What Can I Use Instead Of A Tanning Mitt? Answered!

Tanning mitts have been a staple in many people’s tanning routines for years.

They are designed to provide a smooth and even application of self-tanning products, helping to achieve that desired sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of UV rays.

However, not everyone has access to a tanning mitt, and it can be a struggle to find alternatives that work just as well.

The good news is that there are many items around the house that can be used in place of a tanning mitt, and in some cases, even work better!

From common household items like cotton balls and makeup sponges to beauty products like exfoliating gloves and body brushes, there are plenty of options to choose from.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the different alternatives to tanning mitts, their benefits, and how to use them effectively.

Whether you’re a seasoned self-tanner or just starting out, this guide will help you find the best option for your needs and budget.

From natural and eco-friendly alternatives to affordable and easy-to-find options, we have it all covered.

So, if you’re looking for ways to get that perfect tan without a tanning mitt, keep reading to find out what you can use instead!

Exploring Alternatives to Tanning Mitts: Benefits and Effective Use

Reusable Tanning Mitts

Reusable tanning mitts are an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to disposable tanning mitts.

They are made of a soft and durable material, such as microfiber or velvet, and can be machine washed for easy cleaning.

Look for mitts with a waterproof layer to prevent the self-tanning product from soaking through and staining your hands.

Reusable tanning mitts offer several benefits for those looking for an effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable tanning mitts.

One of the main benefits of reusable tanning mitts is their durability.

Unlike disposable mitts that can tear or become saturated with product, reusable mitts can last for several months or even years with proper care.

This not only saves money in the long run but also helps reduce waste.

Reusable tanning mitts also offer better control and precision when applying self-tanning products.

The material used in reusable mitts is usually of a higher quality and can help distribute product evenly, reducing the risk of streaking or missed spots.

When using a reusable tanning mitt, it is important to ensure it is clean and dry before each use.

This will help prevent bacteria growth and ensure the mitt remains effective.

After each use, wash the mitt with soap and water, hang it to dry, and store it in a clean, dry place.

To use a reusable tanning mitt effectively, start by shaking your self-tanning product well and then squirt a small amount into the palm of the mitt.

Spread the product evenly over the skin, using long, sweeping motions to cover all areas.

Be sure to blend well, especially around the joints and areas that are prone to streaking, such as the elbows, knees, and ankles.

To summarize, reusable tanning mitts offer several benefits, including durability, better control and precision, and reduced waste.

When used effectively, they can help you achieve a smooth, even self-tan with minimal risk of streaking.

Cotton Gloves

Cotton gloves can be used as a substitute for a tanning mitt.

The gloves will prevent the product from staining your hands and will allow you to apply the product evenly.

After use, wash the gloves in warm soapy water and let them air dry.

Benefits of using cotton gloves as an alternative to tanning mitts:

  1. Affordable: Cotton gloves are readily available and relatively inexpensive, making them a cost-effective option for those looking for an alternative to tanning mitts.
  2. Reusable: Unlike disposable tanning mitts, cotton gloves can be washed and reused multiple times, making them a more environmentally friendly choice.
  3. Soft and gentle: Cotton is a soft, natural fiber that is gentle on the skin. This makes cotton gloves an ideal choice for those with sensitive skin or those who want to avoid irritating their skin while applying self-tanner.
  4. Versatile: Cotton gloves can be used for a variety of purposes, including applying self-tanner, moisturizing the skin, and even as a barrier to protect hands from harsh chemicals.

To use cotton gloves effectively as an alternative to a tanning mitt:

  1. Make sure to choose gloves that fit well, as this will help to ensure even application and avoid any streaking.
  2. Before using the gloves, make sure to wash your hands to remove any oils or lotions that could affect the application of the self-tanner.
  3. Pour a small amount of self-tanner into the palm of the glove, and then use your hands to apply it to your skin in a circular motion.
  4. Pay special attention to areas that are prone to streaking, such as the elbows, knees, and ankles, and make sure to blend the self-tanner well in these areas.
  5. After use, wash the gloves thoroughly to remove any leftover self-tanner and allow them to air dry.

Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes can be used to apply self-tanning products, such as lotions and creams, for a more precise application.

Choose a brush with dense, synthetic bristles, and use circular motions to blend the product into your skin.

Clean the brush thoroughly after each use to prevent bacteria growth and ensure a long lifespan.

They offer a number of benefits, including the following:

  1. Precision application: Makeup brushes allow for precise application of a product, allowing you to target specific areas of your face and blend seamlessly.
  2. No wasted product: Unlike using your fingers, makeup brushes do not absorb the product, so there is less waste and more product on your face.
  3. No cross-contamination: Using a brush helps to avoid cross-contaminating products, as well as your skin, with bacteria from your hands.
  4. Professional-looking results: Makeup brushes can help create a smooth, even, and professional-looking application.

To use makeup brushes effectively, it is important to use the right brush for the right purpose.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Invest in high-quality brushes: Good brushes are a worthwhile investment, as they will last longer and perform better.
  2. Clean your brushes regularly: Regular cleaning of your brushes is important to avoid the buildup of bacteria and to keep them working well.
  3. Know your brushes: Familiarize yourself with different brush types and their uses to maximize their effectiveness.
  4. Use the right technique: Experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you, whether that’s dabbing, swirling, or sweeping.

By taking the time to choose the right makeup brush and using it correctly, you can achieve a flawless makeup look and enjoy all of the benefits that brushes have to offer.


