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How to get the best out of your fake tan

So, if you are anything like me, you are probably the palest you have every been, and are desperate for a bit of colour on those legs before having to expose them to the world.

Well here are a few tips to make sure that you look as natural as possible, and avoid that fake tan look!

First off let's Prep.....

  • Always give your body a really good exfoliation a couple of days prior to tanning. This will get rid of any dead skin sitting on the surface of the skin. Dead skin will hold the tan easier than good skin and will create patches. Once you have exfoliated make sure you are moisturising your body for the next couple of days prior to tanning. This will ensure that your body is in the best condition.

  • If you wax then do it 48 hours before, and if you shave then leave at least 24 hours. This will stop you getting the little pin pricks

  • Check your tan is still within its sell by date. Trust me, you do not want to use a tan that is past it's use by date. It could turn green! And yes we all know Shrek and Fiona are lovely but really I don't think its the vibe you are going for!

  • Check that the tan you have isn't too dark for you. Most fake tans contain DHA which reacts with the natural chemicals in your skin. If you choose a tan too dark you can result in the "Tangoed" look!

  • Don't apply tan over old fake tan (unless you are using a gradual tan). This will result in streaks and patches.

  • Avoid any perfumes, deodorants and oil based moisturisers when applying your tan. These can react with the tan and cause it to go green or orange. If you have any eczema or dry patches apply a thin layer of non oil based moisturiser on the area to stop the tan grabbing too much.

  • Apply a little non oil based moisturiser to your feet and your hands. The skin on the top of your feet and back of your hands is slightly thinner than the rest of your body and will go a darker colour if you put too much tan on. The moisturiser will act as a barrier so that you don't over do it!

Now down to the application.....

  • Think about where you are going to do this. I know it shouldn't be that complicated, but if you are doing it on a carpet make sure you pop a towel down first. Fake tan is a pig to get out of your rug! Try to avoid hot steamy bathrooms as they can make you sweat, and fake tan doesn't like that. Even worse you can get water in the tan and this will make it go streaky. And make sure you close the curtains. You don't want the neighbours watching!

  • If you are using a cream or a mouse then it is best to apply using a mitt. Two reasons for this, firstly you will get a much more even tan, and secondly it will protect the palms of your hands from tanning. Yep this is a total giveaway that you have not indeed just nipped to the Bahamas! Apply the tan working upwards from your feet to your head. Leave your face until last. Don't rub, just sweep up with the mitt.

  • If using a spray, then spray in one direction either up or down whichever is most comfortable for you. Don't spray directly on the face, but mist it on.

  • Give yourself time to dry before putting any clothes on. Ideally after tanning you should wear something nice a loose fitting, avoid bras and socks if you don't want lines.

  • Give it time to work. Most fake tans need 8 hours + to develop. Ideally do your tan at night and sleep in it. Pop a large beach towel on your bed to save you having to wash your sheets.

  • When you do wash it off be gentle! Use a mild soap or shampoo to gently wash your body. Don't rub or scrub, just let the water wash off the residue. Pat your self dry and then moisturise (make sure you are using a non oil based moisturiser)


  • Slap on the moisture. Yes if you want the tan to look natural and last longer you need to be moisturising. On day 3 of your tan gently exfoliate the skin. This will get rid of any dead skin build up and will leave the tan looking refreshed. You should get 7-10 days out of a good fake tan.

What if it goes wrong?

  • Well there are some things that can help. If you are too dark then use a body oil and this will start to break down the tan. You can add in baking soda if you really need to move it fast!

Hopefully you will now be able to do the perfect home fake tan! Good luck

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