How To Apply Gradual Tanning Moisturiser

Woman applying self tannin lotion with glove

If you’re longing for sun-kissed skin all year round but don’t want to damage your skin to be damaged by harmful UV rays, then reaching for a gradual tanning moisturiser may just be the product you’ve been searching for.

Perhaps you’re just getting into trying your hand at the tanning life or maybe you’re just sick of the having to scrub away the weekly reminiscence of fake tan that clings to your skin resembling tiger bread. Either way, a gradual tanning moisturiser could be the key to the all-year-around sun-kissed glow.

Such a glow can give an instant confidence boost and is especially longed for in the winter months when a natural tan is harder to accomplish due to the much lower-level of UV rays.

Gradual tanning moisturiser VS instant fake tan

Gradual tanner does just what as says on the tin, gradually deposits tan on to your skin that can be built up over multiple uses to control the level of tan you are aiming for. Whereas, instant fake tan develops within a few hours and gives you the darkest level of tan from the first use.

Some may lean towards using a gradual tanner over instant tan due to the easy nature of it being included in the form of a moisturiser. This makes applying it everyday as part of your skin care routine super-simple to maintain a tan. Instant tanning products can also be drying on the skin which makes the added benefits of an integrated moisturiser much more appealing. This way you only need to apply one product rather than keep up with both tan and moisturiser, making the lazy babes (like me) tanned with minimal effort. Gradual tan also allows you much finer control over the depth of tone your skin takes on.

However, instant tan does have its perks. If you’re looking for a higher level of tanned straight away for instance, an event or big night out (or just because you’re impatient and want to feel like a bronzed goddess straight away) then you can apply once and be done with the tanning process. Instant tanning lotions typically also come with a colour guide which makes it much easier to see where you are applying the product for a streak-free application.

For those just starting their journey to tanned skin gradual tanning moisturisers are the perfect first step to get you acquainted with fake tan, whilst keeping the skin hydrated through its moisturising ability.

How to apply gradual tanning moisturiser

If you’re already well acquainted with how to apply fake tan, then creating a streak free look with a gradual tanning moisturiser should be no bother for you. The motion is pretty much muscle memory at this point for fake tan lovers but, if you’re a tanning novice then here are a few top tips to have your glow looking natural and, most importantly, streak-free!

Step 1

Before getting into the nitty gritty of actually applying a gradual tanning moisturiser it’s important to prep your skin to achieve the most streak free finish. This way you tan will continue to look perfect for as long as possible. Exfoliating away dead skin cells is vital for an even application. If your skin hasn’t been properly exfoliated, then tan can cling to dry areas and leave your tan looking patchy – not the look we’re going for.

Using exfoliating gloves 2-3 times a week is the key to keeping your skin properly prepped for your gradual tanning routine and also ensures you forgo the unwanted patchy tan stage. Before progressing with any tan application make sure your skin is completely dry to get the best results.

Once you’ve exfoliated and have bone dry skin, it’s time to start applying. Gradual tan is often more forgiving than instant tan in terms of leaving lingering marks, so it is possible for you use your hands to apply without getting orange looking palms as long as you wash your hands after use. However, if you want to bypass worrying about washing away any residue on your palms after, reaching for a tanning mitt will give you the most even application.

Step 2

Squeeze a two pound coin-sized amount of product on your mitt and begin applying to your skin. Start on your legs and thighs and work the product in large circular motions, reapplying product to your mitt as needed.

The key to a streak-free application is patience! Take your time to work the moisturiser over every inch of your body going over the same areas multiple times to avoid streaks. It may feel like a workout but believe me it’ll be worth it in the end. Rushing the application will only leave you with patchy skin that requires even more work to put right.

Take special care when applying on the feet and hands, working the product into every crevice, between your fingers and toes. When applying tan on your hands place your hands into a claw shape to ensure no crease is left behind.

Once you are happy that no inch has been left untouched allow the moisturiser to dry fully on your skin. Depending on your natural skin colour you should start to see results within the first few uses.

The best gradual tanning moisturisers

Now you know how to apply gradual tanning moisturiser we’re going to take a look at the best products in the game. As a fake tan fanatic I have tried many of these potions and lotions over the years but one reins victorious in it’s streak free, gradual tanning abilities. Let me introduce you to the Dove DermaSpa Summer Revived Shimmer!

I don’t know anyone who has tried this gradual tanner and not loved it! I usually use it to boost my natural tan, deepen my instant tan or just give me a little more colour on those weeks I’m too lazy to keep up with my fake tan routine (so pretty much always!).

You can use this product on both your face and body, although I usually keep to just my body to not disturb my usual skincare routine. This bronzing beauty keeps my skin glowing and hydrated in one bottle while being extremely forgiving and gentle with it’s tanning, meaning you’ll be hard pressed to find streaks.

Another option that I reach for secondary to the Dove Dermaspa is the Garnier Body Summer Body. This gives you a decent all around gradual tan that works harmoniously with your natural skin colour to leave your skin looking naturally sun-kissed. I do find you need to be slightly more mindful of your application with this gradual tanner but all in all it’s fabulous and extremely fast absorbing on the skin. I also prefer the smell of this tan, so if that’s a make or break feature for you then the Garnier Summer Body Gradual Tan Moisturiser may be your newest BFF.

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