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How to self tan like a pro

by Jade Newton |

How to self tan like a pro

With summer literally a hair’s breadth away, are you starting to think it’s time to get the self tan out? Feeling a bit rusty? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back (even that hard to reach patch) with these top tips to get that golden glow you’re looking for.

But first, have you seen our range of sunless products? Click HERE to discover our line!



Moisturise - big focus on dry skin patches (elbows, ankles, tops of hands..)

Did you know that one of the main reasons why tanners gain an uneven tan is due to dry skin? Sunless tan will naturally latch onto dry skin more, meaning that if skin isn’t moisturised, you can end up with a patchy colour. Key areas to focus on are elbows, ankles, shins and the top of your hands and knuckles. 

The best way to ensure your self tan goes on for a uniform glow, is to moisturise daily at least three to four days before tanning, with a special focus on the day before tanning to ensure deep hydration and no dry skin patches. 

Click HERE to see our collection of Tan Extenders

australian gold moisturiser

Remove hair and exfoliate the day before

Did you know that hair removal can dry skin out? Make sure to remove any hair where desired the day before tanning, and follow this up by moisturising to restore any natural oils that may have been stripped. Embrace the silky smoothness

Don’t forget to exfoliate the day before tanning! This rids skin of any dead cells that could attract your self tan and ensure skin is in the best condition for tanning. Make sure to focus on areas which are naturally drier, such as shins to ensure as consistent a smoothness as possible.

✨On the day✨

Avoid deodorants and perfume

Did you know that deodorants and perfumes can sometimes react with your self tan? The key tanning ingredient can react negatively with cosmetics, and can turn skin green! Unless you want to look like you star in Wicked, make sure skin is clean and fresh. This also means skin will be free of any dirt or residue which could block pores and leave skin dull. 

Barrier time

 Certain parts of the body will react to your sunless tan differently. To ensure an overall, even, and natural-looking glow, we recommend applying a layer of moisturiser to act as a barrier:

  • On knees and elbows
  • On ankles
  • To knuckles and any dry areas on the hands
  • Around your hair line to avoid any visible lines on the face

australian gold sunless self tan

Apply in a circular motion

One of the biggest faux-pas of the first-time tanner is applying your tan wrong. Yes, applying in an up-and-down motion is faster, but is it as successful? No! You should always apply in a circular motion to ensure an overall, even result. This also encourages your lotion to absorb deeper into the skin, allowing the added skincare ingredients in our lotions to soothe, soften and rejuvenate for a glowing complexion! 

Start from the feet and move upward to avoid creases

Started at the bottom, now we’re here! By tanning your toes and travelling up, you avoid creasing your torso by bending over.

Allow tan to dry before dressing (wear loose clothes whilst it’s developing)

Another of the biggest faux-pas of self-tanning is people’s determination to get dressed straight away after tanning. This will ruin all of your work. Putting on clothing immediately shifts the lotion that has not been absorbed by the skin fully and will create lines. Keep patience, kick back and give your tan time to absorb fully before dressing. It’s also time to stick on a pair of joggers and a loose top to avoid lotion being moved about or absorbed by your clothes which could make your glow patchy. 

shower gel for sensitive skin

Wait X hours - customisable colour

For the deepest result, we recommend leaving your sunless on for eight hours; some do this overnight. This allows the ingredients to work to their fullest potential for deep, golden colour. However, if you’re looking for a lighter tan, simply leave your sunless on for a shorter period of time. Always leave for at least four hours, however, the longer you leave after this, the deeper your tan will be.

Shower in cool water to remove tan

Hot water is a huge culprit for dry skin. The hotter the water, the more it will strip your skin of its natural oils. With this in mind, when showering to remove your tan, lower the temperature to avoid drying skin out as quickly. 

✨Maintenance ✨

Exfoliate every two - three days and moisturise daily

To stop your tan from going patchy, scrub off dead skin cells every two to three days with a gentle exfoliator, loofah or washcloth. This will help ensure your tan remains glowy and even by removing any patches which may have become drier than others. 

Moisturise, moisturise and (yep, you guessed it) moisturise!

 Moisturising is key for maintaining skin's hydration. The more moisturised and hydrated your skin, the longer you stay will remain even, glowing and not have any patches. 

For best results, make sure to moisturise after tanning, showering, bathing or swimming to restore skin's natural oils that could have otherwise been lost. 

24 hour moisturiser

✨ Reapply✨

Remove all traces of previous tan to avoid patchy or dry areas 

Make sure to remove all of your previous tan before reapplying. Leaving old tan on can leave skin patchy, uneven and mean some parts of your body will process the tan differently than on others. Here are some great tips to help lift your tan:

For the body:

  • Apply an oil to the skin and leave for 30 minutes to an hour - this helps to lift your tan! Alternatively, fill the tub and have a bath with baby oil in, it will give you the same results! Once you're skin is wrinkly, go to town with your exfoliator to rid yourself of dead skin cells and unwanted tan for a glowing result. This is ideal for getting that hard to reach area on your back!
  • Baking soda - yep, you've read that correctly! Put a couple of spoons of baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply this to hard to remove areas, like hands, knees and elbows for a few minutes to help lift those hard-to-get spots
  • Want to supercharge your soda? Combine baking soda with lemon or lime to an even more energised natural tan remover! Apply onto the body for a couple of minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
  • Chlorine can be a killer - this really helps to strip bronzers from your skin, so for a fast removal, jump in a pool or a hot tub to help rid that. Just remember to moisturise after to avoid dry skin!

For the face:

Typically facial skin is treated more with moisturising goodies. With this in mind, the tan will typically fade naturally as your skin sheds. However to move it along, use a facial exfoliator, or silicone brush to help encourage faster removal gently.