achieving the perfect tan. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a sunless self-tanner:

Skin Type

Different self-tanners work better on different skin types. If you have fair skin, choose a self-tanner with a lower percentage of DHA to avoid a fake-looking tan. If you have oily skin, look for a self-tanner with a matte finish.

Application Method

Self-tanners come in different forms, such as lotions, sprays, and mousses. Choose a form that you are comfortable with and that suits your lifestyle. For example, if you are always on the go, a spray self-tanner may be more convenient.

Drying Time

The drying time of a self-tanner can vary greatly. Some self-tanners dry in as little as five minutes, while others take several hours to fully dry. Choose a self-tanner with a drying time that fits into your schedule.

How to Apply Sunless Self-Tanner

Now that you have chosen the right self-tanner, it’s time to apply it. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Exfoliate

Exfoliating your skin before applying a self-tanner ensures that it goes on smoothly and evenly. Use a gentle exfoliator to remove any dead skin cells.

Step 2: Apply Moisturizer

Apply a moisturizer to any dry areas of your skin, such as your elbows, knees, and ankles. This will prevent the self-tanner from clinging to these areas and producing a darker, uneven tan.

Step 3: Apply Self-Tanner

Apply the self-tanner evenly to your skin, starting at your ankles and working your way up. Use a tanning mitt or gloves to avoid staining your hands.

Step 4: Blend

Blend the self-tanner thoroughly to avoid streaks and uneven patches.

Step 5: Wait

Wait for the self-tanner to dry completely before getting dressed or going to bed. This usually takes around 15-30 minutes.

Maintaining Your Tan

To maintain your tan, moisturize your skin regularly and avoid excessive sweating or swimming. Also, avoid exfoliating your skin too often, as this can cause your tan to fade more quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my sunless tan last?

The duration of your sunless tan depends on a few factors, including your skin type, the quality of the self-tanner used, and how well you maintain your tan. Generally, self-tanners can last anywhere from a few days to a week or more.

Can I apply a self-tanner to my face?

Yes, you can use a self-tanner on your face. However, it’s important to choose a self-tanner that is specifically formulated for facial use and to apply it carefully, blending it evenly to avoid streaks or uneven patches.

Will a self-tanner protect me from the sun?

No, a self-tanner does not provide any sun protection. It’s still important to use sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Can I use a self-tanner if I have sensitive skin?

Yes, many self-tanners are formulated for use on sensitive skin. Look for a self-tanner that is free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.

Will a self-tanner stain my clothes?

Self-tanners can stain your clothes if they are not fully dry before getting dressed. It’s best to wait at least 15-30 minutes before getting dressed to avoid any staining.


Self-tanning is a safe and convenient way to achieve a bronzed look. By choosing the right self-tanner, applying it correctly, and maintaining your tan, you can achieve a beautiful, natural-looking tan without the harmful effects of UV rays. We hope that this guide has helped you in your quest for the perfect tan.

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