Prep Your Skin
Whether spray tanning or self tanning, exfoliating is the first step to nailing an even bronze that lasts. By using a dry brush or oil-free scrub to buff away dead skin cells, you’re not only clearing the way for tanning product to land on the top layer of the epidermis, you’re also ensuring any makeup, deodorant and oil residues—all of which can interfere with a tanning products’ even application—are a goner. Oil-free scrubs can be hard to track down, so try making your own with mashed banana and brown sugar or try H20+ Sea Moss Black Sand Body Scrub, which smoothes skin with coconut shell powder, sea salt, and volcanic black sand.
Prepping skin anytime before you apply tanner will help, but if you really want to nerd out about it, the best time to exfoliate prior to faux tanning is about eight hours before application, according to St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert Sophie Evans, who tans celebs like Victoria Beckham and Rashida Jones. “When we take a warm shower or bath and have products on our skin, the pH balance of our skin may rise, causing the self-tanning agent can go darker or lighter,” she says. “Skin with a neutral pH balance will get more perfect self-tan color results.”