How to Self-Tan Your Back at Home

Self-tanner is an easy way to achieve a sun-kissed glow when you don’t live in a sunny area. It’s also safer than tanning beds or laying out in the hot sun all day. However, the hardest part about self-tanning is your back. This hard to reach area may seem almost impossible to get to, but with the right technique, it doesn’t have to be.

You have two options when it comes to self-tanning your back: you can call a friend to help you, or you can do it yourself. This guide is for those that don’t have someone to help them apply self-tanner on their backs. Or for people that prefer to do it themselves.

Keep reading for a how-to guide on how to apply self-tanner to your back like a pro.

What You’ll Need 

Begin by gathering the following materials:

  • Your favorite self-tanner
  • Exfoliating body scrub 
  • Tanning mitt
  • Rubber band
  • Wooden spoon
  • Razor (Optional)

1. Find the Right Location  

After you’ve gathered your materials, decide where you plan to tan your back. The location you choose should be comfortable and private. You also want to have easy access to a large mirror. Since you don’t have eyes behind your head, you need to keep an eye on what you’re doing!

2. Shave If Necessary 

Self-tanning over hair can make the final look less effective. If you have hair on your back, shave or wax it off prior to tanning. This way, the self-tanner will apply evenly. Shaving your back may also be difficult, so consider calling over a friend to do it for you or go get it professionally waxed somewhere.

3. Exfoliate 

It’s likely you already exfoliate your skin to get rid of dead cells. Exfoliation is also a must prior to self-tanning. This will help the application go on smoothly and even. To exfoliate your back, rub some sugar scrub on your skin using a brush with a long handle. Rub the scrub onto your skin and rinse when you’re done.

In my personal opinion, it’s easiest to exfoliate in the shower whether you’re exfoliating your legs, neck, or back. This way you don’t leave behind a mess and make sure you get all the sugar scrub off your skin.

4. Dry Your Skin

After exfoliating, dry your skin completely using a towel. Wait 15-20 minutes after getting out of the shower before applying self-tanner. Again, you need your skin to be completely dry otherwise the tanner won’t go on properly.

5. Tan Easy to Reach Areas First 

Start by applying self-tanner to the areas you can reach – use your hands. This will give you the most control. Be sure to use a tanning glove and follow the instructions on the self-tanner bottle—work areas like your shoulders, upper back, and lower back.

6. Tan Hard to Reach Areas Next

Now, you want to target those harder-to-reach areas. To make the process easier:

  1. Tie the tanning mitt to the end of your wooden spoon.
  2. Apply some self-tanner on the mitt and work it over your back.
  3. Use your mirror to see where you’ve applied too little or too much self-tanner.

7. Use a Mist Formula 

Once you’re done rubbing tanner over your back, go over any harsh lines with a mist formula. Spray as best you can on the very noticeable areas – again, use your mirror to examine your work. 

8. Let the Tanner Dry Completely 

Once you’ve removed all harsh lines, let the product dry completely. You can use a blow dryer or stand in front of a fan to speed up the process. It’s important that you don’t put on clothes when the tanner is still wet. This means your clothes could get ruined as well as your tan. 

9. Re-Touch Any Areas if Necessary 

The next day after showering, take a look at your back. This is when you can fix any areas that need additional self-tanner. Look for patches or discoloration. Add some more product to them and let them dry as you did before. This will make your tan look more natural, even, and complete.

The Takeaway 

Self-tanning your back isn’t all that hard. Simply follow these 9 easy steps, and you’ll be well on your way to an even tan. My final piece of advice is to set a couple of hours aside, especially if it’s your first time. The last thing you want is having to rush through the process and end up with a mismatched glow!

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