Prepare prepare prepare!

Make sure you get the right shade that will match your foundation. There's nothing worse than your face not matching the rest of you! A skincare expert in your local pharmacy can help you match - bring in your foundation to the store to make the job easier.

Before application: in the shower exfoliate to remove dry skin or old tan and take time to moisturise after. Oil breaks down DHA, which is the active ingredient in fake tan, so try and use an oil free moisturiser. Apply a little extra moisturiser to drier areas of your body such as knees, elbows.

If getting a pedicure, hair colour or hair removal, get these done at least 24 hours before you tan. The chemicals in hair dye can strip out the tan around your hairline, and the soaking and scrubbing associated with pedicures can make your tan patchy.

Aim to do your tan the night before a big event. Get ready all your tools - tan, tanning mitt, mirror, wipes/tissues.

Get tanning

Wait until skin is fully dry to apply your tan.

Apply evenly using a fake tan mitt, and build up lots of thinner layers

Apply in sections (eg arms, torso), and apply using smooth, circular motions

Blend into your wrists and ankles for a more natural look so there's not a big contrast in skin tone.

What about those hard to reach areas? Get someone you trust with a steady hand to help apply the tan on your back and other awkward areas 🤣.

Only apply small amount of tan on hands, knees, elbows, feet. Even better, do these areas after everything else without adding any extra product to your mitt.

Make it an occasion! Have a cocktail or do a face mask to make it feel more like a special spa treatment.


Wash your hands after applying to avoid orange palms!

Let your tan dry completely before dressing.

Wait for at least 8 hours after applying tan before washing. Wash gently after 8 hours or a night's sleep. Pat dry skin with towel instead of rubbing.

Moisturise after every shower to help the tan look better and for longer.

The chlorine in hot tubs and swimming pools can strip out your tan, so avoid spending too long in either.

Remember! If out in the sun, fake tan offers no sun protection, so you should always use sunscreen - but let the tan dry fully first - overnight if possible, before applying sunscreen.

Check out Town Centre Pharmacy's range of fake tanning products here

Louisa Maher