The Perfect At-Home Tan

By on April 30, 2010, in Beauty Knowledge Center, Relaxation

There’s an art to the at-home tan. Too much and you look like an orange. Too streaky and you look like a tiger. Perfect the prep and application with these tips and tricks, and you can be bronzed and beautiful (safely!) in no time.


  1. Before you can evenly apply tanner, you need to start with an even surface.
  2. First exfoliate your entire body with a non-oily scrub, like Olivina Foaming Grapeseed Scrub, to remove dead skin cells. Oily scrubs (ie., ones that contain shea butter or high concentrations of moisturizers) will leave a residue on your skin that may prevent the tan from sinking in.
  3. Use a loofah to scrub down the really tough spots, especially knees, elbows, heels, ankles and the tops of the feet—all places where self-tanner can cake on and look really, really dark if they aren’t properly exfoliated.
  4. After scrubbing away, shave with a new razor blade (to get as close to the skin as possible) and use a non-oily shaving cream. The gel kind tend to rinse away cleaner than the foamy kind.
  5. Thoroughly rinse any residue from the scrub, shave gel and even hair conditioner that might be on your shoulders, neck or back.
  6. If any area still feels rough or uneven, coat it with a thin layer of basic body lotion to keep the tan from getting patchy or dark.


  1. Stand on an old towel to minimize the mess, especially if you are using a spray tanner formula.
  2. Start with your neck and work your way down. Use the same amount of tanner as you would sunscreen—enough so it goes on easily without leaving giant pools that aren’t soaking into skin. Massage it into skin in small, circular motions until you don’t see any streaks. Don’t be afraid to work it in a bit. Enlist a friend to help you reach your whole back if you can’t on your own. Be sure to use a mirror to check your handiwork!
  3. Now it’s time to remove the orange from your palms. Scrub with soap and grab a nail brush to really get around the wrists and nails. You can also use self-tanner remover towelettes to remove excess tanner.
  4. Once you are done removing the tanner, it’s time to really apply it to your hands—you don’t want to walk around with bronzed arms and ghostly white hands! Apply a small amount of tanner on the back of one hand, then rub the backs of your hands together and over your fingers.
  5. Wait as long as possible before getting dressed to avoid ruining any clothes.
  6. If you want to skip a lot of those application steps, try Diane B 60 Second Instant Miracle Tan, a one-of-a-kind self-tanning mousse that you apply in the shower! After following the prepping steps, use the enclosed gloves to apply the Aloe Vera-based mousse, which works with the natural pH of your body to develop a natural, streak-free color in just 60 seconds.


  1. Most self-tanner lasts 4-7 days, but there are ways to make the fading process less drastic. The first thing is to keep from exfoliating skin during the first few days and to add an extra dose of moisture by using a moisturizing body cleanser in the shower, followed by a nice layer of body oil, cream or lotion like Yu-Be Moisturizing Body Lotion.
  2. Typically tans don’t fade evenly, so you’re left with small blotches of paler skin. To alleviate this, apply a gradual self-tanner to the lighter spots just like you would a regular lotion. The gradual tanners work so well because they deposit a bit of color that gradually develops into a darker color.
  3. Along with the light patches of a fading tan, you also get the dark patches that don’t fade as quickly. These you should gently exfoliate on day 4 or 5 to buff away the extra pigment. Keep applying the gradual tanner to stay even.

With the right preparation, application and maintenance, you can have a healthy tan all summer long!