How to Apply Self Tanner to Back Easy Way ( Updated 2020 )

Save any area where you want to apply self-tan. This can be the legs, bikini area, or underarm. For men, it can be the chest or face.

Exfoliate the skin before application. Do this a day before for the best results. Slough off the dead skin cells for 1-2 hours before application. You can use body scrubs or exfoliation products in the tub or shower room. Self-tan works better on fresh skin.

Ensure the skin is dry after exfoliating or shaving. Make sure there is no moisture on your skin. Water is an enemy of self-tan products for the 2 hours after application.

Apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline to your eyebrows first before beginning. This ensures the tanning lotion does not change color.

Apply moisturizer first before applying the self-tanner.

Put on the gloves on and start applying the self-tan products first to your head. Use a light covering and work in short circular motion. Ensure you get to the ears and behind your ears ad neck (all exposed areas).

Apply the products to the feet and legs. Use a slight amount to enable it to blend well. Apply to the stomach, shoulders, chest, and arms. Be careful with the hands and avoid the palms.

Lastly, apply the tan to your back with the help of paintbrush, wand, or strap. It will take a while to get used to it.

Once the application is complete use a tissue paper to gently wipe the elbows, wrists, knees, or tops of your feet. This takes a little color away to give it a great look. This trick works wonders.

Thoroughly wash your hands if you did not use gloves.

Take a blow dryer and dry the areas you applied self-tanner for a few seconds to speed up the drying.

It takes 15 minutes for the products to work. Wait for an hour before putting on clothes. After an hour go to bed and when you wake up in the morning take a shower. When you finish, use the mirror to catch a glimpse of the sunless tan.

When it comes to self tanning, there have been big improvements made over the years. You rarely see people so orange they look like sweet potato/human hybrids. Still, it’s not like getting a faux glow is foolproof, even to the most experienced self-tan fans out there. If the look you’re going for is more J. Lo than Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, there may be a few crucial mistakes you’re making. We had three tanning experts break them down for us.

Mistake 1: Forgetting to Remove Your Old Self-Tanner

If it’s not your first time at the self-tanning rodeo, you probably already know that exfoliating in advance is the No. 1 rule for an even, natural-looking tan. The main purpose is to create a smooth surface for the tanning formula to penetrate, yes. But it’s equally important for getting rid of your old self-tanner.

“Without exfoliating those dead, tanned skin cells, they’ll eventually shed unevenly, leaving you looking patchy or even speckled like a leopard,” explains celebrity spray tan pro Kristyn Pradas. You can even help the process along by taking a hot bath right before you exfoliate, too.

Mistake 2: Screwing Up Your Exfoliation

Like pretty much everything else in the world, it all comes down to timing. “You need to exfoliate either eight hours or just before self-tan application,” says Sophie Evans, celebrity spray tan expert and brand ambassador to St. Tropez Tan. “If you want the very best result, exfoliating eight hours before allows skin’s pH balance to neutralize, which is the ideal condition for the color to develop.”

Mistake 3: Prepping Skin With an Oil-Based Scrub

A quick beauty riddle: Why in the world is your tan so screwed up even though you did everything right? You might want to check your scrub. “If you exfoliate with oil-based scrub, the oil can create a barrier between skin and self-tanner,” says Pradas. “You’ll be left with weird marks and both dark and light spots.” Try a scrub formulated for self-tanning prep, like Vita Liberata Super Fine Skin Polish.

Mistake #4: Using a Tiny Amount of Product

If you’re a self-tanning newbie—or coming back to it after a long hiatus—you probably think it’s a good idea to start slow. But skimping on the self-tanner can actually result in streaks and stripes. “When people are scared of a self-tan, they use a very small amount of product to tan a large area,” explains Evans. “The lack of product and over-rubbing causes streaks.” Instead, use a tan applicator like the St. Tropez Tan Applicator Mitt. You can load up product and then use it to sweep off any excess. Don’t worry: “You can never use too much self-tanner, as the skin can only absorb a certain amount of the tanning chemical,” says Evans.

Mistake #5: Not Spot-Treating Certain Areas

The telltale giveaway of a fake tan? A suspiciously dark elbow. Certain areas of the body absorb self-tanner more quickly and require a little extra work. “Get ahead of the game and wipe your knuckles, knees, elbows and ankles immediately after tanning—even if you think you don’t need to,” says Alyson Hogg, founder of Vita Liberata Luxury Tan. Alternately, Evans suggests using a moisturizer before tanning to create a barrier on those areas of the body so less self-tanner can penetrate.

