How To Get a Natural Looking Tan for Summer

Happy Tuesday! We are in Nashville this week testing out our new camper, and so far, we are having a great time.

Today we’re talking about how to get a natural looking tan for summer.

These days I don’t lay out in the sun for hours (I did that in my 20 and 30s). We know the sun ages our skin, so while I do spend time in the sun, I always use sunscreen and especially on my face.

I shared a post on the Top 5 Best Self Tanners, and you can read that post HERE. My favorite self tanner right now is the Loving Self Tanner. It has no smell, and it tans my skin dark.

This week since we’re camping, I brought the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops because it’s easy, and I can add it to my lotion.

How To Get a Natural Looking Tan for Summer

Should I shave before tanning?

You want smooth skin before tanning, but it’s best to shave the day before, so the hair follicles close back up. If you shave and then put on self tanner, you can get a speckled-looking tan.

Should I exfoliate before tanning?

Yes! Exfoliating is important to keep your tan looking good. I use a couple of different things to exfoliate. I have this scrub, and I also have an exfoliating glove. 

I use these when I feel like my skin is looking really dry, at least once a week.

Can I moisturize before tanning?

Moisturizer acts as a barrier, preventing the tanning formula from accessing the skin, so don’t moisturize before tanning.

I moisturize my knees, inner wrist area, ankles, toes, and elbows, so the tanner doesn’t get so dark in those areas.

How do I apply the self tanner?

Work methodically from legs upwards, using a mitt for an even tan. The mitt also keeps the tanner from building up on the palm of your hands. (If I want it on my back, I get my husband to put it there.)

If you do get self tanner on the palms of your hands, you can use a mixture of baking soda, water, and shampoo to remove it. I’ve also heard this micellar water will take it off.

(I don’t use a mitt when I use my Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops with my lotion.)

How do I apply self tanner to my face?

I don’t tan my face because I have some age spots that grab the self tanner, making them even darker.

If you want to tan your face, I would put it on the night before. Tan Ceuticals facial self tanner is a good one to use.

How long after tanning can I moisturize?

After your tan is dry, you can moisturize your skin. The more you moisturize, the better your tan will look.

Do you have any good tips for self tanning?

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by my blog. I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Beauty for the Heart~~ The Bible has a lot to say about gossip and slander. Ephesians 4:29 reminds us,

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Gossip is wrong on every level, but it’s also dangerous because you are judging someone without giving them the chance to change. Let’s be women who build people up, not tear them down.

Let your beauty shine from the inside out today!


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  1. PS. Do you shower after self tanning? I never know if it will transfer to my clothes or bed sheets. I’ve only used self Tanner a few times in the past. The smell always got to me. I’m sure they have improved. If Cyndi can’t respond can anyone else answer this? Thanks.

  2. Does the isle of paradise drops only come in DARK shade? I have light skin. Does it have a smell?

  3. I have freakishly sensitive skin and EVERY tanning product I have tried makes me break out in a horribly itchy rash. I recently purchased Tanologist tanning drops from Ulta. I have tested it a couple of different times in two different spots and adding different amounts of drops. So far no reaction. I haven’t tried it all over my legs yet. I have my fingers crossed that I won’t have a reaction. Despite having very dark hair, I didn’t inherit my mother’s beautiful olive skin and right now my legs practically glow in the dark!

    1. I am also a camper. Been camping for about fifty years.
      My husband & I live in San Antonio. We go home to Mi. Every summer just left today. Will be in Mi. June 1st. Our grandson is getting married June 12th.
      First we are going to Erie.Pa to see my Father-in-law for a week. He is Ninety one.

  4. Loving Tan is my favorite too. It’s the best I’ve ever used. Have fun glamping in Nashville!!