How To Apply Self-Tanner

Tip of the day: 3 steps to a healthy glow.

How To Apply Self-Tanner

Tip of the day: 3 steps to a healthy glow.

-Ricky Croft

How to Apply Self-Tanner

We all love  the sun-kissed tan look. Not many of us have the time to sit in the sun all day, and even so, baking can lead to premature aging, sun burn and other ills. Self-tanning is a safe and fast alternative. However, no one wants to look orange or streaky, Ricky Croft, the founder of Mystic Tan shares his expertise on how you can look tantastic at home. Follow his three steps to creating a tan that’ll make everyone think you snuck off to a tropical paradise.

If you are self-tanning for the first time before a big event, always test it out two weeks prior to the event so that you are completely comfortable with the end results. Never play a guessing game before a big occasion! When you learn your skin’s response to color, you will know your limits. People always tend to go towards the darker shades. Remember, if you want to be darker, simply re-apply!

Read How to Create Smokey Eyes for Day or Night

1. The Day Before:
Before you tan, you have to prep your skin. Shave the day or night before applying self tanner. If you are going to moisturize your skin, be careful of moisturizers that contain oil, as skin won’t be receptive to the tanning formula if you’ve used an oil-based formula. Then remove all dead skin cells by sloughing off with an exfoliator in the shower. This allows you to start with a completely even palette- your skin. By starting with an even base, you will get an even tan that’s free of streaking.

H20 Sea Marine body scrub ($18.50,

H2O Body Scrub

2. Application.
To prevent discolored nails apply a petroleum based product to both the cuticles and nail beds to avoid discoloration. Use the self-tanner sparingly around rough and dry areas (such as knees, elbows and ankles) as these areas tend to darken more quickly and unevenly.

Do not rush the process as full color benefits won’t take place until at least twelve hours after you’ve applied the self-tanner. Wait a full day before you judge your tan and reapply a lotion or spray if you want to go darker or even out your tan. You might want to try Mystic Tan Build Sunless Tanning Lotion or Spray ($38, to the entire body.

Mystic Tan Tanning Lotion

3. Preserve the tan.
After achieving your desired shade and use an oil-free moisturizer so that your skin remains hydrated. A rule of thumb on moisturizers is that if it leaves a residue on your skin or does not absorb quickly, it may impede the tanning process. Wait a day after the application to shave your legs to ensure that the tan has settled onto your skin. To keep the glow going, you will need to re-apply the self-tanner 4- 6 days after the initial application. If you use a daily moisturizer with a hint of color like the Mystic Tan Glow SPF Daily Moisturizer ($29, will help to preserve your tan in between applications.

Mystic Tan moisturizer

Tell us: Have you used a self-tanner?

Ricky Croft is the founder and Vice President of Mystic Tan.

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4 thoughts on “How To Apply Self-Tanner

  1. I have used many self-tanning lotions and sprays and I like the daily moisturizers with the gradual self-tanners the best in the fairest shades for just a light tan. And thanks for your tips. They are not only great, but necessary!!!

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