Top Sunless Tanning Tips

Ladies who like a little year-round color rejoice! Sunless tanning isn’t just the safest option, now it’s quite possibly the easiest. Fail-safe formulas and at-home kits bring the spa experience to you, so you never again need to get uncomfortably close to a stranger airbrush artist to secure your sunny disposition. For the appearance you’ve just touched down from the trip of a lifetime and earned yourself one flawless tan, check out our essential sunless tanning tips.
Aromatherapy Associates Body Polishing Brush

Aromatherapy Associates Body Polishing Brush, $23

Sunless Tanning Prep

Treat your at-home tan just like you would at the salon, and that means putting in the prep. Exfoliating the skin is a must (scrubs are great in the shower, dry brushing is fantastic beforehand, too) to slough off dead skin cells and give you the smoothest base to start. Shaving ahead of time is also key so you’re not razoring your golden tan off each day after your initial application.

Next, moisturize. For areas you know tanner is prone to cling to (read: elbows, knees and knuckles) make sure your skin is soft and supple. Too-tan spots are the easiest giveaway that you’re not naturally bronzed–and we can’t have that.

St. Tropez Applicator Mitt, $6.50

Invest in the Right Product

In my own experience, the more you invest, the more you get back. Higher-end formulations might seem unnecessary to a rookie, but they’re raved about for a reason, and using them as suggested (i.e., complete with tanning mitt) is going to help produce the best results. Try a splurge product like St. Tropez Bronzing Mouse and you won’t want to go back. Not only is it worth the extra bucks (hello, it’s practically foolproof and streak free!), but the bottles themselves pack way more uses than the small and cheap drugstore finds you’re applying morning after morning.

Save A Tan, $5-$25

Maintain Your Bronze Tone

There’s a method to the madness that is the maintenance up-sell at a salon. The girl behind the counter will tell you you need a lotion to preserve your bronze, and she’s right. While it doesn’t always have to be a complementary tan-enhancing moisturizer, you’ll want something to lock in the color. The dryer you let your skin get, the faster you’re going to fade.



Melissa is creative communication professional with 9+ years of experience writing for the beauty and fashion industries.