How To Self-Tan Like A Pro

If you’re a fan of sunless tanning, you might feel that nailing that gorgeous, natural-looking glow without being left with patches and a whole heap of mess is something that is beyond the reach of an at-home self-tan.

But, achieving just-back-from-the-beach glow and a streak-free finish every time can be a cinch if you know what you are doing. Pastels’ resident spray tan expert Elvie shares some of her at-home tanning secrets for mastering a perfect pro-like application from the comfort of your own home.

  • Prepare your skin thoroughly before applying a new tan.
  • Be sure to exfoliate. Using an oil-free scrub all over your body or exfoliating gloves are also an option.
  • Apply an oil-free moisturiser to any dry areas (which includes the usual areas of hands, elbows, knees and feet), but also add a dose of moisturiser to any areas of dry flaking skin, wrists and underneath the arm and up around the ankles to help dilute the tan and create a 3D effect.
  • Use a clean, fresh Tanning Mitt to apply your tan.
  • Start at the top of the body on the arms meeting in the middle at the chest area and work down the torso to the legs (leaving out the hands, feet and face for now).
  • Work in long sweeping motions and go over the same area with the mitt to buff the tan even further before moving onto the next area.
  • To tan your back, work across the bottom then up and over the shoulders. To finish the centre, turn the mitt around and use the back of your hand to wave the tan side to side, meeting your tan already applied on the sides of your body.
  • Once you have covered the entire body, turn your attention to your hands and feet.
  • Using leftover tan on the mitt, balance your hand in a claw shape and sweep the mitt over your hand from the wrist down over the fingers, blending the tan two to three times by gliding backwards and forwards.
  • Down to the ankles sweep down over a stretched foot, back along the sides, up around the ankle and back down the foot and over the toes (again using leftover tan on the mitt creating that 3D effect).
  • After you have cleansed your face, apply your self-tan before your usual moisturiser of SPF.
  • Buff the skin using an oil-free exfoliator after three days to keep a smooth even surface and moisturise dai;y.