How To Fake Tan Your Face

You’ve nailed the art of self-tanning your body, and you hardly ever end up with a white patch on your back or orange wrists anymore, but when it comes to your face, things can be a little more risky… It can be easy to hide streaky patches on your legs or missed areas of your arms, but not so much when it comes to your face. Which is where our foolproof guide to fake tanning your face comes in. Scroll down for all our top tips and tricks for achieving a flawless face tan. 

1. Start by prepping your face just as you would your body, by exfoliating your face. This will help to buff rough or dry patches and smoothen skin’s texture so that tan applies cleanly and evenly. It’s a good idea to do this the day before you tan rather than right beforehand. 

2. After exfoliating, apply an oil-free moisturiser to hydrate skin and prevent dryness. It’s important not to apply any oil-based products to your skin before tanning since the oil will create a barrier that blocks the tan from your skin. 

3. On the morning of application, cleanse your skin with an oil-free cleanser and moisturise any areas of dryness, as well as around your eyes, along your hairline, and along your eyebrows. 

4. When it comes to applying your tan, stand in front of a mirror in a well-lit area so you can ensure you have every area covered. 

5. Dispense the tan onto your fingertips as per the directions on the bottle (every formula is different), then place onto the areas of your face where the sun naturally hits (nose, cheeks, forehead). If you’re nervous about using face tan for the first time, mix it with your moisturiser before applying for a lighter result. 

6. Blend out gently but quickly with your fingertips, in circular motions as if you were applying a moisturiser.  

7. Once you’ve ensured an even coverage, use the excess to blend down your neck and onto your ears to prevent any stark lines. 

8. To prevent a noticeable line from forming around your hairline, dampen your fingertips with a hydrating toner and gently rub around the hairline. 

9. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly to prevent them from staining. 

10. Avoid touching your face or applying any skincare products until the tan has finished developing, and drink through a straw to avoid streaks around the mouth. 


To maintain your tan, keep your skin moisturiser, avoid using any harsh scrubs or exfoliants (unless you want it to fade), and top it up every other day.

Available in three shades, you can apply these drops straight to your face – but they’re also perfect for a customisable tan since they work just as well when mixed with moisturiser too. What’s more, you can totally tailor the level of tan to suit you – two drops will give you a subtle glow, ten drops will make you look like you just returned from a tropical island holiday. 

Proving that skincare technology improves year on year, this multi-tasking option is part face tan, part hydrating serum. Thanks to the hyaluronic acid and glycerin packed formula it boosts moisture levels, while antioxidants nourish and protect skin from environmental aggressors. The result is a natural-looking glow. 

A great newbie option, especially if you prefer a cream to a serum texture. This tanning moisturiser does double-duty and offers a flawless tan via a fuss-free formula. The results are sheer and natural, but it absorbs fast so you can easily layer up for more bronze.