Nobody likes a self-tan that’s here today, gone tomorrow. It’s right up there with orange tones in our tanning bugbears, and it’s the reason we made Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam to go the distance and fade super naturally. But what if we told you things could get even better?
From how to prep to how to shower and deal with hair removal, here’s everything you need to know to prolong your fake tan. Read on, take notes, and start enjoying an extra day or two of Sunny Honey magic!
Perfect your prep
We’ve said this till we’re blue in the face – good prep is totally non-negotiable for a flawless fake tan and a slow, even fade! And this involves two simple steps.
Step 1: Complete any hair removal 12-24 hours before self-tanning. This will provide a silky-smooth canvas, reduce your chance of irritation and prevent colour soaking into open pores and giving you those funky little dots marks. It also means you can go a few days before you have to shave again – and wash away half your tan! (Pro-tip: For self-tanning, waxing is an even better option if it suits your skin, lifestyle and budget.)
Step 2: Exfoliate. As fake tan LOVES dry, rough skin, you want to give yourself a thorough sloughing with an exfoliating mitt. Removing dead skin cells and stimulating blood flow, exfoliating is the best thing you can do to ensure an even, streak-free tan and gradual, patch-free fade. So, make sure you get busy at least six hours before tanning, paying extra attention to knees, elbows and any other danger zones.
It’s also a good idea to pre-hydrate, slathering on a body lotion – like our Glow Figure Body Moisture Whip – once or twice daily in the week before tanning.
Apply only to clean skin
When applying your Sunny Honey, you don’t want anything on the skin that will interfere with how it develops. This means no perfume, deodorant and, especially, no body oils. Have a shower first and, if you plan on tanning immediately afterwards, blast your skin with cold water at the end to shrink your pores.
Skip the moisturiser, unless applying to very dry, tan-guzzling areas like knees, knuckles and ankles. This will help keep these areas from becoming too dark.
Use the right tools
Our anti-ageing, anti-cellulite self-tanner might do most of the hard work, but our self-tanning tools also deserve a shout out. Using a self-tanning mitt to apply in sweeping motions on your body – and a kabuki brush for trickier, more intricate areas like the hands and face – is the easiest way to ace your application.
Meaning? You’ll achieve a streak-free, even result from the start. And it will fade a heck of a lot better than a patchy rush job!
Have short showers and use soft towels
What you do immediately after you tan matters too. And that starts with your first shower, which should be tepid – not hot – and as short and sweet as possible. This is important because showering with hot water while your tan is still developing will stop it in its tracks. During the life of your tan, hot showers are still best avoided as they can be very drying, and also remove some of the colour.
So, think short and warm – not hot – showers. Bear in mind as well that the more you bathe or swim, the faster your tan will fade. And always pat gently dry with a soft towel, rather than vigorously rubbing!
Keep your skin hydrated
If you want to lock in that glow, you need to hydrate! That means moisturising your bod, at least once a day. Immediately after you shower, apply our Body Moisture Whip to slightly damp skin. The virgin coconut and cacao oils will lock in moisture for smooth, supple skin – and a longer lasting tan.
It might seem counterintuitive to exfoliate once you’ve self-tanned, but it will help your faux glow fade more evenly and naturally. Wait for a few days after tanning, then exfoliate gently approximately every three days.
Avoid shaving – or do it this way
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise shaving immediately after tanning is probably not the best way to stay beautifully bronzed. But what are you meant to do a few days in when the stubble is bursting from your previously smooth pins? It’s a predicament for many of the non-waxers amongst us, and unfortunately you just have to weigh up your options.
Yes, shaving will remove some of the superficial pigment from your pins. But, unless your hair grows very slowly (lucky you!), you’ll probably want to shave during the life of your tan. To minimise the fade out, make sure you wait for at least 24 hours after self-tanning, use a sharp, fresh razor, apply a gentle moisturiser and apply only light pressure while defuzzing.
Skip the hot tub, ditch the pool
You already know that showering will reduce the life of your tan, but obviously you’re not going to skip it. You might, however, want to keep your aquatic activities to a minimum. Particularly the time you spend swimming and chilling in chlorinated (read: tan-stripping) pools and spas. Sorry, honeys!
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya