Spenser Amadeus - 10 months ago
I had melanoma so I’ve become a master at applying self-tanners. I am here to tell you that if you are getting streaky, uneven color, you’re doing it wrong. Any brand of self-tanner will give you even color if you learn to apply it correctly. You might prefer one brand for the color, scent, or price but none of them are causing your uneven color or streaks. It’s all your fault!
If you’re willing to read this lengthy review, you can get a natural looking tan from a bottle. I use the Jergens wet skin product, but the general advice applies to any brand.
1. It takes practice, so don’t start using self-tanner a day or two before a special event. Start several weeks ahead to perfect your technique.
2. The only way to keep it natural looking is to use it on a regular basis. If you use it only when you “need” to look tan you will get bad results.
3. This is not something you can do in a minute or two. If you don’t have 10 or 15 minutes a day to apply it properly you are not going to be happy with the results.
4. If you don’t shower every day to remove dead skin cells, you’re going to end up with splotchy build-up.
5. Don’t expect to get a dark tan. Be satisfied if nobody calls you Casper.
6. You need to start with healthy skin, so begin by moisturizing daily for at least two weeks before you start using tanner. I use Curel wet skin moisturizer.
7. On the first day of self-tanning, begin by exfoliating in the shower. I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub (actually the Target brand).
8. Apply tanning lotion directly to your very wet skin without drying off at all.
9. Rub in feathery circles. If you rub up and down you will create stripes.
10. Keep rubbing until you see no white swirls of lotion. You skin will still be damp.
11. Ignore the instructions on the bottle to pat with a towel. Dabbing off the excess will cause splotches where you remove the color. Air dry while you apply your makeup.
12. To avoid orange knees and elbows, bend them tightly so the skin is stretched taut.
13. Applying too much will create build up. I use about half the recommended amount.
14. Applying too often will also create build up. I apply two days in a row, use regular lotion on day three, then two more days of tanner.
15. Once a week, exfoliate again, apply self-tanner, and go back to two days on, one day off.
16. To avoid orange feet and ankles, apply the lotion down to just above your ankle bones. When the lotion on your legs is absorbed, apply what is left on your hand to your feet and ankle bones in upward strokes.
17. Use a dark-colored washcloth to feather the lotion from the soles of your feet up toward your ankles. This will prevent you from having a dark ring around the soles of your feet.
18. If you notice that a part of your body looks darker, you’re rubbing too much lotion into that spot. It might be because the skin there just naturally absorbs more lotion, or you might be subconsciously rubbing that spot longer or more frequently. If you have a spot that always looks lighter, you have the same problem in reverse.
19. Until your body is completely dry, your skin may look mottled. After about an hour, this will go away.
20. Accept that fact that it’s going to wash off the back of your hands. Squirt some lotion on a cotton ball, stick it in a Ziploc bag, and carry it in your purse for hand touchups.