Ask Jean: 7 Steps for the Perfect Natural-Looking Self-Tan

woman laying out in the sun

Photograph courtesy of Valentina Munton

Ask Jean: 7 Steps for the Good Pure-Trying Self-Tan

Jean Godfrey-June

We need to reply your most urgent questions—or, , simply the issues that you simply’re interested by. Please maintain them coming to [email protected] Under, aq for our magnificence director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Expensive Jean, It is summer season, and I undoubtedly look higher with a tan. However I am starting to know how not good for my well being tanning my pores and skin really is. How do I exploit self-tanner in order that it seems to be like a legit tan? And what’s the perfect one? —Cate R.

Expensive Cate, I will begin along with your second query: As a result of my self-tanner obsession must be one of the crucial intense of all time, I’ve tried all of them—and I like only a few. What I need in a self-tanner is sort of unimaginable: imperceptible past “Did you go on trip?” and “You look so effectively rested!” I do not need it to odor, streak, or be too darkish or too gentle, and I need it to final so long as attainable. You’d suppose that as a result of the lively ingredient in self-tanner is all the time the identical (DHA, a pure sugar spinoff that stains the highest, lifeless cells of your pores and skin—I do know, so appealing-sounding), most tanners would give related outcomes , however this isn’t the case.

This clear self-tanner from Saltyface is a light-weight, fluffy tanning foam that is a full-on miracle when it comes to how simple it’s to mix, and the refined, ultranatural coloration it leaves behind is one thing you must see to imagine. Someway the froth is gentle and moisturizing sufficient that it melts into your pores and skin, reasonably than seizing on it, as many no-transfer tanners do. I’ve all the time been skeptical of fast-drying tanners, significantly people who aren’t tinted: In poor health-placed, unblended tanner invariably develops into unnatural streaks and blotches. However this one, as I stated, is a miracle.

  1. Saltyface Tanning Foam

    Tanning Foam
    goop, $62


It takes solely seconds to use due to its lightness. It looks like nothing in your pores and skin: not sticky, not tight, nothing. And once you get up (I prefer to put it on at night time, however due to its no-transfer qualities, you may apply it, put in your garments, and go about your day in case you like), the tan is clean, completely pure, splotchless, and completely glowy. The colour is neither an aggressive tan nor a pale nothing, however actually the best wholesome glow.

I exploit a tanning mitt to use it, but it surely’s wonderful to make use of your arms—simply clean cream between your palms and let it sink in earlier than you begin, then wash your arms when you’re completed with the tanner (see under for the last word step-by-step self-tan). It is as good for a fast leg reawakening as it’s for a full-on beach-day-tomorrow tan. (Having a tan earlier than entering into the solar not solely makes you look higher; it additionally means you will not hesitate to slather on SPF 30 or greater, which couldn’t be extra vital.)

  1. Saint Jane Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30, goop, $38

    Saint Jane
    Luxurious Solar Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30
    goop, $38


  2. The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 50 goop, $69

    The Natural Pharmacy
    Mobile Safety Solar Cream SPF 50
    goop, $69


  3. Grown Alchemist Natural Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 goop, $39

    Grown Alchemist
    Pure Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30
    goop, $39


Saltyface additionally makes a stunning tanning “water” that is superb for face. It produces the identical pure, long-lasting, streakless glow and comes with a fluffy brush for smoothing it throughout your pores and skin hands-free, which is good. You can too add a couple of drops to your every day moisturizer or SPF to nourish and hydrate pores and skin whereas giving it an instantaneous summery glow.

  1. Saltyface Tanning Water, goop, $44

    Tanning Water
    goop, $44


  2. goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion, goop, $58/$52 with subscription

    goop magnificence
    GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion
    goop, $58/$52 with subscription


  3. Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen, goop, $29

    Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen
    goop, $29



A pure, even, tremendous flattering glow is way simpler than you suppose—and far simpler than the backs of many tanner containers, together with numerous articles on the topic, make it sound. The prevailing knowledge includes assiduous exfoliation, together with some awkward time within the lavatory ready for the tanner to dry. In fact, neither is important.


