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If you are looking for the best self-tanner so that you can achieve a gorgeous, sun-kissed glow from the comfort of your own home, this guide has all the information you need.

What are the benefits of self tanning?

The best self-tanner of 2019 revealedBefore we delve deeper into using a self-tanner, it is important to discuss the different benefits that are associated with self-tanning.

  • It is safe to use - There is only one place to begin, and this is with the fact that self-tanning products do not have harmful effects on your skin. In fact, some products include ingredients that actually help to nourish your skin. There is no risk of getting sunburn or skin cancer due to prolonged sun exposure if you go down the self-tanning route.
  • Easy to maintain - You’re not going to require any maintenance once the tanning product has been applied. Every part of your body is going to get covered so long as you apply the product correctly and in accordance with the instructions.
  • Ideal for all skin tones - Using a fake tan product is the best solution if you want to achieve a natural deep tan no matter your skin tone.
  • Great smell - Not only do the self-tanning products available today enable you to look good but a lot of them have a beautiful fresh scent as well.
  • Good for your skin - As mentioned, a lot of the self-tanning products on the market today come with different ingredients that are beneficial. This includes those that have anti-aging and natural moisturizing properties. These are properties that help you to get a glowing tan while nourishing your skin in the process.
  • Convenience - Another benefit associated with fake tan is that it is convenient. You can get a tan from the comfort of your own home, whenever you want, and without any professional assistance. Most tans will last anywhere between six and ten days. Of course, this does depend on the type of product you have selected.
  • It is easy to apply - Last but not least, self-tanning is a very easy process. You can get a healthy and natural-looking tan with ease. Simply follow the instructions on the product for the best results.
  • Can be good for sensitive skin - Some self-tanners, such as the Beauty by Earth self-tanner, are made for all skin types and even for sensitive skin.

How to choose the best fake tan based on your skin tone

There are a number of different factors you need to consider when looking for the best self tanning products. Firstly, you need to choose a product based on your skin tone. If you don’t know how to do this or what your skin tone even is, don’t panic, as we have you covered.

There are a number of different skin tones that you may have. Your tone of skin is going to have an impact on the sort of self tanning product that is going to be best for you.

When selecting a self tanning shade, it is advisable to opt for a look that is as natural as possible. If you have very fair skin, for example, then you will be best off going for a type of self tan that is going to give you a sunkissed, natural look, rather than going for a shade that is too dark.

The first step is to establish what sort of skin tone you have, and then you need to determine the undertones of your skin. Once you have applied the fake tan, it is a molecular and chemical reaction within the skin that determines the final colour result. Because of this, you may even find that getting the perfect golden glow is a bit of trial and error. After all, we all have a different perspective of what we like and what we don’t. However, it is always advisable to have a bit of a guide regardless so that you can see exactly what you are doing, and that is what we are here to help with.

So, first, let’s help you to determine what sort of skin tone you may have...

Fair skin
This tends to be considered the palest skin type. Think of Snow White! People that have pale skin often have a lot of freckles or pinkish undertones.

Light skin
Next on the scale of skin shades, we have those with light skin. This is still pale. However, it is not quite the shade of porcelain that fair skin tends to be. People with this sort of skin tend to have neutral or warmer undertones.

Medium or olive skin
Next, we have people with a tone of skin described as medium, which tend to be bang in the midst of the different shades They tend to have more olive or warm tones. They are naturally a little bit more bronzed when compared with those who have light or fair skin.

Dark skin
People with dark skin tend to have a deep and rich complexion. Typically, people with darker skin will have warm undertones. However, this is not always going to be the case.

Which self tan is best for your skin tone?

A guide to achieving the perfect self-tan

There is no better accessory than a sun-kissed tan. Bronzed skin can do wonders for your image and your self-confidence. But this is only the case if applied properly. Unfortunately, many of us end up resembling a cheese puff after self-tan application. Whilst the rest of us make the blunder of applying the tanning product unevenly and thus skin disease springs to mind rather than sun-kissed. Usually, the reason behind a bad self-tan is simply because you have missed one basic step in the application process. If you use the following tips you will achieve the gorgeous glowing tan you desire.

Preparing your skin - Wax, don’t shave

Waxing is one of the most popular forms of hair removal. However, for those who have never been waxed before their first experience can be a nerve-wracking one. This is not only because they are worried about it being extremely painful, but there are also a lot of myths surrounding this form of beauty treatment and thus people are anxious regarding what to expect. This article aims to put those causes of concern to bed by revealing the truth about waxing.

