Do you want all the tips and tricks on how to get a year-round golden glow? Our guide on how to apply fake tan will help you to get a streak-free, long-lasting tan without any rays in sight. Keep reading for the lowdown on how to prep your skin, how to apply your fake tan and the best aftercare tips to ensure your sun-kissed skin remains!
How to prep before your fake tan routine
Exfoliate everywhere you want to tan
One of our first (and probably most important) fake tan tips is to exfoliate and then exfoliate some more! Sloughing away dead skin cells with body scrubs and exfoliating mitts will create a super smooth base for your fake tan to glide on to. This is an essential step, even if you’re getting a spray tan.
Remove any unwanted hair the day before
If you have any unwanted body hair you’d like to remove, then be sure to de-fuzz at least a day before you start your fake tan routine. Why, we hear you ask? Well, many hair removal methods such as shaving and waxing can take off the top layer of skin cells, which can give you a patchy-looking tan if carried out after you’ve applied your tanning product.
Moisturise Dry Areas
Don’t you just hate it when your elbows and knees give the fake tanning game away? To keep the drier areas from going patchy, make sure you moisturise all over and pay extra special attention to these troublesome areas. Try to leave the moisturiser to sink in for at least half an hour before you start the application stage of your fake tan routine.
How to apply fake tan
Step 1 - Prep your tanning mitt
Fake Tan Tip: To spread the product out evenly on the mitt, scrunch your hand up into a fist before moving any further with your fake tan routine.
Step 2 – Apply in circular motions
Focusing on one body part at a time, make sure to rub the fake tan into the skin with circular motions – making sure to that the product has been thoroughly blended. One of the most common fake tan faux pas is to forget about the inner parts of the body (inside of the arm, we’re looking at you) so give these areas just as much attention in your fake tan routine!
Fake Tan Tip: If you’re applying instant tan, you need to work very quickly to get an even coating of tan. And if you need to buff any noticeable streaks, then use a kabuki brush to blend them out.
Step 3 – Leave to dry down
Drying times may vary from product to product, so always double check the instructions and leave to dry as per the recommended time. Once the colour has developed, you may need to wash it off before you can admire your golden glow in its full glory. After all, good things come to those who wait, right?
The finishing touches
If you want to add that extra glow to your new bronzed look, all you need to do is finish with a touch of shimmering body lotion or oil. If it’s gradual tan you’ve gone for, then you may need to top it up daily to ensure that your sun-kissed appearance doesn’t fade too quickly.
Top fake tan tips & tricks
Never Go in With Your Bare Hands
Always use a mitt or gloves when handling fake tan products as the palms of your hands can pick up colour very easily, which can be a nightmare to scrub off. If you decide to brave it and go without anything covering your hands, set a timer and ensure you wash your hands every 5 minutes when you’re applying.
To keep the year-round tan without regular trips to the Bahamas, you’ll need to ensure that you moisturise daily. This will keep the skin healthy and hydrated and give the appearance of a summer glow. You’ll also want to opt for cooler showers and baths to avoid dehydrating the skin, which can speed up the process of flaking and peeling.
Apply Fake Tan at Night
Not only will applying your tan at night give it more time to develop, but it also means you’ll have less chances of smudging it. PJs tend to be the loosest type of clothing, so this can help you avoid any dreaded patchiness.
Clean up After Tanning
And the last (but certainly not least) of our fake tan tips is to ensure that you wash your tanning applicator mitt after each use with warm, soapy water and leave to air dry. This will prevent a build-up of product on the mitt and ensure a clean, even tan application every time.
About Rosa Morell
Rosa is a creative copywriter who has been writing about beauty, fragrance and her personal interest, sustainable fashion, for over two years. When she’s not hunting in her local charity shops for vintage homeware, she’s scrolling through the latest beauty trends on TikTok. Her favourite range at Superdrug? B. Skincare.