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sunless tanner and how to apply it

Sunless Tanner and How to Apply It (Infographic)

Sunless tanner and how to apply it information from a dermatologist? Yep, I'm a huge fan. I'm also fussy and an artist. My 35+ years of doing over 200,000+ skin exams on Californians makes it clear that getting bronze skin from the sun equals wrinkles and premature skin aging along with skin cancer. If you want tan skin, fake it! Use sunless tanners and eat beta carotene rich foods. Trust me, you'll appreciate this in as little as a few years as you see your friends and family's skin suffer while yours looks great. It's never too late to start faking the bronze glow!!

Sunless Tanner Tips and Insights from the Dermatologist

Do you know how to properly apply self-tanners to achieve a soft and even, sun-kissed glow that looks natural on your skin? 

Looking good while using a self-tanner isn't always easy. In fact, there are a few tricks you need to know to use them successfully. That's why I made an infographic to help simplify the process and get great results. 

The biggest problem is that self-tanners naturally get stuck in the thicker areas of your skin (like your freckles and over your knees). Self-tanners can also dry out your skin, and the active ingredient can have a funny mayonnaise-like smell.

Still, I love self-tanners and will take them any day over sun-damaged skin. But there are some tricks to getting the look you want with self-tanners.

really good self tanner recommended by dermatologistTips for how to layer a really good self-tanner into your Complete Skin Care Routine to get professional results!

How to use self-tanner on the face for best results:

how to cleanse skin before applying sunless tannerCLEANSE: Exfoliate when you cleanse before you begin self-tanning application. My favorite way to exfoliate facial skin is the Bamboo and Clay Thermal Scrub  facial scrub to prepare facial skin for sunless tanner 


Once you have achieved the desired level of tanner bronze tone, cleanse your skin without daily exfoliation using a cleanser matched to your skin type.  My preference is a pH balanced cleanser such as my Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser:

Extremely gentle pH balanced facial cleanser helps to safely wash your skin. Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser


best moisturizer for face for sunless tannerCORRECT and HYDRATE skin use glycolic acid AHA products to keep skin exfoliated and hydrated to prevent the alligator look.

A multitasking option is to apply your self-tanner under a Glycolic Acid Face Cream

best mosturizer to use on face with sunless tanner


If you have extremely sensitive facial skin that can't tolerate glycolic acid, then use your favorite facial moisturizer over your sunless tanner. 


best sunscreen to use with sunless tanner on face

PROTECT your skin from UV rays because sunless tanners don't give you any sun protection. Nope, the tan color is decorative and does not block UV light. This is really important when you are using self-tanners because the golden glow does not provide ANY protection from UV damage and may even increase your risk of damage for 24 hours! Wear a good, mineral zinc-oxide sunscreen every day when you use tanners.

best facial sunscreen over sunless tannerI recommend using a facial tinted sunscreen to add a little more bronze warmth to your skin tone. I personally use my Sheer Strength Pure Physical SPF 50+ Mineral Matte Tinted Sunscreen every day. The iron oxide tinting also blocks visible light that can worsen some pigment problems - and I don't want any!

 How to use self-tanner on your body skin for natural results

best way to prepare body skin for sunless tannerCLEANSE body skin using an exfoliating treatment with the Salux Cloth with the Triple Action Body Wash to polish-away thick and rough skin that will over-stain with the self-tanner. 


best way to prevent dry skin with sunless tannerbest body moisturizer to prevent scaling skin with sunless tannerCORRECT and HYDRATE body skin to prevent the alligator look of dry scaling skin from sunless tanner! Do this all in one step with Glycolic Acid Body Lotion applied over your self-tanner.

My favorite way to prep body skin for self-tanner is with my Ultra-Fast Triple Action Body Smoothing Kit. In this kit you get the Triple Action Cleanser, the Salux Shower Cloth and the Glycolic Acid Body Lotion.

best skin care for sunless tanners

Best hypoallergenic, fragrance free natural lotion for sensitive skinWhen you don't want to use glycolic acid in your moisturizer, use a general hydrating moisturizer like Dr. Bailey's Natural Lotion for face and body.

 best body sunscreens to use with self tannersPROTECT all body skin from UV damage with a good, all-purpose mineral zinc sunscreen when you use self-tanner because skin may be more prone to damage for 24 hours. Click here to see the sunscreens that I love, use and recommend to my patients.

Dermatologists Tips to Apply Sunless Tanner and Get Perfect Results.

Sunless Tanner and How to Apply It

summer glow safe tanGet my Summer Glow Kit to keep your skin luminous while you use self-tanner. It can be used on face and body. Add your favorite shower cloth to exfoliate and wear a good sunscreen and you're set!