Let’s begin by dispelling some of the biggest myths out there at present. These are as follows…

  • Waxing is bad for the skin
  • After waxing your hair is going to grow back a lot darker and much thicker
  • You should never wax above your eyebrow

These three statements are all completely and utterly false. Contrary to popular belief, waxing is actually the gentlest type of hair removal. This is because the warmness of the substance softens your skin as well as your follicles. This allows the hair to be removed from the bulb. Thus, it is definitely not bad for the skin. In addition to this, your hair won’t grow back thicker and darker. In fact, if you wax you will notice that less and less hair grows back after each time you do it. There is nothing wrong with waxing above the brow either despite the fact that there are those who advise you not to do so.

However, one truth is that you do need to prepare your skin before you wax. This preparation is imperative. Firstly, you must make sure you have no irritation, such as sunburn. You will have to wait for any wounds or rashes to be healed before you start the waxing process. Next, use mild water and a gentle soap to clean the area that is going to be waxed. After this, you have got to exfoliate in order to remove any dead skin cells. This is important because the cells may clog the hair follicle. This can lead to ingrown hairs. Once this has been done soak the skin with warm water for five to ten minutes. The final piece of the puzzle is to moisturize. Preparation is done!

Nonetheless, you don’t only need to care for your skin before waxing, but you also need to look after it once you have been waxed. How? A good idea is to treat your skin by using Neosporin antibiotic cream the day after you have been waxed. Apply it before you go to bed. You should also use a moisturizer every day to keep your skin soft and moist. After approximately three days of waxing, you should exfoliate for the first time.

So, we have dispelled the common myths and provided key information on pre-care and aftercare.

Preparing your skin - Natural body butter

Handmade body butter would make a great gift for someone special, be it a friend, family member, work colleague, or partner. Buying a present for someone seems to get more difficult as the years pass by, but body butter is something you can be sure won’t disappoint. It’s definitely something worth asking for this Christmas if you want to achieve the perfect tan.

Body butter is a luxurious skincare product; it is creamy and rich, and it melts straight into the skin, leaving it feeling smooth and soft. Who wouldn’t love this? Plus, with ingredients such as organic shea butter, it offers the skin a whole host of benefits, from assisting with acne and eczema to making the skin look more youthful and radiant. You can also purchase body butter in an array of different scents, including mandarin, lime, lavender, and much more. This moisturizes your skin, getting it ready for the perfect tan.

Applying the tan

The first thing you need to do is make sure you pick the right shade of fake tan. It can be very tempting to go for the darkest instant tan you can find. However, it is not always a case of the browner the better. Everyone’s skin tone is different and you need to find a tan shade that suits you. Unfortunately, in order to find the perfect fake tan, you will need to embark on a bit of a trial and error process. Nonetheless, the most advisable thing to do is buy a gradual tanning product. You can then slowly build up your tan to a shade you are happy with.

If you tend to end up with a patchy fake tan then it is probably because you haven’t exfoliated before application. This is one of the most important things you need to do yet so many people cut corners and miss out on this step. When you exfoliate you get rid of all of your dead skin cells. If you don’t do this prior to applying your fake tan you will end up with patchy looking skin because the dead skin cells will flake off. It is also advisable to moisturize after you have exfoliated. This will make your skin silky and smooth, thus helping you to avoid patchiness via eliminating dry skin.

When applying your fake tan it is always advisable to work upwards. Start from your feet and make your way up to your body. If you work downwards there is every chance that you will smudge the areas where you have already applied the self-tan. The last place you should apply fake tan is your hands. If you haven’t used a self-tanning mitt you will need to wash your hands before you apply the fake tan. Moisturize your hands and then apply a small amount of self-tan in order to ensure this blends in naturally with the rest of your skin.

Skincare tips to ensure your tan looks beautiful

There is nothing worse than looking in the mirror and seeing acne or tired eyes in your reflection. However, when you consider the fast pace of life, and the stresses and strains of being a parent or having a job, it is not hard to see why we would look a bit run down. The good news is that your skin does not have to suffer. Below, we have put together some of the best feel-good skincare tips, which will ensure your skin looks great and is healthy too when you combine with a great self tanning product.