Mistake #6: Leaving the House ASAP

Your new tan needs six to eight hours to develop. So until then, consider yourself under house arrest. Hot weather and heavy sweating can cause self-tanner to drip—and dry that way. “Even putting on shoes will remove any self-tanner that the inner part of the shoe touches,” says Pradas. So, working out is out of the question too, as is going for swim. Instead, pop open a bottle of wine, slip on a pair of sweatpants, and queue up Netflix.

Mistake #7: Choosing Your Self-Tan Shade Based on Your Skin Tone

If you’re naturally fair, it seems like it would make sense to opt for a light shade to avoid going to the way-too-dark side. But playing it safe could mean that your self-tanning efforts barely register, since shades are labeled according to intensity, not your existing skin tone. “Choose your self tan shade based on the result you want, not your skin tone,” says Hogg. “If you want to deepen your skin tone a little, choose medium. If you want a deeper result, choose dark.”

How to apply self-tanner

These basic tips will help you apply self-tanner so you get even coverage and longer-lasting results.

These basic tips will help you apply a self-tanner so you get even coverage and longer-lasting results.

Follow these steps:

  1. Exfoliate. Use a washcloth to exfoliate the skin prior to applying a self-tanner. Using an exfoliating product also will help remove dead skin cells. Spend a little more time exfoliating where your skin is thickest, on the elbows, knees and ankles.

  2. Dry your skin. Drying your skin before you apply a self-tanner helps it go on evenly.

  3. Apply in sections. Apply the self-tanner in sections (such as the arms, then legs, followed by the torso). Massage the self-tanner into your skin in a circular motion.

  4. Wash your hands after each section. You will avoid orange-colored palms by washing your hands with soap and water after you finish applying the self-tanner to each section of your body.

  5. Blend at your wrists and ankles. For a natural look, you need to lightly extend the tanner from your wrists to your hands and from your ankles to your feet.

  6. Dilute over your joints. Dilute the self-tanner on the knees, ankles and elbows, because these areas tend to absorb more self-tanner than the rest of the skin. To dilute, lightly rub with a damp towel or apply a thin layer of lotion on top of the self-tanner.

  7. Give your skin time to dry. Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed. For the next three hours, it is best to wear loose clothing and try to avoid sweating.

  8. Apply sunscreen every day. You still need to protect your skin with sunscreen. Be sure that your sunscreen offers all of the following:

      SPF 30 or higher
  9. Broad-spectrum protection (UVA/UVB protection)
  10. Water resistance

How to apply self-tanner without streaks

People often look more radiant and healthy with a tan. While a tanned complexion may look stunning, UV rays can be harmful for your skin. A self-tanner is a great solution, allowing your skin to glow while concealing small imperfections and even making cellulite less visible.

Unfortunately, achieving a natural-looking tan with self-tanner without streaks or blotches is not as easy as it might seem. Prepare your skin for that perfect tan with the following tips.

1. Exfoliate. Remove dead skin cells from your body and face by exfoliating your skin in the shower with a facecloth. Then follow up with an AHA or BHA exfoliant, which you apply to a dry skin. Start doing this a few days before you intend to apply the self-tanner. Repeat this every day until you apply the self-tanner.

AHA is intended for normal to dry skin with sun damage. If you have a normal to oily skin that is prone to spots, use a BHA exfoliant. Paula’s Choice has formulated Resist Skin Revealing 10% AHA Body Lotion or Resist Weightless 2% BHA Body Treatment for exfoliating your body. For your face you can use Resist Pore Refining 2% BHA Treatment or Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Smoothing Treatment met 5% AHA.

2. Shave the day before, not just before you apply the self-tanner. This will prevent tiny droplets of self-tanner from accumulating in the pores (or follicles, to be precise) where you have shaved the hairs.

Don’t shave just after applying self-tanner as this will make your tan last less long. In fact, shaving is another way of exfoliating the outer skin layer.

3. Use day/night cream. Apply a layer of day cream, night cream or lotion on drier skin (after cleansing) and patches of skin where dead skin cells tend to accumulate (ankles, knees and elbows). This prevents these parts of your body from absorbing more self-tanner than the rest of your body, resulting in blotches.

4. Consider where your tan should start and end. Think about your clothes and shoes beforehand. Make sure that all visible skin areas are evenly covered with the self-tanner.

