Let’s talk self tanning. I know it can be a little overwhelming. Is the product I’m using good? Am I doing it right? I shared a before and after picture on my Instagram after using at home tan and immediately had questions. Isn’t it funny 10 years ago I felt like no one self tanned and if you did you tried to hid it, LOL how times have changed. Now every blogger and influencer you follow is sharing their self tanning secrets. -Here is what I have learned!

What I use:

I will be honest I have not used many different self tanning products. A blogger I had followed forever always had the best tan. Just beautiful and natural brown tan. Not orange and spotty. She had shared many times what she had used but it was not until I was in my local Walgreens and walked by a shelf holding Bondi Sands self tanning products that it hit me I had saw this stuff before. I was surprised her flawless tan came from a drug store product. I decided to give it a try. I grabbed the DARK tanning foam- note I now use the ULTRA DARK and would recommend it over the dark. Do not be scared of the name. I am not naturally tan and pretty fair and I never feel overwhelmed by the color. I would highly recommend using a mitt. You are just asking for a mess applying without. I also grabbed the everyday gradual tanning milk. I love the milk for keeping my tan and also keeping my skin moisturized.


Like any self tanning experience prep is important. You want fresh, clean skin. I make sure to exfoliate and shave prior to application. After my shower I do not add lotions or deodorant to my body. I also prefer to apply in the morning and wear it between 6-8 hours. I have friends who prefer to sleep with it on. My husband complains about the smell- I personally don’t mind the smell.


I start from my bottom to my top, starting mid shin and working the product with my mitt to my ankles and knees kind of fading into the arch of my ankle and bend of my knees. DO NOT apply product directly to your feet our knees use the left over on your mitt. That skin is typically more dry and will cause dirty looking buildup. I do the same concept with my arms starting in the middle and working the product down my arm to my hands and then up to the elbows. I DO NOT use any self tanner on my breast (I still breastfeed) or my face. I go right under my chin and ears and use the same fading movements- same around my chest.

After applying all the tanning product I will get a very small amount of lotion – I like Vaseline lotion and will apply to my elbows, knees, ankles and bend of my wrist. This helps with that dirty build up I was talking about. I then DO NOT wash my hands but use a baby wipe, a makeup wipe will also work but I clean my hands going around the outside of my fingers and my palms. I do not want to take the color off the top of my hands. Washing will do that.

I DO NOT apply clothing for about ten minutes after application. Today I vacuumed while I waited LOL after about ten minutes I will either wear my robe or I will put on very loose fitting clothing- I would not wear a bra either. I always plan my tanning days around being home all day and obviously not seeing anyone besides my husband and kids. I would NOT wear anything good and would definitely stick to darker clothing because I have noticed transfer before. It will come off in the wash but I like to stick to old ratty pajamas.

You will also notice product wash off in the shower. That is totally normal and that is not your tan washing away. – I always use a scrub with a rough brush on my knees, elbows, feet and wrist when I wash as well.


You will also want to lotion well after you shower or bath. This will help keep your tan longer. I usually use the tanning milk I talked about around day three to help boost my tan and keep it fresh. I apply self tanner once a week sometimes a little longer if the weather is not going to be good and my skin will be covered.


I am not a expert. Just like applying eyeliner everything in the world of beauty takes a little practice. Just don’t be scared and be careful when you apply and I hope this helps!

After applying my at home tan. My swimsuit is currently on sale and linked in my Like To Know It account.

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