How To Self Tan Your Face

Mar 31, 2022 | How To: Tutorials

Achieving a head-to-toe glow isn’t always easy, particularly as the best practices for facial tanning are slightly different to those for the body. Don’t worry though, we’ve broken down how to self tan your face step-by-step, and will introduce you to the best face tanners so that you can achieve a flawless, bronzed complexion – every time.


How to self tan your face like a pro

how to self tan your face

@orianafindlay on Instagram


1. Choose the best self tanner for your face 

A beautiful, bronzed face starts with the right face tanner. Consider your skin type and desired depth of tan:

  • For oily or acne-prone skin: Applying a St.Tropez face mist is the easiest way to tan oily or acne-prone skin. Its lightweight and tropically-scented formula is made with non-pore blocking ingredients, so you can achieve a golden glow in 4 to 8 hours without causing breakouts or congestion.
  • For normal to dry skin: The St.Tropez face serum is formulated with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and brightening Vitamin C, making it perfect for dry complexions. Expect skin to feel moisturized for up to 72 hours, and your bronzed tan to develop over 3 to 6 hours.
  • For a gradual tan: If you’d rather build your tan slowly, try our gradual St.Tropez face tans. While the Classic Face Cream is infused with Vitamin E to hydrate skin as it gradually tans, the Tinted Face Moisturiser adds an instant touch of color, while developing into a deeper tan over 4 to 8 hours.

Top Tip: All St.Tropez face tans are designed specifically for the sensitive skin on the face, and have lightweight, hydrating and non-pore blocking formulas.


2. Prepare your skin

In the same way that you’d prepare your body for tan application 24 hours in advance, you should prepare your face too.

A day before tanning, exfoliate with a gentle, oil-free face scrub to smooth away rough, dry patches. Focus on areas that are prone to dryness, like the cheeks and around the nose. Then, cleanse the skin and apply an oil-free moisturizer to lock in hydration, focusing on the chin, nose, behind the ears and the back of the neck.

Top Tip: Oil can prevent the face tanner from absorbing properly, so avoid using any oil-based skincare products 24 hours prior to tanning.


3. Apply your tan

The best time to self tan your face is in the evening, as it allows the product to develop overnight. Consider it a part of your evening skincare routine.

how to self tan your face

@skinbylottie ⁣on Instagram


Start by cleansing the skin and removing all traces of makeup. Next, lightly moisturize around your nostrils and other dry spots. Again, make sure that your cleanser, makeup remover and moisturizer are all oil-free. You’re now ready to apply your face tanner.

  • Applying the St.Tropez Face Mist: If you opted for the Purity Face Mist, shake the bottle and spritz 3 to 5 times while moving the bottle clockwise around your face to ensure an even coverage. A healthy-looking glow will subtly develop over 4-8 hours, with no need to rinse.
  • Applying the St.Tropez Face Serum: If you chose the Purity Vitamins Face Serum, dispense the face tanner into your hands, then smooth evenly over the face, neck and decolletage. Wash your hands and allow the tan to deepen over 4 to 8 hours. There’s no need to rinse!
  • Applying the Gradual St.Tropez Face Tan: If you opted for the St.Tropez Gradual Tan Face Cream or Tinted Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Light/Medium Face Cream, simply apply like a moisturizer across the face, neck and decolletage using upward circular motions. Blend into the hairline and over the ears. Repeat every evening.

Top Tip: For best results, make sure that you apply your face tanner in a well-lit area. Dot the products onto the areas that the sun naturally hits (think the nose, chin, cheeks and forehead), then blend out with your fingers.


4. Customize your look

If you haven’t achieved your desired depth of tan by the next morning, simply re-apply that evening as part of your skincare routine. Repeat until you’re happy with your bronzed look. Then, moisturize every morning and night to prevent the tan from fading.


5. Repeat

Cell turnover on the face occurs much faster than on the body, so you should expect your facial tan to fade much faster too. When the 2 tans no longer match up, simply exfoliate the face and begin the tanning cycle again.

And that’s how to self tan your face in 5 simple steps. Explore more of the best self tanners for face on our website.


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