6 Steps on How to Self Tan Your Face

women with cream

Technically speaking there is no safe way to tan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put tanning lotion on your face. In fact, using self-tanner as opposed to the sun to get a tan is much safer in the long run.

The face can be much trickier to tan than your body, but there are certain methods that can help with preventing streaks entirely and achieving the perfect tan.

With that, let’s look at the 6 important pieces of advice for self-tanning your face:

#1 Choose the Right Tanner

To fake tan your face properly, you’ve got to start by choosing the right one.

It would be ideal to choose a self-tanner that is DHA free, not even if it is vegan DHA. This is because when UV light shines on DHA, it causes it to become more unstable, damaging the skin even more so than it usually would.

This may seem a bit of a challenge to begin with, seeing as DHA (dihydroxyacetone) is the most common active ingredient in self-tanners, but you are much better off if you are able to find one without that ingredient.

Moreover, it is important to use self-tanner that is specifically made for the face, especially if you have oily skin and/or are prone to breakouts because they are clinically tested to not block up pores, but it needs to be labeled ‘non-comedogenic’. This is because the face darkens more than your body does and so facial ones are formulated in a lighter tone to balance this out.

If that merely isn’t an option, you can use self-tanner on your face that is formulated for the body in the case that your skin is not sensitive in any way. Although, you should consider diluting it beforehand with a facial moisturizer of your choice.

As long as it is not an oil-based moisturizer, because oil acts as a barrier on the skin and will prevent the tanner from getting through as a result, so stick to lotion or cream-textured moisturizer and you’ll be just fine.

#2 Cleanse & Moisturize

Always cleanse your face thoroughly before you begin the process of self-tanning your face and be absolutely sure that you’ve completely removed any makeup and product residue.

Using an exfoliating cleanser or scrub is ideal, whether it’s chemical or physical is irrelevant. All that does matter is that it doesn’t contain any oil, otherwise the tanner may not get absorbed properly.

Moisturize any drier areas before application, such as around your nostrils, to prevent any streaks and such.

#3 Use Vaseline

This is only really necessary for anyone who has fair hair or very thin and light eyebrows; applying some Vaseline to your eyebrows and hairline prevents any coloring on the hair and it is definitely a must if you don’t want your face tan to look absurd.

As you may expect, the Vaseline stops the hair from absorbing the tanner thus preventing it from getting darker.

#4 Use a Brush Instead of Hands

It is actually better if you apply face tanner with a brush in general rather than using your fingers because it pushes the color in deeper and minimizes the risk of patching or streaking.

To apply self-tanner to face that is in mist form, simply spray it directly onto your brush and begin applying from the center of your face with circular motions.

Don’t forget about applying tanner on all sides of your neck, into your hairline, and your ears.

Only one coat is necessary for an even-looking tan.

#5 Protect the Face After Application

It’s crucial to be very careful after application and avoid touching your face so as not to ruin the tan. That’s why it’s best to let face tan sit overnight or at least a few hours after, that way it can sit and develop evenly.

Any water or toothpaste near your face and skin at all can lead to patches and streaks, so it’s important to plan accordingly and make sure that your teeth have already been brushed before you apply tanner.

As a bonus tip, consider applying a translucent powder on top of your tanner before bed as helps it set and prevents smudging as you sleep.

#6 Repeat Application

It is impossible for self-tanner to last for a long period of time on the face, not due to lack of quality or exterior interferences but rather because of how rapidly cell turnover occurs in the face.

So, to make up for this, it’s highly recommended to regularly repeat this process every few days if you want to maintain a nice and evenly tanned face.

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