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How To Fake Tan: A Five-Step Guide

How To Fake Tan: A Five-Step Guide
Writer and expert7 years ago
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Summer has finally arrived Glossies, and that means the legs are coming out and the fake tan is going on (because, let’s face it, if we’re all staycationing in the UK, we’re going to need it)! Whether you’re a first-timer or a tanning expert, this five-step guide on how to fake tan will make applying your tan quick and easy. A smooth, patch-free and bronzed glow awaits!

1. Exfoliate 

My number one tip on how to fake tan? Exfoliate! By scrubbing away the dead skin cells on your skin, you’ll not only create a smooth and uniform surface over which to apply your tan, but it will make your golden colour last even longer, as your tanned skin cells won’t just slough away the next day! 


If you’re not sure which exfoliator to use, I’d recommend a salt-based one. They offer the best deep exfoliation possible. You could try Mio Skincare’s Heavenly Body Radiance Salt ScrubFormulated with salt crystals and bitter orange peel, it gently buffs away dead skin cells, leaving you with fresh, smooth skin. 

Insider Tip: If you can face it, rinse off with cool water to shrink your pores. It will prevent them from absorbing too much fake tan and making your skin look patchy. 

2. Shave (If You’re Comfortable Removing Your Body Hair) 

If you choose to remove your body hair, I’d also recommend that you do this after exfoliating but before applying your fake tan. It’s just another step to make the surface of your skin extra smooth.  

 3. Hydrate With Oil-Free Moisturiser 

Annoyingly, fake tan clings to dry skin, which then causes a patchy and uneven tan. So, to make your faux-glow look more natural, make sure that you hydrate any dry areas (think elbows, ankles, feet, palms, knuckles and cuticles) before applying your tan. 

I’d recommend using a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser to stop the fake tan from clinging to these areas. Fake Bake’s Black Coconut Oil Free Body Moisturiser is a great choice. It’ll hydrate your skin, whilst also helping your fake tan sink more evenly into your skin  

Insider Tip: Ideally, these first three steps should be done the night before you’ll be applying fake tan. At the very least, you should moisturise three hours prior.  

4. Applying Fake Tan 

The first rule on how to fake tan? Never apply fake tan with your hands! Instead, use a flat and smooth tanning mitt. Starting at your feet, work the tanning gel/mousse/water/spray up along your body towards your neck using long vertical strokes then large circular motions. An even and streak-free tan awaits! 

how to apply fake tan

If your fake tanning requires you to rinse, make sure you follow the instructions on the bottle as to how long you should leave it on for.  

5. Fake Tan On Your Chest  

There’s been a lot of chatter across social lately, with women admitting that they really struggle to apply fake tan to their chests. As it turns out, this is because the skin on your chest is much thinner and has smaller pore than the rest of your body, making it harder for the tan to stick.  

best way to apply fake tan

So, here are a few extra steps you can take to achieve a smooth, patch-free glow across your chest: 

  • Follow all the above steps.
  • Make sure that you’re not wearing any perfume or deodorant (they’ll create a protective barrier around the skin and prevent the tan from sinking in).
  • Apply your tanning gel using a plush contour or foundation brush (the small bristles will help the tan sink into your smaller pores). Work the brush across your chest, moving in circular motions.  
And there you have it, five steps on how to fake tan that make it simple and easy. Your goddess-worthy bronzed look awaits!

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Writer and expert
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