Tanning with Self-Tanner gel: Do's and Don'ts

Tanning with Self-Tanner gel: Do's and Don'ts

Mastering the craft of self-tanning might feel daunting, especially if you're aiming to steer clear of resembling a walking, talking Cheeto. But when it comes to hitting the beach or pool sporting your faux tan, can you still catch some rays and achieve a natural tan? Does your artificial tan act as a barrier to bronzing? And most crucially – is it safe to wear fake tan under the sun, or does it lead to skin harm?

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No worries, lovelies! We've got you sorted. Keep reading for everything you need to know about safely attaining that sun-kissed glow you've been longing for!


Can You Tan Through Fake Tan?

Many ponder this question, and the answer is affirmative. Both fake tanning and sun tanning change your skin tone, but they go about it differently. Most self-tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a sugar-derived compound that interacts with amino acids in dead skin cells, causing a chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction. This reaction temporarily darkens the skin, akin to the golden hue of baked goods, without actually "baking" your skin.

However, natural tanning involves deeper layers of the skin, stimulated by UVA radiation prompting melanocytes to produce melanin, resulting in a longer-lasting tan. But, this comes with risks like sun damage, skin cancer, and premature aging.

So, to answer your question, using self-tanner gel won't hinder your ability to tan naturally. But, it doesn't shield you from the sun either.

Is it Safe?

Falling into the misconception that your self-tanner provides real sun protection is easy. But let's set the record straight – it doesn't. Fake tan doesn't create melanin and, importantly, lacks SPF.

In essence, it offers no barrier against the sun's harmful UV rays. So, if you're planning to spend time under the sun, always apply (and reapply) SPF 15 or 30. Contrary to popular belief, you can still get sunburned with a fake tan. Ensure your sunscreen is broad-spectrum, safeguarding against both UVA and UVB rays.


How to Use Self-Tanner gel

Hopefully, it's clear by now that the safest way to tan is with a fake tan. Now, all that's left is to choose your ideal formula. With countless self-tanning products available, our top pick is the tanning gel SPF15. It's lightweight and non-sticky, and our advanced formula evens out skin tone and leaves your skin with a delightful tropical watermelon and peach scent instead of your typical cookie smell.

Ready to glow? Follow these simple steps to apply self-tanner gel like a pro:

  1. Shave and exfoliate your skin to remove any hair and dead cells. We recommend doing this 6 to 24 hours before applying the self-tanner.
  2. Apply the self-tanner gel to dry skin. Skip the moisturizer.
  3. Use an applicator mitt and brush to evenly spread the product on tricky areas like feet, hands, face, and ears. A back tan applicator can also be a game-changer!
  4. Let the self-tanner gel develop for 2 hours to overnight, depending on your desired tan intensity.
  5. Rinse off the guide color/bronzer in warm water during your shower, then gently pat your skin dry.
  6. Repeat this process every 5 to 7 days or whenever you feel it's necessary. For prolonged sun-kissed skin, moisturize daily.

Self-Tanner Do’s

To avoid a streaky, orange tan, continue reading to discover the dos and don'ts of using self-tanner gel.


1. Do Exfoliate

Buff away those flakes!
Exfoliating prior to fake tanning helps eliminate dead skin cells, clear pores, and minimize breakouts. It's crucial for achieving an even tan. Pro tip: Focus a bit more on areas with thicker skin, such as elbows, knees, and ankles.

Follow up with moisturizer – just not immediately before tanning.

2. Do Apply at Night

Applying self-tanner at night allows it to develop a natural tan overnight. Factors like showering, rain, or tight clothing can disrupt the settling process and may cause staining with certain tanning products.

Since the self-tanning process can take up to eight hours, applying before bedtime is highly convenient. For optimal results, we suggest incorporating this into your evening routine.

Keep your skin moisturized

3. Do Keep Skin Moisturised

The secret to achieving a uniform tan is moisturization, so ensure you moisturize in the days leading up to your tan application. Well-nourished skin yields better results – take our word for it! For a smooth, hydrated glow, moisturize at least 24 hours before applying self-tanner.

Avoid moisturizing immediately before tanning, except on those aforementioned thicker areas like elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles. These tricky spots tend to be thirsty and can appear muddy, so using a moisturizer acts as a protective barrier to prevent this.

Self-Tanner Don’ts

Now, what should you not do?

1. Don’t Rub

To maintain your tan's longevity and beauty, make an effort to avoid rubbing your skin. For instance, opt for warm water instead of steaming hot showers (hot water and soaking can harm your tan), then gently pat yourself dry instead of vigorously rubbing with a towel. Employing this drying technique helps prevent streaks by minimizing accidental exfoliation of the skin.

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2. Don’t Put Too Much on Your Face

We definitely want to avoid a patchy face, don't we? Absolutely! So, after applying self-tanner gel to your body, it's time for your face.

Take your time and use a small amount, especially on your upper neck. Remember, it's easier to add more later than to remove!

For a natural-looking facial radiance, we recommend swapping your regular tanning mousse for hydrating cream peach fragrance intensive boost tanning. Simply mix these into your moisturizer for a customizable, buildable glow. It's as simple as that!

Exfoliating gloves

3. Don’t Use Your Bare Hands

Tired of stained palms? Mitts will be your go-to during the self-tanning process – keeping your hands clean and enabling a smoother application. With their larger surface area and velvety-smooth texture, they facilitate quicker application and effortless blending. So, don't tan without one!

Final Thoughts

Of course, it's tempting to soak up the sun for long periods of time. However, whether you desire a deep bronze or a subtle sun-kissed glow, self-tanner is consistently the superior choice. Your skin will appreciate this decision both now and in the years to come!

For additional beauty advice and techniques, explore our blog!

knowledge expansion

knowledge expansion

Understanding about tanning products and services can help you utilize these tools more effectively in achieving your desired skin tone. Whether you're tanning indoors or outdoors, you can expedite the tanning process by using suntan accelerators. These products typically contain tan enhancers to stimulate the skin to produce more melanin, allowing you to tan faster. Additionally, you can use bronzing moisturizers to moisturize the skin and increase the longevity of your tan post-tanning. If you're tanning indoors, consider using an indoor tanning accelerator to help you achieve your desired tan in low-light conditions.

After tanning, using tan extender lotions can prolong the moisturizing effects on your skin post-tanning, ensuring the durability of your tan. If you need to purchase tanning products, you can visit your local tan store, which typically offers a variety of tanning products and tanning accessories. If you prefer tanning at home, you might consider purchasing tanning beds, and there are many stores in the UK that offer tanning beds for sale services.

During the tanning process, using a tanning wand can help you apply tanning products more evenly, ensuring your skin looks natural and even. If you're sensitive to the bronzing color in tanning products, you can opt for indoor tanning lotions without bronzer, often referred to as hypoallergenic tanning lotions. To help you choose the tanning products that best suit your needs, you can check out some tanning lotion reviews to learn about other users' experiences and recommendations.

Additionally, after tanning, you'll need to pay attention to after spray tan care to maintain the health and comfort of your skin post-tanning. If you're interested in tanning products and services and want to turn it into a business, you might consider starting a spray tan business, which can be a promising venture, especially with the growing trends in the beauty industry.

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