How to Apply Self Tanner? Fake tan Tips & Tricks

Self-tanners are the easiest and safest way to achieve your bronzed Tan look. Still, at some point in our life, we all have experienced ourselves or seen others who tried applying self-tanners, but it turned out streaky orange and patchy, uneven look. We don’t want people to look at us with wide eyes open due to our un even self-tan.

Our article looks into the self-tanning procedure, from preparation to application. Know the effect of exfoliation and the influence of dry skin on good tanning. Learn tanning glove procedures for a smooth finish and about the numerous varieties of self-tanners, each with its own set of advantages. We’ll also talk about skin cancer. With application frequency and safety tips, this guide will help you confidently enjoy radiant, bronzed skin.

How to Apply Self Tanner? 

It is very important for a person who will use the self-tanners to know the proper application process for these self-tanners. Otherwise, it could become their worst nightmare in the form of orange, blotchy and uneven skin.

You must prepare your skin before using any self-tanning product to get an even result.


Exfoliation is when you gently rub your skin using a clean, warm towel or cloth. Or you can also use any exfoliation glove or mitt. In this process, you shed the dead cells from the skin to make it clearer and easier to adopt the Self-tanning solution you will apply.

Dry Skin

You can only apply self-tanners on wet skin as they are highly likely to become uneven or ugly if used on damp skin. Make sure you don’t shower or sweat before applying these self-tanning products, or even if you come out of the steamy bathroom, wait for some time until your skin gets dried completely, and then use these products.

Tanning Glove

Tanning gloves are a popular accessory with self-tanning products as they allow you to apply the solution evenly on your body, avoiding patches and streaks. Also, they protect your hands from getting stained, especially on your palms and under your nails, but if you want the effect on your hands, you can apply the product separately there. They are convenient for using solutions very easily and evenly to the desired areas of your body.

Apply Evenly

Applying the self-tanning products as a section to your body ( arms, feet and other body parts) is recommended. Ensure you use an equal amount of solution to every body aspect according to your needs to avoid unevenness. Also, the body parts like the under legs and elbows are direr and have creases, so there are more chances for streaks or blotchiness in these areas.

Make sure you apply a small amount there and then use a mitt or glove to spread it evenly until it covers the whole area. Please wait for a few minutes before wearing the clothes back, and for a few hours, wear only loose clothes, so they don’t rub with the freshly applied tanning solution.

Avoid Getting Wet

Water can wash away the self-tanner no, matter if it’s in the shower, sweat or the swimming pool. You have to avoid getting wet for the recommended time. Follow the instructions for your specific self-tanning product. Still, 4 to 8 hours is generally the recommended time to shower, sweat or go to the swimming pool after applying any self-tanning product.

Types of Self Tanners

When talking about self-tanners, there are different types available in the market. The most common type is spray tanning; Let’s list down some other types of self-tanners.

  1. Lotion
  2. Mousse
  3. Tanning wipes


Tanning lotions are commonly used for getting your skin hydrated and moisturized. On the other hand, these tanning lotions contain an ingredient called tyrosine which attracts the UV rays quickly to the skin and produces melanin more quickly to give you a dark colour on the skin. Melanin is an agent that makes the colour of the skin. 

Some of the tanning lotions also contain sunscreen ingredients that protect your skin from the sun burns.


Tanning mousse is considered one of the most reliable self-tanning products. Without exposing yourself to the sunlight or getting baked in a tanning bed, you can achieve your tanning glow with this method. Tanning mousses contain ingredients like DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which interacts with the amino acids on the top layer of your skin to form a darker colour. Other elements like aloe vera are used in the mousse to make your skin smoother and moisturized while you get your desired tanned look.

Tanning wipes

Tanning wipes are the most portable and easy-to-carry tanning method, and you can take them to the vacation gym anywhere you want to use them. You don’t need any spray guns or mitts. Tanning wipes have the ingredients like DHA (dihydroxyacetone), Alcohol, glycerin and fragrance. These ingredients give your skin a darker colour and make it smooth and nice with scent.

All these types of self-tanners are considered gradual tanners as they don’t make you dark instantly after using them, and with these gradual tanners, it’s always under your control to get your desired darker colour. Gradual tanners contain a lower concentration of self-tanning ingredients like DHA (dihydroxyacetone) that react with the skin to produce a gradual, subtle tan.

Some of the gradual tanners can also contain tinted formulas that produce an instant colour on your skin, so it’s really important that you get your self-tanning products according to your need and then use them per the given directions.

Common Mistakes with Self Tanners

Mistakes while applying self-tanners can create the worst nightmare for your looks. Let’s discuss the most common mistakes people make while using self-tanners.

