Self-Tanning Guide

Wanting a sunkissed look all year round, but worried you will end up looking ‘tangoed’? We understand your anxiety. It’s all-too-common to see someone with streaked brown arms, ginger hands and an unusually orange face: it’s even worse when that poor person is staring back at you in the mirror! But a perfect tan is possible. Read on as we answer your questions and share with you a few handy tips that we've learned over the years.

Tanning FAQs

How long should I give myself to apply fake tan?

While fake tan veterans might be able to apply a tan in half an hour, it’s a good idea to give yourself 1-3 hours for the whole process. Fake tan can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to dry. Avoid touching anything for as long as possible. You might want to buy a light gown or sarong to wrap yourself in until you are sure you can put on your clothes without leaving unsightly stains.

Can I go ahead and slap/spray it on? How to apply fake tan properly?

You can, but it won’t be pretty. Fake tan loves to concentrate around rough skin, in blotchy orange patches. A few hours before or even the day before you should bathe, shave and exfoliate first. You must avoid products and scrubs containing oils or perfumes as they act as barriers to fake tan. Only apply the tanner after your skin is completely dry. You might also want to apply moisturiser on your scrubbed skin especially dry areas like elbows and knees, again letting it dry completely. This helps aid an even tan.

How do I avoid orangutan hands?

Some of our products come with complementary mitts. These are the best ways to apply lotion and mousse. We also have a St Moriz fake tan mitt. Finger and toe nails will absorb the tan and you will get nice orange tinted nails - to avoid this, have your nails painted or carefully apply a barrier cream such as vaseline to the nail being very careful not to apply any to the skin as it will act as a barrier to the tan.

Help! I look like an Oompa Loopma! How to remove fake tan?!

One option is to embrace the look, dye your hair green and go off to work in a madman’s chocolate factory. If that doesn’t appeal to you, here are a few tried and tested tricks and tips:

  • Mix baking soda, water and lime or lemon juice into a paste. Smear this on a body cloth or sponge, step into a hot shower and start scrubbing! (Lemon juice on its own is actually surprisingly effective.)
  • Use cleansing wipes.
  • If you can face the raised eyebrows, hit the swimming baths. Even an hour of swimming will help fade your tan. If it’s an option, sit in a steam room and take a hot shower afterwards.

What type of fake tan should I use?

It is essential that your fake tan suits your skin pigmentation. If you have very fair skin, you might want to mix your fake tan with moisturizer and build towards the bronzed look. If you are one of those lucky people who browns, rather than burns, in the sun, then mousse is probably the best option for you. For those with already dark skin, a lotion is the most suitable product. One of our most popular tanning products at the moment is Skinny Tan

Many people mix and match their fake tans, using a spray for the hard-to-reach spots and lotion, gel or mousse for everywhere else. You might already be darker on some parts of your skin: often it is appropriate to use one fake tan on your face, neck and forearms and another on the rest of your body.

Hints and Tips

Apply the tan in a cool room

You won't sweat and you will be away from the post-bathing humidity of the bathroom.

Choose an appropriate time

You might have to be naked for up to three hours, so applying the fake tan just before a dinner party might not be the best idea!

Hold off on the deodorant

If you've just showered, you might automatically reach for your deodorant. Don't. It makes fake tan turn green.

Be patient

This is not something you want to rush. Rub in the fake tan gently. Pay attention to each application, dealing with each body part one at a time. Being patient is the best way to ensure you don't become a fake tan casualty.

Don't be stingy

Applying too little fake tan leads to streaks. Use more than you might think you need.

how to remove fake tan