Do's & Don'ts of Fake Tan

Do's & Don'ts of Fake Tan

Applying fake tan can sometimes feel like an intimidating task. The fear of the colour being too dark or the application being streaky and uneven. We are going to look at the do’s and don’ts of fake tanning to help give you the confidence to achieve your perfect golden glow all year round.   

Do these when fake tanning


Before you begin to tan, it is important to prepare the skin to ensure that you have the perfect blank canvas for an even tan. Exfoliation is essential to remove any dead skin cells which can cause dry patches, these will make the tan appear uneven when applied. He-shi Tan Remover and Primer is a foam that can be applied and left on for 5 minutes before being rinsed off in the shower. It uses fruit AHA’s to exfoliate the skin removing any previous tan and leaving the skin hydrated and ready for a fresh tanning application. 

Shave 24 hours before

If you want to wax, shave or remove any hair this must be done 24 hours prior to tanning. This gives the hair follicles time to close back up again and will make sure that you don’t get dark spots or an uneven colour. 

Moisturise before fake tan

As part of your tanning prep, it is essential to ensure your skin is hydrated by using a moisturiser every day on the lead up to your application. Avoid using a moisturiser on the day of tanning as this can cause a barrier which affects how the tan absorbs. Instead, only moisturise dry areas such as elbows, knees, ankles and hands. This will prevent the tan from clinging and appearing darker giving a more natural look. If you do feel that you would need to moisturise before fake tan, choose a light oil free moisturiser that can absorb quickly and not sit on the skin.  

Maintain your tan

Ensuring your skin is hydrated and moisturised will help you to maintain your tan for longer. Using a body lotion daily will help prolong your colour and give an even fade and wear off. If you are wanting to deepen your colour you can maintain it by applying gradual tan, He-shi Day to Day Gradual Tan will extend the life of your tan ensuring maximum hydration with aloe vera and vitamin E smoothing skin.

Apply with a mitt

There are a few different ways to apply your fake tan, we would recommend using a mitt for a flawless application. Our Tanning Mitt has a lotion proof barrier to protect your hands from staining while also achieving streak free coverage with flexibility to reach all areas.

If you want a more luxurious tanning experience, the Luxury Velvet Mitt is super soft and will effortlessly glide across skin to achieve a streak free even finish. Remembering to work in circular motions in sweeping across the body to blend in your tan allow guide colour to show you where the tan is.

The best way to apply fake tan to your face is to use light circular motions making sure to use a barrier cream on eyebrows to avoid staining. Carefully blend the tan into the hair line and jaw and ears to ensure it looks natural and is blended evenly. If you find a tanning mitt too big for this, you can use a makeup brush to give you a more precise application.

Let your tan try before you get dressed

After applying your tan, it is important to let this dry before getting dressed. Dark loose clothing is the best to wear as this will not leave any marks or lines. If you are tanning in a hurry, He-shi H2O Glow Tanning Mousse is a clear, no rinse quick drying formula which doesn’t transfer onto clothing or bedding. Leaving your tan on for longer will allow optimum developing time before showering to give you the perfect glow. 

Choose the right fake tan for you

It is important to choose a tan formula that suits you, with He-Shi you have plenty of options, whether you want to go with a liquid, lotion or mousse. Once you choose your desired formula you can consider colour. It is important to consider your own skin tone and hair colour to ensure you avoid a colour that is too dark.

If you are unsure or like to change the colour depending on occasion, He-Shi Rapid Tan allows you to tailor your colour intensity from natural through to ultra dark depending on how long you leave to develop. This comes in both a liquid and mousse depending on your preference. You can also apply a lighter colour fake tan and then build it up with another layer if you prefer to be cautious.  

Don’t do these when fake tanning

Some tanning don’ts to consider are applying deodorant prior to application.

Apply deodorant before you tan your body

This will react with the tan and cause it to turn green. Perfume on the skin can also interfere with your tan as it is developing so it is best to avoid.

Wear tight clothing

It is important not to wear tight clothing after applying fake tan as this can cause your tan to rub off or cause marks. This can make self-tanning in the morning more difficult as you must wear dark, loose clothing to avoid any transfer and you can’t use deodorant or perfume. The best time to fake tan is at night as this will give the tan full developing time and you don’t need to worry about what you are wearing. The added benefit being you will wake up with a golden flawless colour.  

Rush the process

When applying your tan, it is important not to rush the process, make sure you have good lighting so you can see where you are applying the product, a mirror can also help for any hard to reach areas. Take your time to blend the product into your skin using circular motions work in one area of your body at a time to avoid streaks.

Apply directly to the hands and feet

When tanning your hands and feet use excess product that is on the mitt, rather than applying product directly to these areas work from the arms and legs down as this will give a more natural finish. The easiest way to tan your hands is to make a claw motion bending your fingers and then gently sweep the mitt across from wrist to fingers.  

Shower too soon after tanning

Give your tan the full amount of time to develop to ensure a deep colour, this means not showering too soon. We recommend you let the product develop for 6-8 hours. When rinsing off your tan it is best not to use too much soap as this can cause your colour to fade quicker. Taking a cooler shower than normal is also beneficial as this can prolong your tan.

Discover more helpful tanning tips in the below blog posts: