How To Apply Self Tanning Without a Mitt Diy? Best 6 Ways

tanning mitt diy

If you know how to use tanning mitt diy, you may end up with a slightly better tan. Many people choose to use their hands, and that’s certainly an option. Using your hands can give you orange hands and a less even hand. Don’t worry though, if you need to use your hands, we’ll cover some tips to make it more effective.

The best thing to do if we don’t have a mitt is to mimic its benefits with things we already have around the house. You should also stick with me until the end, as I have some great tips for applying self-tanner without a mitt, so you will get a perfect tan!

How to apply tanners without a mitt

There are some tools you likely already have in your house, which can replicate the effects of using a tanning mitt diy.

1)  Using a rubber glove

While it might seem ridiculous at first, it works quite well for many people – with a few even preferring it to tanning mitts. Self-tanner mitts tend to absorb some tanning solution every time you use them, especially the longer you use them. Due to this, the application will be uneven.

By using rubber gloves, you prevent the tanning product you are using from being absorbed, permitting you to gain maximum benefits from the tanning product.

Furthermore, gloves will allow you to reach places on your back that are harder to reach, as opposed to tanning mitt diy because they have finger holes. Since the material is rubber, you can also remove the tanning product afterward, especially if the product itself doesn’t contain a guide color or bronzer.

The products won’t even touch your hands, so you won’t even need to scrub them afterward to get the orange color.

2)  Using A Sock To Apply Self Tanner

Another fan favorite for applying self-tanner. Many socks can be used just like mitts after applying self-tanner, allowing you to prevent over-tanner from affecting your hands.

A self-tanner should typically be applied directly to your skin, then spread out with your sock. Since there is almost always some product being held by the fabric, you will find that the tan goes on much smoother on a sock than on a rubber glove.

The gloves tend to be thicker and provide better protection. They are also inexpensive and can be easily replaced after a few uses.

It is important, however, not to wear your socks again after using someone else’s. After washing your body, a self-tanner can still be left on your skin.

3)  Use hands

That sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? However, this is the way that the vast majority of people apply fake tanner, and you’ll be just fine. Applying sunless tanner with your hands can work well if you do it correctly.

However, using your hands to apply sunless tanner works well, you just have to make sure you do it correctly. You can start with your normal routine by showering, exfoliating, shaving, moisturizing, etc.

Don’t forget to spray on self-tanner liberally, but evenly, as you’ve done all your prep. Ensure that your knees, elbows, ankles, and other dry areas don’t receive too much self-tanner.

It’s time to wash your hands right away when you’re done spreading your tanner.

A fairly rough scrub like a sugar or sand exfoliator is the best way to do this. Scrub it vigorously to remove all the self-tanner before it gets a chance to set in.

As long as you do this as quickly as possible, there should be no self-tanner left on your hands.

4)  Cling film

This seems like an odd method of applying self-tanners, but it works better than you might expect. It’s super easy to make a tanning mitt diy with a little bit of cling film. Just wrap it around your hand completely.

You need to wrap the film very well before applying it to avoid exposed spots, but without making it too tight – you don’t want to cut off blood circulation! In addition to being extremely smooth in texture, cling wrap will also evenly apply self-tanner.

5)  Try Self-Tanning Wipes

Every year, self-tanning wipes become more popular, and for good reason, since they are fantastic!

The self-tanning wipe might be the perfect solution if you don’t have a mitt and aren’t satisfied with these other options. You can read my complete guide to the absolute best self-tanning wipes on the market here.

Essentially, it’s just a high-quality self-tanner in a handy towelette. In the long run, they aren’t quite as cost-effective, so you trade convenience for dollars. It’s great for traveling or to use before an event, or just for when you don’t have a lot of time but still want a great summer glow.

Since they’re already on the towelette, you don’t have to use your hand, they also apply well. Still, after using them you will want to scrub them well to avoid any discoloration.

