10 time-saving self-tanning tips

9 December 2015
By Fashion Quarterly

model lying by pool

Think you’ve got no time to tan? Think again!

These 10 top tips will get you that golden glow, without the fuss.

Tip 1: Never forget to prep
Creating the perfect canvas for your tan will keep it lasting even longer. Shave or wax the day before tanning and never forget to exfoliate. A dead skin cell is no friend to self tan! Apply a light layer of moisturiser to elbows, knees and heels prior to tanning too, to avoid brown build-up.

Tip 2: Choose how long you leave your tan on
Only got an hour? You can still get a glowing tan! Le Tan’s Express 30 Minute Instant Bronzing Mousse lets you control the level of your tan by allowing you to wash it off when you’re ready – any time from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Tip 3: Multitask!
St Tropez’ new Gradual Tan In Shower Tanning Lotion is formulated to be applied to wet skin, so you can do it while you shower! Simply turn off the tap, apply to your skin and wait for three minutes (we recommend combining with a leave-in hair treatment for extra multitasking benefits). Then get back in the shower and wash it off. The self-tan ‘actives’ will then naturally start to work as you go about your day. Brilliant.


Tip 4: Mitt up
A streaky tan does no one any favours, and it’s time-consuming to have to scrub it all off and start again. Use a tanning mitt to apply your gel, lotion, mousse or spray to ensure an even coverage – and no brown palms.

self tan products

From left to right: Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser; James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan Body from Mecca Cosmetica; Le Tan 30 Minute Instant Bronzing Mousse; ModelCo Instant Tan Self-Tan Lotion; St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Tanning Lotion; Tantastic Self Tanning Gel; Bondi Sands Back Applicator.

Tip 5: Quick fix
If you do happen upon a nasty next-day streak and don’t have any tan remover to hand, mix together some lemon juice and sugar and get scrubbing. Trust us, it works like a charm.

Tip 6: Choose fast dry formulas
Ain’t no one got time to stand around waiting for self-tan to dry. Choose a formula that sinks into the skin without that sticky sensation. We recommend Tantastic’s Self Tanning Gel for a dry-touch finish.

Tip 7: Back applicators are the business
Haven’t got an extra set of hands to help with those hard to reach places? Don’t wait around for your boyfriend / best friend / flatmate / sister to get home, buy a back applicator! The long handle makes tanning a breeze and you won’t have to contort your body like you’re part of Cirque du Soleil to use it. The Bondi Sands Back Applicator gets our tick.

Tip 8: Tan while you sleep
Tanning while you sleep isn’t a new phenomenon, but not having to worry about ruining your sheets sure is. James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan Body from Mecca Cosmetica promises to preserve your sheets from stains, thanks to the clear gel formula that’s totally transfer-proof. Simply wake up in the morning and voila!

Tip 9: Instant tan
If you truly have zero time, an instant tanner – much like a tinted moisturiser – will coat your skin with colour then wash off when the night is over. ModelCo’s Instant Tan Self-Tan Lotion provides an immediate golden glow of colour while developing a more long-lasting tan over 4-6 hours.

Tip 10: Commit to upkeep
Moisturising every day post-tan will help to preserve your colour for longer, meaning you’ll spend less time tanning in the long run. If even that’s too much of a laborious task, use a spray product like Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser. The aerosol nozzle enables full body moisturisation in mere seconds.

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