Self-tanner: How to apply

Uploaded by AcademyofDermatology on 07.05.2012

The sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider
using a self-tanner instead. Following these basic tips will help you get even coverage
and longer-lasting results. First, use a washcloth to exfoliate the skin prior to applying a
self-tanner. Using an exfoliating product also will help remove the dead skin cells.
Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest -- your elbows, ankles
and knees. Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly. Apply
the self-tanner in sections, such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso. Massage
the sunless tanner into the skin with a uniform circular motion. Lightly extend the tanner
from the wrists to the hands and from the ankles to the feet taking care not to treat
the entire hands and feet – such as the palms and soles. You can avoid having orange-colored
palms by washing your hands each time you’re finished with a body part. Be sure to thoroughly
wash between your fingers and completely dry your hands before you start applying more
self-tanner. Dilute the self-tanner on the knees, ankles, and elbows, since these areas
tend to absorb more self-tanner than the rest of the skin. To dilute, lightly rub these
areas with a damp towel or apply a lotion. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed.
Wear loose clothing and avoid sweating for the next three hours. If you are just beginning
to use a self-tanner, start with a gradual tanning product. This will make it easier
to hide any streaks and smudges. Once you are used to the process, you can use a more
immediate tanning product. While self-tanning products will make you tan, it’s important
to still use sunscreen. Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen
with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. Reapply every two
hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. If you have questions or concerns
about caring for your skin, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist. To
find a dermatologist in your area, visit