5 Fake Tan Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

The beauty of fake tanning is not having to wait for a clear, summery day to achieve a sun-kissed look. And not having to deal with the health risks that can come with sun exposure. As long as you have a tanning mitt, your trusted self-tanner and a bathroom nearby, you’re good to glow. However, as gorgeous as a faux glow can be, fake tan blunders are a reality for most of us. Uneven, streaky, orange patches are the last things we want. Follow our golden rules below and steer clear of these five fake tanning mistakes before and after you’ve finished with your bottle of bronzer.

Prep properly. And don’t forget to exfoliate

Buffing your bod from head to toe is one of the most important steps in your fake tan journey. We suggest doing a full-body exfoliation at least 24 hours before applying the tanning solution. Don’t scrub your skin too hard though, as this could lead to irritation. Exfoliating is a game-changer when self-tanning, as it helps prevent patches and promotes an even distribution of the product. It’ll make your skin feel silky soft too. Give extra attention to places like ankles, elbows and knees.

Elemis Lime and Ginger Salt Glow
Clarins Tonic Sugar Polisher

Choose an easy-to-apply formula

We all have different preferences when it comes to self-tanning formulas. And there are plenty to choose from. There’s mousse, liquid, spritzers, creams and lotions. Some have immediate results, while others gradually develop over a few hours. We prefer a formula that hydrates the skin while giving it a bronzed glow, such as the Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion. Regular use of this product will have you looking like you spent the last week on a tropical island.

Clarins Self Tanning Milky Lotion

Prolong the life of your tan. Moisturise!

After you’ve spent all the time and effort prepping for your tan, then applying it, watching your gorgeous glow disappear after three days (or so) can be gut-wrenching. The easiest way to keep it in tip-top shape? Use a body moisturiser (*once you’ve had your first shower after the tanning solution has settled), each morning and night. A moisturiser is a barrier for the skin and, therefore, protects your self-tan. We also recommend having shorter, cooler showers and baths, as this also helps keep your tan in place for longer.

Nivea Irresistibly Smooth Body Cream Tub with Shea Butter

Don’t forget your face

Now that you’ve achieved the tan of your dreams, it’s important to shade match your face. Prep your skin beforehand by exfoliating, cleansing and moisturising – just like you would with your body prep. If you’re worried that the colour may wind up too dark or too light, do a small patch test on your lower cheek above your neck. The Sisley Paris Phyto-Touche Gel is available in a matte and luminous finish, allowing you to choose how you glow. It has a pearly, iridescent shimmer that’s ever-so-slight so you’ll look like a bronzed goddess. 

Sisley Paris Phyto-Touche Sun Glow Gel

Keep workouts to a minimum

We’re trying to minimise your sweating time, so intense cardio, saunas and hot yoga are a no-no while you’re rocking your self-tan. Stick to lighter forms of exercise, such as walking and light weight training instead. On the night of your first application, use an older, dark sheet on your bed that you don’t mind getting self-tan on. And wear loose-fitting dark clothes.

What advice would you give to a novice fake tanner? Let us know in the comments below. 


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