Self Tanning Dos & Don’ts — Expert Tips For A Hot Summer

If you're yearning for the glow that Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are always rocking, we've got some expert tips on how to self-tan to perfection! Xen-Tan Creator Dera Enochson is letting us in on her top 10 Dos and Don'ts for getting the perfect self-tan this summer! Read her expert tips below and get your glow on!

Self Tanning Dos Donts
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Tanning Dos from Dera:

“1. Do tan your breasts bigger and your tummy flatter! It’s easy to do with a little practice. Just like you pick out clothing to flatter your figure, use your self-tanner to do the same when you are naked. If you have some areas you wish were smaller, give them a second coat. Darker skin makes the areas look smaller. It’s subtle, but true. Then go a little lighter in areas you want to look bigger. You can contour your chest a little by going a bit deeper right under the breasts and in your cleavage and keeping the breasts lighter. You’ll be surprised at the effect. After you tan your stomach, go back with a gloved finger and slide on a thick bit of lotion under each rib to make them shaded in a bit darker. TONS of celebrities do it and you’ll be surprised how flattering it is. You don’t need a professional to do it for you if you practice a couple times. I do this on myself during bikini season. It looks amazing in photos too, so you’ll enjoy looking back at your vacation pics!

2. Do blend out the self-tanner lightly over your feet, hands, face and throat. Thinner areas of skin need less product.

3. Do pick a gradual tanner if you are not the best at applying self-tanner or feel uneasy doing it. Graduals are fabulous. You can do a little every other day, or every day, to tan and provide moisture. If you are not the best at applying tanners but you love to stay tan, this is a great option. Each coat will layer and adjust any spots you missed the day before so you can look gorgeously tanned every day and it also takes the place of your body moisturizer. Give yourself a few days to be sure your tan is at its best. Graduals also seem to hold up better than other sunless tans when you swim. I make sure to take just 15-minute dips, or less, and then gently pat dry to make sure not to lose color.

4. If you have darker skin do opt for a light self-tanning formula. Instead of making the skin darker it gives a richer, warmer tone while moisturizing and hiding whitish flakes of dry skin on knees and elbows. And if you have fair skin, opt for a darker self-tanner as it looks best and most natural on fair skin.

5. Do pick a self-tanner based on texture. You are going to get tan in the end so it’s all about how you get there. Are you dry and feeling flaky? Use a rich lotion. Do you have a new dress for work and need tan legs this minute? Use a liquid, or fast dry mousse. I am not a fan of sprays because they leave a big mess behind to clean up, but if you just spray them on a mitt and blend them on the skin, they can be fantastic, and no drips on your legs, or mess all over your shower walls. If you are new to tanning? Try a mousse. Always use instant color so you can see where you are putting the product until you get used to application.”

Self Tanning Mistakes — How To Avoid Them

Tanning Don’ts:

“1. Don’t use anything with oil before self-tanning — no moisturizing products. It will get in the way of your tan. Self-tan needs to get right down to your skin without something blocking it. Definitely skip moisturizers and even make sure your body scrub isn’t an oil base. If you use retinol products or anything similar you may find your tan is gone shortly after you apply them. I recommend using your retinol product at bed time and your tanner during the day so you keep some color in the day.

2. Don’t blend too much. Just remember that everywhere you put the tanner is where you are going to be tan. Most self-tanners these days are streak-free. One of the most important things to remember (and this accounts for most of the streaking) is trying to blend too much can cause the product to grab in spots and pull away from other areas. Self-tan is meant to glide over the skin like you are frosting a cake. If you are “rubbing it in” to the skin you are concentrating too much pressure. Just picture an angel food cake and you are frosting it.

3. Don’t let your tan get patchy. Apply moisturizer every day when you are not tanning.

4. Don’t panic and scrub your skin if you make a self-tan mistake. Just take a long warm shower, buff off any excess color that you can gently remove with your washcloth and then re-tan when you are dry. The second layer will hide most flaws. Soak palms of hands in soapy water while you watch a favorite reality show to get excess color off palms and next time use a mitt to apply.

5. Don’t go too crazy exfoliating before self-tanning. People put way too much emphasis on exfoliating before tanning. Self-tan works on the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Think about it…if you exfoliate too vigorously you won’t have as many dead cells there. Yes, a light scrub with a gentle body scrub will release the cells in drier areas and ones that would shed soon anyway, but I have seen many people scrubbing too vigorously and there is no benefit.”

Are you going to self-tan this summer?

— Dory Larrabee-Zayas

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