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My self care routine is pretty basic. I love a good face mask, skincare routine, and manicure. But there’s one part of my routine that I love more than the rest: Self-tanning. There is nothing I love more than prepping my skin to be smooth, then waking up with a glow. I never liked how pasty and pale I looked in the summer, and tanning has boosted my confidence. The best part about self-tanning is that it is very cost friendly and doesn’t involve harmful UV rays. Here are some helpful tips for a novice self-tanner!


Find products that work best for you!

Self-tanners come in a wide variety of finishes, tones, and application styles. My personal favorites are self-tanning foams. They apply like a mousse and can be washed off after a few hours of setting into the skin. I also like to layer it with dry oils, and gradual tan lotions/drops to prolong my tan. I also mix face tanning serum into my moisturizer to give my face an even glow.  My top recommendations are: 

St Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam DARK

Bondi Sands Self Tanning Dry Oil

Bondi Sands Gradual Tanning Milk

ULTA Bronze Glow Self Tan Glow by Morning Gradual Tan Drops



Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliate!

Exfoliating is key. Before applying a layer of product, it’s important to scrub off dead skin and old product. This will give your tan an even application. Be sure to particularly exfoliate your elbows, knees, and ankles, where tan build up is prone. To exfoliate, use an exfoliating scrub. For stubborn areas, exfoliation mitts work wonders! After exfoliating, I also shave my legs. Exfoliating before shaving helps the shave last longer!


Lotion up!

 Moisturizing the skin is key to an even tan as well. Make sure to apply lotion in places that get dry such as your legs, knees, ankles, and elbows. Do not apply moisturizing products if you are using a self-tan dry oil. This will affect the effectiveness of the product. To prolong the tan, use a gradual tanning lotion.

Get your glow on!

 Now that the prepping process is done, it’s time to apply. Always apply your tanning products with a mitt. This will ensure a smooth application and that you won’t get any product on your hands. After applying, give the product about 15 minutes to dry before dressing. Make sure to wear loose clothing. Keep the product on for as long as the instructions say. Remember: the longer you leave it on, the darker the tan! Personally, I put my tanning mousse on before bed, then rinse it off when I wake up in the morning.

Maintaining the tan.

With proper care, a self-tan can last 7-10 days. To make your glow last longer, use a gentle soap in the shower that will not strip the tan from your skin. Ensure to moisturize daily and exfoliate gently so the tan does not fade in uneven patches. By day 3 of my tan, I apply a dry oil to deepen the tan. Layering mousse with tan oils is my favorite way to prolong my tan.

And that’s it! Happy self-tanning!

Madison is an elementary education and literacy studies major at Rowan University. Besides writing for Hercampus and being a Hercampus Trendsetter, Madison is the president of the Eta Psi chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, vice president of Rowan's Circle K club, and an Admissions Ambassador. Her hobbies are reading, writing, painting, and drawing. Her favorite things to write about are dating, beauty, and literature.
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