Important tips for applying self-tanner

Allow plenty of time. Sometimes self-tanners take several hours to develop their final colour. Take the time to check whether you have missed any areas or if there are streaks. Wait at least 15 minutes before dressing or going to bed to avoid staining your clothes or bedding.

Wash your hands every few minutes. If you don’t, you may end up with orange hand palms and cuticles. Tip: rub lotion on the inside of your wrists and hands, as they are continuously in contact with the self-tanner while you are apply it. You can also wear gloves.

Create a convincing colour. Certain skin areas are almost never exposed to sun (like the inside of your arms). You can imitate this effect by applying a diluted layer of self-tanner to these areas. Tip: keep an eye on which areas absorb most of the colour of the self-tanner. In some people, the legs turn darkest. In others, it may be the neck or face. Once you know how your skin reacts, you can perfect your self-tanning application skills.

How do you apply self-tanner to your back. Ask a friend or partner for help, or use an applicator.

Make sure your skin is dry for at least 6 hours after applying self-tanner. This helps your tan last longer.

Solutions if something goes wrong with your self-tanner

  • If you find it difficult to achieve an even colour around your nose, eyes, ears, hairline and lips, apply a thin layer of self-tanner with a cotton bud.
  • Are you worried that your self-tanner may cause spots? Try a self-tanning concentrate, which you can add to your own serum or day/night cream. Another advantage: you can create the exact colour you want with a concentrate, depending on how many drops you use.
  • Creating a natural-looking colour on your hands can be quite difficult. Apply a self-tanner to your hands as if it were a day/night cream and then immediately wipe your hands carefully on a damp facecloth with soap or use a cleansing wipe.
  • Make sure you have a nail brush or nail polish remover to remove self-tanner from your cuticles. Don’t forget your toes!
  • Carefully clean the skin between your fingers with makeup remover to prevent the skin from becoming darker there.
  • If you end up with streaks or blotches, exfoliate them with a wet facecloth or Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. You will have a more even tan the next day.
  • Exfoliants, retinoids (such as retinol) and the topical application of disinfectants can affect how long your tan lasts. Use them less frequently in the days after you have used a self-tanner. In any event, do not use these products on the same day as applying a self-tanner.

The potential for skin damage from the sun should have you hiding under a hat or slathering on the SPF, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look luminous. If a tan is your must-have accessory for summer, the solutions for getting a faux glow are becoming easier and more innovative by the day. TODAY style editor and’s Bobbie Thomas shares her secrets for achieving the perfect beach-babe look.

/ gvictoria

Prep like a pro

It’s important to exfoliate in the shower using textured scrub gloves or nylon polishing towels to remove any dead skin. Whether you go to a booth or grab a tan-in-the-can, slip on a shower cap and use a cotton swab to apply petroleum jelly to your cuticles and nail beds before a spray session. Also be sure to have your hands, feet, knees, elbows and any dry skin patches completely moisturized, leaving excess lotion on the palms of your hands to help offer a barrier — just be sure to blend the edges and inside the wrists to achieve a natural-looking fade line. And finally, get some spray tanning feet pads, topless, strap-free sandals that literally stick to your soles. Use them to avoid getting self-tanner on the bottoms of your feet. You could also DIY a pair in a pinch by using double-stick tape and paper plates.

Original Topless Sticky Sandals, $15, Amazon

Original Topless Sticky Sandals, $15, Amazon

Sunless solutions

When it comes to applying product, there are a number of different options. Gradual tanners are not only great for beginners, but anyone who wants to maintain a tan. Drugstore brands like Jergens and Olay are meant to be applied daily or intermittently, offering you more control. Full-strength compounds will offer a dramatic difference, but need downtime to fade before you reapply; otherwise you risk patchy, uneven results.

Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer, $7, Amazon


Natural Glow 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer, $7, Amazon

Olay Total Effects Moisturizer Plus Gradual Sunless Tanner, $18, Target

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And for streak-free strokes, consider some of the alternative applications on the market. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse and applicator mitt will help you wipe on and blend your color without getting streaks on your hands. Tan Towels are one of the most popular and easy to use tanning options, obsessed clients include Real Housewives and Bachelorette contestants alike. Au Courant’s sponge on a stick helps you apply the brand’s Sunless Tanning Mousse in the hardest-to-reach spots.

