How to Self-Tan Your Back Like a Pro

9 Apr, 2022

Self-tanning is a great way to get the perfect sun-kissed glow without having to spend time in the sun. However, self-tanning can be tricky, especially when it comes to the back. With blind spots and hard to reach areas, there’s no wonder why self-tanning the back is often seen as a daunting task. We’re here to help and show you how to self-tan your back like a pro! If you’re worried about making mistakes, don’t worry — you can use our self-tan for newbies and cautious tanners products. Gradual tan products come with a guide colour/sheen, so you can see where you’ve applied the product, helping you perfect your technique.

Start by exfoliating your skin

Exfoliating will help to clean the skin, remove any dead skin cells and create a smooth canvas for your self-tanner. Exfoliating is an important step in the self-tanning process, as it helps to ensure an even and streak-free finish. You can use a body scrub, loofah or exfoliating gloves in the shower. A loofah or brush with a long handle will help you exfoliate those hard-to-reach areas on your back. Just make sure to avoid any products with oils, as this can create a barrier between your skin and the self-tanner.

Use a tanning mitt for better results

It’s advised to use a tanning mitt when applying self-tanner to your back. This will assist in the uniform application and prevent streaks. A tanning mitt with a larger surface area is ideal for the back since it makes covering larger areas easier, ensuring that you can reach all the way to your shoulder blades. Before you start applying the self-tan, make sure you only use a little amount on the mitt so there’s no visible extra product on it. This will help to avoid any patchiness.

Build up your tan

The best way to apply self-tan on the back is to stand in a way that allows you to reach all areas of your back. This may mean standing with your feet slightly apart for stability and using a mirror to help guide you.
Using a self-tanning mist — like the coconut water tanning mist from James Read — is the easiest way to get even coverage on your back. Simply hold the can about 12 inches away from your skin and mist it all over. Be sure to pay special attention to areas that are often missed, such as the middle of the back and lower back. Be sure to keep the can moving so that you don’t end up with any missed spots or streaks.
If you are using other products like tanning lotions or oils, make sure you use a small amount of product and gradually add more as needed. When applying these types of self-tan products, use long, smooth strokes to ensure an even application.

Start from the middle of your back

When you self-tan your back, start from the middle of your back and slowly move outwards. Use long, smooth strokes to ensure an even application. When applying self-tanner to your back, use a tanning mitt with large circular motions to better blend the product. To reach the lower part of your back, you may need to slightly twist your body. Using a large mirror can also help extend your reach and ensure you don’t miss any spots.

Put the finishing touches

Be sure to check any missed spots after applying the self-tanner, as some parts of the back area can be difficult to reach.
The spine between the shoulder blades is one of the trickiest points to apply self-tan, so make sure to double-check this part of your body and apply more self-tan if needed. The best way to reach this area is by using a large tanning mitt as it will allow you to extend your reach. You may also want to ask someone for help to ensure an even application.
After you’ve applied the self-tanner to your back, you may also want to use a body moisturiser. This will help to hydrate the skin and give the self-tan a natural-looking finish. When applying body moisturiser, focus on areas that are often dry, such as the elbows, knees and ankles.


Now that you know how to self-tan your back like a pro, be sure to browse our range of gradual tan products. With gradual tan, you can build up your desired level of colour and achieve an even and natural-looking tan. As you can see where the product was applied and where it still needs to be blended, a gradual tan is perfect when using self-tan on tricky areas like the back. So why not give it a try? You might just be surprised at how easy it is to get a beautiful, streak-free tan.

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