How to Apply Self Tanner and Remove Streaks

There are many benefits to using a tanning product at home. You don’t need an appointment, it’s a lot cheaper than going to a salon and it’s healthier than using tanning beds or exposing your skin to the effects of the sun. It can be tricky to get right, though, and you can end up with streaks or dark patches. However, there are ways to prevent this happening or sort out the problem if it occurs.

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Prepare well

Smooth, moisturised skin is a much better base to apply your personalized instant tan product. The best way to get your skin ready is by exfoliating and moisturising it prior to applying the tan. Pay special attention to anywhere you feel is a problem area, such as knees, elbows or the backs of your hands. Any skin that is rough or dry is more likely to take the lotion badly, so make sure you deal with all dry areas before you start the application.

Gather everything you need before you start, because if you need to remove excess lotion, the longer it takes to do it, the more likely it is to cause a stain or streak. You should have at least one application mitt and, if possible, some protective gloves, such as plastic or latex, to wear under the mitt in case of leaking. Also, it’s a good idea to keep some dry cotton buds to hand, which you can use to buff small areas, such as around the nose; this will allow you to blend the lotion seamlessly.

Take your time

Once you have allowed the moisturiser to soak in thoroughly and secured your hair safely out of the way, apply a barrier cream, such as petroleum jelly, to your eyebrows and your hairline to prevent accidental staining. Don’t rush the process. Start with your face and apply the product using a circular motion, adapting the size of the circles depending on the space you are trying to fill.

Blend all edges as you go along and don’t forget about the areas you can’t see, such as behind your ears and the back of your neck. Even though you can’t see them, other people can.

Stop and check using two mirrors to make sure you haven’t left any streaks or gaps. Proceed to your body, using a long-handled application tool to do places that are hard to reach and ending with your hands and feet. You will need to do some careful blending at your wrists and ankles to avoid ‘tide marks’; simply buff these areas with very small circular motions, using a second, clean mitt if you find that easier.

Finishing touches

The full effect of the tan is likely to take several hours to develop completely, but before that happens, you should check carefully for signs of streaks and buff them away as you did at your wrists. The longer you can avoid putting clothes on, the better and when you finally get dressed, try to wear loose clothing.

To avoid having to wear anything too soon, it’s a good idea to apply products such as these at night or, at least, not too close to when you’ll need to go out. Once the process is complete and your tan is dry and has achieved its full colour, exfoliate again and moisturise after this and after every shower. Even if you’ve had problems getting a good finish in the past, by following this advice, you can obtain a very professional-looking tan.

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