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How to Apply Sunless Tanning Lotions

If you have ever tried to apply sunless tanning lotion, then you know that it requires a good strategy to get it right. While sunless tanners are a great way to get a bronzed look without the risks associated with the sun’s rays, they can be a bit messy. Here are some tips to help you learn how to apply sunless tanning lotions for an even application and flawless finish.

1. Prep your skin. If you apply sunless tanner to dry, flaky skin, you are not going to like the results. Sunless tanning lotions tend to gather around rough patches which will make you have orange splotches. This is easy to avoid if you follow typical skin care tips – which always include exfoliation. Exfoliate first by using a scrub in the shower. Pay particular attention to your ankles, feet, knees, and elbows.


Creative Commons License photo credit: ^@^ina

2. Get everything ready. Once you have sunless tanner on your hands, you are not going to want to touch everything in the bathroom because the lotion might cause discoloration. Gather an old towel, a nail brush, your sunless tanning lotion, and a sponge paintbrush if you plan to apply tanner to your back. Set everything up near a sink. Don’t do this in the bathroom after a steamy shower because sweating is a sure way to mess up the end result.

3. Begin with your legs. That way you won’t have to bend over while tanner is drying on your stomach and risk smudges. Start at the top of each leg and work your way down, applying it the same way you would a regular lotion but taking extra care not to miss any areas. Use a circular motion to avoid creating streaks. When you get to the bottom of each leg, try to extend the lotion downward onto your ankles and feet. You don’t want to add too much tanner to this area because it will build up and look strange.

4. Wash your hands and scrub your nails with the nail brush. Sunless tanners will tan your palms if you are not careful, so it’s a good idea to wash your hands before proceeding so your palms don’t get stained.

5. Next work on the upper half of your body. Start with your chest and work down to your stomach, again working in a circular motion. Then use the sponge paintbrush to apply it to your back or get help from someone else to reach this area. Next, apply it to your arms beginning at the top and working downward to the hands. Finally, apply the lotion to your face and neck using a very light hand as tanner seems to get darker in this area.

6. Wash your hands again, being careful not to splash water up on your arms which would rinse away the tanner.

7. Allow the tanner to dry. Wait for at least thirty minutes before dressing or putting on makeup, although it’s better if you can wait even longer. During this time, avoid sweating or contact with material such as your sofa or bed. You really have to be patient and let it dry thoroughly or you will end up with all kinds of streaks and markings.


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