So let’s talk about how to apply self-tanner without a mitt now. The preparation you do before applying self-tanner can be just as important as the self-tanner itself!

How To Apply Self Tanner Without A Mitt DIY

tanning mitt diy

1)  Exfoliate

Before applying a self-tanner, you should thoroughly exfoliate your skin. Self-tanners contain DHA, which is the main ingredient. Whenever DHA comes into contact with skin cells, it has a chemical reaction that results in the formation of pigment on the skin.

The tan can appear uneven or blotchy if there are dead skin cells present. You should avoid using oil-based exfoliants, as they can create a film on your skin. You can use either a sugar scrub or my favorite, an exfoliating mitt.

2)  Careful With Waxing And Shaving

It’s important, especially when applying self-tanner without a mitt. You should remove any hair at least 24 hours before applying a self-tanner.

Shaving or waxing can cause the skin to become inflamed and cause micro-cuts. You need the skin to be completely calmed down before you apply the product.

After applying fake tan, you should never wax or shave. This defeats the whole purpose.

Your outer skin is covered in DHA. You’ll remove most of the tan if you shave right after the tan sets, making it streaky and blotchy. (How to remove wax from skin)

3)  Moisturizing

It’s essential to keep your skin moisturized after applying the self-tanner to ensure it lasts! When your skin dries out, it can flake unevenly and look unnatural.

Try not to use any products like moisturizer, deodorant, or perfume on the day you intend to apply the self-tanner. These products can have odd reactions to the product.

4)  Cold Water

After taking a shower, blast your body with cold water right before applying a fake tan or getting a spray tan. This is not only beneficial to your health; it also helps to close your pores, allowing your tan to apply smoothly. It also prevents the product from blocking your pores.

Read More:

DIY Tanning Mitt Tips and Preparing for Tanning

 1)  A fragrance- and oil-free lotion

Then you must take extra care to clean up after your tanning process, especially the backs of the heels, the fingertips, the wrists, your knees, and elbows. They also absorb more dye than the rest of the skin, which results in unevenness. Apply some moisturizer at least 20 minutes before you apply self-tanner if you have naturally dry skin or large pores on your face.

2)  If you use spray tanners, tape the bottoms of your feet with masking tape.

You do not want your feet to turn orange for one to two weeks in case you step on residue. Because gaffer tape or painter’s tape is thick, they are the best options for protecting the skin, and they are easy to remove once you are done.

3)  Consider using washable makeup on your body

Tanners are awesome, and they’re highly convenient. Although, the idea of applying them to your skin might seem very intimidating, especially if you are using them for the first time and don’t want to make mistakes.

You can use body makeup that you can wash off the next time you go for a shower, or when you just want a quick facial glow when you go out. Additionally, you can also use them in place of self-tanners, and you can wash them off once you get home to get back to makeup-free skin.

4)  If you want to use tanner on your knuckles, bend your fingers like a claw

Then again, it is very unnatural to walk around with your fingers completely straight for an entire day, so this will enable you to cover all the nooks in your body that you don’t want to show, especially while moving around.

5)  On your cheekbones, use a sponge brush and facial self-tanner

Applying self-tanners to the face is quite tricky due to its sensitive nature. But keep it concentrated on certain areas like the jawline, cheekbones, and sides of the forehead then lightly spread it on the rest of the face.

6)  Do not apply the tanner to the ankles and elbows

Instead, leave them alone when you apply the tanner, and then you can brush the leftovers lightly onto them after you have finished the rest of your body. In addition, this will prevent them from becoming too dark compared to the rest of the body.


It doesn’t matter what method you use to apply your self-tanner; you can do it according to your preferences. The best tanning equipment is self-tanner mitts, but you can still get the same results by using them properly. Regardless of how much you practice, you will not get the most natural results — but if you do a good job preparing your skin, choosing the right product, and applying the product evenly, you will see amazing results.


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