Self Tan Routine

Hey guys!

I wanted to brighten up this Monday a little bit by doing a post about self tanning! I’ve had a lot of requests for a post like this so I figured now would be the perfect time to share since the weather is finally warming up!

I’ve already done a self tanning post –here– from a few years ago when I was using St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse, I still love and use this product on occasion but now that I’ve discovered St.Tropez Self Tan Express I find myself reaching for the express mousse a lot more. The express is great for when you want the option to customize the shade of your tan, and the wait time is much shorter then the original.

*If you’ve never used a tanner like this before make sure you buy the application mitt to apply to product! It’ll save your hands and leaves your tan streak free 🙂

Okay so lets jump into the routine!

Before I tan I always make sure to shower, shave (shaving once you have tanner on makes it fade faster, which you don’t want!) and exfoliate using this product.


This exfoliater is great because it’s water based, so it wont effect the application of your tan afterwards. *Watch out of oil based exfoliaters because they will prevent your tan from soaking properly into your skin!

Next – I dry off completely after the shower and apply a light layer of moisturizer to my hands, feet, heels, knees and elbows. Self tanner seeps into dry skin more then hydrated skin resulting in a darker tan in dry areas. So to ensure you get an even tan throughout your whole body you want to apply a barrier of moisturizer to dry areas before applying the tanner.

After that I take my tanner and application mitt, and apply my tanning mousse in circular motions to my body, I usually start on my legs and work my way up to my neck (I don’t apply tanner to my face), applying any left over tanner on the mitt to my feet and hands at the very end.

I don’t recommend applying a full pump of tanner to your hands and feet because they will most likely get too dark and patchy. Always remember when applying the tanner to any of your joints – fingers, knees, elbows, toes, ect. that you should always have them bent when applying, so you get the tanner into all the cracks and creases…I have learned this from experience haha!

Once I’ve finished applying my tanner I take a make-up wipe and just wipe off the under side of my hands in case any tanner got into them, and then I do a quick wipe over my nails so the tanner doesn’t discolor them.

Now I wait for my tan to set (remember not to get wet before you’re at your desired shade or your tan will stop setting)-wait 1 hour for a beachy glow, 2 hours for a golden tan, or 3 hours for a deep dark tan, I usually opt for the darkest tan I can get, which is a 3 hour wait.

because I want my tan to be as dark as it can be, I like to apply it before bed and go to sleep while it sets. I find it a lot easier applying the tan before bed because you don’t have to worry about getting it wet or transferring the mousse onto your good clothes. When I go to bed I just throw some loose sweat pants and an over sized shirt on to protect my sheets – the tan only transfers when its fresh – once you shower the excess off it wont transfer anymore.

The next morning or after I’m at my desired shade I hop into the shower and rinse off. I don’t like to use my loufa because it fades the tan faster so with my hands I just use a little body wash and rinse with water.

After I get out of the shower I like to throw on my favorite body moisturizer just to lock in the tan and I find it makes the tan look a little richer which is always good!


and taa daa, I’ve got a gorgeous natural looking tan 🙂

As for up keep I usually use a tinted moisturizer (I rotate between this one and this one) every couple days and then re-apply my Express Mousse around every 5 days.

The tan lasts really well for quite a while (at least a week), but I find myself reapplying mostly because the tan on my hands fade after just a few days because of how often I wash them.


I hope this post was helpful to anyone looking to try out self-tanning, I absolutely love it and don’t think I’ll ever stop doing it. With how advanced the formulas are getting, and how real the colour looks on skin, it just makes so much more sense for me to self-tan then to sit in the sun and age my skin.

Thanks so much for reading!



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