Welcome to Self-Tanning 101. Whatever you take from these tips, this is the one step you can't skip. Sloughing off with an oil-free exfoliator (like St. Ives' famous apricot scrub) prevents your tan from going on splotchy and fading unevenly. Spend a little more time on areas where your skin is thickest, like your elbows, knees and ankles, as there’s probably more dead skin to be removed. Oh, and if you’re planning on shaving or waxing, do so at least 24 hours before applying tanner.
Then Moisturize (Selectively)
After exfoliating, apply an oil-free moisturizer like Vaseline’s Hand & Body Lotion to any dry areas—ankles, feet, elbows and knees come to mind again. This prevents these spots from soaking in too much color, and leading to weird patches that are darker than the rest of your body.