Tan and bronzing experts reveal their must-follow dos and don'ts of spray and self-tanning

  • An image of Ohio high school student Skyler Davis, 17,  with a tear-streaked spray tan went viral this week 
  • Tanning experts reveal how to achieve a streak-free, non-orange faux glow every time
  • Shop must-have products for a fool-proof sunless tan

With so many innovative products and salon services available, it’s easier than ever to achieve a streak-free, non-orange faux tan. Still, mishaps can happen.

Ohio high school student Skyler Davis, 17, recently experienced this firsthand when a teary fight with her boyfriend post-spray tan botched her bronze color. A photo of the teen’s tear-streaked face quickly went viral after a friend posted it on Imgur this week.

Thankfully, blunders like Skyler’s are easy to fix and prevent with the right techniques and the know-how.

Here, tanning experts share the dos and don’ts of achieving a flawless faux summer glow.

Faux glow gone wrong: Ohio High School Student Skyler Davis, 17,  botched her pre-prom spray tan after a fight with her boyfriend brought her to tears. The tear-streaked image (above) went viral earlier this week

Faux glow gone wrong: Ohio High School Student Skyler Davis, 17,  botched her pre-prom spray tan after a fight with her boyfriend brought her to tears. The tear-streaked image (above) went viral earlier this week

Know before you go: Celebrity tanning expert Svetlana Feller, who counts Kate Hudson (above),  37,  as a client, shares her tips for preventing spray and self-tanning mishaps

Know before you go: Celebrity tanning expert Svetlana Feller, who counts Kate Hudson (above),  37,  as a client, shares her tips for preventing spray and self-tanning mishaps

BEFORE APPLICATION

‘The healthier the skin, the better the tan, so eat your greens and drink lots of water,’ Alyson Hogg, founder and CEO of self-tanner brand Vita Liberata, told FEMAIL. She also recommends skipping the moisturizer and body lotion for at least eight hours before using a tanning product.

‘They can leave a silicone film on the skin that can create a barrier to the product or cause streaking.’

Svetlana Feller, celebrity tanning expert and founder of Spray di Solé, says exfoliating skin beforehand is also key to achieving an even finish, but to avoid scrubs that are formulated with oils. 

‘Many sugar or salt scrubs have oils in them that stay on the skin so the tan won’t adhere as well,’ she said.

Shop a celebrity tanning expert-designed self-bronzing kit: Spray di Solé Sun Gelee Self Tan + Kabuki Body Brush 50mL Starter Kit ($  56, spraydisole.com)

Shop a celebrity tanning expert-designed self-bronzing kit: Spray di Solé Sun Gelee Self Tan + Kabuki Body Brush 50mL Starter Kit ($ 56, spraydisole.com)

DURING APPLICATION

If you’re applying self-tanner at home, avoid using your bare hands. 

‘Your palms are often dry and when tanner touches dry skin it progresses quickly, leaving palms looking unnaturally orange or brown,’ Svetlana told FEMAIL. Instead, she recommends using a kabuki brush or wearing rubber gloves, while Alyson is partial to tanning mitts.  

Make-up artist Allan Avendano, who used Vita Liberata products to prep models like Gigi Hadid for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, advises paying special attention to areas that ‘crease’, like the knees, backs of knees, elbows, fingers and even the butt.

‘Use a wet tissue to blot these areas and to dilute the product that is on the skin,’ he said.

To avoid interfering with your tan’s development, Alyson suggests abstaining from exercising and swimming and if you’re in a humid environment, staying indoors until the process is complete (typically about six hours).

Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant Skin Finish ($  45, vitaliberata.com)
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Tinted Everyday Body Lotion ($  30, sttropeztan.com)

SHOP SELF-TANNING ESSENTIALS FROM LEFT 

DAMAGE CONTROL AND MAINTAINING YOUR GLOW

‘Every faux tan has a window of time before it sets in – usually about four to six hours,’ said Svetlana. ‘What you are seeing when you see streaks, spots, etc. from tears, sweat or rain shortly after application is not the DHA (the active ingredient in self-tanner) being affected but the bronzer on top, which is make-up and easy to fix.’

Her go-to method is to blend with a powder brush to set the bronzer back into place. 

‘A wash-off skin perfector like Vita Liberata Body Blur can be seamlessly applied on top of skin after self-tanning application to blur imperfections,’ said Alyson.

To prolong your tan, Alyson recommends drinking plenty of water, taking showers versus baths and applying a gradual tanning product to prevent your original glow from fading.

Another way to lock in the tan, Svetlana says, is to moisturize regularly with a creamy, fragrance-free lotion. ‘Don’t moisturize with an oil-based product such as coconut oil. While coconut oil is amazing for many things, it can actually make the tan break down more quickly.’

It’s also important to avoid shaving, waxing or exfoliating afterward. ‘You will just be exfoliating away your tan,’ said Svetlana. 

Beauty | Mail Online