The Ultimate Fake Tan Routine

Whether you’re a full-time fake tanner or just prefer the occasional bronze, getting a good fake tan routine nailed is an essential. Although we’re a fan of quick wins that don’t take up a lot of time, there is the odd occasion where we need to spend a little extra dedication for a full, flawless bronze from head to toe. Got your favourite tan or need help choosing? We’ve got the rundown of the different types of fake tan here.

We’ve written down our fake tan step by step and tips for the best fake tan results at home – when paired with a some skill (and some streak-free luck), you’ll get a flawless tan every single time. Oh, and if you’re ready to remove it, follow all our steps here.

1) Moisturise

One week before

Even though we *should* be body moisturising every day, we know that life can get in the way. If you’ve been slacking on your hydration routine, then one week before is the time to get it back on track. Layer on the thick body butters and hydrating formulas as much as you want, because moisturised skin is the key to a flawless tan.

2) Shave

24 hours before

If you like to shave before your tan, then it’s best to do it the day before. This allows the hair follicles to close back up, meaning the tan won’t settle in them and result in a patchy effect.

3) Scrub

24 hours before

Whilst you’re in the shower shaving, now is the time to scrub too. Using an exfoliating glove or grainy body scrub, gently buff the skin to remove any old tan, dead skin cells, dirt, and impurities. This creates a soft, smooth base for your tan to ensure a streak-free finish that won’t fade or turn patchy.

4) Moisturise

24 hours before

Yep, you’ve got it, moisturising is key when it comes to prepping for your tan. After shaving and scrubbing, it’s essential to make sure that your skin is nourished and isn’t left feeling dry or tight, so apply a layer straight after your shower.

5) Cold shower

Immediately before

Right before you apply the tan, jump in a cold shower to rinse off any moisturiser, deodorant, or sweat. The temperature is key here – cold water makes sure that your pores don’t open up as much, so the guide colour won’t settle in them. Make sure your skin is fully dry before moving on to the next step.

6) Apply the tan

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for – it’s finally time to tan. Whether you’re using a mousse, lotion, or drops, make sure you use a mitt to get a flawless finish. Start from the feet upwards, working in sections, and using circular motions to apply the tan to the skin. For trickier areas such as your hands and feet, use a buffing brush to get a streak-free finish.

7) Allow to develop

Now play the waiting game. Your tan bottle will usually tell you how long to wait, but for the best results, wear overnight. Just make sure to wear baggy clothes, avoid excessive sweating, and try not to get the tan wet.

8) Wash it off

After your tan has developed, wash off the guide colour or excess formula in a lukewarm shower. Make sure the water isn’t too hot! This can fade the tan and undo all your hard work. 

9) Moisturise

The key to a long-lasting, flawless tan, is moisturiser. Moisturise every day, morning and night to make sure that your tan lasts as long as possible, fades evenly, and carries you through party season. 

Our go-to fake tan faves

TAN-LUXE Glyco Water Self-Tan Eraser

Make sure you get rid of every scrap of old tan before you start afresh with the TAN-LUXE Glyco Water Self-Tan Eraser. What’s even better is that the nourishing formula doubles up as a primer to prep your skin for the next round.

Isle Of Paradise Self-Tan Priming Spray

Prep the perfect base with the Isle Of Paradise Self-Tan Priming Spray. Enriched with avocado, chia seed, and coconut oils, this primer softens and smooths the skin ready for flawless fake tan application.

SOSU Cosmetics Liquid Gold Tanning Mousse

If there’s a brand that can do tan, it’s SOSU Cosmetics. Their Liquid Gold range is one of our faves for a tan that looks like you’ve just stepped off the plane. Simply smooth onto the skin, follow our maintenance tips, and you’ll get your best glow ever.

Tanologist Blending Brush

It’s true what they say — the tan is only as good as the tools, which is why you need to add the Tanologist Blending Brush to your line-up. The kabui style body brush makes quick work of blending the tan onto the skin for a seamless, streak-free finish every time.

Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Mousse

If you’re looking for a fake tan that you can always rely on, then the Isle Of Paradise Self Tanning Mousse does exactly that. The pioneers of colour correcting technology, this brand delivers a glowing tan no matter your goal.

Soak Sunday Rose Utopia Body Scrub

Whether you’re prepping your skin and removing dead skin cells, or removing that tell tale tiger bread tan, reach for the Sunday Rose Utopia Body Scrub. Not only does this grainy scrub effectively exfoliate, but it smells great too.

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream

Formulated with salicylic acid to smooth and reset the skin, the CeraVe Smoothing Cream is the ideal pre-tan prep to make sure you have a perfectly smooth, hydrated, and dry skin free as your base for your glow.