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A Guide to Self-Tanning Your Back

This one is for the tanners out there with no roommate, BFF, or significant other to help out with this problematic self-tanning spot: the back. Most of us have tested our flexibility doing bathroom yoga by trying to apply self-tanners on our back (and many have, frankly, failed). Getting someone to come in and help you with a tanning sesh can be inconvenient – and probably not the best idea while we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.

If you can relate to all of the above, don’t worry – we got your back (literally). We compiled some of our quick and dirty tips to achieving a beautiful golden back without needing to call in backup troops.

Prep. Prep. Prep.

Your back might be one of the most neglected areas on your body. Not only is it hard to reach but it’s even harder to see it in the mirror everyday. Most of us have experienced dry skin, flaking, and even pesky “bacne” as a result of this. Unfortunately for our backs, self-tanning works best when you have a quality blank canvas.

If you have problematic skin on your back, all is not lost. Your best route is to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Take your favourite scrubber and have a go at your back. You can purchase back scrubbers with long handles that can thoroughly get those dead skin cells off.

If you’re planning to use your self-tan on a weekend and have a couple of days to spare, make sure you moisturise with quality skincare products that nourish your skin. If you love to sweat, remember not to stay in your soiled clothes for too long after working out.

Change your sheets

Most people think that self-tanning prep work only takes place in the bathroom – but we beg to differ. The average person that gets sufficient sleep has her back glued to their sheets for an average of 6-8 hours a day. That’s around ¼ of your life. If you spend that much time with your sheets, then you would want to make sure they are clean, quality sheets that your skin will love.

We recommend changing your sheets at least once a week or two weeks, depending on the environment your bed is in. Warmer climates definitely call for more frequent changing as sweat can easily give you some unwelcome bacteria.

Go for the gradual tanner

If you’re not ready to take a leap with self-tanning mousses, practice your back tanning skills by grabbing a gradual tanner instead. Mix a few drops with your favorite skincare and apply your first layer carefully. Start at the center of your back and blend out to the sides to achieve an even front-to-back look. Wait until the tan develops to check for problematic areas or uneven application, and practice with the second layer. Once you have the hang of it, you can go for mousses after allowing your initial tan to fade.

Create a back applicator

There are a few options for back applicators out on the market but if you have no access to one, you can simply create one. Grab anything with a long handle (typically body scrubs) and put your applicator mitt over one end. Secure with an elastic and you’re ready to glow.

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