  • Get enough sleep – Let’s start with the most important tip of them all: getting six to eight hours sleep per night. After all, if you feel tired, you are going to look tired, and those pesky under eye bags won’t go away. Sleep offers better results than any type of face cream can provide. If you struggle to get to sleep, try listening to sounds of the ocean and other types of relaxing music. You should also avoid using electronics before you go to bed, as the blue light can make it difficult for you to enjoy a restful slumber.
  • Snack on almonds – Almonds are delicious, and they are a healthy snack. The naturally sweet nut will give you super skin, as almonds are a great source of vitamin E and omega-3s, i.e. good fats, which will help to keep your skin cells healthy and plump.
  • Take a warm shower – If you are feeling a bit more stressed than usual, give yourself an extra five minutes in the shower. Not only will this help you to relax, but a warm shower will open up your pores, making it the best place to watch your face.
  • Exfoliate – A good scrub-down is the perfect way to brighten up your complexion and stop it from looking so dull. Choose a face scrub that has round beads, as they will slough off dead skin cells, leaving you with radiant skin underneath. You should not exfoliate too much, as it can cause irritation. Stick to once every two weeks.
  • Mist yourself – Mists have become so popular over the past few years, and it is not difficult to see why. Not only do they keep your skin moisturised, but mists feel great on your skin, and they don’t mess up your makeup either.
  • Have a cup of green tea – There are many benefits associated with drinking green tea, including the fact that it will do wonders for your complexion. Green tea can also assist with anti ageing.
  • Give yourself a facial – You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a facial. In fact, you can make your own. There are plenty of different recipes on the Internet for making your own facial. Plus, using natural ingredients is a lot better than some of the facial products available in-store.
  • Get hydrated – You don’t need us to tell you that drinking water is important for many reasons. However, did you know that one of these reasons is that it hydrates the skin? Drinking six to eight glasses a day is so important. If you want a bit of variation, try coconut water; not only is it naturally sweet, but it is filled to the brim with nutrients. 
  • Exercise – Now you have another reason to stop skipping Spin class: exercising is great for the skin. Not only will you get to enjoy a good workout, but also exercising delivers nutrients and oxygen to the skin. Of course, you don’t need to go to the gym or take a spin class if you don’t want to. There are plenty of other ways to exercise, for example, why not take a dance class?
  • Eat dark chocolate – You will see a lot of articles online that tell you to stop eating chocolate in order to prevent acne. However, there is no scientific research to back this up, and dark chocolate can actually be beneficial. Not only will eating a small piece of dark chocolate make you feel happy and satisfied, but also dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants that help to protect your skin.
  • Use a pore strip – Pore strips have become very popular over the last few years, and it is a good idea to use them at least once a week, especially if you have open pores that seem to trap a lot of dirt.
  • Wear sunscreen – Wearing sunscreen is one of the most important things to do if you are to protect your skin. Sun can impact our skin even when the weather is cold, as the UV rays still make their way through. Not only will wearing sunscreen make you feel better now, but also it will protect your skin for years and years to come, ensuring you do not suffer from sunburn, wrinkles, or skin cancer. And, you need to avoid tanning beds like the plague! 
  • Massage in your moisturiser – Don’t dab on your face cream. Instead, you should gently massage the cream into your skin in a circular motion. You should also adopt this approach when you use face wash. It is beneficial because it kicks your circulation into high gear too.
  • Snack on citrus fruit – Last but not least, citrus fruits are great for the skin. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C like oranges can help to prevent wrinkles. Lemons are also extremely beneficial, as they support your kidneys and liver, and there is an evident connection between healthy organs and healthy skin.

Secret tips for the perfect tan

Let’s finish by giving you some secret tips on achieving the perfect fake tan while tanning from home.

  • It is best to do any hair removal 24 hours before you start the tanning process. Why? Because fake tan is prone to sticking to loosened pores. This is how you can end up with dark spots on your skin. This can make your tan look patchy. 
  • Once the tan has developed and you wash it off, keep the water a bit cooler than you would usually do and avoid the temptation to use soap or scrubs. This can cause your tan to fade. Simply rinse until the water becomes clear. 
  • It is advisable to apply your tan in the evening, allowing it to develop overnight. This is going to give you the best amount of time to ensure the tan develops properly. Most tans are going to need at least four hours.
  • Make sure the fake tan dries fully before you get dressed. When you do get dressed, stick to something that is dark and loose. This will ensure it does not show any marks or rub against your skin. 
  • Do not apply perfume or deodorant prior to tanning or while it is developing. This can stop the tan from adhering to your skin. In some cases, it can even turn the product green. Nevertheless, if you do notice any green marks, don’t panic. This will wash off. 

If you follow the advice given in this article you should have no problem achieving a gorgeous glow. It’s important to gradually work up to a shade that is suitable for your skin. But before application, make sure you exfoliate and moisturise. You can then begin by applying your fake tan from your feet and working your way up. It’s as easy as that.

I hope this article was helpful for you.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to me directly - [email protected]


Grant Kantsios

Sunless tanning business & marketing coach

Hey everyone!  My name is Grant and I've been in the sunless tanning industry for over 9 years.  I started in the industry working for Sjolie Sunless, one of the largest companies in the sunless tanning industry.  Since then, I've had a passion for helping sunless tanning business owners through my work at happytans, with the happytans podcast and website builder. In addition, I created Sunless Evolution with world-renowned spray tan artist Jimmy Coco, who sprays A-list celebrities like the Kardashians and Ashley Graham.

Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I do have experience with each of the products or services listed below so I feel fully comfortable recommending them. Please do not spend any money on the products unless you feel you need them to achieve your goals. It turns out a lot of the things I use are free so you should be able to do the same.

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