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Here’s how often to apply self-tanner so you have the perfect glow all summer, according to an expert

Everyone wants that summertime glow! And while everyone also needs vitamin D, self-tanning is the safest way to get some color.

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However, self-tanning can be intimidating for those new to the skin care practice — especially when it comes to how often you should apply it to have a consistent glow all summer that’s patch-free and fades evenly. Thankfully, we caught up with St. Tropez skin finishing expert Sophie Evans virtually and, naturally, she has all the answers to getting a beautiful self-tan.

According to Sophie, “A self-tan with correct aftercare can last up to 10 days. However, after about five-six days your glow would have faded a little and may need a boost, particularly if you have an event.” To keep your glow looking its best, Sophie recommends using a gradual tanning product that won’t come off on your clothes and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. She explains: “What a gradual tan lotion will achieve is a boost of color about two-three shades deeper and a surge of hydration to make the skin glow!”

Credit: St. Tropez
Credit: St. Tropez

However, some parts of the body will fade quicker than others, like your face and hands. While you may have to reapply your self-tanner every three to four days on your face and hands, Sophie recommends using a face mist since it’s quick and easy. (Just remember to wipe your nails and cuticles after application to avoid any staining!)

Sophie also says that “when your tan is complete, [you should] moisturize daily and lightly exfoliate every other day with a gentle scrub like St. Tropez’ Tan Enhancing Body Polish to ensure your tan is always fading evenly, this will allow you to top up your tan without causing any color build up.”

While this may seem like a lot of things to juggle, once you have the right products and make self-tanning a part of your summer beauty routine, it’s truly smooth sailing. After all, who doesn’t want to look like they just got back from a vacation every week?

Keep scrolling to shop Sophie’s favorite self-tanning products from St. Tropez and get your glow on.

This self-tanning mousse is incredibly hydrating and delivers the most natural colored tan that we've seen (it's also this editor's absolute favorite).
$48 at Sephora
This bronzing mist goes on clear, is suitable for all skin types and subtly develops over the course of eight hours.
$33 at Sephora
Keep your color looking fresh and even thanks to this gradual tanning lotion that absorbs quickly and works to firm your skin.
$29 at Ulta
This is the gentle scrub Sophie recommends using every other day so your tan fades evenly. You can also use this 24 hours before you self-tan to get a flawless application.
$18 at Ulta
This exfoliating mitt will help you slough away old self-tanner and dry skin. This mitt is great to use before doing a fresh application.
$9 at Sephora
This tan remover mousse is sure to become a must-have in your self-tanning routine — it removes build-up and mistakes easily. You can also pair it with the exfoliating mitt on more stubborn areas.
$19 at Ulta

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