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Self Tanning Towelettes

Self Tanning Towelettes: The Easy Way to Achieve a Bronzed Glow

Summertime might bring the temptation to lay out in the sun for that enviable bronze glow, but the savvy amongst know better.

Baking under the sun for hours can lead to harmful effects such as sunburn, premature ageing, and a higher risk of skin cancer.

So what’s a girl to do when she wants to sport that sun-kissed look without the sun damage? Enter self tanning towelettes.

They’re quick, convenient, and offer a safer alternative to traditional sunbathing or tanning beds. Plus, they’re becoming the latest must-have in the beauty world.

But are self-tanning towelettes really the easiest way to achieve that bronzed glow? Let’s investigate.

What are Self Tanning Towlettes?

Whether you’ve found yourself with a set of these towelettes in your latest beauty box, or simply come across them in Boots, you might be wondering – what actually are self tanning towelettes?

Self tanning towelettes, also known as tan towels, are disposable cloths infused with a self-tanning solution. Similar to a wet wipe, these towelettes are designed to glide over your skin, providing an even, streak-free tan without the need for UV exposure.

They’re typically individually packaged, making them a handy, mess-free option for on-the-go tanning.

The active ingredient in these towelettes is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a colour additive that interacts with the amino acids in your skin to create a natural-looking tan. The intensity of the tan depends on the concentration of DHA in the towelette, allowing you to choose from a range of shades, from a subtle sun-kissed glow to a deep bronze tan.

Self Tanning Towelettes

Benefits of Using Self Tanning Towelettes

Instant Golden Glow – The Safe Way

There’s a lot to love about self tanning towelettes. Firstly, they offer a safer alternative to sunbathing or tanning beds, allowing you to achieve a tan without the risk of UV damage. Plus, they eliminate the need for messy lotions or sprays. You simply swipe the towelette across your skin, and voila! You’re on your way to a faux glow.


Secondly, self tanning towelettes are ultra-portable. They’re lightweight and compact, fitting easily into your handbag or luggage, making them ideal for travel or quick touch-ups throughout the day.

Nourishing Formulas

While you might think towelettes might dry out your skin, many self tanning towelettes are formulated with moisturising ingredients, which not only help the product glide smoothly onto your skin but also nourish your skin in the process. The results? A longer-lasting tan and healthier-looking skin overall.

Quick and Fuss-Free

Lastly, self tanning towelettes typically dry quickly, allowing you to dress soon after application without worrying about staining your clothes. No more ruining your new white sundress with tan marks!

Self Tanning Towelettes

How to Apply Self Tanner Using Towlettes

Using self tanning towelettes is relatively straightforward, but to ensure a flawless finish, follow these steps:

Prep Your Skin (Day Before Tanning)

The secret to a perfect tan starts with skin preparation. The day before you plan to apply your tan, exfoliate your skin in the shower using a body scrub or exfoliating mitt. Focus on areas where skin tends to be drier, like knees, elbows, and ankles. This will remove dead skin cells and provide a smooth canvas for your tan, helping to avoid a patchy, blotchy or streaky tan.

Hydrate (Day Before Tanning)

After exfoliating, apply a hydrating body lotion to replenish moisture and ensure your skin is in top condition. Pay extra attention to those drier areas; well-hydrated skin will take the tanning product evenly, leading to a natural-looking finish.

Get Ready to Tan (Day of Tanning)

On the day of your tan application, avoid using any lotions, creams, or oils on your skin. These products can create a barrier that prevents the tanning solution from fully penetrating and may result in a streaky or patchy tan.

Apply the Self Tanning Towlette

Unfold your self tanning towelette and start applying in a circular motion, beginning with your legs and working your way up. Save your face, hands, and feet for last, using the remainder of the product on the towelette for these areas.

Apply with light pressure and make sure to cover all areas. Remember, the towelette needs to glide over your skin, so there’s no need to rub it in as you would with a lotion or mousse.

Blend, Blend, Blend

Blending is crucial for a streak-free tan. Make sure you blend the product into your hairline, wrists, and ankles. Be mindful around knees and elbows where skin is drier and may absorb more product, leading to a darker tan.

