Avoid Tan Faux Pas This Summer

Avoid Tan Faux Pas This Summer

Posted by Sonia Bellini on

As we move further into June and closer to the start of summer, we wanted to highlight a process that may seem daunting: self tanning. The month of May was national Melanoma Awareness, and we wanted to continue educating our clients throughout the summer on how to best protect the skin in the sun. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sun exposure is a major cause of skin cancer, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. While you may already be using sunscreen and vitamin c to protect against sun damage, that doesn’t mean you have to stay pale! Traditional tanning methods like the sun and tanning beds are damaging to the skin and can accelerate the aging process, so our team at Bellini’s got together to share the secrets to getting a seamless self tan. 

Here’s the breakdown on how to get your most successful, streak-free tan:

Prep Step


You will want to take a shower the day of your self tan, and make sure to thoroughly exfoliate your entire body. Two products we love are the Renaissance Glove, which is a shower mitt that removes dead skin with a relaxing scrub, and the Sasawashi shower towel. The Sasawashi comes in both a towel and mitten form, like the Renaissance Glove, and the towel has the added benefit of being able to exfoliate your back. You will also want to avoid using any products that have oil in them, as it can interfere and cause streaks. We love to use Priori’s 2xFoliant Peel + Scrub For Face and Body as an at-home microdermabrasion treatment to scrub off excessive dead skin build up! It is formulated with oil, so it is perfect for pre-tanning and pre-shave preparation. Try Yonka’s Gommage Doux for a purely physical exfoliant cream that will also hydrate your skin without leaving an oil residue. When exfoliating, use either in the shower in small circular movements. Spend a little more time exfoliating your elbows, knees, and heels. This is where your skin is the thickest. Make sure you also exfoliate your face, since you will be tanning from head to toe!

Hair Removal

If you regularly shave or wax, we recommend getting hair out of the way before starting your self tan. Remove any hair at least 24 hours beforehand in order to give your follicles enough time to tighten back up. Hair removal is not necessary, but should be done prior to a fake tan as opposed to after. If you’re in a rush, you can speed up the process by finishing up with a cold shower.


Pre-moisturize the bony parts of your body: elbows, knees, heels, wrists. Keeping your skin hydrated will prevent self tanner from sticking to these areas. Dry skin will cling to the self tanner, resulting in a streaky finish. Use an oil-free moisturizer a few hours before self tanning, such as Phytomer’s Oleocreme.

Tanning Time

At the end of the day once you’ve finished all your obligations, you are free to start self tanning! Make sure you’re fully dry before continuing the process. Remember you can always build up your tan, so start with only 1 layer of self-tanner before deciding if you would like to reapply. Start this process when you’re clean and dry.

Use a Tanning Mitt

We carry a tanning mitt from Coola, which has a soft terry cloth side to apply the lotion with. Use long up-and-down motions instead of  small circular motions to maintain even coverage, as circular motions may build up product in areas. It is highly recommended to use a mitt, but If you’re not using a tanning mitt, make sure to wash your hands after working on each section. If you don't have a tanning mitt, 

Start With Your Face

Worried about matching your foundation to your self-tan? Rest at ease knowing that you can also apply self-tanner to your face! Use an applicator mitt and apply the tanner in sweeping motions. We love using Coola's Sunless Firming Tan Lotion because it doesn’t have any smell and is buildable, meaning you can build up the intensity with multiple layers. Make sure to apply it everywhere that your eyes wouldn’t see, like your eyelids, the tips of your ears, and along your hairline behind your head. Tuck in your lips when applying so that you don’t darken them or ingest any product. If you have light colored hair, take care to avoid getting excessive product in your hair or eyebrows, as the tanner can dye your hair as well as your skin. Remove any excess product with a washcloth.

Move from Fat to Bone

Keep your skin streak-free! Apply product directly to the fatty parts of your body, like arms, legs, buttocks, and stomach. Once applied, drag the excess product to your joints and massage in. You reduce the amount of product build up by dragging excess product over your joints in this way, and massaging the product will make sure it is evenly distributed. We recommend starting from the legs and moving up. 

Moisturize Everywhere

You can make sure everything is even by applying a thin layer of moisturizer all over your body. Thoroughly massage in your moisturizer to give yourself an even finish. As mentioned before, we love to use Phytomer’s Oleocreme because it is quickly absorbing and leaves the skin softer over time. 

After Care 

  1. Let your tan dry, and wait a few hours before wearing tight-fitting clothes. 
  2. Skip getting your skin wet for the next 6 to 8 hours to keep your tan long lasting.
  3. Wear sunscreen! We love Coola’s spray on body sunscreen because it absorbs almost instantly, doesn’t leave any residue or white cast, and is available fragrance free. We also carry their tropical scents, like Pina Colada, Guava Mango, and Tropical Coconut. 
  4. Avoid exfoliating or using products like retinol, as they will remove the tan.

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