10 Tips for Applying Self-Tanner Without Streaks

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10 Tips for Applying Self-Tanner Without Streaks

I recently shared my latest self-tanning routine, and today I wanted to give you a few more tips on how to achieve that perfect no-lines tan. I love a good glow, but since I am naturally fair and freckly – sitting out in the sun isn’t a smart option for me. (Though, really, it’s not a great option for anyone!)

While vitamin D is great for you, too much time in the sun can result in severe skin damage – and eventually even skin cancer. In addition, the sun can also make your skin become more wrinkly and leathery over time.

Learning how to apply a self-tanner is the easiest way to avoid all those issues without giving up on your golden summery glow. While you can go to a tanning salon to get that faux-tan, it’ll cost you a pretty penny! So – rather than doing that, put these 10 tips to the test and get your tan on (damage free, and cost-friendly!)

10 Tips for Applying Self-Tanner Without Streaks

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10 Tips for Applying Self-Tanner Without Streaks


The first step to getting that no-lines tan is by exfoliating your whole body. Anywhere you plan to apply the tanner – exfoliate. This will slough of any dead or dry skin cells and will help create a smoother surface for you to apply the tanner on to.


You’ll want to shave before applying the self-tanner as well. After exfoliating, shave your legs, armpits, etc. This will also create a smoother surface for the tanner to be applied to.

Let skin dry before applying

You’re often told to apply lotions when you first hop out of the shower, but when it comes to your self-tanner – wait until you’re totally dry. Self-tanner takes time to dry as it is, so if you applied it while your skin was wet it would likely take twice as long. Reduce the time you have to stand still and wait to try by applying your self-tanner once you’re fully towelled off.

Cover any Knicks or Scratches with Vaseline

If you have a tendency to cut yourself while shaving than you’re going to want to cover those knicks and scratches with vaseline before applying the self-tanning lotion. Otherwise, the lotion will seep into the cuts and sting painfully.

Apply a Moisturizer to your Dry Spots

Grab your favourite moisturizer and apply it to your dry spots. This includes your knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists. These spots typically suck up all the moisture so if you apply the tanning lotion right away to these spots they will likely turn quite dark and appear patchy.

Don’t Forget to Moisturize Your Face, too

When I mention moisturizing your dry spots, this also includes your face. If you tend to have a dry forehead or nose (or wherever) then apply a moisturizer to those spots before applying the tanner.

Now Apply Tanner Using a Tanning Mitt / Back Mitt

Now it’s time to apply the tanner. Apply it in a circular motion and work upward. Apply sparingly to your feet, ankles, knees, and elbows. Use a mitt to help evenly apply your tan. The mitt will also protect your hands from turning orange!

Apply a Small Amount of Moisturizer to Knees, Ankles, Elbows (again!)

Now that you’ve applied the tanning lotion, you’ll want to follow-up on those dry areas with your moisturizer again. This will help ensure you don’t have any obvious dark spots or lines.

Wash Hands Thoroughly

Nothing gives away a fake tan quite like bright orange hands. After you apply the tanner, wash your hands thoroughly to remove all the lotion from your hands.

Let Dry (Raise Hands up to Avoid Blotchy Tan lines)

Now it’s time to stand and wait. Raise your arms above your head to ensure your tan doesn’t become blotchy from having your arms rest of your torso.


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  1. August 6, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    I have never done self-tanning (can you imagine that???) because I have seen so many girls applying theirs and then walking around with orange patching everywhere (ouch!). So I thought: “Nope, I don’t want to look like that” lol. So I just sun tan 🙂 But these tips are so handy, lovely. What’s also crucial is a good brand of a self-tanning lotion. No streaks, please 😀
    xox Nadia

  2. October 16, 2018 / 3:42 am

    Self tanners .. I believe they are the best tanning option because they are safe, affordable, they are applied in few minutes and they are also very effective.

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