Your Go-To Guide to Using Self-Tanner on Your Face

May 26, 2022
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | by L'Oréal
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With the right products, sunless self-tanning is the best way to achieve a bronze glow without doing damage to the skin. But if you’re new to self-tanning, it can be intimidating to get started, especially when it comes to self-tanning your face. Between the potential for streaks and an unnatural finish, not to mention finding a formula that’s right for your skin type, it’s no easy feat. 

For tips on how to use self-tanner on your face to yield gorgeous results, we reached out to St. Tropez expert and ambassador, Sophie Evans.

Can You Use a Self-Tanner for the Body on Your Face?

“The face has a tendency to develop a little darker due to a higher pH level, so self-tanners designed for the face are typically formulated a little lighter than body self-tanners,” says Evans 

It’s also a good idea to reach for an option specifically formulated for the face because they’re typically tested more rigorously for this specific area as opposed to body options. 

How to Apply Self-Tanner on the Face

The correct way to apply self-tanner to your face depends on the formula you’re using. If you’re using tanning drops, like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Facial Drops, simply mix about eight drops into your moisturizer and apply to your skin as you normally would. If you’re using a tanning lotion, like the St.Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Face Lotion, apply it to clean, dry skin as if it were a regular moisturizer. If you prefer a mist formula, like the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Mist, simply saturate a cotton pad with the product and sweep it across your face. 

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So how do you ensure your tan is natural-looking and blended? “I always suggest bringing your facial self-tanner down the neck and also onto the décolleté,” says Evans

She also suggests being mindful about getting self-tanner in your hair or brows. “If you have bleached blonde or gray hair, always apply a little moisturizer around your hairline to achieve a natural finish,” says Evans. “Self-tanner can stain bleached and gray hair. And if you have very fair eyebrows, wipe with a cotton swab to prevent any unwanted staining.”

After you’re done, your tan will develop over the next four to six hours (depending on the specific product). To maintain your glow, incorporate your facial self-tanner into your routine two to three times a week.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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