When is the best time to apply self-tanner

When is the best time to apply self-tanner

It’s always a good time to get a flawless tan, except when of course—it isn’t. Veteran tanners know that getting the perfect base tan is all about timing. If you’re in a rush to go for the gold, you might overlook some important things that can set you and your tan back. Here are some tips on picking the right time for glow time.

At night

There are a lot of reasons to tan at night and using a high-quality sunless tanner might be one of them. Certain formulas can use fabulous anti-aging ingredients that work best without sun exposure. Ingredients like retinyl palmitate and Vitamin C are amazing for renewing skin but can make it more prone to sun damage like pigmentation while they’re doing their thang in the daytime.

A few hours before bed

If you plan on getting the deepest tan tone, it’s best to leave your sunless tanner on for 1-3 hours before rinsing it off. If you tan a couple of hours before bed, you can throw on some comfy old long-sleeved sweats and a T-shirt. Pro tip: brush a talc-free powder on the body if you’re not into wearing long-sleeves or it’s too hot for that noise. You want to keep it cool and keep the tanner on you and not on your sheets.


You won’t even have to think about working on your tan while hanging at the beach because you have already got it covered! No more sun damage for you because you will be under the umbrella reapplying your full-spectrum Spf 50 every 80 minutes with a that tan is summer-ready. 


Let everyone else walk around like they haven’t seen the sun in ages because your summer bronze is popping all year long. Keep people wondering if you’ve just come back from a tropical vacation. No one has to know the truth!

When you have no makeup on

If you’re applying your own-self-tanner or getting a spray tan, save the makeup session for after your first shower. You want your skin to be free from anything that is going to compromise your tan and cosmetics on the face definitely will.

After all the things

Be sure to handle all of your beauty and waxing treatments before you go sunless. We’re talking about everything from waxing and manicures to hair color application and shaving. Stay away from intense acne treatments and chemical peels after your tan sesh or risk having your tan fade faster. 

When you don’t need to wear a bra

Feel free to release the hounds before you tan and let them stay free as long as possible before showering. Don’t wear sports bras, either. Any tight clothing worn after your tan might rub against the skin to create a whole other kind of tan line that might not be so cute. 

When you have no chores

You can use this as your excuse to skip your turn doing the dishes or giving the dog a bath. Any water could mess up your hard-won glow. Another thing we need to mention is not to wear any vinyl or rubber gloves after your tan because they work like the perfect tan erasure. So make sure to get all your chores done before you glow.  

Before you think about getting wet

As we mentioned above, any moisture can dilute your tan and make it look uneven. So no showers for a few hours and no dips in the pool. Chlorine may protect against bacteria, but it certainly doesn’t protect your tan. Also, hit the gym before you bronze it up because even sweat can dissolve your tan. 

When you’re staying in for the night

Girl, we know you’re popular, but throwing on a clingy dress or giving numerous hello hugs to your girls will have you treading on prime tan-ruining territory. Get your tan on, and feel free to Netflix and chill your way to your glowing tan. 

When you don’t’ have a nut allergy

Nut oils have many super-great skin care properties, but not if you’re allergic to them. Know which nuts you have issues with and double check the ingredients of a sunless tanner before you buy or ask your spray tanning artist about what formulas they use.

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