7 Self-Tanner Mistakes All Rookies Make

The sun is no good for us. You don’t need me to go on another sunscreen rant to know that. As much as we love the warm weather and basking under the sun’s rays, it’s no good for our skin. Even if we don’t get sunburned, the sun can still suck moisture out of our skin and leave it feeling hot and irritated. Even that golden tan isn’t good.

You probably don’t like hearing this if you’re a pale girl because you probably want to a “bit of color” in the summer. Instead of sunbathing, self-tanner is a much better option. In fact, it’s a good choice for people of all different skin tones. But, know that when I say it’s a better option, I don’t mean it’s a foolproof one. Do it right and you’ll have a bronzed goddess look. Do it wrong and you’ll end up streaky and orange. 

I don’t want the latter happening to you which is why I want you to avoid the newbie mistakes that almost everyone makes. Here are seven common self-tanner mistakes rookies make. Don’t let them happen to you.

Not Exfoliating Properly Beforehand

You know that saying about how good preparation is the key to success? Well, that's true about self-tanner. One of the most important things you need to do before self-tanning is a thorough exfoliation all over your body. If you skip the step, you can pretty much guarantee a streaky tan because the product will stick to dry, patchy dead skin and enhance those areas. Exfoliating basically creates a smooth canvas for the tan to adhere to.

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Not Reading All Of The Instructions Before Applying The Product

Reading instructions is an obvious one, but it needs to be said. Another key thing when it comes to using fake tan is reading the entire list of instructions before starting the process. Why? There are important details about drying times, not bathing, and not wearing certain types of clothes that you want to be aware of before you start tanning. For example, you don't want to realize after the fact that you weren't supposed to shower too close to tanning or wear light colored clothing. It can result in a poor application and ruined clothes.

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Not Waiting For The Color To Dry Before Putting On Clothes

I touched a bit on this in the last point. After apply self-tanning, you need to wait a good 15 minutes — or whatever the instructions tell you — before putting on clothes. You want that product to be fully absorbed into skin so you end up with a bronzed finish. You don't want the product transferring to clothes. That will result in a streaky tan and ruined clothes. Tans may fade in skin but fake tan might not come out of clothes.

Image source: Instagram/juliahellwich

Not Doing A Patch Test First

Hands up if you scoff every time you see instructions with *do a patch test?* Well, you should actually do one. First of all, it ensures that you're not allergic to the product. Imagine if you applied a product all over and you broke out in a nasty rash. If you do a patch test, you'll save yourself so much trouble and aggravation. Secondly, a patch test will help ensure that you've chosen the right color. If you turn orange or the color is waaaaay too dark, you will know that you need a new formula.

Image source: Instagram/vitaliberata_portugal

Overlooking Some Obvious Body Parts

If you've ever missed a spot when applying sunscreen and gotten burned you can see this point. When you miss a spot with fake tanner, you end up with a white patch against your golden skin. It's not as damaging but it can be awkward. So, don't forget about areas like the backs of knees, under arms, between fingers and toes, and necks. You'll also want to consider what to do about your face. There are formulas specifically designed for faces. Do you want to use one of those? Or, are you going to leave your face au naturel? If so, can you get away with it or will you be needing bronzer? Considerations, considerations.

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Not Giving The Product Enough Time To Develop

You'll know how long your fake tan takes to develop after reading the instructions. Make sure that you listen to them. Showering too early or too late can impact the result. No one wants to spend time thoroughly exfoliating and carefully applying fake tan to every nook and crevice only for the flawless application to be ruined by a shower. So, keep an eye on the clock.

Image source: Instagram/officialxentan

Failing To Wash Hands Immediately After Applying The Product

Tanning mitts are great because they help prevent orange palms. If your self-tanner doesn't come with a set of mitts, you might want to consider picking up a pair to spare you the awkwardness. Even if you do use the mitts, know that it's an essential finishing step in self-tanning to wash hands with soap and water. You don't want any excess self-tanner on fingers, palms, or the back of hands to develop. So, make sure you give hands a thorough wash.

Image source: Instagram/gravel_pit_creations

Have you ever used self-tanner before? Let us know in the comments!


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