How To Apply Fake Tan

4 min read
How To Apply Fake Tan

With the annual party and bathing season upon us many are looking for a safer alternative, and with far less tan lines, to get that golden summer glow.

Fake tan can be awesome -it can make you look like a Greek Goddess, or it can go horribly wrong and you could find yourself stuck with Oompa-Loompa orange!

To Apply Fake Tan | Stay At Home Mum

Here are our top tips for a great fake tan:

The Groundwork

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate! This is the key to having an even goddess tan. If your skin is more reptile then baby’s bottom then your tan will look the same. The dead skin cells suck up the colour making you look patchy with darker areas of colour. Different exfoliation methods include an exfoliation cream/enzyme or you can crack out an exfoliating mit and go to work giving yourself a scrub. I prefer a cream so I know where I have been and don’t miss any spots. The exfoliation creams that are a more heavy duty like the ones that compliment any self-tanning products can be best.

How to apply fake tan


Now this is a contentious one. Many people say don’t moisturise, but this is a rooky mistake. If you have dry skin and haven’t slathered on the cream then prepare yourself for strangers to stand just a little further away from you than normal, as you will look like you have some ancient incurable skin condition. Not great just before the office Christmas party. As a minimum get some moisture into your knees, elbows, fingers, wrists, ankles areas. These areas are generally very dry.

Hair removal time

Grab out the razor or get some waxing done BEFORE the fake tan is applied. You don’t want to give yourself a few streaks with a quick leg shave whilst running out the door.

To face tan or not to face tan?

Applying your fake tan to your face is a personal preference. Just go easy on it if you are going to or if you are a bit nervous with it then a bronzer will do the job tying everything in when you are doing your make up. Caution: if it is a pool party then consider a light application of fake tan otherwise a really white face on a tanned body is going to blow your cover and expose you to ridicule.


The Product

There is probably a million different self-tanning products on the market and probably the same number of tanning salons. The colour is really important. If you have fair skin then going really dark is not going to work well for you. A lighter more sun kissed look is the way to go. No matter your skin colour always remember is you can add another coat to make it darker. Ask your friends for recommendations of products, especially if they have a similar skin tones. As for local tanning salons, word of mouth is the best way to find the one for you.


Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise. Inside and out. Slather on the cream including sunscreen if outside a fake tan doesn’t protect you from the sun. And stay hydrated. Don’t forget your eight glasses of water a day. Using a tinted moisturiser can extend your fake tan’s life.

How To Apply Fake Tan | Stay At Home Mum

What happens if it all goes horribly wrong?

Go back to step one. Exfoliate as much as you can however you can, creams, mits, scrubbing brushes, using windex is another hint. The only way I have ever successfully removed all the tan in one hit is visiting a Turkish bath in Istanbul, where I was bathed and scrubbed within an inch of my life and came out white as a sheet.

What are your best self-tanning tips? We’d love to hear them in time for summer!

About Author

Elizabeth Everett

Elizabeth is the mum of two energetic kids who uses baking as a relaxation technique. She hates cleaning but loves a clean house.

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