If you’re new to self tanners…

Have you also previously been unlucky with self tanners or still just isn’t feeling too comfortable with them? Don’t worry… A perfectly even, natural-looking self tan is doable with the help of some smart prep steps and a small arsenal of skin-care products, some of which you might already have around in your bathroom.

If you’re new to self tanners – or not so self-assured – the tips below will be especially effective. They’ll tell you how to apply self tanners without streaks. If you i.e., take it slowly and go with a lighter-toned formula at first, or mix it up with ordinary no-self tan products. Once you get used to using a classic shade and you wish to go darker, you will have the confidence to use the darkest formula. After you achieve the flawless, sunless tan you sought, certain measures can be taken to prolong it. Wash with a gentle cleanser and make sure your skin is always moisturized.

But before you worry about maintaining your self tan, first you have to achieve one you actually want to maintain. In this post we’ll dig deep into how to self tan without streaks and how to apply self tanner evenly. We’ve got the expert tips, tricks, and product recommendations that will make it not only possible, but probable.

Do Everything Else First

If you need to get a wax, manicure, touch up your hair color, or shave your legs; do it before applying self tan. All of the treatments can partly remove or tear on your applied self-tanner. But only partly – and as it would be with a summer tan. When you are using Boë, it’s the same processes that happens in your skin as the sun’s rays – so it’s your skin that creates your tan.

Exfoliate

Self tanners sink into dry skin. This leaves dark patches in the dry area, that looks unnatural. Slough away any flakes with a scrub — focusing on rough spots like the knees, elbows, ankles, and heels. Or use a cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid to remove dead, dull skin. Most important, make sure you choose something oil-free. Oils left on skin can create a barrier on top of your skin, and produce an uneven self-tan development. Use an exfoliator that doesn’t leave behind any residue. You want the skin clean and product-free for the best possible result.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), the sugar molecule that has a chemical reaction with amino acids in the outermost top layer of the skin. This reaction causes a temporary darkening, it doesn’t penetrate deeper into the skin. So, exfoliating before the application is important to ensure even application, but the skin should also be dry because oils could interfere with the binding of DHA to the stratum corneum.

Dry Off — But Moisturize

We know — this seems totally obvious. But it’s super important. After showering, towel off and wait until you’re 100 percent dry. Your skin has to be completely dry. Water left on the skin will cause a problem as water will erase and dilute the tan resulting into dreaded streaks and patches.

But you’ll also want to add a little moisture back into your skin before you get to the self-tanner. Dab a lightweight lotion around your nostrils, knees, elbows, and ankles (as well as any other dry spots) to keep them from turning too dark or orange.

Pick Your favourite self tanner

Normally mousses are the easiest to rub on and distribute – but all Boë’s products fits the bill. They are made as quick drying formulas to suit fast paced lives, where we multi task and are on the run. They have the extra benefit that behooves the most of us, as they contain ingredients that’ll make your tan slightly deeper than other self tanners – and by that, the more natural.

But there really is no single type of formula that’s decidedly right for everyone. For example, we love our No.2 Tan Water-spray. It’s superb for hard-to-reach areas, and for evening tan lines. For those with dry, sensitive skin, The No.3 Tan Lotion can give especially great results. Equally they can use No.1 Tan Drops from Boë, where they mix it with their favourite moisturizer.

All Boë-products are made for you to have your favourite tan as easy as possible. They are also made to be a part of your daily/ bi-daily/weekly routines. So you can have a subtle glow every day, while they also can be used daily to build your desired tan tone. Boë is pure and natural. What you feel is your natural tan; that is perfectly up to you.

One way of applying the No.1 Tan Drops on your legs.

And now to the application of the self tanners!

Face First

We recommend tanning the face before the body. The face is the easiest area to apply self-tanner with your bare hands. And don’t forget; washing them immediately after application, to prevent any staining.
Unlike a bronzer, don’t even think of applying self-tanner to just the high points of your face or where you want to contour. You must tan everywhere. This includes under the eyes, over eyelids, on the tip of the ears, on the neck, and even around the back of the ears, which can be seen when long hair is tied back. By applying on all of the above, your tan will look natural and all over even – giving you a gorgeous look as if you’ve just spent hours in the sun.

If you’re nervous about going full-throttle with a self-tanner, try a formula made to be added to moisturizer for a more gradual effect. Here the Boë Tan Drops No.1 is ideal. You can mix them in with your face cream or lotion to customize intensity.

Start at the Bottom of Your Body

It’s always easier to start with the legs and work your way up, and finish by tanning your hands. We recommend tanning the lower leg first, from the ankle up, skimming over the knee. Then tanning the feet with any excess self-tanner from that initial application. 

The rest of the body is easy. Apply liberally to the thighs and bottom (you can use the excess from the thighs on your lower legs, as they tend not to obtain as much tan as the knees and thighs). Then the lower back, stomach, breast area, and décolletage, blending onto the neck or where you finished tanning the face.

From there, tan your back and stretching over each shoulder. You can use the Tan Water No.2 to spray on your back to avoid streaks and tan lines. Note is to always distribute with your hands – also when using the No.2. Tan the back of the neck and down the sides of the torso — even going into the underarms — and tan each arm, stopping at the wrists. 

Finish off with a pump of No.2 or applying a bit of No.3 or No.1 mixed with lotion on the back of your hand, and allocate the tan with the back of your other hand. Make sure to allocate on both fingers and the back of the hand. This way your hands’ tan will always match your body and face – and no one will be able to tell that it’s self tan ;)

Spot-Moisturize

Just as moisturizer is important for priming the skin for self-tanner, it can help perfect the results after you’re done applying it. Wait a bit after application, and then you can blend the moisturizer over the tan from the palm, up to the crease in the wrist and over the heel and up to the crease to finish for the perfect result. This will guarantee a flawless, seamless, professional result every time.

It’s also ideal for dealing with missed spots. Simply exfoliate lightly, then apply your self-tanner to the lighter area only, blending a non-oil-based moisturizer over the dark tan line to prevent it from developing any darker.

Clean Up Mistakes

Self-tanner mistakes happen. But there’s no need to start from scratch when they do. Use wipes at the ready for quick clean-ups during the application process. In the middle of applying, use a cleansing or baby wipe, to wipe away any tan where it shouldn’t be.

After the self-tan has fully developed and your first shower has taken place, mistakes can be removed and fixed in lots of ways. This is depending on the severity of the mistake. For dark streaks and patches, exfoliate using circular motions on wet skin in the shower to help lift the color; for light streaks and patches, exfoliate the whole area well and even out the area before reapplying.

Mitt or no mitt? We advocate for using your hands – because it gives you the best feeling and by that, the most sophisticated even result.

Set It, But Don’t Forget It

Give your self-tanner time to dry. Boë products are made as fast drying formulas and they do not transfer. In spite of that, you should avoid showering or sweating shortly after applying. But we guess that’s obvious ;)

Want more tips for creating that natural summer glow and how to apply self tan? Visit our How To Apply-section for everything you need to achieve the perfect sunless tan.

Read more about our tips, products and Boë in general on our tan talk-page.

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Sources:

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/dihydroxyacetone