Sunless Tanning Essentials and Tips!

2 years ago

Hello lovely Luuuxers!

I`m attending a big wedding next weekend, so I wanted to get started on my sunless tanning this week! I dug out all of the products I love to use, and I thought I would share my favorite products and the tips I have learned...most of them the hard way, haha!

I have very fair skin so I try to start off my sunless tanning gradually. I also recommend starting on a weekend (either Friday night or Saturday morning), just in case the first time doesn`t turn out and you have a day or two to fix it before returning to work or school!


1. Shave and Exfoliate
I cannot stress how important this step is! You cannot, cannot, CANNOT start sunless tanning until you`ve exfoliated and shaved, or else it will turn out like a hot mess! I like to use my Victoria`s Secret Wild at Heart Body Scrub because it is pink and it smells nice! But really, any exfoliating scrub will work for this. I also like using an exfoliating mitt (the one pictured is from EcoTools) so I can make sure to scrub away all the dead skin. I needed to exfoliate big time since it`s been awhile since I have! I made sure to concentrate on areas that tend to get flaky or dry, such as my knees, elbows, and ankles. I also shaved my legs using my Gilette Venus razor.

2. Moisturize
This is also a really important step to make sure your tan looks even! I like to use a moisturizer that is very hydrating but also dries fast. My favorite is the Suave Moroccan Oil body lotion. It sinks in really fast to the skin so it hydrates and softens, but still allows that skin to pick up the tanning color. The trick is that you don`t want it to look too dark if the skin is dry, but also not too light if you moisturized it too much. The Suave lotion is a perfect in-the-middle solution.

I also want to moisturize my face and give it a nice glow to match my body. Of course, you don`t have to self-tan your face, since you can always get foundation that matches your body. However, I like to self tan my face because I don`t like wearing foundation over my entire face, and I don`t wear makeup every day. The product I love is the Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster. This product is basically just concentrated DHA, which is the ingredient in self tanners that makes you tan. It makes it so easy--I just add two drops in with my usual Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Soothing Lotion and blend it well into my face. They have self-tanning lotions that are designed for the face, but I find that they are always too thick and break me out. I like that the Clarins product allows me to use a moisturizer that I love already.

3. Apply Self Tanner to the Body
This part is pretty self-explanatory. There are two ways I like to do this, depending on how much color I want to have right away.

If I`m doing gradual tanning, I like to use the Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Self Tanner. It smells amazing, is super easy to blend over the body without streaks, and it dries really fast. The drying part is the most amazing thing, because sometimes when you use lotions, you have to wait around for it to dry before getting dressed. This foaming version is dry within minutes, so I can keep going about my day! When it dries, it has a bit of that self-tanner smell, but I think it`s impossible to avoid that. It is not by any means a deal-breaker for me. I like to use my bare hands to apply this foaming version since it does dry so quickly. If you use your bare hands, be sure to wash your hands really well, or else you`ll get orange palms that don`t look very cute!

If I want a lot of color all at once, my all-time FAVORITE is the Tarte Brazilliance Maracuja self-tanner. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING!!! I`ve never used a product that gave me such a natural color. The maracuja oil in the product makes my skin feel ultra soft and hydrated, which in turn makes the color fade more evenly and with less patchy-ness. It is so easy to apply because it has a color-guide, so you won`t get streaks. I like to apply this product with a mitt so I`m sure it`s going on evenly. The one I have pictured is from Sephora brand and I got it in a self-tanning kit, along with an exfoliating mitt and a streak eraser. You will also love how this stuff smells...ugh it reminds me so much of summer! This is the most pricey self tanner I`ve ever used, but trust me when I say that the price is very worth it if you want great results!

Keep in mind that both of these products take a few hours to develop the color. Usually it`s about 8 hours for me. Sometimes, if I want to speed up the gradual tanning process, I will apply it once in the morning and then once again before bed.

One more pro tip: if you`re going to let the color develop overnight, try to sleep on non-white sheets. You don`t want to turn your white sheets brown!

4. Maintain the Tan
Your job isn`t over once the tan is applied and developed! You are going to want to be super vigilant about moisturizing because that is what is going to allow the tan to fade evenly. It will also keep your tan longer, because your skin won`t begin to slough off as quickly! Again, I really like using the Suave Moroccan Infusion body lotion because it dries quickly, hydrates really well, and smells amazing.

If you accidentally got a streak or two, or if your palms got a little darker than you wanted, then you can use a streak eraser! I bought mine from Sephora, in a kit that I mentioned earlier. You simply rub the eraser on any area of your skin where it had a streak, and it will gently remove the extra pigment to make your tan look better! I seriously needed this because I always manage to get at least one streak somewhere, I have no idea how! This eraser is a life-saver!

Well, those are all my tips and tricks! Let me know if you plan on doing some self-tanning this spring and summer! I highly recommend it--after all, laying out in the sun is very unsafe, and there are ways to re-create a sun kissed glow without the risk of cancer! Besides, this will help you keep your skin looking wrinkle-free and even as the years go by!

Any of these products your favorites? Will you be trying some? Let me know in the comments!


(images are mine and exclusive to

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