The Definitive Guide To Self-Tanning Like Khloe Kardashian

Khloe Kardashian attends Allergan KYBELLA event at IAC Building on March 3, 2016 in New York City.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Allergan

Khloe Kardashian attends Allergan KYBELLA event at IAC Building on March 3, 2016 in New York City. 

Sure getting a dose of vitamin D from the sun's rays is fine, but prolonged sun exposure will, unfortunately, wreak havoc on our skin. Self-tanner is a viable option to get a glowy, bronze complexion that can get you beach (or poolside) ready in no time at home. We spoke with sunless tanning expert Marissa Carter, a beauty guru and founder of Cocoa Brown, the self-tanner line favored by the likes of Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and celebrity makeup artist Joyce Bonelli, who works with Nicki Minaj, Salema Hayek, and top model Jourdan Dunn. Below, Carter's do's and don'ts for applying and keeping that natural-looking tan all summer long.

Skin Prep:

Do: Carter's key to a good tan? "Exfoliate and moisturize your skin every day for a couple of days leading up to your application."

Don’t: "On the day you are applying tanner, don't wear any lotions, potions, perfumes or deodorants as these can interfere with the tan," Carter warns.

Do: "Wear an oil-free moisturizer on dry areas such as hands, feet, elbows, and knees," Carter suggests. "Apply nail polish to nails, so tan doesn't stain and always use a tanning mitt to apply false tan; this will protect your palms."


Do: Always start by tanning your face, hands, and feet. "It's better to apply less product to these areas, and it's easy to get carried away and use the same amount of product as the rest of your body if you don't start with them first," Carter says.

Don't: "Never use a self-tanner that doesn't contain DHA," Carter, whose Cocoa Brown Tan contains a vegetable-based DHA, says. "DHA is an ingredient that works with your skin's natural pigment to produce a color that is natural for you, and applying a self-tanner without DHA can cause tones that are too orange or warm for your skin."

Do: About a day before, Carter suggests shaving your legs, exfoliate, and moisturize to avoid a streaky tan.

Pro Tip: "When you apply the self-tanner, rub it in thoroughly, and pay extra attention to problem areas such as elbows, feet, and the neck," Carter says. For hard to reach spots like our backs, use an extendable back tanner applicator.

Do: Apply a light layer of oil-free moisturizer and then apply a light layer of self-tan using a flat head stippling makeup brush such as the T1 Tontour Brush.

Don't: To avoid caking around your fingers, don't keep your hands straight. Instead, Carter suggests making a "claw shape with your hands and buff the tanner into the skin, paying attention to the sides of fingers." Less is more when it comes to tan on hands and feet.


Pro Tip: "I recommend applying your fake tan two days before a big event. Since you'll have showered at least twice after application, there's no chance of the color guide in the product transferring onto your clothes."

Pro Tip: After the pool, an intense workout or the beach apply a gradual tanner to maintain your glow. "It is inevitable that your tan is going to fade, so be sure to lightly exfoliate your skin to prevent blotchy areas," she says.


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