So, you took care of all the before-sunless-tanning prep and followed all the suggestions for applying the formulation correctly. Yay! Your fake tan is on its way to looking fabulous already, even though it may not have developed fully yet. Some self-tanners may take longer than others to reach their maximum darkening, after all.
At this point, you're wondering how long your sunless tan will last. Although this varies, your tan will last no longer than 10 days, since the outermost layer of skin is naturally shed every 5 to 10 days.
Right After Your Sunless Tan Application
For the first 24 hours after your salon appointment (or after you applied your sunless tan yourself), make sure and wear loose clothing, including underwear and sleepwear. Not only can the tanning lotion stain your clothes, but friction from tight clothing can result in streaks or indentations.
Leave the lotion on without showering for several hours, depending on your product's directions. This gives your skin ample time to absorb the sunless tanning solution and develop the color evenly. However, don't leave it on for more than 12 hours, because this length of time can actually result in the opposite of what you want - streaking.
It's recommended that you don't apply deodorant right after self-tanning because the chemicals in deodorant can interfere with the sunless tanning lotion's developing properly. Instead, use baby powder under your arms and anywhere else you tend to sweat, like at the crease of your elbows, back of your legs, and underneath your butt. This will all pay off in preventing streaks and marks.
When you first shower after self-tanning, avoid super-hot water and opt for lukewarm. Keep your shower brief, and if you have to wash your hair, try to keep shampoos and conditioners off your skin as much as possible. This may slow you down a bit, but will ensure your tan develops evenly around your neck, face and back.
While You're Enjoying Your Tan
During the time you're appreciating your gorgeously dark skin, make sure to exfoliate lightly every two to three days, particularly the areas of your skin that fade most quickly, such as your neck, at your knees, and under your arms. Although exfoliation will cause your tan to fade slightly, it's important in preventing the build-up of dead skin cells. However, avoid any products that contain alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic or citric acids, because these will strip your tan.
Moisturize with Fake Bake Oil-Free Mistifier Body Spray or an aloe-based moisturizer that doesn't contain oil, because oils break down the pigments in your sunless tan.
Finally, if you spend a lot of time exercising intensely (and therefore sweating profusely) or are in and out of pools frequently, consider rejuvenating your self-tan by adding a few drops of self-tanning liquid to your oil-free moisturizer (we recommend using our Fake Bake Tanning Water for this purpose). Use this moisture mix particularly after these tan-fading activities to give your self-tan that little extra boost.
One last bit of advice - to enhance the rich color of your beautiful self-tan, use our Fake Bake bronzers or blushers to highlight areas you really want to pop, like your cheekbones, décolletage and legs.