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $42, Amazon

St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, $42, Amazon

Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette, $24 to 10, Amazon

Tan Towel Self Tan Towelette, $24 to 10, Amazon

Sunless Tanning Mousse, $30, Au Courant

Au Courant

Sunless Tanning Mousse, $30, Au Courant

Radiant results

For those who prefer to avoid DHA, the active tanning agent found in sunless solutions, these products will enhance your natural color temporarily. Shiseido’s Sun Protection Stick Foundation and Supergoop!’s powder has both provide SPF and complexion control. If you’re looking to bronze your body and face, cult-favorite makeup brands MAC and NARS have classic products that will help you shine all over! Makeup artists love to add a little of MAC’s Face and Body foundation to lotion to give legs a smooth look , while NARS’ Body Glow and new Orgasm Illuminator hydrate while giving you a subtle sheen.

Sun Protection Stick Foundation, $28, Nordstrom


Sun Protection Stick Foundation, $28, Nordstrom

Supergoop! Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45, $30, Nordstrom

Supergoop! Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45, $30, Nordstrom

MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation, $28, Nordstrom


MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation, $28, Nordstrom

NARS Body Glow, $59, Nordstrom


NARS Body Glow, $59, Nordstrom

NARS Orgasm Illuminator, $30, Nordstrom


NARS Orgasm Illuminator, $30, Nordstrom

Faux glow fixes

Keep in mind, nothing is permanent, and there are ways to soften the blow of a bad faux glow. Soaking in a bath with some baking soda, and sometimes a lemon wedge can help lighten a dark line. Body-hair bleach can help with excess color on your cuticles or nails and callused skin on your toes. And while self-tanning has plenty of positives, the harsh reality is the chemical reaction that leaves behind an unpleasant smell is also the one responsible for color change. You can help eliminate the odor by applying your own essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus or menthol, either to your product or in a spray bottle with some water to use as a refresher after showering. And finally, for the best way to buff away too much tan, try using a dry brush, like Tampico’s Dry Skin Brush, in a circular motion before stepping into the shower.

Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush, $8, Amazon


Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush, $8, Amazon

This article was originally published on June 1, 2010 on

RELATED: 7 high-tech beauty gadgets you can buy at the drugstore

TODAY Style Squad member and author of “The Power of Style,” Bobbie Thomas shares the buzz about beauty, fashion and more on TODAY and at Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We all know the sun is our skin’s greatest enemy.

So if you’re after a golden glow, the only safe way to get it is from a bottle of self-tanner.

Or is it?

There’s no question that a fake tan is preferable to lying out in the sun or on a tanning bed and risking skin damage and skin cancer.

But you might be surprised to discover how self-tanner does its job—and how it, too, can have aging effects!

In this tutorial, you will learn:

  • How self-tanners temporarily change your skin colour
  • What they’re really doing to your skin and body
  • How to make self-tanner less damaging
  • The best alternatives to self-tanner

How Does Self-Tanner Work?


First, let’s talk about the mechanism behind self-tanners (as well as spray tans) that creates the look of tanned skin.

The active ingredient in all tanning products is dihydroxyacetone. Also known as DHA, this is a simple carbohydrate that can be derived either chemically or from natural sources such as beets and cane sugar.

When you apply a product containing DHA, it reacts with the amino acids in the top layer of your skin. This generates pigments called melanoidins, which appear brown because they absorb certain wavelengths of light.

This process is known as the “Maillard reaction.” It starts within two to four hours after applying self-tanner, and continues for up to 72 hours.

During this time, it will emit that distinctive self-tanner smell, because of the chemical reaction taking place. (ALL DHA products produce it; brands just add different fragrances to try to mask it.)

Your resulting tan can last up 10 days, but will start to fade within three to seven days as you naturally shed dead skin cells.

Is Self-Tanner Safe?

Photo: @molliecampsie

As you may have guessed, the problem with self-tanners is the DHA.

That Maillard reaction I mentioned, that takes place when you apply DHA to your skin?

It’s the same thing that occurs when you caramelize sugar or grill meat. So even though you’re avoiding the sun, you’re STILL roasting your skin!

