How to Fake Tan

1. Prep your skin

This step is actually more important than applying the tan itself. No matter how well you apply a tan, if you don't have a clean canvas, you're going to get a nasty result. When prepping your skin you want to ensure you exfoliate off your old fake tan or dead skin cells. This allows a clean base for the tan to be evenly distributed over. Also, ensure that you moisturise your skin about an hour before applying fake tan so the product doesn't stick to dry patches.

2. Apply tan

Obviously the main event in the process is applying the tan. When applying tan, you want to work in small sections because most formulas dry pretty quickly. If you try to do it all at once, some sections will dry where they are or you'll end up with a patchy tan. Not. Cute.

Break your body into sections: calves, thighs, arms, chest, stomach and finally back. Leave your hands and feet till last and just use the excess tan leftover on the mitt. This way you won't end up with hands and feet that are 10 times darker than the rest of your body. Once you're done, leave your tan to dry for 5-10 minutes then pop some dark clothes on and wait.

3. Wash off tan

Once you've left your tan on for an abundance of time or you've decided to sleep in it, you still really need to wash it off. My best tip would be to use as little soap as possible. Soap dries out your skin and can also strip some of your fake tan off. Wash what is necessary then get out of there. As soon as you're out of the shower, moisturise your skin and presto. Your work is done. Gorgeous and glorious tan complete!

The dos and dont's of tanning


  • Do apply small amounts in sections. Start in one section and make your way up your body.
  • Do moisturise your skin an hour before tanning.
  • Do take off an old tan before applying a new one.
  • Do use a tan that works for your skin type.
  • Do give your tan time to dry before applying another layer or putting on clothes.
  • Do wash your tanning mitt each time after use.
  • Do put in the effort to tan your back. Or even ask a friend.



  • Don't apply fake tan straight after shaving or exfoliating. Fake tan will get stuck in open pores.
  • Don't layer a new tan over fake tan. This will lead to patch city.
  • Don't apply fake tan to your face.
  • Don't apply heaps of tan in one go. Wait half an hour then do another layer.
  • Don't put clothes on before your tan has dried.