The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect Fake Tan Application

With the Summer sun rapidly fading, it's truly time to hang on to the glow we might have achieved. Fortunately, fake tanning is an amazing and safe way to achieve anything from a subtle sun-kissed glow to a fully bronzed complexion, without exposing your skin to UV rays. But, achieving the perfect fake tan is no easy endeavour. No one likes a patchy, streaky tan. So, from pre-tan steps to post-tan aftercare, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate guide to the perfect fake tan.

  1. Prep - Exfoliate

Preparing your skin for tan is just as important as the application itself. Skin-prep reduces the chance of patchiness and ensures your tan lasts and applies evenly. To prep your skin for tanning, you’ll want to create the smoothest base you can.

Make sure to exfoliate the night or morning before you tan. To do this, we love Chocolate Sun’s Cocoa Caramel Body Scrub which uses Dead Sea salt, Turbinado sugar, olive oil, botanicals and herbs to exfoliate, moisturise and smooth the skin. Then, go over with the Konjac Wave Body Sponge to ensure any remaining dead skin or previous tan is fully removed.

  1. Prep - Shave

The next step to achieving the perfect smooth base for your fake tan is to shave. Flow Cosmetics’ Heather Shave Bar takes shaving to the next level using bentonite clay to create a smooth surface on the skin, allowing your razor to easily glide across. Having freshly exfoliated and shaven skin is vital to ensuring your tan applies smoothly and remains streak-free, so make sure you don’t skip this step!

  1. Prep – Moisturise Dry Areas

Dry skin is a fake tan’s worst enemy. To avoid a splotchy tan that clings to any and every dry patch on your body, make sure to moisturise! Use a body moisturiser such as The Body Deli’s Jasmine Tuberose Hand & Body Cream and focus your moisturisation on dry areas and anywhere tan is more likely to gather. This generally includes elbows, knees, ankles, wrists, knuckles, toes, between the fingers and any dry patches you may have. This will ensure your fake tan doesn’t cling to these areas and act as a barrier to help you avoid creating any dark patches.

  1. Choosing Your Tan

Fake tan comes in many forms; spray, foam, cream, gradual tan etc. The type of tan you use is utterly personal preference. However, as a guide, we recommend gradual tan for the most natural result and if you’re new to fake tanning, or a foam tan if you desire a more intense and instant result. When using a foam tan, it’s always good to have a gradual tan on hand that you can reapply over your tan as it fades to keep it fresh and topped up. Our favourite tan is the Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite tan, an all-natural, organic tanning moisturiser infused with coconut oil and shea butter that leaves the skin with a  gorgeous golden glow.

  1. Tools – Prepare Your Applicator

If using an instant tan, make sure to use a tanning mitt. Unless you want completely orange-stained palms, using your hands to apply an instant tan is an absolute no-go! Tanning mitts are the perfect tool for applying your tan as they ensure your tan applies completely evenly with a streak-free finish and makes the whole process much easier. Make sure you get a good quality tanning mitt so you can be sure it’ll provide you with a seamless application.

If using a gradual tan, using your hands to apply is fine. Just make sure to wash your hands immediately after to avoid the tan developing on your palms!

  1. Application

After prepping your skin and your tools, it’s time to apply the product! Begin with the bottoms of your legs and work your way up your body. Cover your torso and back, then move to the chest, neck and arms. Finish off your hands, feet and ankles, but don’t use to much! And make sure it’s thoroughly blended.

For areas that tend to gather or look unnatural, such as the knuckles, toes, elbows, knees etc., try using a kabuki brush to gently buff out the tan to give a more natural and seamless tan

  1. Tanning the Face

Skin on the face tends to be more sensitive, so we recommend using a separate tan specifically designed for the face to avoid breakouts. The face is the area you want to look the most natural, so remember to be modest with the amount you use and to be very thorough with your application. After applying the tan to your face, go over and blend everything once again with a kabuki brush to ensure you achieve the most natural, flawless finish. An amazing face tan from Chocolate Sun’s range is the Cocoa Illume Lite, a natural and buildable tanning gel specially formulated for the face with aloe and a blend of botanicals and herbs.

  1. Making Your Tan Last

To ensure your tan lasts as long as possible and fades evenly without patchiness, make sure to use a moisturiser every day as your tan begins to fade. A brilliant way to keep your tan looking fresh and even is to top up with gradual tan whenever you feel it’s needed. When it’s time to tan again, make sure to fully and thoroughly exfoliate your skin and remove all the remains of your previous tan. If not fully removed, tanning over your old fading tan will result in patchiness, so make sure you exfoliate well!

Those are all of our self-tanning tips for the perfect streak-free golden tan! To see Chocolate Sun’s full tanning range and other shades, click here.