The key is that physique cream—or lotion or lip balm—makes every little thing a thousand instances simpler and higher blended. I alternate between the ultranourishing, melts-right-in GOOPGENES physique butter and the gorgeously scented Backyard of Earthly Delights lotion from Sangre de Fruta. Easy an excellent dollop between your palms and between your fingers (this additionally helps forestall tanned palms), then dab the surplus wherever you’ve thicker or drier pores and skin—your elbows, ankles, tops of toes, knees. Thicker, drier pores and skin pulls in additional tanner, creating uneven darkish spots and splotches that look decidedly unnatural. By smoothing cream over these areas, you make them a little bit extra immune to the tanner, and the result’s a fair glow as a substitute of splotchiness.

The good factor is, the cream or lotion precept works both method: When you neglect about it and apply tanner with out it, you may simply go over the drier areas immediately after you do the tanner—the outcomes are the identical.

  1. Humanrace Humidifying Body Cream goop, $54

    Humidifying Physique Cream
    goop, $54


  2. Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Hand and Body Lotion

    Sangre de Fruta
    Backyard of Earthly
    Delights Hand and Physique Lotion

    goop, $93



As soon as you have protected the drier spots from overtanning, apply your self-tanner. Begin on the toes: They’re the toughest to get proper, so focus your most intense mixing consideration on them. The toes have a jillion completely different odd angles, so ensure that to get the tanner in there so you do not find yourself with evident pale spots.

  1. KORA Organics Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion

    KORA Organics
    Gradual Self-Tanning Lotion
    goop, $50



Transfer up your legs and mix. There is not any such factor as overblending. It is also arduous to overdo the quantity of tanner in your legs—including extra tanner in a single software will not make you extra tan, counterintuitively. It should merely guarantee no streaks and no missed spots. So be beneficiant.

  1. Volition Beauty Getaway Glow Gradual Tan Firming Body Moisturizer, goop, $42

    Volition Magnificence
    Getaway Glow Gradual Tan Firming Physique Moisturizer
    goop, $42



Tan solely the place you need—no must do your entire physique until you’d prefer to.
(Although in case you’re going for the partial, think about who is perhaps seeing you bare.)


If you’re carried out, wash your arms with beyond-thorough enthusiasm; tanned palms look ridiculous. Do it even in case you used a mitt. When your arms are fully dry, put a little bit of tanner on the again of 1 hand and rub the backs of your arms collectively to mix the tanner. (A tan physique with pale arms creates an alarming gloved look.)

  1. Sangre de Fruta Garden of Earthly Delights Botanical Hand Soap, goop, $48

    Sangre de Fruta

    goop, $48



When you forgot or did not need to do the body-cream trick initially, do it now (it really works simply as effectively earlier than or after). Or tear open a wipe and dab evenly on the thicker, drier spots. If you’re by means of, use the wipe to provide your palms and between your fingers a closing swipe.

  1. Herban Essentials Lavender Towelettes, goop $16

    Herban Necessities
    Lavender Towelettes
    goop, $16



As an alternative of shivering bare within the lavatory, throw on a unfastened, dark-colored sundress, shorts and a T-shirt, or some such and go about your enterprise. You should not bathe for at the very least eight hours, however there isn’t any motive to not get on along with your life. Word: When you use a no-transfer formulation just like the Saltyface, you may placed on paler garments immediately with out fear.

  1. G. Label Maas Slip Dress

    G. Label
    Maas Slip Gown
    goop, $525


  2. G. Label Son Scoop-Back T-Shirt, goop, $145

    G. Label
    Son Scoop-Again T-Shirt
    goop, $145


  3. G. Miller High-Waisted Pleated Shorts

    G. Label
    Miller Excessive-Waisted Pleated Shorts
    goop, $325


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