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Tips for the Best at Home Fake Tan

Tips for the Best at Home Fake Tan


I am a very pale girl that burns easily and returns to the same shade of pasty white. I have learned to embrace what my mom refers to as a “Nicole Kidman” complextion. That said, I love to fake tan in the warmer months and for special events. Over the course of the last two years I have learned from my fake tan fails so you don’t have to!


  1. Experiment with different products! Most fake tan companies sell trial size bottles. Fake tanning products can come in liquid, lotion or mousse formulas. There are also gradual tan products that you apply multiple times over the course of a few days, express formulas that you wash off after a few hours and ones that you can leave on overnight. Experiment with different brands and types of fake tanning products and see what works for you!


  1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Use a body scrub and shave to make sure the product has a smooth canvas to work with. Make sure to focus on dryer areas like hands, elbow, knees and feet. Not only will your tan look better overall, but exfoliating prevents streaky patches and overly orange limbs.

  1. After exfoliating in the shower make sure not to put on deodorant or any kind of perfume. Make to sure dry off completely. Use an oil-free moisturizer on your hands, feet, ankles, elbows and knees. This will keep the dryer parts of your body from turning orange.

  2. Time to apply! Different brands and formulas will have different instructions so much sure to read the bottle. Leave the tanner on as long as the instructions say to.

  3. Make sure to leave yourself enough time. You don’t want to get caught in the rain or sweat when you are waiting for the tanning product to work. I usually stay inside and do work or watch Netflix.

  4. Once you rinse off apply lotion! This will make your skin and tan look better and it will help make your tan last longer. I generally apply once in the morning and once before going to sleep.



Post Tan Care:

  1. Keep moisturising every day!

  2. Remember, just because you are “tan” doesn’t mean you can’t get sunburnt! Make sure to still wear your SPF. Peeling from a sunburn with a fake tan is not a good look (one of the mistakes I made so you don’t have to!)

  3. Shaving and harsh body washes can make your tan fade faster. Go for something light and moisturizing.

  4. When your tan fades, if there are parts that are still lingering exfoliating will help remove it.


Not sure which products to try first? This website has reviews of hundreds of different brands and formulas!



Currently working as the Marketing and Events Intern in Her Campus's Internship Program!
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