Common Mistakes with Self Tanners

They don’t Exfoliate

Exfoliation is one of the most important factors in preparing your skin for self-tanning products. We already discussed it in detail previously in this article. Many people apply the products in a hurry and need to exfoliate properly. Once the solution is applied to the dead skin cells, they don’t absorb it properly then it appears uneven and streaky on the skin. So, exfoliate properly before using the product to avoid such disasters.

Over Applying 

When you are a beginner using any self-tanning products, you usually don’t get an idea of the quantity of the solution, and you end up over-applying the product, eventually making you orange, streaky and blotchy. Also, some people apply more quantity thinking that they will have the darker colour but end up getting nothing but a disaster. Sometimes using a tanning mitt can also have you over apply the solution, you can apply it without a tanning mitt too.

You don’t need to over-apply the product; follow the instructions and apply it properly, and you will get your desired look quickly.

Not Washing Hands

It is highly recommended to use mitts or tanning gloves to apply any self-tanning product, but still, if you are doing it with bare hands, make sure you wash it after every section. Otherwise, the solution will be stained on your palms and under your nails and let me tell you, these stained palms and nails don’t look good, especially when you are a working person and need to shake hands with people every day.

Make sure you use gloves or mitts as they are easy to use and help you apply evenly, but if you are not using them, wash your hands continuously after applying the self-tanner on every section of your body to avoid stains.

Showering early

After applying the self-tanning products, it is important to follow the instructions, especially when wet. Water can easily wash the solution off, no matter how perfectly you apply it. So make sure you only go to shower, sweat or go to the pool for swimming at 4 to 8 hours after the application; otherwise, there will be no use in applying self-tanner.

Expiry dates

You should always check the expiry dates of the products you will use as sometimes, to save money, people compromise the quality and don’t check the expiry dates. Expired products can also harm your skin, as they produce different results from what you expect. So make sure you check the expiry before getting the product. It’s usually mentioned on the box or the bm of the product.

Can you get a Real Tan with Fake Tan on? And is it safe?

You are a tan enthusiast and a fan of glowing dark looks. You often go for self-tanning products, whether fake tan spray, lotion, wipes or any other self-tanning method, because they are considered the safest methods for getting a tanning look.

But how could someone miss a tanning session on the beach in the summer season? Now you must have the question in your mind whether you can get a real tan with the fake tan on. And is it safe?

So yes, you can get the real TanTan with a fake TanTan on. Fake tans usually darken your skin with DHA(Dihydroxyacetone). DHA absorbs the upper layer of your skin, making it darker with time.

Fake TanTan products don’t stop UV rays from interacting with your skin, and when they don’t stop it, then UV rays interact with the Amino acids on your skin layers and produce melanin to give you a darker tan. Fake TanTan doesn’t stop you from getting a real tan, but they also contain products that can save you from the damage of UV rays.

You need to wear sunscreen with a high SPF once you are going out in the sun, no matter if you have the fake TanTan on, as you can still get th sunburn and other sun diseases if you are not using proper sunscreen and other protective products. 

How often to Apply self-tanner?

A self-tanner application can vary with factors such as skin type and how often you expose to water. It also can depend on the quality of the product you are using.

If you have a dry, sensitive, or very skin type, the result of the self-tanner won’t be as you expected, and it starts fading quickly. Also, if you work as a lifeguard, or your job demands you to expose to the water quite often, or you sweat, then there are more chances that your TanTan starts fading more quickly.

According to the general survey, self-tanners stay on your skin for at least 5 to 7 days, so you can reapply it if you feel your tanner is fading in 5 to 7 days. Also, if you have a problem with the results of self-tanner and it starts to fade quickly, maybe in 3 days, then you can reapply it after three days too. 

Does Fake Tan Tan cause Cancer?

There are many pieces of research have been conducted about Fake Tan products. A major Ingredient, DHA, is used to give your skin a temporary dark colour. DHA is considered safe for the skin as it only reacts with the top layer of the skin to produce a temporary dark colour.

However, Tanning beds are a type of fake tanning, too, which is also called indoor tanning. Tanning beds are considered unsafe for the skin as they produce artificial UV rays, which make your skin tan, but they also give you burns and other skin problems, which cause skin cancer.


Knowing how to apply self-tanner is necessary to avoid the hassles of fake tan disasters. You must follow all the tips and precautions for fake tanning before and after getting into it. Otherwise, it can cause much embarrassment once you step out.

You can get a real tan even though the fake tan is already applied to your skin, as these fake tan products do not stop the UV rays from coming to your skin, but you should also use sunscreen to avoid sunburn when you go out in the sun.

Self-tanning products are considered safe from causing skin cancer cause DHA only interacts with the top layer of the skin and makes a temporary dark colour to give you a bronzed glow, but tanning beds are not safe one should avoid using them.