There are two things in life guaranteed to make you feel amazing – a gorgeous faux glow and a heart-pumping workout. But, just like oil and water, self-tan and spin class unfortunately don’t always mix. Chose the wrong sports bra? You’ll likely end up with not-so-natural streaks.
To make sure your self-tan goes the distance if you like to sweat on the reg, read on. Put together with our Product Scientist, Alexa Dinant — this comprehensive guide to maintaining a fake tan with an active lifestyle will see you through a week of sumo squats, downward dogs and 10k jogs. Golden glow intact!
Choose a Transfer-Proof Fake Tan
Before you reach for your tanning glove, make sure you’re using a fake tan with a sweat-resistant formula, like Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam. With hydrating ingredients to help prolong the life of your tan (no matter how much you work out), the transfer-proof formula won’t rub off on your clothes. Or run down your cleavage as you sweat.
Don’t Work Out Until Your Tan Has Developed
Sweat itself won’t fade your fake tan – this is more to do with friction, which we’ll discuss in a sec. Perspiration can, however, wreak some serious havoc if you don’t give your self-tan time to develop.
If you head to gym or get extra sticky before you’ve had your first post-tanning shower? You run the risk of a streaky, uneven tan – and even a green tinge from the sweat interfering with the tanning dyes. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
Choose Comfy Gym Gear that Doesn’t Rub
Does your self-tan always seem to fade faster between the boobs and where your bra straps sit? This is because friction between your clothes and skin acts as a manual exfoliant – effectively sloughing away your golden glow.
To avoid an uneven fade and keep your tan going strong, opt for a well-fitting sports bra and seam-free tights that won’t rub. As for fabrics, make sure they’re either breathable or sweat-wicking to keep you cool and dry.
Sprinkle on Some Baby Powder Before Your Sweat Sesh
Fake tan hates friction, so it’s a good idea to keep some baby powder in your gym bag. Sprinkle in sweat-prone areas to mop up excess moisture and keep rubbing and chafing at bay. It’s not just rubbing clothes that do the damage either – skin on skin friction can fast-track the fade. So, pop some powder into those pesky, bendy bits, like the armpits, elbows and behind the knees. And don’t forget to show some love to your cleavage and underboob ☺.
Skip the Pool or Spa After Your Workout
Swimming is an amazing, full-body workout. Unfortunately, however, it’s not the best workout choice for fake tan fans. Chlorine dries out the skin and strips your colour, so skip the pool and spa if you’re serious about prolonging your faux glow.
Or, if the idea of giving up your daily laps is laughable, try slathering on a thick, waterproof sunscreen lotion beforehand to help lock in colour. And don’t forget to moisturise after your swim.
Freshen Up with a Cool Shower
Long, hot showers are super-drying, so keep your gym shower short, sweet and as cool as possible. A cold water wash-down will not only enhance your post-workout glow and help reduce muscle aches, it’ll help prolong your fake tan. Can’t handle the icy water? Then make it lukewarm, rather than hot.
Go Easy During the Towel Down
Whether you’re patting yourself down on the treadmill or towelling off after your shower, use a soft, smooth towel and go easy. Vigorous rubbing and rough surfaces will shed dead skin cells – and rub away your tan.
Keep Skin Moisturised
While moisturising is an essential step for anyone wanting to extend the life of their fake tan, if you’re working out it’s extra important to keep skin well hydrated. Excessive sweating can dry out the skin, AND friction from all that movement during exercise can cause dry skin to shed faster — meaning your tan can fade quicker! So please make sure you put on a nourishing body moisturiser after you wash away the sweat and bacteria.
Top up Your Facial Tan with Tanning Drops
Fact: Fake tan on the face tends to fade faster due to twice daily cleansing and the use of active skincare ingredients like AHAs. If you’re working out daily, you might also be washing your face more often – further fast-tracking the fade.
To make sure your face matches the skin on your neck and body, tanning drops are your BFF. Simply add 2-3 drops of our hydrating Bronzing Face Drops to your moisturiser (ideally at night) for a natural, buildable glow that keeps going.
How often can you reapply fake tan if you’re active?
A well-cared-for self-tan should last around a week. However, while the steps above will help, those who exercise often might find their tan needs reapplying sooner. You can apply Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam as often as needed, however it’s important to thoroughly exfoliate and prep before each application.
For best results, an even fade and natural-looking colour, we do not recommend applying our self-tanning mousse without first removing all traces of your previous tan.
Check out tan guides & tips here!
Written by: Pip Jarvis
Edited By: Vidhya