Skip the Streaks: Self-Tanning Tips for a Beautiful Bronze


Although it's summer, it isn't so easy to get the healthy sun-kissed glow we want without risking sun damage. Luckily, self-tanners can work wonders to bronze the body, as long as you apply it correctly. We turned to St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Sophie Evans and CEO and Founder of Vita Liberata Alyson Hogg to snag their top tips to achieving the golden look without frying under the sun, turning orange or getting streaky.

1. Exfoliate to Enhance: Whether you're at the beach or applying self tanner, it's important to exfoliate regularly. Hogg recommends exfoliating to “get rid of old dead skin cells that can tan too darkly.” You may think that exfoliating will minimize your tan, but it will actually give you a healthier glow and “no one will ever know you're wearing a self-tan,” Evans insists. Any exfoliating body wash or body scrub should suffice.

2. It's All About the Application: Hogg suggests applying a tanner like Vita Liberata's Tinted Self Tan Lotion in circular motions, “as it is easier for the actives to absorb using this motion.” Other self-tanners may be applied using a towelette, spray or using sweeping motions to avoid streaks. Nothing is more awkward than realizing that your hands turned orange, so make sure to wash them immediately after applying the self-tanner, or use a pair of rubber gloves.

3. Tan to Tone: A darker skin tone can actually help you look more toned. Evans suggests trying St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Spray Dark. “We spray the dark 6-8 inches in sweeping motions over and under all contours to etch in definition and muscle lines for a super slimming concealing effect.” Are you convinced yet?

4. Don't Forget Your Face: Leave the bronzer and foundation behind and opt for a facial self-tanner. Clarins Self Tanning Milk SPF 6 not only protects your skin from the sun while it processes, but it can be applied from head to toe to make it look like you just came back from a vacation, regardless of the time of year.

5. Be Patient: Whether you're using a build-able product like Lancôme Flash Bronzer Tinted Self Tanning Body Gel or more straight-forward self-tanner that requires you wait up to eight hours before showering, sweating, and/or swimming, follow the wait instructions. “Let your tan develop to its full potential,” Evans notes. Some self-tanners like Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse by St. Tropez (a Kate Moss favorite) darken each hour, so the longer you wait, the better the final result.