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Our guide to a flawless DIY self-tan

You don’t have to expose yourself to the sun’s harmful UV rays to get that summery glow just in time for spring

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s nearly time for pretty dresses and leggy shorts. Winter can leave your legs pale and dry – you may cringe to leave them uncovered. For a boost of confidence without exposing yourself to the sun’s harmful and ageing UV rays, give your legs a summery glow with a fake tan. You’ll look both healthier and slimmer!


The key to a perfect and natural-looking self-tan is in the preparation and application.


1. Prep

  • Self-tan works best on hairless skin. If you shave, you can apply the product immediately, but wait 24 hours if you wax, thread or tweeze, as these methods leave the hair follicles open and the product can collect in little spots.
  • Dead skin absorbs more self-tan. To avoid a streaky finish, use an exfoliating scrub, paying extra attention to your knees and elbows.
  • Apply to completely clean, dry skin. Body lotion, deodorant or perfume may react with your self-tan or cause streaks, so don’t use these prior to application.


2. Apply

  • Start with your feet and work your way up. Apply small amounts at a time and rub the product in with circular motions until it is completely absorbed. Excess tanner will cause dark patches.
  • For a perfect finish we recommend using a mitt. This will also save your hands from over colouring.
  • If possible, get someone to help you with your back. If no one is around, cross your arms over your front and use two hands to apply simultaneously, using a mirror to guide you.
  • Most fake tans can be used on both face and body. When applying to your face, make sure to blend well along the jawline.
  • Once you’re finished, take a dry cloth and quickly wipe your elbows, the back of your heels and behind your knees, where product tends to collect. Use a baby wipe on your nails and between your fingers, too.
  • Wait at least 10 minutes before dressing. Most self-tans take 5 to 6 hours to fully develop.
We recommend:
Piz Buin Self Tanning Lotion + Colour Dial (R240)
Perricone MD No Sun Tanner (R900)
Text: Andie Reeves
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