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Skincare to Use & Avoid With Self Tanner

Skincare to Use & Avoid With Self Tanner

There’s nothing like a gorgeous glowing (fake) tan to give you those holiday feels all year round. But have you ever wondered how your favourite tanning drops or mousse will interact with your skincare – and vice versa? 

While some ingredients are a-ok, others will slough away your temporary tan by exfoliating the skin. Which is ideal for a silky-smooth complexion. But less than ideal if you want your colour to last past Wednesday…

In this article, we’ll give you the glow down. Read on for our simple guide to the skincare ingredients to use and avoid for a flawless fake tan.

How to add self-tan to your skincare routine



Some things are simply better together. Like your fave facial tanner and these hydrating, glow-getting actives. Keep them as staples of your skincare routine, even after a fresh self-tanning sesh.

Bestie Pair #1: Hyaluronic Acid and Self-Tanner

Fact: Loads of self-tanners are super drying, so it’s important to replenish your skin’s moisture levels with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, this miraculous molecule will attract and bind moisture in the skin for a comfortably plump complexion.

It won’t cause any colour fade and instead will help ensure your tan fades evenly by keeping your skin healthily hydrated. So consider adding a hyaluronic serum to your routine to prolong your glow. Or, better still, opt for a tanning formula that includes the ingredient. Such as our Bronzing Face Drops, which are formulated with not one but 5 types of HA because self- tanner and hyaluronic acid are truly besties. 


Bestie Pair #2: Self-Tanner and Vitamin C

With countless anti-ageing benefits, from boosting collagen to smoothing the look of fine lines, Vitamin C is probably already part of your daytime routine. And there’s no reason to skip it when sporting a fake tan!

In fact, now’s a great time to remember that your glow is FAUX and that you need to protect your skin against sun-induced ageing. This is where this powerhouse antioxidant comes in. Possibly our favourite vitamin, Vit C also has amazing skin-brightening benefits. So it will help dial up your natural radiance even after your colour starts to fade.


@drdrayzday #HPRadicalReuse #sunscreen #skincare101 #protectyourskin #dermatologist #drdrayzday ♬ Sunrise - Official Sound Studio


Bestie Pair #3: SPF and Self-Tanner

This one’s a no-brainer. You’ve already done part of the hard work by choosing a safe fake tan over a risky suntan, but you still need a little helping hand. AKA, a daily, high-level broad-spectrum sunscreen to shield your skin against sun damage, skin cancer and premature photo-ageing. Choose a formula that works for your skin type, then make it part of your morning routine – and don’t forget to reapply! 


Other ingredients get rave reviews for their skin-smoothing and rejuvenating benefits, but they don’t play as nicely with self-tan. We’re not suggesting you skip them altogether, because after all naturally radiant and youthful skin is the goal. 

However, you should be aware they can speed up the fade. So you might want to skip them the night or two before a big event if you want your faux glow to go the distance.

Foe #1: Retinol and Self-Tanner

We all love the amazing anti-ageing, refining effects of retinol, but here’s the not-so-good news: it will increase the rate at which your self-tan fades. How? By helping accelerate skin cell turnover – something which, sadly, decreases as we age. 

Yup. Many of us are religious about our use of retinol to help prevent and reduce wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skintone and acne. So it’s understandable you might not want to skip it, even though its use means your facial tan will fade faster. 

Thankfully, you can counteract this by incorporating tanning drops into your nighttime routine! Simply mix 2-3 drops into your moisturiser and you can top up your glow as you sleep. Turns out finding the balance between self tanner and retinol is too easy.


@coco_and_eve Mix in 1-2 drops with your favourite moisturizer & apply evenly 💫 #tandrops #tanningtips #selftan #tantok #cocoandeve #fyp ♬ ummm hello - Oli Main


Foe #2: AHAs/BHAs and Self-Tanner

You might be wondering, “what do ahas and bhas do?” Alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and salicylic acid are what are known as chemical exfoliants. Dissolving the glue that binds dead skin cells to the surface – and in the case of salicylic acid within your pores, they essentially help resurface the skin. Getting rid of dry, dull and – you guessed it – tanned skin cells and making way for fresh new cells to emerge. 

With anti-ageing and anti-acne benefits, chemical exfoliants are a gentle way to exfoliate the skin without the use of aggressive scrubbing. There’s no denying they will fade your tan sooner, but they’ll also help it fade evenly. 

To maintain your tan as long as possible, it’s a good idea to alternate the application of your exfoliating acids (or retinol) with your facial tanner until you find the combo and timing that works best for you 


Foe #3: Facial Oils and Self-Tanner

If you love a good facial oil, we’re with you. But it’s best to give your old faithful, or any heavy oil-based moisturisers, a miss the day you bronze – both before and immediately after. Why? Because oils are known to break down self-tan. No further explanation needed. 

To make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your glow going longer, check out our post on how to shower for a longer fake tan. If you're wanting professional insight and tons of advice on all your hair, skin and tanning needs, visit our blog to learn more!


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Written by: Pip Jarvis

Edited By: Iris


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