For most people who self-tan at home, their go-to tanning tool is a tanning mitt. Yes, tanning mitts have been a great help to prevent hands from turning bright orange, but are they really the best tool to use?
If you want to give yourself the most perfectly blended and buffed self-tan at home, you should really consider using a self-tanning brush.
Self-tanning brushes keep your hands free from contact of the self-tanning lotion, not turning them orange, and the brushes help you to carefully and gently blend in your self-tanning product, giving it an incredibly natural glow.
A self-tanning brush might completely change your view of self-tanning at home. Here is everything you would need to know about using a self-tanning brush, and which are the best to use!
What Is A Self-Tanning Brush?
A self-tanning brush is a simple, yet highly effective self-tanning accessory. They have been expertly designed to be super soft, but with hard-wearing hair that can be used time and time again with many different textured products, such as creams, powders, mousses, and lotions.
Self-tanning brushes are washable and long-lasting. Due to their hardy yet soft hair, the self-tanning brushes are able to apply the self-tanning lotion further down into your epidermis, giving you a deeper, darker and longer-lasting tan.
They also give you the opportunity to properly buff and blend in the tanning lotion, in small, circular motions which will ultimately leave you with the most natural-looking tan possible.
How To Use A Self-Tanning Brush
A self-tanning brush is beautifully easy to use. There are no hidden tricks that you need to know to help you use your self-tanning brush, it is pretty much straightforward. Most of us have been practicing the technique used as well, by using makeup brushes to apply foundation and base, it is almost the same thing.
Here is how you should use a self-tanning brush to achieve a flawless sunless tan:
Just like with using any self-tanning tool, you need to prep your skin beforehand. Without doing so, you will have an uneven, patchy tan, no matter the tool you use.
Shave – Remove the hair from the areas that you will be applying the self-tanning product to. This allows for the product to absorb into the skin better, without the hairs interfering with how evenly the product is blending in.
Exfoliate – Exfoliation is so incredibly important. You should exfoliate your skin the day before the self-tanning application, focussing on the drier areas, such as your knees and elbows. Drier areas tend to absorb more of the lotion, which can lead to the drier areas being darker and patchy. Once you have exfoliated your skin to create an even canvas, you should apply a light moisturizer to give it some extra moisture.
Choose your product – The right self-tanning product for you will be completely up to personal preference. When using a self-tanning brush, lotions, creams, and mousses work best to get optimal results.
Using your brush – Apply a small amount of self-tanner onto your brush and using circular motions, apply the self-tanner to your skin. Start with your feet and work your way up your body. You will need to use a spray tanner or the help of a friend to reach your back.
Even it out – Once you have applied the self-tanner to the areas of your feet, ankles, wrists, knees, and elbows, pat them down with a damp cloth. This will stop the drier areas from developing darker than the rest of your body. You should also use the self-tanning brush to achieve an even blend around your hairline and eyebrows, and to apply a small amount of self-tanner to your ears and neck.
Let it set – Check the development time of the self-tanner which you have used. Let it sit for the recommended amount of time while avoiding water or any activities which could cause you to sweat. Any water or sweat could interfere with the development and may result in a patchy tan.
Maintenance – Keep moisturizing your skin regularly once your self-tanner has developed. Moisturizing once a day at a minimum will keep your skin healthy by protecting it from drying out from the ingredients used in self-tanning products, and the extra hydration will give your skin a wonderful glow.
The Best Self-Tanning Brushes
The three below self-tanning brushes are some of the best on the market. Not only will they help you evenly blend in your self-tanner, but they can be used for makeup as well!
The Best Self-Tanning Brushes are:
- Coola Sunless Tan Kabuki Body Brush
- Bare Minerals Deluxe Tan Brush
- Beauty By Earth Blending Brush
1. Coola Sunless Tan Kabuki Body Brush
Check current price on Amazon.
This is the ultimate self-tanning brush, being soft, smooth, and super effective.
Super soft bristles top this vegan kabuki brush, with a handle made from sustainable bamboo. Organic and sustainable, this is the perfect brush for those who are eco-conscious, but still, want a perfect sunless tan!
The brush is easy to hold, with a thick handle, while still being easy to move around to blend in the self-tanner evenly.
The product can be placed directly onto the brush and swept and buffed smoothly onto the skin for flawless results.
The larger size of the brush head allows for a more even application, making your self-tanning product go further than before. Not only will you be achieving a natural-looking tan, but you will be saving money by not using as much product during each application as well.
For the most luxurious, even and flawless-looking sunless tan, you cannot go wrong with the Coola Kabuki Self-Tanning Brush. It will be your new favorite tanning accessory in no time!
2. Bareminerals Deluxe Tan Brush
Check current price on Amazon.
The Bareminerals Deluxe Tan Brush was created to make the self-tanning process so much easier.
The larger surface area of the brush allows you to use it all over, on the bigger areas of your body as well.
Being flat, the hairs of the brush will evenly blend the self-tanner into your skin, creating a flawless finish. The short handle is easy to hold and maneuver around, for the best possible results.
The length of the brush is 3 ¼ inches, with the bristle length being 1 inch with a diameter of 2 inches.
Because of the larger diameter of the brush, you will use less product during the self-tanning application as the brush spreads the product over a larger area evenly.
