Self Tanning Questions

How Long Does Self-Tanner Take To Dry? (Express vs Normal)

Written by: Anastasija

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Self-tanner is a good form of self-care, as it gives you time alone with you and your body and gives you the opportunity to invest that time into yourself.

If you’re interested in self-tanning and haven’t done so before, here’s what you need to know about how long it takes for self-tanner to dry.

How long do normal self-tanners take to dry?

Normal self-tanners are the traditional type of self-tanner. You have to apply them to well-prepared skin, wait for a few hours for them to develop, and rinse off in the shower. They take longer to dry than some other methods.

self tanning on the sun

‘Normal’ self-tanners usually come in the form of a foam or mousse, which is applied using a self-tanning mitt (I also wrote an article about self-tanning without a mitt, but I don’t suggest doing it).

As mentioned before, you have to wait for them to develop for a certain amount of time before washing the product off to reveal your tan.

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Generally, normal self-tanners take around 4-8 hours to develop, but dry after a minute or two. This means you can wear clothing on top a few minutes after you have applied the tan, but it develops over the course of the day, so you’ll have to wash it off a few hours later. Despite their longer drying time, normal self-tanners are really effective to get a good glow which lasts for longer.

Whilst the tan is still developing, you can wear clothes on top, but you’ll have to be careful that the tan doesn’t transfer onto your clothes. Because of this, it’s best to wear dark or loose clothing on the day after you have tanned.

Why Does Self-Tanner Smell featured

Because normal self-tanners take quite a long time to dry, many people choose to wear them overnight, while they’re asleep. If you want to do this, all you need to do is apply the self-tanner just before bed and keep it on overnight, making sure to lay a towel beneath you to prevent stained sheets. In the morning, wash the self-tan off in the shower and you’re ready to go!

In most cases, normal self-tanners can last up to 10 days, however, this varies depending on the product, application, and how active you are. If you maintain your tan well and follow the necessary recommendations and steps, you can make your self-tanner last this long.

How long do express self-tanners take to dry?

On the other hand, another option for self-tanners is the express self-tanner. As the name suggests, they are a faster option than normal self-tanners, but the main concept is the same.

Most express self-tanners take between one and three hours to dry, which is much faster than a normal one. Lots of express self-tanners work in a way which means that the longer you leave them, the deeper the colour will be. For example, one hour will leave you with a nice glow, but three hours will leave you with a deep, bronze colour.

If you are only hoping for a light flush of colour or a slight touch-up, the self-tanning process can be really quick when using an express tanner, so it’s more effective the lighter you wish to go.

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What’s good about this technology is that you are in control of your colour. You can go either super dark or gently tanned using the same product, so there’s no need to buy multiple different bottles for different shades. If you decide that you think you’re dark enough, you can wash the product off whenever you like.

Just like normal self-tanners, express ones usually come in a mousse form and are applied, develop over time, and washed off. Despite their express drying time, it’s still important to perform necessary preparations before using these products, as they can go patchy or streaky too.

You should, however, keep in mind that express self-tanners dry quickly, so you’ll probably want to avoid wearing them out while they develop to avoid forgetting to wash it off and leaving it on too long. This means you have to wait for the tanner to dry, which is convenient if you’re at home all day, but not so much if you need to go out.

How important is it to self-tan correctly?

Self-tanning can be time-consuming, as you have to wait for the product to dry, but also because you need to take your time to follow the steps carefully and thoroughly.

Before self-tanning, the first thing you should do is prepare your skin. The best time to do this is 24 hours before you apply your self-tanner, and you should moisturise just before as well. Preparation can take time, but it’s worth it for a smooth, flawless application.

St.Tropez_Extra_Dark_Mousse

If you don’t properly prepare your skin, there can be problems when you apply your self-tanner, and it may not perform as well as you expected. Exfoliation and other preparation methods leave the skin with a smooth surface, which is easy for the tan to glide onto smoothly without streaks or patchiness.

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Other tips and techniques to use when tanning can be useful to follow for the best outcomes. There are many different ways you can apply self-tanner, but it should always be done correctly for the best results.

Also read:
What Self-Tanner Do Celebrities Use? (Kardashians, J.Lo, …)
Does Self-Tanner Go Out of Date? Can You Still Use It?
Why Does Self-Tanner Smell? Can I Make It Less Smelly?

 

Final thoughts

Different self-tanning products take different lengths of time to dry – it depends on the product and formula itself, as well as how deep of a colour you wish to go. You can choose express self-tanners which will work into your skin faster or regular self-tanners which you have to wait to develop. Either way, you should always have a proper self-tan regimen.

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

Anastasija thirsty for tan about me

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