The Easiest Way To Apply Self-Tanner On Your Back

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Self-tanner is an excellent way to show off our bronzed skin without incurring the wrath of the sun's rays. We all know the benefits of using self-tanner over spending a day in the sun sans SPF, trying a pricey and unreliable spray tan, or taking a trip to the dreaded tanning booth. Yet despite the many pros, self-tanner users know that the popular product has its fair share of cons. One of the main cons lies within the elusive question: How does one apply self-tanner to hard-to-reach places?

No one wants an uneven tan or pale spots on their body when everywhere else is perfectly sun-kissed. Still, that doesn't change the fact that most of us aren't Gumby and can't reach all the parts of our backs particularly well. If you've ever used a self-tanner and ended up with a less-than-desirable tan on your back, first of all, you're not alone. Second, things are about to look up. There are a few hacks that can help you to ensure the perfect summer-ready, all-over tan. While the concept of a flawless self-tanner tan may already sound too good to be true for most of us, it gets even better. These hacks likely won't require any tools or products that you don't already have at home or can't easily find. Luckily, they don't require extra-long arms either. 

Use tools to reach your back

There are a few problems to solve when it comes to applying self-tanner evenly on your back. The first order of business is getting the self-tanner to even reach your back. That's where using a tool comes into play. If you're a self-tan fan, then you probably already have a self-tanning mitt. If not, self-tanning mitts are like oven mitts, but they're used for applying self-tanner evenly and without staining your hands. You can snag one, like this Gaiyah Self Tanning Mitt Applicator, for about $7 on Amazon.

Put your mitt on the end of something that will give you better reach: a wooden spoon, hairbrush, ruler, or anything long that you've got around the house. Pop your mitt onto the end of the tool and secure it with a scrunchie or rubber band. If you're a self-proclaimed self-tanner guru and want to further streamline your process, invest in an applicator designed specifically to help get self-tanner and lotions onto your back. This Smooth Reach Lotion Applicator is under $30 on Amazon, and it's basically a paint roller that you can use to reach your back.

Keep in mind that applying an oil-free exfoliating product anywhere that you apply self-tanner can be very helpful when it comes to getting an even tan and keeping streaks at bay. Since most of us don't have much of a skincare routine for our backs, you should be sure to do this there before applying the self-tanner. 

Mists and motion make for an even tan

Whether you're an old pro or new to using a self-tanning mitt, make sure you start by rubbing some self-tanner entirely into the mitt. This ensures that you miss fewer spots and don't get streaks. Once you've rubbed the self-tanner into the mitt, add a bit more before applying it to the hard-to-reach areas on your back.

Self-tanning aficionado Nichola Joss spoke to Allure about the best method for getting a blended self-tan on your back. She recommends starting by moving the tool "up and down, from side to side, making sure you cover the whole middle," and then finishing up "with large circular motions around the hip and lower back area." She adds that the toughest part of your back to get an even self-tan is right in the middle above your shoulder blades. For this spot, you can spray a self-tanning mist product instead of foam or lotion to help you even out the tan in that area. Neutrogena Micromist Airbrush Sunless Spray is a great option. 

Finally, make sure to keep your back dry for a few hours following your tanning session. You should also do your best to keep clothes off of your tan and opt for light, loose-fitting tops for a while to ensure that your perfectly tanned back doesn't get any unwanted spots. That's all you need to lie out by the pool in your SPF 30 while looking perfectly sun-kissed.