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How to Get Fake Tan to Take to Your Legs & Skin

How to Get Fake Tan to Take to Your Legs & Skin

Summer’s right around the corner, and you know what that means – it’s time to bust out the shorts, mini dresses, and *gulp* bathing suits. Showing more skin during spring and summer calls for one thing – fake tan. 

But how can you make sure you avoid a faux glow faux pas this summer? We’re talking Oompa Loompa palms, streaky arms, the dreaded pasty legs... All those tanning mishaps that aren’t pretty but, if you know what you’re doing, ARE totally preventable. 

Want our insider tips for getting your summer-perfect glow to take to your skin, even on those tricky bits? Then read on. With just a few tweaks to your self-tanning routine, a natural, glowing tan will be yours.


@coco_and_eve SUMMER TANNING ROUTINE ☀️ Prep > Self Tan > Face Tan > Exfoliate to fade evenly > Moisturize daily #tantutorial #selftan #selftanroutine #tantok #cocoandeve #fyp ♬ original sound - Tom TV


Exfoliate to Radiate

The first step to achieving a perfect fake tan is making sure your skin is as smooth as possible by exfoliating. This is super-important because any dead skin cells still hanging around when you apply your tanner will drink up the DHA, resulting in darker spots and a patchy tan. Not cute. 

So, what are the best ways to exfoliate pre-tan? One option is to get to work on those dry patches with a good sugar scrub, paying extra attention to your elbows, knees, and any dry areas that need a little TLC. 

Don’t wanna risk ruining your mani with a sugar scrub? An exfoliating mitt is your new tanning BFF. A good mitt will not only help you remove dead skills cells, but it will improve blood flow, and leave your skin silky smooth and ready for your self-tanner application. 

Want more? Another great way to exfoliate your skin is to use a dry brush to remove dry skin and stimulate new cell growth. Dry brushing is often recommended as part of a daily shower routine to help unclog pores and improve the skin’s appearance. Plus, have you tried it? It feels pretty amazing!

Need more deets on dry brushing? Here’s a guide on how to dry brush your skin most effectively, courtesy of Goop. Thanks, Gwynny!


Moisturise – But Don’t Overdo It

You can’t achieve silky smooth, baby butt softness without a fantastic moisturising lotion.  But using that moisturiser right before you apply your tanner is a bad idea, babe. 

While we’re body moisturiser addicts, using lotions and oils pre-tan can negatively affect your glow, leaving it runny or blotchy (yikes!). So, fight the urge to slather yourself in lotion before applying your fake tanner and instead use it only on your driest bits.

To stop areas like your knees and ankles from going too dark, try our ultra-hydrating, firming Body Moisture Whip. Used generously AFTER you tan, it’ll also give you soft and supple skin you can’t wait to show it off. Seriously, it’s got it all – antioxidants and amino acids to help fight cellulite, an incredible tropical smell, a lightweight, non-greasy formula… And did we mention it’s vegan?


@coco_and_eve 3 Tanning Tools beginners need‼️ using #cocoandeve Bali Bae Self Tan Set 🌴☀️ #summermusthaves2022 #selftan #tantok #tanning #sunlesstan #foryou ♬ On the floor x Gimme Gimme Gimme by Altego - ALTÉGO


Carefully Distribute the Self-Tanner Over Your Body

Ok. You’ve got your prep work done, and you’re ready to dive in like Jason Mamoa’s waiting for you with a cocktail. It’s time to grab your self-tanner and get your glow on – but don’t forget to protect your hands. 

To prevent those dreaded Cheeto palms, pop on some gloves. Or, better yet, use a tanning mitt to evenly distribute the self-tanner all over your body. 

Start at your feet, then work your way up your body. Doing this helps prevent the line that can occur when you apply your self-tanner on your stomach and then bend over. Use your mitt to cover most of your bod, then grab your back tan applicator to tan that trickiest of spots (unless you’re a contortionist). Don’t have a handy back applicator? Grab a wooden spoon or spatula and put your mitt over it for extra reach. 

Pro Tip: Be careful not to apply too much product on areas like your feet, hands, or knees. Use the leftover tanner on your mitt for the finishing touches on those areas to avoid dark spots. 

Lastly, if you’re applying the self-tanner to your face do not use a mitt! Put a little bit of the self-tanner in your hands and apply sparingly. OR use a kabuki brush, which is great for getting into all the nooks and crannies. It’s also great for using on your feet and the tops of your hands (see previous point).

Once you’ve applied your fake like a pro, don’t use any lotions for several hours. Also, avoid putting your clothes on or rubbing against any fabrics until your tanner is fully absorbed.


But What About Pasty Gams?

Ah, yes. The age-old problem of tanned arms and pale legs. We’ve all been there. But why does it happen? Why does our fake tan often not take to our legs? And why are our legs usually the first place we notice the tan fading? How can we avoid this fake tan faux pas? Fear not, we have some insight on the subject. 

Having the perfect fake tan on your legs is a little harder to achieve, but it mostly comes down to timing your grooming routine just right. A common mistake we make is removing our leg hair too soon before or after getting our fake tan on. And small tweaks in your grooming habits can help prevent those shame-inducing streaky shins from ever occurring. 

For example, you don’t want to wax your legs within 24 hours of applying your tanner because the wax will remove your colour. For shavers, if you have finer hair, you can shave right before or right after applying your tanner without messing up your colour too much. However, we recommend shaving 12-24 hours before you tan to let your skin settle. And at least the same amount of time after tanning to allow your colour to fully develop. 

Darker, coarser hair? It’s recommended to tan while you have stubble and then shave the following day. Easy peasy, right?


Final Thoughts

Today, a wow-worthy fake tan is more attainable than ever thanks to amazing products that deliver all the glow, with none of the orange of old-school formulas. And, with some simple prep work and planning ahead, it really is easy to avoid those common tanning pitfalls. So there will be no more Cheeto hands, streaks, or Casper's legs on our watch!

Want more juicy tips before you glow? Check out our previous articles on how to apply self-tanner (the right way) and 10 common tanning mistakes you want to avoid. 


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Edited by: Iris


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10 Aug, 2022

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