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How to Get a Gorgeous, Even Self-Tan on Hands & Feet

28th May 2020

Applying self-tanning lotion to your hands and feet is probably the most challenging part of the fake tanning process. This is because of all the angles, creases and joints in these areas, not to mention dry spots. Follow these guidelines to prevent orange streaks or patchy color, particularly common pitfalls for applying self-tan on hands and feet.

Step One - Exfoliate

Exfoliating before a new self-tan application is important for any part of the body, but it's especially important on the hands and feet. You will want to remove the surface dead skin cells, dirt and oil. Before self-tanning, use Fake Bake's Coconut Exfoliating Wipes to get a smooth skin surface, primed for maximum tanning formula absorption. If you have remnants of your last self-tan on either area, Fake Bake Tan Corrector and Eraser or other tan removal agents can help you achieve a clean canvas.

Step Two - Moisturize

After exfoliating, apply a light, moisturizer to hands and feet. Focus on any areas of dryness, as these will absorb more tanning solution and result in unevenness.

Step Three -Self-Tanning Your Feet

Remember that self-tanning lotions break down in the presence of moisture, including sweat. Find a place that is cool and dry, and do any essential routines - like brushing your teeth - before proceeding. Work on your feet first, do your hands last, and be sure not to get water on your hands until the tanner is fully developed.

Feet: Apply self-tanner using an application mitt or waterproof application gloves. Fake Bake self-tanning lotions, liquids, serums and sprays come conveniently packaged with application gloves. Many of our self-tanning products also include an application mitt, but both are available for purchase on our website. 

Place a small dollop of the self-tanner in the palm of your hand or center of a clean application mitt. Starting with the top of your foot, rub the formula into your skin. Make your way to the sides of your feet and behind the ankle bone.

Avoid the heel area altogether, or apply light sweeps across it with the self-tanner. Another spot to treat lightly is the crease of your ankle. The thicker skin tends to absorb more tanner and could possibly end up too dark. Lastly, use the remaining solution on your gloved hand or mitt to sweep over your toes. A makeup brush or sponge applicator can help ensure even coverage.

Tip: To help prevent self-tanner build-up on your toes and ankle crease, slightly moisten a clean, terrycloth rag and run it across these areas lightly to remove any excess tanning solution. This additional blending step enhances the evenness of your tan from legs to feet.

Make sure that there is no fake tanning lotion on the soles of your feet. If there is, remove it immediately with Fake Bake Tan Corrector and Eraser followed by our Coconut Exfoliating Wipes. Never use water.

Step Four - Self-Tanning Your Hands

Hands: Last but certainly not least - your hands. Using a clean application mitt or gloves, apply self-tanner on the top of the wrist and rub it in, proceeding downward. After covering the top of your hand, work the solution into the sides. Finally, with your fingers spread out in a claw-like position, spread the tanner onto the fingers. Use your makeup or sponge to spread it evenly over all joint creases. To prevent dark build-up at the creases, use the slightly moistened terrycloth mentioned above to lightly wipe any excess tanner from the knuckles and primary finger joints.

Be aware that the last hand you self-tan will be difficult if you're using gloves. Use an application mitt or part of the reverse side of the glove (the clean area when you fold the glove over to remove it) to apply the self-tanner.

Tip: Immediately remove any self-tanner from your palms, underside of your fingers, and cuticles to prevent stain marks in these areas. A cotton swab works well to remove tanner from both fingernails and toenails, as well as cuticles.

You can expect your self-tan to fade on your hands faster, since you get your hands wet more often than any other part of your body. Once your self-tan has developed, get in the habit of keeping your hands well-moisturized. Use a light, non-greasy moisturizer that does not contain any exfoliating agents (e.g. alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic or citric acids).