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How to Use a Self-Tanning Mousse

A tanning wha…? If you’ve only thought of mousse as something you put on your head or something you pop into your mouth after a good dinner, then prepare yourself because this is going to be your favorite kind of mousse from here on out. (Yes, we’re calling it.)

A tanning mousse is a self-tanner that has a foamy formula. This type of self-tanner makes it easy to apply to your skin evenly – it’s literally like playing with bubbles in the bath as a kid. A foamy consistency reduces the risks of a runny formula and in turn, a streaky and uneven self-tan. It develops over the next several hours, which makes your faux glow look a lot more natural instead of something you just slapped on and let dry.

That said, here are our 7 steps to glowing the self-tanning mousse way.

1. Exfoliate and defuzz.

Behind a perfect tan is a perfect prep. Give your skin a good exfoliating at least six hours before applying your self-tanning mousse. Self-tanning formulas tend to love clinging to dry bits which may lead to an uneven tan. Pay special attention to areas that need more scrub love like the heels, elbows, knees, etc.

If you need to move unwanted body hair, we recommend doing it at least 12-24 hours to allow your pores to calm down. Nobody wants tanned chicken bumps after a self-tan sesh. Removing excess hair will also allow for a smoother canvas for your tan to develop on – aka less chances of it turning out uneven.

2. Make sure your skin is clean and dry.

Self-tanners typically need regular moisturising to ensure a longer lasting glow (more on this in a bit). However, slathering on a generous amount of lotion right before tanning will risk diluting the color. We recommend starting off with clean and dry skin to ensure you get the glow you desire and deserve. If you have extremely dry, problematic areas, go ahead and use a bit of moisturiser on them.

3. Always use a self-tanning mitt.

A self-tanning mitt is especially designed to hold enough product, to ensure even application, and to protect your hands from absorbing the tan (nothing says tanning rookie more than tanned hands).

We recommend standing in front of a full-body mirror before starting. Use the bronzing mitt to apply the tanning mousse in long, sweeping motions. For the nooks and crannies that are a bit harder to reach, go ahead and reach for a kabuki brush to cover those areas..

4. Slow down on the dry and delicate bits.

There are areas that are a bit more sensitive, so a lighter touch may be needed. Use a kabuki brush and a small amount of self-tanner to get to knobbly and dry knees and elbows, as well as areas like between the fingers and toes. Use the brush to sweep some product in using small, circular motions.

5. Patience, patience, patience.

As much as we know you’d love to get a move on on your day, we recommend staying put for the next two hours to make sure that your tan has developed. Avoid any activities that involve water or sweat to let the product sit on your skin. After two hours, go ahead and hop into the shower.

If you want a deeper faux glow, leave the product on for up to 24 hours. We recommend doing a night tanning session and waking up to a deliciously bronze color. With our formula, you won’t risk overdeveloping your tan even after leaving it on after a full night’s rest.

6. Be selective with your shower.

Once you’re ready to hop into the shower, test to see that your water is warm and not hot. Keep your shower quick, and if you can, leave out the soaps and shampoos for this one. The purpose of the first shower is to rid your skin of excess tanner.

Remember to go easy on the scrubbing. Use a soft towel to dry off. Gently pat of the excess moisture – don’t rub.

7. Get the moisturisers out.

Once you have your glow on, let’s talk maintenance. A self-tan fades faster the more dry skin you shed, so make sure you slather on some lotion at least once a day. Avoid exfoliating and shaving in the first few days. Steer away from chlorinated tubs and pools, but if you must, apply a generous amount of moisturiser to act as an extra barrier.

Once your glow starts to fade (typically at day 5), you can start exfoliating to make sure your glow exits gracefully and evenly.

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