Planning to Self-Tan This Summer? Don’t Skip This One Crucial Step

August 23, 2021
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | by L'Oréal
l'oreal paris sublime bronze self-tanning facial drops

Because we’re beauty enthusiasts with an absolute devotion to SPF, you’ll often find us with a faux tan that looks just like the real thing. How we do it? With the right self-tanning products and copious amounts of moisturizer.  For tips on how you too can master the art of self-tanning, we tapped Tiffany Carnelli, a tanning expert and area manager at Kiehl’s . Read on for her best step by step self-tanning advice. Ready, set, glow!

STEP 1: Exfoliate

For an even tan, exfoliate your body from head to toe before applying — ideally 24 hours before. For this step, we love the Kiehl’s Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub which works to slough off dead skin cells, but won’t leave you feeling stripped.

STEP 2: Moisturize

After exfoliating, apply a fragrance-free moisturizer, making sure you reach all areas of the body, including wrists, knees, elbows, ankles and feet. According to Carnelli, one of the biggest mistakes people make when self-tanning is not moisturizing before application.“Skipping moisturizer before applying self tanner may not give you an even application, especially in problem areas like knees and elbows,” she explains. If you don’t moisturize, you’ll be left with a patchy tan — and even if it is possible to fix, it’s better to avoid. We love the Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion for this.

summer fridays lotion, kiehls gently exfoliating scrub

STEP 3: Time to Tan!

Apply self-tanner from head to toe, using a dollop in the palm of your hands or on a mit, and work it into all areas of the body in light, short, circular motions. For this step, the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse is a must-try for a natural, streak-free finish. If you prefer a mist, try the Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water.


Editor’s Tip: Looking to tan your face? Try the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Facial Tanning Drops with hyaluronic acid for an all-over glow.


STEP 4: Clean Up

Remove excess if needed with a tissue, and wash hands thoroughly when finished. With most formulas, your self-tan will develop between four to six hours.

isle of paradise tanner, loreal paris tanner
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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