Here’s what happens:

  • Oxidative stress: The Maillard reaction from self-tanners generates free radicals, leading to oxidative stress. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical byproducts that attack cell structures and degrade collagen and elastin fibres. They can lead to premature aging, wrinkles and sagging skin!
  • Accelerated sun damage: The oxidative stress gets even worse if you go out in the sun after applying self-tanner, because UV makes DHA more unstable. This study found: “In DHA-treated skin, more than 180 percent additional radicals were generated during sun exposure with respect to untreated skin.”
  • DNA damage: DHA has also been linked to DNA damage. This study concluded: “The genotoxic capacity of DHA raises a question about the long-term clinical consequences of treatment of the skin with this commonly used compound.”
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Regular use of self-tanners may even reduce your vitamin D. This study found that the melanoidin pigments created by DHA can inhibit the body’s vitamin D production.
  • Irritation: Self-tanner can also lead to skin irritation and a weakened skin barrier. This study found that regular applications of DHA caused severe contact dermatitis and a damaged stratum corneum. Plus, most self-tanners contain fragrances to mask the DHA smell, and fragrance is the number one cause of skin sensitivities.

All of these concerns apply to spray tans, too. In fact, spray tans are even riskier than lotions. When DHA is inhaled or exposed to mucous membranes, it can cause serious harm to your respiratory system and can even promote certain cancers. Don’t get spray tans!

DHA-Free Self-Tanner

Photo: @salongvisage

So now you’re probably wondering about the new generation of “DHA-free” products.

Maybe you’ve seen formulas like The Chemistry Brand Glow Oil or Hylamide Glow Radiance Booster, which are said to be gentler alternatives to self-tanner.

According to parent company DECIEM, both contain a “purified keto-sugar that reacts with skin amino acids to produce a golden tone within two to three days without the sensory drawbacks and potential negative effects associated with DHA.”

Sounds perfect, right?

Well, a closer look at their ingredients lists reveals that the active ingredient in DHA-free self-tanners is something called erythrulose.

And what is erythrulose? Essentially the same thing as DHA!

This report explains: “Erythrulose is similar in composition to DHA. It is found naturally in red raspberries. Applied by itself, erythrulose takes longer to produce a tan, and the resulting tan fades quicker. The tan produced is also more red than brown in appearance. However, when combined with DHA, the tan reportedly lasts longer, fades better, and provides a more attractive tone. Erythrulose, however, has also been shown to increase production of free radicals similar to the effect seen with DHA.”

So, DHA-free formulas have the same side effects as DHA on your skin!

How to Make Self-Tanner Less Damaging

Photo: @matildadjerf

Okay, let’s say you STILL want to go ahead and use self-tanner.

Here’s how you might limit some of the damage:

  • Protect yourself from the sun: Since UV rays will amplify DHA-induced free radicals, you want to avoid sun exposure on any DHA-treated skin if possible. Otherwise, be religious with a highly protective mineral sunscreen like CyberDerm Simply Zinc Ultra SPF 50 (for face) or Coppertone Pure & Simple Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 (for body). See my mineral sunscreen guide for more product recommendations.
  • Wear an antioxidant: This study found that using an antioxidant with DHA products could help minimize free radical damage. Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid is the strongest and most proven antioxidant. You’ll find it in SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, Timeless 20% C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum and Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster. For your body, Thinksport has a sunscreen with ascorbic acid, while Sanitas has a body lotion with the vitamin C derivative tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.
  • Take an antioxidant: It may also help to take an oral antioxidant, like vitamin E (which is very safe). I look for brands with as few additives as possible, like Life Extension.
  • Use it less often: Save self-tanner for special occasions only—not every day.

The Best Alternatives to Self-Tanner

Photo: @samanthaljeffery

You may not even miss self-tanner after you try some of the products below!

I’m talking about body bronzers and tinted body luminizers that deliver instant, transfer-resistant colour and then wash right off—no DHA or erythrulose required.

Bonus: They have no icky self-tanner smell, either!

Here are the best self-tanner alternatives to try:

Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer

Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer

Isle of Paradise Disco Tan Instant Wash-Off Body Bronzer is a new body bronzer in Sephora’s Clean Beauty department. It comes in one shade that will suit light to medium skin best. There is a bit of shimmer through it, but it’s very subtle.

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish is a light-reflecting BB cream for your face and body. It comes in three shades, Light, Medium and Dark, with barely-there shimmer that helps “blur” imperfections.

James Read Enhance Body Foundation Wash Off Tan

James Read Enhance Body Foundation Wash Off Tan

James Read Enhance Body Foundation Wash Off Tan is a water-resistant tinted lotion for face and body. It comes in one shade, but you can mix it with your moisturizer or body lotion for a lighter colour. To go deeper, you simply apply a second layer.

Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions Glow Oil

Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions Glow Oil

Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions Glow Oil is a water-resistant tinted luminizer for face and body. The texture is an oil, and there are five shades, two of which have a bronzey tint. You can apply it straight to your body, but for face, it should be mixed with foundation.

Huda Beauty N.Y.M.P.H. Not Your Mama’s Panty Hose All Over Body Highlighter

Huda Beauty N.Y.M.P.H. Not Your Mama’s Panty Hose All Over Body Highlighter

Huda Beauty N.Y.M.P.H. Not Your Mama’s Panty Hose All Over Body Highlighter is a transfer-resistant tinted body luminizer. It comes in three very shimmery shades, and should be buffed on with a brush for best results. You can also mix it with foundation.

NARS Monoï Body Glow

NARS Monoï Body Glow

NARS Monoï Body Glow is a cult classic body oil with a sheer bronze tint and fine golden shimmer. The scent of this one is addictive, thanks to the Tahitian monoï oil and notes of frangipani, ylang ylang and vanilla.

St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion

St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion

St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion is a water-resistant tinted lotion for face and body. It comes in two shades, Light/Medium and Medium/Dark, and has a matte (not shimmery) finish.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist is a transfer-resistant tinted gel that you spray onto your legs (although you could apply it elsewhere, too, if you have a friend to help!). It comes in one matte bronze colour.

Tarte Better Bod Bronze & Contour

Tarte Better Bod Bronze & Contour

Tarte Better Bod Bronze & Contour is a waterproof body bronzer that is sold with a mitt to help you achieve the perfect application. It has just one shade, a natural bronze, and is completely matte.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup is a water-resistant and transfer-resistant tinted spray for the legs. This one comes in an impressive six shades, for every skin tone from fair to deep. There are some flecks of shimmer, but it’s not that noticeable.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Lotion Leg Makeup

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Lotion Leg Makeup

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Lotion Leg Makeup is a water-resistant and transfer-resistant tinted lotion, technically meant for the legs but you could also apply it all-over. It comes in five shades, with no detectable shimmer.


Photo: @pipsy_pie

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but self-tanner just isn’t as safe as we’ve been led to believe.

Yes, it’s way better than unprotected sun exposure. But as this study puts it, self-tanner STILL “may cause cell damage via free radical reactions.” I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty alarming!

Hopefully, you’ll at least consider limiting your use of self-tanners, and taking appropriate precautions when you do choose to apply one.

And if you’re at all concerned about protecting your skin from premature aging, I think it’s worth it to switch to a wash-off bronzer. There are so many great options now, you can get a naturally sun-kissed look—with none of the scary side effects!

Shop Editor’s Picks

Do you use self-tanner?
Will you be trying these alternatives instead?

Today, find the perfect

Suvara’s Airbrush Tan, photo courtesy: Mila Radulovic, March 22, 2012

Suvara’s Vitamin-Infused Spray Tan Gets You Glowing (The Healthy Way)

Suvara’s Airbrush Tan Uses a Vitamin Enriched, All Natural Formula to achieve a healthy golden glow

WHAT: Suvara’s Airbrush Tan

PRICES: Range from $40 for face and neck to $95 for full body

WHERE: Click here for a full list of locations

Spray tans often get a bad rap, and for good reason. Many treatments can leave one looking more like an oompa-loompa rather than a sun-kissed goddess, with formulas stocked full of harmful ingredients—think anti-freeze, formaldehyde, and artificial preservatives—that can cause skin to feel dry and flaky. But thankfully, one company has found a way to combat said downfalls of those notorious spray-tans-gone-wrong, with an all-natural, airbrush service.

It’s called Suvara, a brand dedicated to creating healthy glows using skin-friendly ingredients. And since bikini season is so close I can almost taste it, I decided to test out the famed service—which has been featured in the likes of Allure, InStyle, and Cosmopolitan, to name a few—at the Ricardo Rojas Salon on 67th Street.

I entered the chic, Upper East Side digs (outfitted with silver wallpaper and crystal chandeliers) and met with tanning guru Anna Stankiewicz, whose client list includes Fergie, Iman and Jessica Simpson. Stankiewicz, who helped develop the 100 per cent natural formula, assessed my fair skin tone and suggested a light wash of color for a subtle sun-kissed look.

