The art of self-bronzing can be tricky, but we’re here to help you get that perfectly sun-kissed look…without the UV rays of the sun! Follow these steps for a beautiful, naturally-looking glow–all year long!

1. Do everything ELSE first.
This is important! Shaving, waxing, getting a manicure, etc. can all remove self-tanner. Not to mention, if you shave right before you self-tan, you risk having to rock unsightly little brown dots. If you simply must shave right before, then blast your shaven areas with cold water or use a cold compress to close up pores prior to exfoliating.

2. Exfoliate.
Scrub your entire body, but focus on those rough spots like elbows, ankles, and heels. Exfoliating rids yourself of dry, patchy skin, which is a definite no-no when self-tanning. You want your skin as fresh and smooth as possible.

3. Dry off.
Seems simple, but don’t roll your eyes at this! Self-tanner is best absorbed into the skin when you’re perfectly dry. Wait 10 minutes post shower to start the self-tanning process.

4. Apply tanner in sections.
Grab your favorite self-tanning lotion and, using clean hands or latex gloves, apply self-tanner in circular motions. Start from the bottom and work your way up—slowly. Be sure to blend carefully and don’t slather a bunch on, especially around your wrists, ankles, elbows, and knuckles.

5. Let it set.
Don’t rush to put your clothes on! After you’ve washed your hands, wait 5-15 minutes before coming in contact with fabrics. When you need to get up and get on with your life, brush a talc-free baby powder all over, if possible, to set the tanner and reduce the risk of smudging. Avoid getting skin wet for at least 4 hours.

6. Moisturize!
To maintain your beautifully bronzed skin for as long as possible, make sure you’re moisturizing every single day! When the tan starts to fade, start from the top and start the process all over again.