If a wretched cold/flu season, frigid temperatures and a snowstorm thrown in have you hitting the bottle (the self tanner bottle, obviously!), fret not! Thanks to Beautisol founder and aesthetician Sinead Norenius, we’ve got the tips you need to at least convince your co-workers you’ve taken a sun-filled weekend getaway – even if your bathroom is as far as you’re really heading.

While we trust you already know to exfoliate prior to faux-glowing, to moisturize dry areas like your knees and elbows and to wear gloves to avoid orange palms (if not, consider yourself informed now!), keeping your tan looking flawless (and sheets stain-free) takes tactful tips too – and, luckily, Sinead is sharing!

If you’re  a self-tanning novice (AKA you didn’t know to exfoliate first), read this first!

Avoid Stained Sheets & Clothes. Avoid wearing tight, light or dry-clean only clothes or pajamas while your self-tan is developing (about 8 hours). If a bit of your tan comes off on your sheets or clothes, don’t worry, it will not stain – just add OxiClean to your laundry!

Avoid Water. Do not shower, bathe, swim or sweat for at least 6-8 hours after you apply the product.

Exfoliate 3–4 Days After. Gently exfoliate about 3 to 4 days after you last applied the self-tanner to help the tan fade evenly.

Everything you need to know about exfoliation.

Pat Dry. When you shower, it is normal to see color rinse off (so don’t worry!). Just remember to pat your skin dry – do not rub – to avoid running the tan off prematurely.

Buff If Needed. An easy way to soften or slow down the absorption of self-tanner on areas that tend to grab a lot of product (such as the elbows, knees and heels) is to use a dry washcloth to gently buff these areas after application. It will pick up some of the excess self-tanner and prevent them from getting too dark. If an area is really stubborn, take the finer side of your foot file and very gently rub it over the areas that you are trying to lighten.

Keep Q-Tips Close. Sunspots or old acne scars tend to get darker and more noticeable when you’ve slathered on self-tanner so, once you apply self-tanner to the area, take a slightly damp Q-Tip and gently wipe off the tanner from the areas where the dark spots are most prevalent to create a more even tone.

Want To Start Over? There are times when you need to just start over with your tan. That’s when it’s time to sit in a bath and just soak it off. Light some candles, add bubble bath, and relax. After about 20 minutes, take your exfoliating gloves and scrub away. Your tan will remove easily and you have a fresh slate for the next application!

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