I stripped down and she carefully applied a balm between my fingers and toes, which, she explained, helps prevent any orange buildup. Next, she carefully sprayed my entire body, blotting and blending the solution with a small brush to ensure a streak-free result. The spray felt pleasantly moisturizing, no surprise considering it’s made with skin-soothing ingredients including organic Aloe Vera, vitamins A, C, and E, and triple purified water.

After drying under a few fans for about 5 minutes, I surveyed Stankiewicz’s work. My skin had a perfect, bronzy look, free of the icky orange tint that screams spray-tan-gone-wrong. Days later, I still have a healthy dose of streak-free color that is fading naturally (no peeling or spotting to be seen). Let’s just say I’ll be going back for more.—AMANDA LIBBY

Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion Review

Product Name: Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion

Overall Rating:

Product Type: Lotion

Size: 8 oz

Price: $27.99

Cost Per Ounce: $3.50

Where To Buy:

Top 10 Ingredients: Purified Water, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil, Dihydroxyacetone, Apricot Kernel Oil, Cherry Kernel Oil

Overall Opinion:

Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion earned 3 out of 5 stars after I tested it out.

It’s hydrating and easy to use, which are both positives. The smell isn’t bad, but it does smell like self tanner the next morning.

I ended up having mixed feelings on whether I liked my tan or not. At first, I did because it was dark and streak free. But once I went outside in the natural light, I realized my tan had an orange hue to it, which made it look like a fake tan. I think the color will look more natural on those with olive skin tones.

My tan lasted about 4-5 days which was good. Although, it didn’t look very natural as it faded.

So overall, this has its pros and a few cons as well, so I ranked it 3 out of 5 stars.

Detailed Opinion:

Look and Feel

This self tanner is a very thick, white cream. It doesn’t have any immediate color to it. The texture is very emollient and hydrating.


I didn’t use a tanning mitt when I applied this one because I wasn’t too worried about it staining my palms. I kind of wish I used a mitt in hindsight because my palms ended up slightly orange.

Other than that, applying it was okay. It goes on like you’d apply your normal body moisturizer. You can’t see where you’re applying it due to the lack of guide, so just make sure to cover all areas.

Although it’s white in texture, it’s pretty thick, so it takes a while to blend in. It stayed white on my skin for a few minutes before completely blending in.

At least application was very clean, and I didn’t have a guide staining anything!

Drying Time

Because of how thick Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion is, I thought it would take forever to dry. It took about 20 minutes to completely dry, which is pretty average. I was okay with the drying time, although it was a little sticky while I waited for it to dry.

The nice thing is I could throw my clothes back on after 20 minutes, and I didn’t need to worry about the tanner staining anything because it doesn’t have a color guide.

Smell (Before Application)

The smell of this self tanner is light and citrusy. The smell was okay; I didn’t mind it, but it also wasn’t my favorite.

The citrus scent reminded me a little of cleaning products, but it’s better than smelling DHA!

Smell (After Several Hours And The Next Day)

The next morning I woke up and could smell some DHA. The citrus smell was also gone, so the smell wasn’t very pleasant.

Color Produced

After I showered the product off, I was happy with how my tan looked. It looked dark and sunkissed. However, when I went outdoors, I noticed that my tan had an orange tint to it. The orange color was only visible when I was in natural lighting, but it still made me self-conscious. It wasn’t the worse color ever, I’d rather be orange than pasty white, but for some of you, this one will definitely be too orangey.

I kind of had mixed emotions about the tan it gave me, because on one hand I liked how dark it was, but on the other, it looked orange outside. I think this self tanner would be a better fit for those with deeper olive skin tone.

I didn’t notice any streaking or patchiness with this one, so that’s a plus.

How Long It Lasts

My tan lasted 4-5 days with Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion. I was happy it lasted this long, although I wish the color was more natural looking on my skin.

As it faded, it looked pretty bad. I had some areas, like in my elbow creases, that looked so scaly.

OK For Men?

Only if you have a darker complexion to start off with, or else I think it will be orangey on you.


Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion is $27.99 per bottle, which is $3.50 per ounce. That’s a good price, as it’s a little less than your average self tanner.

Where To Buy

To buy Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion, .

Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion: Summary

Factor Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion
Overall Rating
Look and Feel This is a very thick, white creamy lotion.
Application Applying isn’t messy, but it took a few minutes to blend in.
Drying Time It took around 20 minutes to dry and was a little sticky while it dried.
Smell (Before) Smells light and citrusy.
Smell (After) Smells like DHA (self tanner) the next day.
Color Produced My tan was dark, but it had an orange hue when I went outside.
How Long It Lasts It lasted 4-5 days.
OK For Men? Only if you have a darker skin tone to begin with.
Price It’s $3.50 per ounce, which is less than average.
Where To Buy

Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion Review

Just Nutritive Body Nutritive Serum Review

I find the Just Nutritive Body Nutritive Serum to be a decent tanning oil/moisturizer.

