Our Pro Tips on Preparing Skin for Self-Tanning


A word to the wise: the success of any endeavor usually depends on the amount and quality of preparation that goes into it. It's the same with sunless tanning, of course - before you use any type of self-tanning product, it's important to prepare your skin. How well you do so will definitely affect the quality of your results.

Getting Your Skin Ready

The first piece of guidance in getting your skin ready for self-tanning is actually something you shouldn't do, which is to wax. If you wax on the day you self-tan, it will not take. Salon specialists say that if you have to wax, wait at least 24 hours before applying a self-tanning product.

The next thing to do is shave and exfoliate your skin. Actually, shaving can be a way of exfoliating, but it's best to also use an exfoliating cleanser of some sort. Avoid scrubs that contain oil, however, because this will block absorption of the self-tanner. There are a number of products you can use to exfoliate in the shower, but if you want to exfoliate without getting in the shower, use Fake Bake Coconut Exfoliating Wipes, a delightfully easy way to prepare your skin with that awesome fragrance of coconut.

Make sure you achieve as close a shave as possible on the areas you wish to tan, since body hair gets in the way of optimal self-tanning lotion absorption and can result in streakiness. Many people wonder if this applies to arm hair, and truthfully, it does. If you don't want to shave your arms, it's best to self-tan using our Fake Bake Flawless Mousse, which is easier to buff into the skin around arm hair.

Once you are done shaving and exfoliating, use a light moisturizer, like our Fake Bake Oil-Free Mistifier Body Spray, on rough areas like the elbows, knees and around the ankles. In addition, if you have certain areas of your skin that tend to be dry (e.g. some people have patchy dryness at the front and back of their shoulders), use the moisturizer there as well. The elbows, knees and ankles have thicker layers of skin that absorb more of the self-tanning solution, as do the dry areas, so the light moisturizer helps to keep them from coming out too dark.

Prior to applying your fake tan solution, ensure that your skin is totally dry and that you are in a cool, dry spot. Any moisture, including sweat, can inhibit your product's absorption and result in blotchiness and streaks.

A Few Things to Have On-Hand

A couple other helpful tips for preparing to self-tan - make sure you have an application mitt, waterproof application gloves and a makeup sponge or brush on-hand. Our Face Bake self-tanning lotions, liquids, serums and sprays come with the application gloves included, for your convenience. Many of our kits also include an application mitt, but both the mitt and additional waterproof gloves can be ordered from our site. The makeup sponge or brush will enable you to naturally blend our self-tanning formulations in places like your hands - including between your fingers - and your feet.

Spray tanning at home can result in self-tanner stains on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet. We recommend having our Fake Bake Tan Corrector & Eraser on-hand to remove any accidental spots as soon as possible. In addition, Fake Bake Coconut Exfoliating Wipes can be used to wipe these marks away.

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