The Ultimate Fake Tan Routine

Whether you’re a full-time fake tanner or just prefer the occasional bronze, party season means that our favourite fake tans are going to be back out in full force. 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. 

We’ve written down all the steps and tips for a full fake tanning routine from start to finish – when paired with a some skill (and some streak-free luck), you’ll get the best results every single time.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 


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.