With summer holidays on the horizon, it’s that time of year where we all attempt to apply fake tan like a pro – here’s how to get it right once and for all
We’ve all seen those perfectly tanned goddesses, wearing white dresses or t-shirts without so much as a hint of transference or dry patches around their knuckles.
When it comes to fake tan, it’s all about the preparation. The bronzed individuals you follow online are simply willing to put in the necessary prep involved to get a flawless finish every time. And while it might seem arduous, like most things, it’s all about practice. Once you do it a few times, it’ll become much less of a chore and more of a regular part of your weekly routine.
How to apply fake tan
Step 1 – Shave the night before you apply fake tan
It’s important to do this as the razor can leave a film on the skin which results in the tan not adhering properly to the area. The same principle applies to waxing – do it the day before you tan.
Step 2 – Cleanse and exfoliate your skin
Exfoliated skin holds and absorbs tan much better so make sure you have thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated your skin before you begin your application.
Step 3 – Moisturise your skin
It’s really important, particularly if you have dry skin, to moisturise the areas you are going to tan – especially the knees, ankles, wrists and elbows
Step 4 – Get a mitt, an old towel and some loose clothing for afterwards
You will need a good mitt to apply the tan, an old towel to stand on to minimise any mess made from excess product dropping on the floor and loose, dark clothing to wear afterwards. Apply your tan of choice liberally over your body, making sure to blend thoroughly. Some experts suggest leaving your feet, hands and elbows clear until the end and using a clean buffing brush to sweep the excess product over those areas at the end. Always wash your hands after tanning.
Step 5 – Shower
Try to avoid tanning right before bed so that your tan has ample time to dry which reduces the risk of it coming off on your sheets. Sleep in your tan and then shower in lukewarm water the next morning. Pat yourself dry.
Step 5 – Use a gradual moisturiser
A gradual moisturiser is a good idea not only because it keeps your skin hydrated and helps avoid your tan drying out in flaky patches, but also because it will prolong the life of your tan.
How to remove fake tan
If you need to urgently remove fake tan for some reason, there are ways to do it quickly and effectively:
1. Use a specific tan removal product
Many brands have their own self-tan eraser products that are designed to rid you of your tan without hassle.
2. Use an exfoliating mitt
As well as being handy for use before you apply your tan, an exfoliating mitt can also help you with removing any particularly stubborn patches – usually around the hands or feet. Lather up some shower gel and get to work but don’t scrub too hard as you may damage your skin.
3. Apple cider vinegar
This surprisingly useful kitchen staple is also handy for removing fake tan due to the presence of malic acid and acetic acid. It may not have the nicest scent but if you apply some to a cotton pad and gently rub over the areas of tan you want to remove, it should work within a matter of minutes.
4. Lemon juice
Slice a lemon in half, massage it into the area of tan you want to remove and watch it start to fade before your very eyes – genius. However, make sure you do not do this over sensitive or cracked skin as the natural fruit acids may cause irritation.
5. Baking soda
Another multi-tasking product to have in your kitchen and your bathroom is baking soda! The hardworking ingredient, once combined with water or lemon juice to form a paste, can be applied on the area of fake tan. Leave it sit for a few minutes before removing with an exfoliating mitt. Once again, do not use if you have sensitive skin.
Irish self tan brands we love
Created by Marissa Carter, Cocoa Brown was one of the first big Irish tans on the market, starting life as a One-Hour Tan in 2012. Since then, the range has grown to include, gels, mousses, oil, facial mists, moisturisers and tanning water. There are also mitts, erasers, gloves and body scrubs available from this super affordable brand.
Bare by Vogue was launched by Irish star, Vogue Williams, in 2019 and the self-tanning brand is produced in Cork. The tanning lotion is enriched with super peptides which help smoothen, plump, firm and improve skin elasticity. The range has grown in recent years to offer everything from foams and illuminators to facial mists and serums. Products are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, paraben-free and safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Irish woman Alyson Hogg created Vita Liberata due to her passion for creating real alternatives to sun exposure. The brand ca me to life as an anti aging skin care line back in 2003 before Alyson began to explore the formulation of self tan in 2007. Determined to remove all the barriers that were normally associated with self tan use, her focus came to reality in the creation of Vita Liberata. With a fast drying quality and natural-fade, Vita Liberata’s vast assortment of formulas was able to suit the need of all consumers.
Things kicked off for Tan Organic founder Noelle O’Connor after she appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2010. As a successful spa owner, she saw the damage harmful products were doing to people’s skin and was determined to create a natural & organic self-tan that would be as kind to your skin as it is to the planet. The result is a stunning line of eco-friendly, nourishing self-tan and skincare products that are packed with goodness.
Bellamianta, meaning Beautiful Aspirations, puts skincare first and foremost in their vast range of products. Manufactured in Co Mayo, Bellamianta’s formula is clean and cruelty-free. From gradual tanning moisturizers to hyaluronic facial tanning mist, there’s a product for any event in the range. Prices start at €14.
Since launching in 2017, Iconic Bronze has manufactured luxurious self-tanning and cosmetic products at affordable prices. Their range is manufactured in Mayo, without harmful chemicals. It includes a variety of self-tanning, exfoliating, and finishing products, including mousses, lotions, instant tan, self-tan erasers, bronzers, and highlighters.