Imagine getting a beautiful tan without leaving the house. Self-tanners work with or without the sun, in a matter of hours. Although powder self-tanners are usually reserved for the facial area and are commonly called bronzers, self-tanning body lotions are also referred to as bronzers. Both simulate a sun-kissed healthy tan without overexposure to the sun’s harmful rays.

Things You'll Need

Set aside some evening time, as bronzer doesn’t contain sunscreen. Prepare the surface of the skin for the bronzer by showering and exfoliating by rubbing a washcloth gently in circular motions. Remove any unwanted hair, unless your skin is sensitive, in which case you should do that the day before or after the bronzer application.

Dry completely, stepping away from the steamy bathroom. Do not allow your skin to get so warm that you perspire as you will need to be perfectly dry.

Don a bathing suit or a snug outfit that will not rub against your tanning skin. Choose one that is dark colored in case the tanner smears and permanently stains the fabric.

Note the time. Squeeze a large dollop of bronzer — about 1 1/2-inches diameter by 3/4-inches high. Spread evenly over the surface of the top of one thigh, working all the way around in a circular motion and then moving downward. It is more important to cover the surface than it is to make sure that all of the lotion is rubbed in. Try not spend more than five minutes covering your legs. Squeeze out more product as needed.

Skip the front and back of the knee while you cover the shin and calf. Bend your knee and work excess lotion from the shin up and the thigh down. Since the skin in the front of the knee wrinkles when straightened, you should apply the bronzer to this area sparingly.

Straighten the knee and cover the back and sides. Spread bronzer lightly over the tops of your feet and toes. Carefully cover to the ankle area, avoiding the mistake of applying too much on the anklebone and not enough in the hollows.

Scrub your hands. Repeat the process for the other leg.

Apply tanner to your arms and shoulders in similar circular motions, taking care not to get too much in the creases of your elbows. Apply sparingly to the tops of your hands.

Lightly spread the bronzer to your face as you can reapply later if the color is not dark enough. Look in the mirror and picture where the sun’s rays would touch first. Pat the bronzer to your forehead, the top of your nose, along your cheekbones and at your chin.

Scrub your palms with the nailbrush. Wait at least 2 hours for results.