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Beauty 10 months ago

self-tanning 101: my routine, tips + fave products


it is that time of year y’all. where you are coming out of the dead of winter, pale as a ghost, and starting to put on shorts or swimsuits and your skin NEEDS some sunshine haha. i personally haven’t had the time to go lay by the pool (and it’s also not quite warm enough yet) so i’ve been relying heavily on my fave self-tanning tricks and products to give me a little color & glow (without my skin being damaged by the sun! win win!).


not to toot my own horn lol but i feel like i’ve really perfected my self tanning routine / favorite products over the past year or so. i have it down to a science now. i have certain products i use when i just want a gradual, subtle glow. and then certain products i use when i want to be TAN like that night for an event or a photoshoot. so today, i want to break it all down for you guys and share what my self-tanning routine is, my tips + tricks, and my fave products!

my self-tanning essentials

you can click any product in the collage below to shop!


step 1: exfoliate + shave

before applying self tanner, exfoliating your skin is super important! you want to slough off dead skin cells, any old self tanner, and prep your skin to apply new self tanner. i love this one by lux unfiltered bc it's gentle, hydrating, and leaves your skin feeling baby soft!

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after exfoliating, make sure you also shave! this will help your self tanner to go on smoother + more evenly and also last longer. the billie razor has been my favorite razor for 3 years now!

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step 2: apply self-tanner on body + face

this is the self-tanner i use when i want to be TAN - like for an event or a photoshoot that day. this self-tanner gives you instant gratification bc you can see the color right when you put it on, but it also continues to develop over the next few hours. i love this self-tanner because it has somewhat olive undertones and really looks like you just got back from a vacation on the beach. it doesn't have any weird smell and doesn't rub off on my clothes or sheets!

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always apply your self-tanner with a bit for the most even application + to avoid your hands getting 'stained' from the self-tanner!

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i never apply self tanning mousse to my face because it would be way too dark / potentially cause breakouts. so i LOVE these bronzing face drops! they also have hydrating ingredients for your skin so it's kind of like skincare + self tanner in one. these drops are gradual so you won't notice the tan right away but after a few hours you'll notice your face has this subtle, natural, bronzed glow! i apply these every few days! you can either mix them into your face moisturizer OR i like to apply a few drops to a fluffy brush and then apply to my face for the most even application!

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make sure to check out this reel or tiktok video for a tutorial of how i apply these products!


step 3: maintain + hydrate

after you apply self-tanner, you want to keep your skin as moisturized + hydrated as much as possible to extend the life of the tan! hydrated skin definitely stays tan longer than dry skin. below i’m sharing which two products i use to keep my tan really moisturized!

i love using this self-tanning cream to extend + enhance my tan. after you do your first shower after applying self-tanner, that's when you need to start applying lotion to keep your skin hydrated. i'll start using this self-tanning cream usually on day 2 or 3. this tan is very subtle and gradual so it doesn't at all make you too dark. kind of just enhances + moisturizes the tan you already have! i also love this lotion because it smells amazing, it's made with clean ingredients, and looks so natural. just make sure to wash your hands after you apply!

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if you don't want a self-tanning lotion, THIS one is a great just everyday lotion! it's loaded with jojoba oil, squalane, shea butter, Vitamin C, & hyaluronic acid to give your skin all the hydration it needs daily!

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i think that covers it! let me know if y’all have any questions in the comments below OR if you have any favorite self-tanning products or tips i need to try out!

thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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