Self-tanning routine & glowy essentials

self-tanning routine

Many of you yesterday reacted to my Instagram story yesterday on my self-tanning routine, so I decided to share my advice in today’s post. Having a slightly tanned skin makes me feel good about myself, it’s as if unconsciously, my brain interpreted the “glow” as a return from vacation ! So even if we are confined, there is nothing wrong to pamper ourselves with a few beauty products.

Self-tanning routine : how to do it ?

In order to have an optimal result, there are a few steps to follow before and after the self-tanning process. Here are my tips to keep your tanned complexion as long as possible !

self-tanning routine


  1. Exfoliation : The first step is to exfoliate your skin in order to get rid of all dead skin so that the product adheres better to the skin. You can use a scrub (made of sugar, coffee, etc.) or use an exfoliating glove. This is what I prefer because I use it with my soap or shower gel and it allows me to go everywhere. The best is to make circular movements starting from the feet and gradually going up. The back is the most complicated part : either you are contortionists (haha, my technique !) or you have your other half who can help you. Otherwise, equip yourself with an exfoliating back loofah (my next purchase after lockdown).
  2. Hair removal : plan any hair removal before applying your self-tan – all the more so if you are waxing or using pulsed light or laser.
  3. Hydration : the last step to prepare your body for self-tanning is body moisturization and more precisely of the feet, knees, elbows, hands. Why these areas ? They tend to absorb more self-tan and therefore have a darker finish.

Once you have completed all of these steps, you are ready to proceed to the application.


The best way to apply your product is to use a dedicated glove – the ones I prefer are in a kind of “velvet”, ultra soft with the skin and easy to use. The model I have washes can therefore be reused – which is quite practical in the long term. If you don’t use gloves, you will end up with orange palms…this is not the type of look we are looking for !

Generally, I put myself in front of my full-length mirror and I start from the feet and gradually go up to the face. I also use the product for the face with what is usually left on : neck, earq and face. I am careful not to forget any place. And if that happens, I do a touch-up when the self-tanner has developed. Again, for the back, the most practical is to use a self-tanning mitt for the back.

Once applied, I put on a bathrobe (I have one dedicated to self-tanning, like that, I do not worry about leaving traces that would not go in the wash) or sufficiently loose clothes and I let the product process.


Once I have left the product to act according to the instructions, I go to the shower and rinse the product. Generally, I gently pass my shower flower with my usual shower gel just to go to bed quietly.

Once out of the shower, I completely hydrate my body. Hydration will be one of the keys to maintaining your self-tan for as long as possible.

Self-tanning routine : which products to use ?

The product I have been using for several years is the Self-Tan Express from St Tropez. The product is in the form of a pump bottle. It is a foam formula with a color close to olive green – which allows you to clearly see where you have applied the product or not.

Even if you have white skin, like me, I invite you to keep it for the maximum 3 hours recommended. The result will be tanned until it is necessary while having an ultra-natural finish.

Personally, I can sometimes intensify the effect, by applying 2 or 3 days later, a new layer of product for 3 additional hours.

It is not the cheapest on the market, however, here are the positive points that I find :

  • ease of use with its foam formula,
  • pleasant product odor, much more than many other self-tanners,
  • quick results,
  • lasting a minimum of ten days if compliance with the steps mentioned above.

The negative points  :

  • does not work on already tanned or dark skins. Indeed, for already slightly tanned skin, its effectiveness is not there.
  • not affordable to all budgets, however, the product lasts quite a long time.

self-tanning routine

Glowy skin : my tips

Once you’ve got that tanned skin with your sel-tanning routine, you can play more on the glow with a few more products.

Dry oil

Using a dry oil on your body will give it that extra holiday feeling. There are many that are multi purpose use for body, face and hair (Nuxe, Caudalie, Indemne, The Body Shop, La Canopée, etc.). And if you want to go into the “full glow”, some of its oils have a glitter version.


To accentuate the tanned effect, especially on the face, you can apply a slightly satin-finished bronzer. The areas to focus on are the temples, the top of the cheeks and the jaw (the famous 3 to draw on the face).

Also, if you wear a low neckline, it is very nice to apply a touch of bronzer on the neck and collarbones.

What is your self-tanning routine ?

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