Tightly packed, soft bristles help you achieve the perfect tan time and time again, with no streaks or patches.
The Deluxe Tan Brush from Bareminerals is exactly what you need to improve your self-tanning experience!
3. Beauty By Earth Blending Brush
Check current price on Amazon.
This blending brush is offered by one of my absolute favorite self-tanners. Beauty By Earth is vegan and cruelty-free.
This tanning brush was formulated specifically for a range of self-tanning products, including self-tanning lotion, spray tan, self-tan mousse, and self-tanning drops.
I love how soft these bristles are. They don’t absorb the product so that you can get the most out of your self-tanner.
It’s perfect for use on your face and body, so it’s really the only brush you need. It even works with self-tanning sprays like this one from St. Tropez.
What Products Self-Tanning Brushes Work For
Self-tanning brushes are suited for certain types of self-tanning products. To achieve the best results possible, use one of the below self-tanning products with a self-tanning brush.
Mousse – Self-tanning mousses help to give you the most gorgeous, deep, dark and rich tone. Using a self-tanning brush for a mousse is ideal. Mousse tends to be thicker in consistency than a cream or lotion but can be light and airy as well.
A self-tanning brush will help even out the mousse onto the skin, blending it in evenly and helping it smooth over the skin in the right thickness. It also helps the mousse reach deeper down into the skin for a darker tan.
Lotion – A lotion is one of the obvious choices when using a self-tanning brush. The brush will evenly blend the lotion into the skin, smoothing it out to give the skin a consistent glow.
Due to the lightness of the lotion, using a self-tanning brush will help it sink deeper into the skin, for a longer-lasting tan. Using a self-tanning lotion on your face is also the best option, and a brush will help you create an even sunless tan on your facial skin, blending the lotion in properly to the small corners and crevices.
Mist – Self-tanning mists still need to be blended into the skin. If you just spray the mist and leave it like that, you will be sorely disappointed with a very streaky tan.
Once you have sprayed the mist onto your skin, you should use the self-tanning brush to buff it into the skin evenly. This helps coat the skin smoothly, blending the self-tanning mist in properly for the best results.
Spray tan – If you are brave enough to spray tan at home, you will need the help of a self-tanning brush to smooth the spray tan over into the more difficult areas that are often missed.
If you spray tan your face, you will need to blend the spray tan product into your nose, hairline, cheeks, and eyebrows smoothly for a more natural-looking tan.
Tanning foam – Self-tanning foams are delightful to use. They are very lightweight and spread smoothly over the skin. Using a self-tanning brush, you will be able to spread the product further, making you use less self-tanning foam during the application.
Due to the almost liquid feel of the tanning foam, it works wonderfully with the tanning brush and does not dry out before you can buff it onto your skin evenly. Self-tanning foams are also great for hydrating your skin and giving it some extra nourishment to prevent drying.
When To Use A Brush and Not A Mitt
Many of us are used to using a self-tanning mitt. They give our hands the protection we so desperately need (who wants bright orange palms?) and help to rub the self-tanning lotion into the skin evenly.
The catch is when you need to apply self-tanning lotion to ankles, hands, wrists and the tops of your feet. Self-tanning mitts tend to be too bulky, and do not help to blend the self-tanning lotion evenly into the smaller crevices and spaces.
So while a self-tanning mitt is great for bigger areas such as your back and stomach, they do lack effectiveness for the more delicate areas of the body.
Self-tanning brushes are perfect to use all over the body. They might take a little longer to blend in larger areas, but it will pay off by giving you an even, deeper tone that can often be very hard to achieve.
You will be able to use the same brush for all over your body, including the smaller areas, without having to worry about switching between different tools for different areas.
Self-tanning brushes are also great to use on the face, just as a makeup or foundation brush would be used. Obtaining an even tone on your face is so important for a natural-looking tan, and a self-tanning brush is the absolute best way to do this.
However, if you prefer using a self-tanning mitt for your arms, back, stomach and legs, you can switch to a self-tanning brush for the smaller, more harder to blend areas. This will improve the look of your tan, while still keeping the application time down.
Should you moisturize before self-tanning?
It is a great idea to moisturize before self-tanning, but not right before application. If you are self-tanning in the afternoon, remember to moisturize in the morning. Apply a light coating of moisturizing cream all over your body, focussing on the drier areas of skin.
Can you leave self-tanner on for longer than recommended?
Self-tanners take a couple of hours to develop into a darker tone than your natural skin color. Each product will have different development time, so be sure to check this before applying.
Washing the self-tanner off before the required development time will either leave you with a very light tan or with streaks and patches. Leaving the self-tanner on for longer than the recommended time will result in a darker tan, but you do run the risk of certain areas tanning darker than others.
You will thank the self-tanning gods the day you choose to use a self-tanning brush for the first time. They just offer the most flawless looking tan, giving you the ability to properly buff and blend in the self-tanning product into your skin.
Self-tanning brushes are the answer to properly and evenly tanning those hard to perfect areas such as hands, feet, wrists, and ankles. You will be left with an even, smooth and natural-looking tan, without any of the stress that we associate with self-tanning at home.
Try one of the three self-tanning brushes listed above and give yourself that summer glow that you deserve, all from the comfort of your own home!