Prepping for a Fake Tan

When it comes to applying a gorgeous fake tan, prepping the skin is everything. The better you prep your skin the better the results of your tan will be.

I have compiled a list of my tips for how I prep my skin for a tan so that it turns out even, looks natural and lasts well throughout the week. I have found that with good prep work, applying fake tan is much easier as you don’t have to work too hard to get it looking even- all that ground work is already done!

Things you’ll need;

  • Exfoliating body wash
  • Razor/wax (if you’re removing hair prior to tanning)
  • Exfoliating glove
  • Body Moisturiser

Prepping Guide

1. Shave/Remove Hair 

If you’re removing hair it’s ideal to do this the day before tanning. This is so that whether it be waxing or shaving, your skin gets a chance to recover and heal from any sensitivities. If you wax or shave the day you’re applying your tan any cuts, scratches or disrupted hair follicles may end up holding overdeveloped tan, drawing attention to these areas.

By doing your hair removal the day before, your skin is more likely to be a lot calmer and take the tan more evenly.

2. Exfoliate Your Skin 

You want to ensure you exfoliate your skin well before tanning. This helps to remove dead skin cells and any dry skin build-up. This is key to getting a nice even tan because the more even your skin texture and hydration is, the more even your tan will come out. I like to do this by using an exfoliating scrub along with an exfoliating mitt to scrub my skin in circular motions to help remove the dead and dry skin, focusing on my elbows and knees.

If you’ve ever applied fake tan with particularly dry knees or elbows, you may have noticed how it turns out a lot darker than the rest of your skin despite applying the same amount of product.  Basically, the less moisture skin has, the more it will absorb, and this is why exfoliating and moisturising is so important.


3. Moisturise Tough/Dry Skin

Once you’ve exfoliated your skin it’s a good idea to apply some moisturiser to the areas of skin that tend to be dryer and tougher such as hands, knees, ankles, heels and elbows.

I apply a some moisturiser to these areas as soon as I get out of the shower, and then again just prior to applying my tan to really ensure these areas are moisturised and don’t overdevelop. Just give the moisturiser a chance to absorb into the skin before applying your tan.

4. Skin Prep

When you are preparing your skin for a tan, you want to make sure that if you’re showering, you wait at least an hour or two before applying. Especially if you’ve had a warm shower you want to wait long enough to ensure the pores of the skin have closed, otherwise the tan will be drawn into these areas and you can end up with little dark dots on your legs. What also helps with this is ending your shower with cooler water to help close the pores of the skin. You also want to wait until your skin has completely dried as well.

After these steps, I am ready to apply my tan! Keep an eye out for my next post where I will go through the steps I take to apply my favourite fake tan.

Hayley x

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