We have all seen the photos of someone walking around with an orange tint, with only their face colored, not hands or legs, or with streaks in their tan. Of course, we know that they have a fake tan.
You also have a pretty good idea that someone has a fake tan if you saw them yesterday and they were stark white, and today they have a golden bronze tone to their skin, and yes it was raining yesterday. Using sunless tanning products do not have to result in these obvious blunders.
There is a method that you can follow when you first start using sunless tanning products, so that your new color tone appears natural. First of all, start off slow. You do not need to go from white as a sheet to dark brown in one day. If you have never used these products before, it is best to start off with a moisturizer that has some tint to it.
Apply this moisturizer all over your body, every day for a week, and see what that does to your skin tone. You should see a slight darkening in your skin, and a little bit of color in your cheeks.
After using the moisturizer for a week, start mixing in some of the sunless tanning lotion with the moisturizer and apply that to your skin. This will give you a slightly darker skin color. The active ingredient in the self tanning lotion is DHA or dihydroxyacetone. The DHA interacts with the amino acids in your dead skin cells to create the darker pigmentation.
The tanning products come with different amounts of DHA, the more DHA the product has, the darker your skin will become. That is why it is important to first mix the tanning product with a moisturizer, to cut back on the amount of DHA initially.