How to Apply Fake Tan

How to Guides: How To Apply Fake Tan

Fake Tan Application Instructions And Techniques

Achieve Self Tan Perfection With This Handy Guide To Applying Self Tanners

A step-by-step comprehensive guide with full instructions on how to apply fake tan and spray tan products with professional results. Details on preparing the skin prior to tanning, how to exfoliate, best practice for the application of fake tan products and avoiding streaks, maintaining your self tan, maximising the time your fake tan lasts, and how to ensure your self tan fades evenly without patches for that naturally tanned look.

Preparing the skin for tanning

Prior to applying any self tanning products you should first ensure that you have exfoliated the skin well. The purpose of exfoliating is to remove all the top layers of dead skin that would otherwise flake off naturally and unevenly, taking your new tan with them. Through not exfoliating prior to applying a self tanning product, the uneven natural shedding of your dead skin cells leads to the common ‘snake-skin’ patchy tanned look that many people often refer to, which is easily avoided by exfoliating first. Try For All My Eternity Sweet Orange & Grapefruit Body Buffer for a natural and gritty exfoliating experience.

You should always wax or shave at least 24 hours prior to fake tanning, as this allows the skin to calm down and settle before any self tanning products are applied. When applying the self tanning product, for best results you should not mix the product with any other body lotions as this could dilute the tanning agent (resulting in a lighter tan), or the ingredients of the two products could conflict (resulting in no tan or a poor quality result). If you need to use any skin products prior to tanning you should apply them well in advance and ensure they have been completely absorbed before applying the self tanner.

If you have stubborn areas that always go darker when tanning, try using a barrier cream (such as For All My Eternity Exotic Coconut Body Butter or Sweet Satsuma Body Butter) on them to stop those areas soaking up too much of the product and going too dark. This is generally only the case where the skin is harder, such as knees, elbows, ankles, feet, etc. Try applying only a very small amount of the product on these areas first until you get used to the amount you need to keep the colour even all over.

Self Tan Application:

For best results, apply the self tanning product straight after a shower. Avoid washing with shower gels and soaps high in alkaline as your skin should be neutral when applying the products. Apply the self tanning product evenly all over the body, taking time to ensure you’re applying it evenly and not putting on too much – remember you can always apply another layer later if you want to go darker. It’s often advised to use a tanning mitt when applying fake tan to help prevent your palms from getting tanned, but as long as you scrub your hands with soap and hot water very well after you’ve finished applying, this will help ensure your palms don’t end up tanned once the product develops in colour. Also, be careful when you’re washing your hands not to splash the water onto your freshly tanned body as this can end up in small splash marks being visible after the tan has developed (where the water has washed off the product). To tan the back of your hands, apply a small amount of self tanner with cotton wool, sponge or a tissue onto the back of your hands after you have washed them; also wipe around your wrists to avoid any marks. Alternatively, apply a small amount of fake tan to the back of one hand and rub the back of both hands together. Then use a tissue to remove any fake tan from the palms and fingernails.

Depending on what fake tan product you've used, you'll either have to wait to get dressed for 10-15 minutes whilst the product dries, or in some cases there are products that dry instantly and allow you to get dressed straight away, such as the For All My Eternity Self Tan Range. Some self tanning products give you an instant colour, which is ideal if you are going out straight away to an event, but some self tanning products don’t have a guide colour and instead go on like a moisturiser and develop naturally over 4-6 hours, which you need to allow for in advance if you're heading out in the evening and want some colour. Find the best product for your requirements using the Tan Matcher Tool.

The colour that develops from self tanning products can vary massively. Typically with self tanning you get what you pay for, therefore don’t go for the cheap products as there will be a strong chance you’ll end up with an undesirable end colour and tarnish your impression of what a good fake tan should look like. Instead you should be looking to spend £20+ on a bottle of self tanning lotion, as these products will have excellent ingredients and result in a very natural tanned colour being achieved. The better and more expensive products will often last you longer because you won't need to apply as much, therefore becoming more cost-effective over the long-term. You'll also end up with a tan that you'll never want to lose!

Apply one coat of self tan at a time, let that develop and then if you want to go darker re-apply in 12-24 hours. Don't re-apply too soon as this can affect the final result and the tan is more likely to flake off. Don't shower too soon after applying the tanning product either, it needs time to develop and by showering within a few hours after application could result in some of the product being washed off and not giving you a colour. The same can be said of physical activity too soon after application, perspiration can also end up in the product coming off prior to developing in colour affecting the overall result. If you still don’t get the colour you were hoping, you may have applied too much moisturiser prior to tanning, not used enough of the product, or even used too much of the product. It’s very often trial and error to begin with, but once you've applied a fake tan product a couple of times you’ll know exactly what you're doing and perfect the colour you're looking for.

Maintaining your colour:

To maximise the length of time your tan lasts, you should use a high quality moisturiser daily or a popular Gradual Tan & Tan Extender, such as For All My Eternity Gradual 10, every few days to keep your skin moisturised and less likely to flake prematurely. You should also exfoliate lightly several days after applying the self tanning product to naturally remove the dead skin cells evenly instead of them flaking off unevenly. Prolong your tan further by applying a tan extender or gradual tanner in between full applications.