Preparation is key to a natural, streak-free tan. Make these steps part of your normal beauty regimen for smooth, vibrant skin before and after you tan.
1. Prep Your Skin
Smooth, healthy skin helps to develop a more even tan that lasts longer and fades more evenly.
Aim to make your skin a blank canvas for self-tanning. To leave your skin smooth and clean before tanning, remember:
- Exfoliate. Before you tan, slough away any excess skin cells, paying special attention to rough areas like the knees, elbows, ankles and heels. For the best results, prime your skin using VersaSpa Cleansing Body Wash and Exfoliator. It will help to ensure an even application and a beautiful tan.
- Wax before. If you plan to wax, do so before you tan. Waxing afterward could remove the tanned layers of skin, leaving streaks
- Start with clean skin. Remove makeup and any other products that could inhibit absorption
Dry, imbalanced skin will over-absorb DHA (the active ingredient in sunless tanning products), and take on a more orange and unnatural hue.
Hydrating your skin is important, but skip the lotion the day you tan. Lotion can prevent the product from absorbing and create uneven results.
Instead, try VersaSpa Intensifying Primer, which will moisturize and balance your skin’s pH to accelerate development time and intensify the tan.
It’s easy to apply an all-over beautiful self-tan in the privacy of your own home. Keep these tips in mind to prevent streaks, dark patches or an orange hue.
3. Apply Evenly
Apply the self-tanner in a smooth, even motion, working on one section at a time (legs, torso, arms, face). If using a self-tan spray:
- Hold the product about six inches away from your skin and spray in a continuous, back-and-forth motion for even coverage.
- If possible, spray in a bathroom or shower so you can easily clean up any over-spray.
If you prefer to use a lotion, try our Self-Tan Souffle with Bronzer, which is applied like a lotion but is whipped, airy, and more luxurious:
- Apply product to your hand or mitt.
- Rub onto skin in a smooth, circular motion until absorbed.
For the best sunless tan at home, use your hand or an applicator mitt to blend in product. Focus on knees, elbows, wrists and ankles. Take advantage of the VersaSpa Self-Tan Applicator Mitt for an easy, even and mess-free application. If you do apply by hand, wash your hands immediately after use.
4. Don’t Neglect Back, Hands, Feet
Make sure you cover all of your body, including back, back of thighs, hands and feet. Avoid areas that don’t typically tan (like palms and soles of feet), focusing on skin where the sun would naturally reach.
To reach small places, use a makeup sponge or the tip of the applicator mitt. For hard-to-reach areas like your back, use an applicator mitt or get a friend to help.
With proper care and moisturizing, a self tan can leave you glowing for up to a week . Here’s how to maximize your tan.
5. Put on Loose-Fitting Clothing
If VersaSpa’s bronzer gets onto your clothes it is water soluble and will be removed after the next wash in cold water. To avoid transferring color to clothing altogether, do not wear tight-fitting or light-colored clothing right after applying your self-tanner.
6. Wait to Shower
Stay dry for 4-6 hours to allow the tan time to develop. Avoid showering, swimming and sweating from exercise.
If you use a product containing bronzer, it will wash off when you shower, leaving the extended tan underneath. With VersaSpa products, your tan will take up to 24 hours to reach peak color, and last for about a week with one application.
7. Use Gentle Cleansers
Daily use of a sulfate-free body wash, like VersaSpa Cleansing Body Wash and Exfoliator, gives skin a silky clean moisturizing finish to extend your tan, without stripping your color too early.
The body naturally exfoliates the epidermis, or top layer of skin, weekly. When you notice fading, exfoliate your skin in the areas that are losing color to help your tan fade naturally.
Just like before you tan, dry skin after you tan can cause color to fade faster and become uneven. To combat this, keep skin hydrated with a daily moisturizer. Better yet, use a lotion with gradual tanner to replace color as the tan fades.
9. Pair with Gradual Tanner
If you work out or swim routinely, color can fade sooner. To protect your glow and extend the life of your tan, consider complementing your extended self tan with a gradual tanner, such as:
- Face Moisturizer: VersaSpa Gradual Tanning Face Moisturizer instantly hydrates skin, blurs fine lines and creates a beautiful tan. This weightless blend leaves skin silky and renewed while developing a glow.
When used daily, these products progressively build color and extend your tan. They can also be used on their own for a gradual tan and to maximum control over your color, reaching peak color in about 7 days.
10. Reapply as Needed
As your tan fades over several days, repeat these steps to reapply the self-tanner and maintain that bronze look all year round. Everyone’s skin tans differently, so test and determine the best frequency for you.
Want to learn more about self-tanning? Explore our Tanning Guide for all the information you need for a beautiful tan and healthy-looking skin.