A tan-tastic guide to self-tanning!

Self TanningWhether you’re health conscious or just lack the ability to catch a tan, sometimes you just have to fake it! There’s nothing wrong with applying a little tinted moisturiser or adding a touch of colour to your legs and arms to give you a flattering bronzed look, especially during the warmer months when you’re likely to be showing a little more flesh.

There are plenty of self-tanning cosmetics available online, but you have to know how to do it right – we’ve all seen what can happen when fake tan goes wrong. The best-applied fake tan should pass as a natural glow; in other words, you want your friends to ask you where you’ve been on holiday, not whether you’ve been involved in a fight with a traffic cone. So if you’re contemplating crossing over to the dark (or slightly bronzed) side, take advantage of our top tanning tips…


While it may seem like a bit of a chore, it is worth getting into the habit of exfoliating every time you shower; you’ll love the benefits of smoother, clearer skin. Exfoliating before using self-tan is a necessity as it will smooth out any dry skin that may cause your tan to clump together and help you to achieve that all important flawless, natural finish. Why not make it a luxurious experience with a beautifully scented exfoliating body scrub?


It is important to moisturise after exfoliating and before applying your tan, as you will have just rid your body of dead skin and the new skin will need replenishing so that it doesn’t dry out. Concentrate on applying a little extra on your elbows, knees and other areas where the skin is likely to be drier. We have a range of body moisturisers that will help your skin to be evenly treated, which will lead to a much more even tan.

Choose the right shade for you

Because so many women with a range of skin types use fake tan, there is a wide variety of shades available. No matter how tanned you would like to be, it is best to stick to a shade that looks natural. For example, if you naturally have pale skin and fair hair, don’t opt for the darkest shade on the shelf, as this will look unrealistic and streaks will be a lot harder to hide. Most bottles will suggest the skin type they would be best used for. Remember that you can always apply a lighter shade multiple times in order to reach the hue you’d like.

Instant or gradual?

Do you want to show off tanned legs on a night out but would rather not receive the attention in the office the following morning? In that case, opt for an instant tan that washes off. If you’d like to maintain a healthy looking colour throughout the summer, a gradual self-tan would be better for you. Gradual fake tan appears over time, so when applying, you must be extra careful to do so evenly!

Mousse or lotion?

Some fake tans are available in mousse form as it is lighter and tends to dry faster than a lotion or moisturiser. It also means you don’t have to wait as long to get dressed, as you would do when applying a lotion or moisturiser. You will find, however, that the mousse doesn’t stretch very far, and you may finish the bottle after two or three applications. Many brands now also offer a spray tan, which is great for carrying in your handbag and quickly applying without getting your hands dirty.

Be careful

Instant fake tan is easy to correct if it goes wrong as it can be washed off just using soap and water, but gradual fake tan can be harder to correct. Be sure to apply evenly and carefully, and don’t forget to use a cotton pad or mitt to scrub your hands after washing! If, when your tan appears, you realise you have made a mistake, self-tan corrector can help and is perfect for elbows, fingers and knees.

For more beauty or cosmetic advice, explore our Beauty Talk blog!


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