I recently discovered a foolproof way to get a natural and subtle sunless tan. As a pale gal, I like using self tanner on my body in the summer months, just to… take the edge off. I always protect my skin with sunscreen while out in the sun, so I rely on sunless tanners if I want a bit of a tan. My goal isn’t to deepen my skin tone dramatically — I just like to add just a hint of colour.
Here is my 2-step method for getting an ultra natural looking sunless tan that will last just as long a traditional sunless tan.
What you’ll need for subtle, sunless tan
- Exfoliating mitt or cloth
- Tanning mitt
- Buffing brush
- Self tanning mousse
Step 1: Apply tanner immediately after moisturizing
To achieve a subtle tan on my pale skin, I take a shower to exfoliate and shave. Once out of the shower I moisturize my skin using a rich cream — I love The Body Shop Body Butter. I let the cream sink in for a few minutes, and then towel off any excess.
Immediately following moisturizer, I apply the tanning mousse. This goes against every self-tanning guide I’ve read, but this gives me great results for a subtle tan. The mousse does not sink into every freshly shaven follicle, because the moisturizer acts as a buffer.
One great tip I learned from Jaclyn Hill: use a buffing brush to apply the mousse to your hands and feet. This results in an amazing blended look around your fingers/palms/wrists and toes/heels/ankles, which is often where self tanning can go very, very wrong.
I don’t apply self tanner to my face. Since I use exfoliating products as part of my skin care routine, I find it futile. Aside from that, this sunless tan method is so subtle that my face and neck can be evened out easily with my regular makeup routine. In fact, they don’t even really need to be evened out since I’m not making a dramatic change to my body’s skin tone.
Step 2: Rinse after half the recommended time
Give the mousse a few minutes to dry, and wear loose clothing while it develops. Now comes the second step: rinse off the colour guard after half the recommended time. Since I use the Loving Tan 2hr Express Deluxe Bronzing Mousse (in Medium), I rinse off the colour guard after one hour. If you’re using something like Vita Liberata, which recommends rinsing after 4-8 hours, rinse off in 2-4 hours instead.
That’s it! You are guaranteed a super subtle tan that with proper maintenance (mainly moisturizing) will last just as long as if you applied to dry skin and left it to develop for the recommended time. To maintain the subtle tan, repeat the process every 7-10 days.
Ordering Loving Tan to Canada
Loving Tan charges in US dollars, so be aware of the exchange rates. My package took about two weeks to arrive. If you’re not sure how you’ll feel about Loving Tan, try the smaller bottle. I took the risk with the 200mL bottle, and am relieved to not have to order as frequently. I think all of the hype online about this product is totally warranted. Tons of YouTubers have codes for a free exfoliating mitt — ask Google before placing your order.
Do you have any sunless tanning tips? Leave them in the comments below!