Things to avoid if you have a fake tan

Have a fake tan? Here are some thing to avoid – or to at least treat with caution.


Okay, not all water, but contact with water stops the tanning process and can also turn you into a splotchy mess, so it is recommended that you don’t shower for the first 24 hours after a spray tan.

When you can finally take a shower, try to make it only a little bit warm, because hot water will not only dry out your skin even more, but it can also make your tan uneven.

Make sure you pat your skin dry afterwards; rubbing too vigorously can make your tan streaky and leave brown stains on your towel.



Just like water, sweat is an enemy of the fake tan. Any sweat on a super-fresh tan will cause it to run, and become streaky.

No one wants a streaky tan!

Ethical self-tanning products


Unfortunately we can’t have it all, so you will have to make the choice and compromise, as shaving your legs will take some of the tan with it. If you want a gorgeous glow, you’ll have to put up with prickly legs; if you want smooth legs, it’s pale skin for you.

Pro tip: The tan pigment will colour the leg hairs, so shave or wax a night or two before.


You’ve just covered yourself in beautiful bronze tan, and it might have cost you quite a bit of money, so DO NOT WASH IT OFF! This includes toners, face washes, and blemish creams.

Soaps will fade your tan, and scrubbing with a loofah, sponge, or cloth will remove the dead skin cells that the pigment has coloured. Scrubbing can leave you with a splotchy tan.

When you can finally take a shower, use gentle (alcohol free) faces wipes, and just rinse yourself with water.

Self-tanning tips for bridal parties

Light coloured clothing

No tanning formula is perfect. While they have been improved and many good quality formulas leave only a very light stain, you still don’t want any bronze bits on your favourite white top.

Stick to dark clothes that are loose-fitting – any tight clothes will rub at your tan and make it uneven, so break out the granny undies.

Your Bra

While we’re at it with the loose clothing, it’s best to ditch your bra for the first 24 hours (if you can). Otherwise, make it as loose as possible so there is less rubbing on your brand new tan.

Try putting baby powder on everywhere that clothing may rub; this should add some extra slip under your bra straps, pants, or even sandals and reduce traces of bronze on clothes.

What price would you pay for a good tan?


You’re tanned now, and your normal foundation isn’t going to match your new bronzed skin tone. Either use a foundation that matches your regular colour of fake tan, or go for a minimal makeup look (like a true 70s babe). 


Any oily product is going to break down the tan straight away and make you as streaky and stripy as a tiger.

This includes moisturisers that contain oil; so while you will have to moisturise religiously when you’re tanned, use an oil-free moisturiser.

If you do happen to have a mishap, it’s best to red rid of the whole tan – and go straight for the specialty products. Tan removers are available along with the fake tan at pharmacies. They come in scrubs, peels, or oils, and should be used with a tan removing mitt or glove.

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