Working with self-tanner can save your skin from the sun’s harmful free radicals and UV rays. Achieve the same look of sitting in the sun by properly applying self-tanner to your face. Getting that golden glow is easy if you have the proper technique so read on to find out how to get a bronzed look minus the side effects of lounging in the sun. When wearing self-tanner, remember to continue to use a SPF of 15 or higher when going outdoors.

Exfoliate your face. Before you can apply self-tanner to your face or your body, you want to exfoliate. This will remove all of the dead skin cells that might make the self-tanner appear patchy once it goes into effect. You can find a face or body exfoliator at any drug store or department store. You can also use a loofah with mild soap and water to achieve the same effect. After this, dry your face completely.

Add some moisture. Moisturize your face or body prior to every time you apply self-tanner. It may seem simple, but moisture allows for the skin to be supple and soft and “drink” the self-tanner, resulting in a more even tan. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer and allow your skin to soak it in before moving on to Step 3 for the best results.

Apply self-tanner in even, smooth strokes. Start by hitting your t-zone (forehead and down the bridge of your nose) since that’s where the sun naturally hits your face. Move outwards, covering your cheeks and chin in a quick motion to create an even look. Be sure to move down from your chin and jawline to your neck and collarbone, as you want to blend your face with your body in the best way possible.

Allow self-tanner to dry and develop. Once the self-tanner develops (which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on the kind you use), you will if you are satisfied with the results or if you’d like to apply another coat. When applying a second coat, follow the same instruction as done for the first layer of self-tanner, but use less. You most likely do not want to be twice as dark, you just want a bit more color, so add a little at a time.

Maintain your glow. To maintain the self-tanner, simply add moisturizer every day to prevent the self-tanner from flaking off. Once the color starts to noticeably fade, start from scratch. Remove self-tanner by exfoliating your skin, removing that top layer of pigment. Most self-tanners last anywhere from one to three days.