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Self-Tanning: 10 Things to Avoid

One of the realities of my job is that sometimes I need to look perfectly tan, even when I haven’t been in the sun forever.  When it happens, I turn to self-tanning and like magic, I’m pleasantly honey colored without the effects of the sun.  While this may sound easy, there are a few things to avoid when you decide to go the self-tanning route.  Here are a few tips that I’ve collected over the years:

Never apply after more than two glasses of wine.

This may seem obvious, but trust me, don’t even think about it.

Don’t put body-tanner on your face.

It just looks weird. Enough said.

Directions always tell you to use rubber gloves so it doesn’t stain your hands.

DON”T, under any circumstances, use the rubber gloves.  It just swirls it around like your cleaning a table after you spilled milk.

Don’t try to use liquid soap to wash your hands.

Use a good old fashioned bar of soap and a dry hand towel to scrub. If you have powder laundry detergent, rub a quarter cup between your hands.

Don’t’ wear white the next day.

The product will say it doesn’t come off on clothes but, guess what?  It does!

Don’t forget that just because you can’t see your back others won’t as well.

The two tone look is not attractive.  Your brand is at stake here, make sure you apply all over.

Don’t put tanner on when you’re staying overnight at a friends house.

You’ll stain her sheets and towels. It eventually comes out but it’s no way to treat a friend.

If you apply self-tanner at a hotel, make sure you tip well.

So the housekeeper doesn’t spread bad rumors about how dirty you are.

Don’t try to “create” abs by applying tanner in dark lines along your tummy.

Your stomach will look like a lousy abstract painting.

Don’t apply tanner while waiting for a food delivery.

You have to wait in your underwear for it to dry and the food always comes early. (The pizza guy might not like this tip!)

Do you have any experience with self-tanning?  Add your DON’Ts to the comments section.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Don’t apply the body-tanner for the first time a day before some big event (wedding, graduation…). Test it out first to find the right shade and brand. If not, you may look very very strange in pictures.

  2. I go to the tanning salon and do a spray tan…usually comes out well…sometimes I do’t put enough barrier cream on my elbows and fingers and feet…when that happens a pumice stone works well to remove the ” orange” stain from these areas. Samantha….how come you don’t get a professional to spray tan you???

  3. Great list! I would also add “Use a high quality self tanner”. That can make all the difference in the world. For a list of some I like, check out That’s where I found out about Clinique Self Sun and I’ve been using it ever since 🙂

  4. what a joke………I could have taken a loan out at the bank quicker than this goes through…….I’ve tried 6 times……..I won’t be trying a 7th. Very dissapointed

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