Self tanner is a safer, UV-free alternative for maintaining a healthy, sun-kissed glow year-round. But unless you’re a DIY-tan MVP, chances are your clothes, sheets, and bathroom floor will end up looking more bronzed than you. “When you are moving around, and particularly sleeping, your body temperature rises and you sweat," says Sophie Evans, St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert. "Sweat can lift the bronzer off of the skin and onto clothing and bedding." Two more culprits: tight clothing and friction, which can both do a number on fabrics. Instead of doing extra loads of laundry, get your self tanner to stick with you—and stay streak-free—using the following application tips we picked up from Evans.
Apply with a Light Hand
Since you’re on the journey to more bronzed complexion, it might seem like the more product you use, the better the tan. But in fact, too much bronzer will do nothing more than leave you with an orange-stained wardrobe. “Do not over apply, as excess product that the skin cannot absorb can transfer," emphasizes Evans. To prevent over-application, she recommends using an applicator mitt, which will help you blend to perfection.
Stock Up on Baby Powder
Even if you’ve expertly applied your self tanner and allowed it to dry fully before getting dressed, you can’t completely prevent the sweating that can make it streak. “If you feel like you’re beginning to sweat, dust a light amount of baby powder under the arms, in between the cleavage or any other areas where you may sweat,” advises Evans.
Consider the Formula
Sometimes stains happen, even if you’ve done everything in your power to avoid them. Evans recommends using a self tanner formulated with vegetable dye, because the color will more easily wash out of your clothes or sheets with a bit of soap and water. For other formulas, she suggests pre-treating fabric with a stain remover before throwing in the washer.
We’ve compiled five of our favorite easy-to-use self tanners that will keep you—and not your clothes—glowing throughout the warm-weather days.
1. St. Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan
It's easy for even the most skilled among us to stain clothes and bathroom floors while applying product. One easy solution: an in-shower self tanner. Apply this lotion to wet skin in the tub and then rinse. It'll have zero chance of transferring onto clothes or sheets.
St. Tropez | $25
2. First Aid Beauty Slow Glow Gradual Self-Tanning Moisturizer
Most self tanners make you go from zero to bronze real quick. First Aid Beauty's formula gradually builds over three to four days of using it, so you can achieve a tan subtly without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays.
First Aid Beauty | $28
3. Clarins Self Tanning Milky-Lotion
One of the toughest parts about using a self tanner is distributing the product evenly all over your body. The milky texture of Clarins's formula melts into skin smoothly, so your tan looks natural.
Clarins | $38
4. Vita Liberata Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50
This tanner not only helps you fake a sunkissed, beach-ready glow, it offers broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection for when you're ready to spend a day in actual sunlight.
5. Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Zero Tanlines Body Bronzer
The only thing worse than a streaky legs from a botched self-tan job is orange hands from applying the product. Benefit's genius sponge applicator, which comes hidden in the cap of its new bronzer, guarantees stain-free fingers.
Benefit Cosmetics | $30