The 11 Best Self-Tanners for Women Over 50


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Warm weather is at our finger tips, and having some color when summer it arrives can make you feel fabulous. Unfortunately, laying out in the sun in your swimsuit or baking in a tanning bed aren’t the safest ways to go about bronzing your skin. 

The rates of melanoma are at an all-time high right now. Though melanoma only accounts for one percent of skin cancers, it causes a majority of skin cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. As you age, your likelihood of getting melanoma increases, so using sunscreen and a self-tanner will keep your skin protected and hydrated. While we don’t want to be afraid of the sun — we do need our vitamin D! — it’s important to know what safety precautions you should take to stay healthy.

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If it’s the sun’s warmth that makes you happy, use an SPF of at least 15 and reapply it every two hours, or immediately after drying off if you’ve been in water. If it’s the bronze color you want, there are easy ways to develop a tan that will keep your skin youthful and free of damage. We have a list of oils, mists, lotions, towels, and liquids that will deliver a stunning, sunny glow you can rock safely all summer long.

How to Apply Self-Tanner

We recommend applying self-tanner in your bathroom, but if the room is too small, just be sure to move furniture or fabric out of the way. Moisturize your elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles, then pump out some product onto your tanning mitt — although if you’re using a tanner in a spray can, it’s easier to apply to your skin first. Using big and small circular motions, gently rub the product on your skin until you’re evenly coated. If you need to touch up any spots, use a wet wipe, like Kleenex Wet Wipes Gentle Clean ($1.49, Target), to remove excess self-tanner. Let it dry for a bit, then go back and see if there are any spots you missed.  Once you’re finished, allow it to dry. It will get darker as time passes, and before you know it, you’ll have the perfect summer tan! 

how to apply self tanner

Best Tips for Self-Tanners

There are a few great tricks and tips you can do before, during, and after applying sunless tanner to make the process go smoothly and to make your tan last longer. Before application, use a dry brush to improve circulation and reduce cellulite or use a body scrub while you’re in the shower to remove dead skin cells. This gives you an even, smooth surface to apply the self-tanner.

After drying off, be sure to moisturize the parts of your body that are wrinkled or have more skin, like your knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows. Being mindful of this will prevent formula from building up and leaving marks, streaks, and discoloration. If you find you can’t reach some areas on your back, place your tanning mitt over the head of a dry brush and reach behind to cover the full surface area.

After application, wait at least six hours before getting wet. This ensures your tanner won’t wash off or streak and leave bare blotches. Wear dark clothes after you apply to prevent stains. If you’re looking to speed up the drying process, use your blow dryer on the lowest, coolest setting and sweep back and forth for several minutes.

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Shop the best self-tanners for mature skin below!

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