How to Apply Self Tanning Mousse

Here is the scenario, you just purchased your first bottle of self tan mousse and you are so excited to try it. You have seen your friends and people you follow on social media rave about how amazing self tanners are but you are terrified you are going to mess it up. You start to think, “what if you miss a spot or what if my hands look weird?” Don’t worry, we have all been here. Trying something for the first time can be nerve racking no matter what it is and self tanning is no different. However, I promise that if you follow my exact steps to applying self tanner you will have a flawless application. 

First and foremost, do not use a self tanner for the first time right before a huge event. The first time you self-tan you want to make sure it is on a day where you have nothing really coming up. This also goes for spray tanning, never get a sunless tan or self tan before something big. I say this because there are things that can go wrong, you can get water spots on you or you can fall asleep with your hands on your chest and wake up with a brown hand. Basically you want to work out all the kinks that can go wrong your first time on a day that doesn’t really matter. Most people have a flawless application the first time when following my steps, however this is just a good rule of thumb to follow.

STEP 1 | Choose Your Tanning Mousse

First purchase our Sunless Rae self tan mousse kit. Our kit comes with everything you need for the perfect at home tan; our non-toxic mousse, applicator mitt and exfoliating mitt. It is important to have these three things to apply self tan mousse, do not use gloves or your bare hands to apply self tan mousse, only use an applicator mitt preferably with a hole for your thumb so you have more control. If you already have an applicator and exfoliation mitt, then you’ll only need our tanning mousse.

STEP 2 | Exfoliate Your Skin

Now that you have what you need, exfoliate 24 hours before applying the mousse. Exfoliating 24 hours beforehand allows your pores to close before application. If you exfoliate right before you risk the solution getting into your pores leaving you with brown dots. To exfoliate take a shower, use our exfoliating mitt with an organic/natural soap in circular motions all over your body to get rid of the dead skin to ensure an even application. Do not use an oily body scrub or any other products that may leave an oily residue on your skin, it can leave you with a streaky tan. 

STEP 3 | Apply Lotion To Dry Areas

I personally apply my self tan mousse in my bathroom and I usually apply it when I am nude. I like to use my bathtub to rest my feet on when I self tan my legs and I keep all my self tanning supplies in my bathroom. Once you have waited 24 hours and are ready to apply the mousse you will want to put lotion on the dry areas of your body; tops of feet, sides of feet, ankles, knees, tops of hands, inside of hands, wrists, and elbows. This is a very important step and this is what will give you a flawless faux tan. If you do not do this you will risk having darker hands, feet, elbows and knees. 

STEP 4 | Apply Self Tan Mousse To Desired Areas

Next put your applicator mitt on your hand and apply 2 pumps of mousse to the mitt. I start with my mitt in my right hand, and apply the mousse in circular motions on my left leg. Then I will go to the side of my stomach, front of my stomach, side of my back and then up to my chest. After I have done that area I do my arm, lift up my arm and go down to my armpit. I will then switch my mitt to the other hand and do the same thing on my right side. Once that is complete I apply the self tan mousse to my face and make sure to tuck my lips into not make them tan. Keep in mind I am continuously pumping 2 pumps of mousse onto my mitt during this process. Once I am done I get dressed, I will put on whatever I normally wear to bed. 

I always apply my self tan mousse at night as the one I love is an overnight formula, so I just sleep in it and shower in the morning. If you are using a different self tan mousse than the Sunless Rae one, make sure to follow the directions on the bottle. If it is a rapid solution, meaning you can rinse in 2-4 hours, do not keep it on longer. If you do keep it on longer you risk turning orange, the regular self tan mousse that says rinse in 8 hours can be left on longer will not turn you orange. The reason the rapid can is because it has a higher DHA level, which can over process if left onto long resulting in an orange tan. 

STEP 5 | Rinse After 8 hours

Once I have slept in my self tan mousse I rinse in the morning with water. I recommend not using soap or lotion until the 24 hour mark. Any sunless tan takes 24 hours to fully develop, if you use soap or lotion on your body you will stop the full development of the fake tan. I also recommend using an organic/natural body wash and lotion during the duration of your faux tan to make it last as long as possible. Make sure to moisturize everyday to prevent your skin from cracking and making the fake tan not last as long. 

Do not let self-tanning be overwhelming to you, if you follow these steps and apply the mousse for the first time on a day you don’t have something big coming up you have nothing to worry about. The biggest take away from this is to apply lotion to your dry areas BEFORE applying a self tan mousse this will make sure you have the best possible sun kissed tan.

Here's another great article for self tanning for beginners.





  • I worked in the tanning industry for years and have tried so many products on the market from DIY, to Machines, to personal air brush. This stuff is the real deal!

  • Thank you for the self tanning tips! Those were very helpful and I love your product. It doesn’t streak, no funky smell, doesn’t stain my clothes, looks like a real tan, and drys quickly. Using a organic body is definitely a must and makes a big difference.


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