5 Tips for Applying Self-Tanner

Summer is in full swing and if you’re like me and haven’t had a proper chance to get a little sun yet then these 5 tips for applying self-tanner are exactly what you need before heading to the lake or hanging poolside this season.

Products above:  Vita Liberata Fabulous Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion (shown for legs), Selfie Gradual Tanner (love for daily use), VS Bronze Shimmer Lotion (for quick application)

All through college, I spent my summers lounging poolside working on my tan. Now that I’m getting older I really try to avoid too much sun exposure because I am finally coming to terms with how damaging it can be. I still love having a summer glow so of course self-tanner has become my new favorite skincare product. It allows me to still feel comfortable sporting a swimsuit whether it be at the lake or hanging poolside with my little guy.

Here are a few easy tips for applying self-tanner this Summer without needing to spend hours in the sun.


1 / Always exfoliate before applying any kind of tanner. I love to wash the skin using a bath sponge to help scrub away dead skin cells. Following that I shave my legs so they are prepped for heading out the door after applying the tanner. apply-self-tanner-tips-2
2 / Apply a moisturizer to the knees, around the ankles and tops of the feet. This will help dilute the tanner in these areas so as to avoid any buildup that can become a lot darker than the rest of the leg.


3 / Use a mitt.  The use of a mitt when applying self-tanner will help avoid over-dyeing your hands and fingers. It also helps blend the tanner into the skin and apply more evenly over all.


4 / Apply in small sections using circular motions. Focusing on one area before moving onto the next will ensure every nook and cranny is covered and evenly blended. There’s nothing worse than checking in the mirror two hours later and realizing you missed the back of one knee or the top of one foot isn’t blended.

5 / Thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. If you’re applying tanner with your hands they could become a darker shade than the rest of your body since they’ve come in contact with the product more directly, especially the palms. Even if you’re using a mitt to apply tanner it’s always a good habit to rinse and wash your hands afterwards. You could accidentally get tanner on your hands and then touch other things, transferring product without realizing it.


Some extra tips to get that extra bit of tan: If you’re going for a more bronzed look apply two coats of tanner after giving the first coat ample time to dry.

Always remember the importance of applying sunscreen on a daily basis to protect your skin from unnecessary sun damage.


  1. July 5, 2016 / 11:12 AM

    YAY!!! I really need a mitt. LOL! I bought Tan Wise and didn’t use a mitt and my hands were a little bit orange LOL!

  2. Kay
    July 5, 2016 / 9:43 AM

    Hello Missy!!
    I love your blog!
    What are your recommendations for applying to the hands?
    Every time I have used gloves or a mit to apply my tanner, there is always a visible line at my wrist where my pale meets the new tan. But then when I apply tanner to the top of my hands, it gets orange in the crevices where my fingers bend!

    • July 6, 2016 / 2:20 PM

      I would suggest gradually blending the tanner towards the wrists instead of fully applying any tanner to the hands. There are also great gradual tanning lotions that would work well for the hands too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.