Allow Time to Dry

Give the product enough time to dry before getting dressed; this should typically take about 10 minutes. Avoid wearing anything white or light-coloured that could potentially become stained – including bed sheets and sofas!

Maintain Your Tan

After the first application, allow at least four to six hours before showering or working out. Maintain your tan by applying a self tanning towelette every two to three days and keeping your skin hydrated. To keep your bronzed glow looking its best, avoid exfoliating your skin or using products containing retinol, which can cause your tan to fade faster.

Self Tanning Towelettes

Self Tanning Towlettes vs. Tanning Mousse

So, when it comes to comparing self tanning towelettes with other tanners on the market, how do these handy wipes hold up?

Both self tanning towelettes and tanning mousse offer a UV-free way to tan, but there are a few differences to note.

Tanning mousse is typically applied with a mitt and can offer more control during application, which can be beneficial for first-time self-tanners. However, it can be messy and takes longer to dry.

In contrast, self tanning towelettes are mess-free and dry quickly, making them a great option for on-the-go applications. However, they may be less moisturising than mousses, so extra skin hydration might be necessary.

Self Tanning Towlettes vs. Tanning Lotion

Tanning lotion is another classic option that allows for precise application and often includes moisturising ingredients.

But it can be time-consuming to apply and might transfer onto clothing or bedding before it’s fully absorbed.

Self tanning towelettes, on the other hand, are easy to use, absorb quickly, and won’t leave any residue behind. However, they might not offer the same level of hydration as tanning lotions.

Self Tanning Towlettes vs. Tanning Oil

Popular on TikTok and within the beauty community for their duality, tanning oils provide a dewy finish and can be deeply hydrating, but they can feel greasy and take a while to absorb. Self tanning towelettes are far less messy, absorb rapidly, and still provide a natural-looking tan.

Your choice between these two options will largely depend on your needs, and how quickly you want to wrap up the process; towelettes are much quicker, and much less messy.

Can I Use Self Tanning Towelettes On My Face?

Self tanning towelettes can be used on your face, but it depends on your skin type and the product itself.

Some towelettes are specifically designed for the face, with a gentler formula that won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, making them suitable even for sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Considerations before using Self Tanning Towettes

If you have sensitive skin, or if you’re using a product designed for the body, you may want to perform a patch test first. Apply the product to a small area of your face and wait 24 hours to see if any irritation or breakouts occur.

When applying the towelette to your face, make sure to blend well around your hairline and eyebrows, and avoid getting the product in your eyes. You should also avoid applying too much product to avoid a darker or unnatural look.

And remember, even though you have a sun-kissed glow, self tanning towelettes do not provide sun protection, so continue to use an SPF product to protect your skin from sun damage.

Self Tanning Towelettes

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we answer your questions about self tanning towelettes.

Can I use self tanning towelettes on sensitive skin?

Yes, many self tanning towelettes are suitable for sensitive skin, but it’s always best to do a patch test first. Look for towelettes with natural and gentle ingredients and avoid those with parabens or excessive artificial fragrances.

How long does the tan from self tanning towelettes last?

The tan usually lasts between 3 to 7 days, depending on how well you maintain it. Regular moisturisation and avoiding exfoliation can help extend the life of your tan.

around the hairline and eyebrows, and do a patch test if you have sensitive skin.

How soon can I shower after applying self tanning towelettes?

It’s best to wait at least 4 to 6 hours before showering to allow the product to fully develop.

Will self tanning towelettes stain my clothes or sheets?

Most towelettes are designed to dry quickly and shouldn’t transfer onto clothes or sheets once dry. However, to be safe, wait until the product is fully dry before dressing or getting into bed.

Can I swim after applying self tanning towelettes?

Avoid swimming for at least 4 to 6 hours after application. Chlorine in swimming pools can cause the tan to fade faster.

Can I use self tanning towelettes if I have acne-prone skin?

Yes, you can, but choose a product designed for facial use, which won’t clog pores. It’s also advisable to do a patch test first.