This is merely a tanning oil for enhancing the look of your skin during and after sunbathing; it keeps your skin hydrated and supple as the sun penetrates it. There are no tanning agents, i.e. dyes or bronzers to darken your complexion.

The serum goes on clear and serves as a super moisturizer so that your skin doesn’t dry out during tanning.

It can also be used without excessive sun exposure and simply as a daily moisturizer however, I’m not a fan of the smell of this tanning serum. It has the scent of some type of plant-based chemical mixed with some fragrant and is not something you’d normally associate with a skin care product or want to have on your skin throughout your day to day routine.

Application is important to achieving the best results with using tanning products and especially this tanning serum.

You may want to rid your skin of all other types of skin products, so perhaps its best to take a shower before applying. Then spray the serum on several parts of a particular body part – for example, I spray a couple tads along the length of my hands/ arms and then rub the solution into my skin in a massaging motion.

I continue using this method to apply the serum all over my body with the intent of smoothing and evening it out everywhere that will be exposed to the sun.

I use a sunscreen mist with this serum, because it doesn’t have SPF protection. I apply the serum first then the mist after, just lightly spraying it over my body without rubbing it in.

The mist goes on light without affecting the way the serum coats my skin. I usually lay out in the sun for about 30 – 40 minutes with both products on my skin, this allows me to get a great golden, sun kissed tan all without getting burnt or blotchy looking skin.

The texture of the Body Nutritive serum is similar to that of a rich kind of oil; it is quite silky and goes on very smooth. It leaves my skin looking shiny and feeling deeply moisturized in just one use.

I would say it is also very water resistant as I find that when I begin sweating from sitting out in the sun, it simply forms water droplets on my skin, preventing the sweat from penetrating.

They’re several Just Nutritive products, from tanning oils and lotions to shampoo and conditioner.

The packaging and bottles are almost the same looking and differ in size, lid covers and dispensers.

This particular one — the Just Nutritive Body Nutritive Serum, like the other variants of its brand, is contained in a translucent dark brown bottle with a spray-top dispenser. The label in front is beige with the Just Nutritive name written in green and in an artsy script. The product type, i.e. Body Nutritive Serum is written in red below followed by a short summary of the serum’s description.

Overall it’s a very simple design and it quite easy to locate in the event you decide to give it a try.

They are sold online at the Just Natural (JN) Skin Care store as well as amazon and also at your local Target or Walmart locations.

Best Just Nutritive Sunless Tanning Lotion of 2020 – Top Rated & Reviewed

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#1 Self Tanner with Organic & Natural Ingredients, Tanning Lotion, Sunless Tanning Lotion for Flawless Darker Bronzer Skin, Self Tanning Lotion – Self Tanners Best Sellers, Fake Tan

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#2 Self Tanner – Tanning Lotion w/Organic & Natural Ingredients, Sunless Tanning Lotion for Flawless Light to Medium Tan, Self Tanning Lotion – Self Tanners Best Sellers, Fake Tan

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#3 Sunless Tanning – Anti-Aging

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#4 Body Nutritive Serum | Best Skin Care Moisturizer | Best Way To Achieve That Golden Sun Kissed Tan | Get the Best Looking and Feeling Skin Ever | 13 Skin Loving Ingredients

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#5 Sunless Tanning – Anti-Aging

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#6 Sunless Tanning Lotion – Light to Medium tones

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#7 Self Tanner with Organic & Natural Ingredients, Tanning Lotion, Sunless Tanning Lotion for Flawless Darker Bronzer Skin, Self Tanning Lotion – Self Tanners Best Sellers, Fake Tan

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#8 Anti-Aging Body Treatment | The Best Anti-Aging Treatment for Your Body

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#9 Body Nutritive Serum | Best Skin Care Moisturizer | Best Way To Achieve That Golden Sun Kissed Tan | Get the Best Looking and Feeling Skin Ever | 13 Skin Loving Ingredients

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#10 Tanning Indoor Lotion | Best Tanning Bed Lotion | Skin Loving Tan Extending

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Lotion before self tanner

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