Sponges are another alternative to traditional tanning mitts, and they offer several benefits for those looking for a change.

Some of the benefits of using sponges for tanning include their affordability, versatility, and ease of use.

They are also effective at providing an even and smooth application, which is crucial when using self-tanning products.

When using sponges as an alternative to tanning mitts, it’s important to look for sponges made of high-quality materials, such as natural sea sponges or synthetic sponges.

To use a sponge effectively, you should dampen it slightly and squeeze out any excess water, as this will help prevent streaks or patchiness in your tan.

Then, simply apply the self-tanning product to the sponge and use it to gently dab and blend the product into your skin, being careful to cover every area evenly.

After use, rinse the sponge thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before storing it for later use.

Overall, sponges are a great alternative to traditional tanning mitts and can help you achieve a natural-looking, even tan.

With their affordable price, versatility, and ease of use, they’re definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a change from traditional tanning methods.


Socks can be used as an alternative to a tanning mitt for applying self-tanning products.

The benefits of using socks include ease of use and accessibility as most people have socks readily available.

Additionally, socks provide a more hands-free experience as you can simply wear them on your hands, reducing the chance of getting the product on other areas of your skin.

To use socks effectively as a tanning mitt, simply put them on your hands and then apply the self-tanning product all over your body.

Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after use to remove any residue.

It’s also recommended to use clean, white socks as dyed socks may transfer color onto your skin.

Additionally, using a clean pair of socks for each application can help prevent any buildup of product on the sock, resulting in a more even application.

The socks will protect your hands from staining, and you can use the socks to blend the product into your skin.

Wash the socks in warm soapy water after use, and let them air dry.

Toilet Paper or Tissues

Toilet paper or tissues can be used as a makeshift alternative to a tanning mitt.

The benefits of using these materials include their convenience, as they are readily available and often found in most households.

However, they can also be less effective than a proper tanning mitt, as they are not specifically designed for self-tanning applications.

To use toilet paper or tissues effectively, you should apply the self-tanning product sparingly to the desired areas, then gently blend it in using the paper.

It is important to use a light touch and work carefully to avoid leaving streaks or an uneven application.

Additionally, because toilet paper and tissues can break down easily, you may need to use multiple pieces to achieve the desired coverage.

To minimize waste and avoid overusing these materials, it may be more efficient to use them for small touch-up areas, rather than for full-body applications.


Washcloths can also be used as an alternative to a traditional tanning mitt.

Washcloths are often made of soft, absorbent materials such as cotton and are gentle on the skin.

They can be used to apply self-tanning products and help to distribute the product evenly.

When using a washcloth as a tanning mitt, it’s important to make sure the cloth is damp before using it to apply the product.

This helps to reduce the amount of friction on the skin and helps to prevent streaks.

After use, wash the cloth with soap and water and hang it up to dry.

This will ensure that the cloth is ready for use next time and that it won’t transfer any bacteria to your skin.

Washcloths are an economical alternative to traditional tanning mitts, and they can be found in most households, making them a convenient option for those who are looking for a quick and easy solution.

Makeup Wedge

Makeup wedges are triangular-shaped sponges made of a soft and absorbent material, typically foam.

They are often used to apply foundation, concealer, and other liquid or cream products.

When using a makeup wedge as a tanning mitt, you can simply dampen the sponge and use it to apply your self-tanning product, blending it into your skin in a smooth and even manner.

This method provides similar benefits to using a traditional tanning mitt, including a smooth, even application and minimized streaking, but it also allows for more precise application and can be easier to control.

The soft and absorbent material of the sponge can also help prevent your hands from becoming stained from the self-tanning product, making it an ideal option for those who want to avoid using a traditional tanning mitt or who simply prefer a different tool for their self-tanning routine.

Beauty Blender

An alternative to a tanning mitt is using a makeup sponge or beauty blender.

Makeup sponges are often made of soft, absorbent material that can help you apply self-tanning products evenly.

They can be used damp or dry and have a shape that allows for easy maneuvering, making it easy to reach hard-to-get areas such as the sides of your face or your back.

Additionally, they are disposable, which can be an advantage for those who are looking for a more hygienic option.

To use a makeup sponge effectively, simply dampen the sponge and then use it to apply the self-tanning product to your skin, blending it in until it is fully absorbed.

Be sure to wash your sponge after each use to prevent bacteria buildup.

Wrapping it Up: The Final Verdict on Non-Traditional Tanning Mitt Alternatives

The conclusion of this article on alternatives to traditional tanning mitts summarizes all of the information discussed above and highlights the key takeaways.

Throughout the article, we have explored several options for achieving an even and streak-free sunless tan, including reusable tanning mitts, cotton gloves, makeup brushes, sponges, washcloths, beauty blenders, socks, and even toilet paper or tissues.

Each of these alternatives has its own unique benefits, from providing a more sanitary application to avoiding the hassle of washing and storing a separate tanning mitt.

In addition to discussing the benefits of each alternative, we have also provided tips on how to use them effectively for a flawless tan.

Whether it’s ensuring that the gloves or sponges are fully saturated with tanning products or avoiding excessive pressure when using toilet paper or tissues, these tips can help you achieve the perfect sunless tan every time.

Remember to clean the tools thoroughly after each use to prevent bacteria growth and ensure a long lifespan.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose an alternative that works best for you and your personal preferences and to be patient and persistent in your application process.

With a little practice and attention to detail, you can achieve a gorgeous, glowing tan without the need for a traditional tanning mitt.

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