We’ve all been there… The bottle of fake tan drew us in with its promises of a gorgeous, bronzed finish. We’ve spent time, effort, and money on it, following the instructions to a tee but when we’ve looked in the mirror a worried-looking mandarin has stared back out at us. Yes, we’ve gone orange.
There we were, doing our best to stay out of the sun’s harmful rays just as we’re told to, and our reward is bright orange skin that makes us look as though we’ve got some terrible disease rather than giving us the healthy summer glow we were looking for.
So how can you avoid the dreaded orange tan? Is it possible without spending a fortune? The answer is yes, it is possible; follow our guide and your tan will look as natural as can be, and you won’t have had to spend your rent on achieving it.
Prepare Your Skin
The very first thing you need to do when applying fake tan is to prepare your skin. This is a step that can often be skipped – after all, it takes time and you just want that lovely summer glow – but if you want a natural look when using tan from a bottle, it’s a step that must be carried out, and it needs to be done well in advance; around three to four days in advance, in fact.
So, once you know when you’re planning to tan, three or four days beforehand it’s time to prepare your skin. Remove all the dead skin cells by exfoliating. You can use a scrub if you want to treat yourself (try one of our exfoliators on your face), but otherwise, just grab a loofah or something similar and rub those dead cells away. You’ll be giving the tan a good base if you do this. If your skin is too dry, you’ll get darker spots and that orange colour will pop up too.
The night before the tanning, make sure you use an oil-free moisturizing lotion, and in the morning have just one more go at exfoliating. Don’t add any lotions or potions when you’re done; it’s time to leave the skin natural (until the tanning, that is).
Pick The Right Shade
Fake tan comes in a variety of different shades, so you’ll need to pick the right one for your needs. A lighter shade will make it look as though you’ve been pottering in the yard in the sun. Dark will look as though you’ve been sunning yourself on the beach for two weeks. What look are you going for?
This is where the true orange problem can begin too. Choosing a shade that looks great on the model on the box doesn’t mean it’s going to look great on your skin. You must pick a fake tan that is right for your own skin tone, and ideally find one that has added shades of green or purple in it. As strange as this may seem, this counteracts the orange and tones everything down.
The next tip is to ask for help. You might not like this idea, but in truth, there’s no better way to get an even, all-over tan. Unless you’re super flexible and you can reach your back or the back of your thighs, someone is going to need to assist.
Yes, the idea might be embarrassing… but wouldn’t it be worse to have a streaky, unfinished tan? Yes. Yes, it would. So ask for help when you need it so you can enjoy the final look and show it off when you want to.
Let It Soak
Finally, you’re going to need to let the tanning lotion soak into your skin for enough time. If you rinse it off before it’s ‘done’ you run the risk of turning orange because the colour hasn’t got to where it needs to be yet. Wait for at least four to six hours, and longer if you can, before rinsing (although always follow the instructions too).
Now that you're equipped to get your bronze on, get out there and start your self-tanning journey the right way!