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. Click here to see Infographic or read to the bottom of this page!
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.
Tips 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:
Cleanse: Exfoliate when you cleanse before you begin self-tanning application. My favorite way to exfoliate facial skin is the Bamboo and Clay Thermal Scrub:
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:
Correct and Hydrate: Use glycolic acid AHA products to keep skin exfoliated and hydrated to prevent the alligator look.
If you have extremely sensitive facial skin skin that can't tolerate glycolic acid, then use a soothing and antioxidant rich corrective product applied over your self-tanner, such as Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy:
Protect: 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. I recommend tinted sunscreens to add a little more bronze warmth to your skin tone:
Suntegrity BB Cream Sunscreen (hydrates and protects):
Sheer Strength Pure Physical Invisible Sunscreen (untinted and great for all facial skin types):
How to use self-tanner on your body skin for natural results:
Correct and Hydrate: 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.
When 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:
Protect: All exposed skin from UV damage with a good, all-purpose mineral zinc sunscreen that applies easily. My favorite options are:
- Sheer Strength Spray Sunscreen
- Solbar Zinc Sunscreen
- Suntegrity Natural All Purpose Sunscreen
- Raw Elements Sunscreen when you will be physically active and need a high performance endurance product.
What are my personal top products that I use for my own self-tanning?
- Avene Self Tanner
- Ultra Fast Triple Action Body Smoothing Kit
- Bamboo and Clay Thermal Facial Scrub
- Natural Face and Body Lotion
- Sheer Strength Spray Sunscreen
- Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream Sunscreen