How To Properly Self-Tan Your Hands Without Making A Mess

Anyone who uses self-tanner knows how messy it can get, especially when you need to do your hands. They're also a part of your body that's very hard to get right when you're doing it at home. To avoid bad results, you must pay attention to how you prep your skin before application and how much product you use. You can easily end up with hands that are way darker than the rest of you, resulting in a less-than-natural-looking tan. Sometimes, you may even wake up in the morning to see they ended up patchy. When your tan ends up looking like this, it can ruin your day.


It's okay to make mistakes. Once you know the proper steps, you'll realize how easy it is to create a good fake tan at home. If you already have messily tanned hands, you need to remove the color before correcting it. Luckily, you don't have to wait days for it to fade. You can use tan remover to wash it off. It usually takes about five minutes to work after putting a layer on your hands, but always follow the directions on the packaging. Once you wash it off, you'll be ready to reapply your self-tanner.

You need to prep your hands

Preparing your skin before using a self-tanner can make or break the final look. You want to create a blank canvas to have a flawless natural tan. Start by exfoliating all the dead skin off your hands a few hours before you plan on using the self-tanner. TikToker Kristen posted to her account, @hauskris, that she prefers using an exfoliating glove with some body wash. That way, you won't miss any spots, like the small space between your fingers.


The next step to properly tanning your hands is moisturizing. The best option is an oil-free lotion because it will help stick the product to your body so it doesn't fade as fast. The reason for the step is that, without moisturizer, the self-tan product will stick to the dry areas on your hands. Afterward, the color will look patchy and messy when it develops in the morning. By exfoliating and moisturizing, you create smooth skin that is perfect for evenly absorbing your self-tan.

Use a small amount of product

The key to applying self-tanner to your hands is using a minimal amount of product. Using multiple pumps of tanner will leave this part of your body darker than the rest, as the skin on your hands and feet is the most absorbent. The best way to prevent any mishaps is to apply the product to your arms. Then, swipe it onto your hands with the same mitt — the amount of tanner left is enough to cover your hands.


How you buff the self-tan product into your skin also affects the final look. Never use circular motions — they'll result in a splotchy tan. Instead, try your best to swipe it on. You may also prefer to trade your tanning mitt for a makeup brush to have more control over where you're placing the product. Don't forget to move between clawing and straightening your fingers to get every part of your hand. Then, use a wipe to remove the self-tanner from your nails, fingertips, and palms, since those areas don't naturally tan. Once you're done, you can go to bed and rinse the product off in the morning.