How To Extend Your Tan Past Labor Day

By September 19, 2017 One Comment

How To Extend Your Tan Past Labor Day

In case #summer17 was spent hiding from a sweltering heatwave, there’s no reason we can’t still rock a little sun-kissed skin. Summer is not over until we say it is and while we’re tanned-skin enthusiasts, we’re also wary of the negative effects the sun can have on our skin, i.e. premature aging, no, thank you! (Never forget: SPF is #bae). For those of us looking like we spent summer indoors, self-tanners are here to rescue us from pasty skin woes. Trust us, they’re not as scary as they sound.

No need to hit the spray tan salon, we rounded up some tips and products to extend, or at least fake, a perfect summer tan…well past #LDW.


ALWAYS apply self-tanners to clean, exfoliated, dry skin! The product will absorb better, not to mention exfoliated skin makes application and blendability a breeze. Skincare applies to our bodies too, but we already knew that. Also, do not, we repeat, do not endure any hair removal 24 hours before, or after applying self-tanner, you’ll thank us.


With lotions and gels, most of which are now made to be streak-free (woo-hoo!), be light with the touch and avoid over-blending, which will probably lead to streaks in the first place. A nice, even coat is what we’re looking for, allowing the product to absorb and impart seamless color. For those suffering from self-tanning jitters, try mixing self-tanner with your daily moisturizer to gradually build up color…in no time you’ll be a self-tanning pro. Avoid orange palms by using a mitt or body makeup brush to apply product. Otherwise, be sure to give hands a good scrubbing after. Apply product from feet/legs first and work your way up. And don’t forget a to apply a second application of product the following day to avoid blotchiness.

Lorac SelfTantalizer Body Bronzing Gradual Self Tanner ($34)
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer ($10)
Tarte Brazilliance PLUS + Self-Tanner ($39)
Whish Coconut Milk Self Tanner ($30)
L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Gelee ($10)


Self-tanning mists are the body equivalent of dry shampoo. Well, kind of. Easy to use and product need not touch our pretty hands to do their job. Win-win! Self-tanning sprays and mists make orange palms a thing of the past and there’s no need to worry about over-blending, just mist and go. It’s best to hold the spray at least 6 inches from the body and apply in one even stroke, lest you want leopard print skin. If working alone, mist body in small sections, but for full-body bronze status, ask a girlfriend to help out with those hard to reach areas (back side). After all, isn’t that what girlfriends are for?

Neutrogena Micro-Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan ($12)
St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mist ($40)
Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self-Tan Liquid & Professional Mitt ($30)
Coola Sunless Tan Dry Body Oil Mist ($46)


Foam formulas are airy, mess-free, and absorb into the skin faster than lotions and gels. They’re also easier to apply than most other formulas, which make them a good choice for first-timers. Be sure to pick a product based on your skin tone (light, medium, dark), instead of the intended result. You can always build up color, don’t try to get there all at once. Ensure skin is clean and dry before applying, skip lotions and body oils, but keep skin moisturized once color has set to seal it in and make it last for days.

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse ($18)
Tan-Luxe Hydra Mousse ($57)
James Read Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse Face & Body ($30)
Vita Liberata Phenomenal Tinted Tan Mousse ($54)


The nice thing about pre-moistened self-tanning towelettes is that most are formulated with skincare benefits too! An even swipe of a self-tanning wipe builds up a nice tan with exfoliating, moisturizing, and anti-aging benefits. Not too shabby. As with lotions, mists, gels, and foam, be light with the touch when treating tough skin like knees and elbows. You may also want to apply a second layer the day after the first application to tackle any missed areas and ensure an even color. Apply in sections, using a new towelette for each section to avoid over-application in any one area.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad For Body ($45)
Tan Towel Self-Tan Towelette Full Body Application For Face & Body ($29)
Kate Somerville Somerville 360° Tanning Towelettes ($48)

Claudia Mercado is a beauty-obsessed writer living in Long Beach, CA.

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