Fake tan: how to remove the telltale signs that you’re faking it

There have probably been a few instances where, on someone else, you have spotted giveaways of a sloppily-applied fake tan; think streaks, blotches and patchy colour. Naturally, then, if you are reaching for a self-tanning solution yourself, you don’t want to be caught out.

Fortunately, bronzing yourself in a fake but convincing manner can be largely just a matter of knowing what to do. Here are some tips and tricks to avoid betraying that you are faking it…


If you already routinely keep your skin in good condition, you are better placed to achieve an authentic-looking self-tan. For example, while patchiness can be a common problem with self-tanning, you can prevent it by regularly scrubbing your skin to remove dead skin cells.

You should do all of that before layering on the tan. Otherwise, the tan will too quickly fade as you lose cells, warms Elle. Schedule your exfoliating for the morning or evening before you self-tan.


This is something else worth doing before applying that bronzing solution. In fact, it’s worth doing on a daily basis, every time you come out of the shower. Leaving a gap between moisturising and self-tanning will give the moisturiser time to completely sink into your skin.

Coat dryness-prone areas like wrists, ankles, elbows, knees and feet with extra moisturiser; you will thank yourself when you see how consistently tanned your body can ultimately appear as a result.

Use a mitt, not your bare hands

As slathering on that tan with your naked hands can be a ticket to streak city, invest in a mitt with which you can apply the solution to more visually seamless effect.

You might even be able to buy a tanning mitt packaged with your tanning solution, as in the case of this organic fake tan mousse from Tropic Skincare. Sweep that tan across the body rather than in a circular motion, as the application will subsequently turn out more even.

Strategically dab some Vaseline

Have you ever noticed an unsightly tide mark forming near your hairline and eyebrows as you self-tan? Marie Claire reveals a clever trick for preventing this happening: dabbing Vaseline along the brows and beside the hairline. This will prevent slippery self-tanning creating those problem marks.

If you still see self-tan sitting in facial pores, you could shrink this unwanted visual effect by placing a cold damp flannel across your face and leaving it there for a few minutes.

How to use residue remaining on your mitt

You need to pay special attention to your hands and feet to prevent them giving away your inauthentic tan. However, long hold off treating your knuckles and toes, as residue on your tanning mitt could be applied to those.

The very last body parts that you line up for tanning should be your hands. To take care of them, you would just need to lightly brush your mitt over them. Your tan is now complete, and you can look forward to showing it off when you are out and about.

Add Comment