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How to Extend the Life of Your Fake Tan

How to Extend the Life of Your Fake Tan

28th Jan 2021

Everyone loves a good tan, and the safest way to get a golden glow is with an exceptional sunless tanner. Fake tans look great and they’re super convenient, but they need care to keep going strong. If you want to stretch out the time between tans, there are a few things you can do to make your fake tan last a little bit longer while still looking great.

1.) Get Your Skin Ready

Spray tans, tanning mousses and other sunless tanners are easy to apply, but don’t skip the prep work. Getting your skin ready before applying self-tanner is the easiest way to make sure that your application looks flawless and that your tan lasts for as long as possible. Preparations should include exfoliating to get rid of any dead skin and waxing or shaving to remove unwanted hair. Make sure you do all of your skin prep at least 24 hours before applying any type of sunless tanner.


While you’re working on your skin, make sure to spend a little extra time on any areas that are dry or rough. This can include ankles, elbows, kneecaps and more. For a quick and mess-free way to exfoliate your skin, try Fake Bake Coconut Exfoliating Wipes, featuring a unique blend of coconut and palm oil to leave skin soft and smooth. Don’t wait until after you apply a self-tanner to exfoliate, or you could actually remove some of the tan along with the top layer of skin.

2.) Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

In case it wasn’t clear, moisturizing is a key step in extending the life of your fake tan and making it look better overall. Once you’ve exfoliated and shaved or waxed, make sure you give your skin a heavy dose of moisturizer. Your skin will feel softer, more comfortable and look more even. Keep in mind that rough skin or dry patches will absorb more self-tanner than the rest of your body, so moisturizing ahead of time can help even things out. When choosing a moisturizer, pick one that is not oil-based. Oily moisturizers can break down the pigments in your self-tanner, making your golden glow not last as long as you’d like.


Moisturizing isn’t just a pre-tan step, it’s also great for maintaining your glow. Once you find a good oil-free moisturizer, make sure to apply it regularly after using your fake tanner to keep everything looking fresh and extend the life of your tan for as long as possible. Not sure if you’re doing it right? Check out some tips for moisturizing your skin the right way.

3.) Keep it Dry 

This may seem counterintuitive after all of the emphasis on moisturizing, but you should always apply sunless tanner to dry skin. The general rule is to apply moisturizer to damp skin to help retain moisture, but self-tanner absorbs better for a more even application on dry skin. Use a towel to remove any moisture from the shower or excess lotion, then let your skin air dry to make sure it’s completely moisture-free before you start working on your tan. 


Not sure if your skin is dry enough for self-tanner? If there's any doubt, keep drying it out. Let your skin air dry for several minutes before applying self-tanner to make sure you’re completely dry and ensure an even-looking tan.

4.) Skip the Gym and Turn Up the AC

Whether you sweat or simply glisten, moisture isn’t your friend while your self-tanner is developing. You’ll want to avoid sweating and even showering for at least eight hours after you apply your self-tanner. After that point, it’s okay to take a quick shower, but be brief, avoid shaving and keep the water warm, not hot. Hot water can pull the color right out of your skin and that’s the last thing you want to do.


While we’re on the subject of water, you’ll also want to avoid swimming in pools or the ocean. The reason is because chlorine and salt both act as exfoliators, which will lift the top layer of skin and fade your tan quickly. If a beach trip is in your near future, pick up a spray tan extender to help prevent fading.

5.) Choose the Right Product

This one may seem obvious, but there are a lot of different self-tanners out there for a reason. Choose a formula and color that’s right for you. Don’t go darker in anticipation that your tan will fade, and consider how different types of self-tanners might work. Fake Bake offers a variety of lotions, sprays and liquids and even several self-tanner mousses to choose from. 


Get the most mileage out of your fake tan using these tips from Fake Bake. With a little prep work and the right products, you can enjoy long-lasting sun-kissed skin throughout the year. Shop at Fake Bake for all of your self-tanner needs, and don’t forget to stock up on preparation and maintenance products while you’re here.