Introducing the perfect way to ‘apply fake tan to your face’ for that sun-kissed glow, even in the heart of winter. As the demand for year-round tans grows, applying a fake tan to the face has become an essential beauty skill.

However, it’s a task that requires finesse, as the face is usually the first thing people notice about us. Correct application can lend an appealing bronzed look, while mistakes may lead to embarrassing orange patches.

In this guide, you’ll learn the best techniques to apply fake tan to your face, ensuring a flawless and naturally radiant complexion.

How To Apply Fake Tan To Your Face Like A Pro

Here are the steps to apply fake tan to your face

  1. Preparation is critical: Experts advise exfoliating your skin a day before tanning to remove dead skin cells and achieve an even application.
  2. Moisturize: Apply a light moisturizer to dry areas such as the eyebrows and hairline to prevent the tan from clinging and creating a darker shade.
  3. Apply in sections: Start with the forehead, then move to the nose, cheeks, chin, and neck. This helps ensure all areas are evenly covered.
  4. Use the right tools: Using a tanning mitt or a makeup brush can help to distribute the product more evenly on your face.
  5. Blend, blend, blend: Make sure to blend the product into your hairline and neck to avoid apparent lines.
  6. Go light on the first application: It’s easier to build up a tan than to take it down. Start with a light application and gradually add more if needed.
  7. Wait before applying makeup: Allow the tan to set for at least 10 minutes before applying any makeup or skincare products.

Remember, the key to a great fake tan is all in the application. Practice makes perfect, so be reassured if your first latte could be better.

How Long Does Fake Tan Take To Dry?

Once you apply fake tan to your face, it usually takes 10-15 minutes to dry on the surface. However, waiting a little longer before applying makeup or going to bed is advisable to ensure the product is fully set and won’t smudge or transfer.

Remember, the tanning process, where the color develops and deepens, can take 6-8 hours. During this time, try to avoid activities that could cause excessive sweating or come in contact with water, as they might cause the tan to streak or wash off.

Following these guidelines will help maintain the longevity and quality of your fake tan.

How Long After Moisturising Can I Fake Tan?

After moisturizing, it’s essential to let your skin fully absorb the product before you apply fake tan to your face. This usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour. But, if you’re short on time, a quick 15-minute wait after moisturizing should be sufficient. The key is to ensure your skin doesn’t feel too greasy or slippery, which could interfere with the tanning solution and result in a patchy, uneven tan.

Once you’ve allowed enough time for the moisturizer to sink in, you’re ready to proceed with the application process, following the above steps to achieve a flawless, sun-kissed glow. Please remember moisturizing is an essential step post-application to maintain your tan’s longevity and natural look.

How Long After Moisturising Can I Fake Tan?

Should I Shave Before Tanning?

Before you apply fake tan to your face, you might wonder if you should shave or exfoliate. Shaving before tanning can provide a smoother surface for the tanner to adhere to, helping achieve an even, streak-free finish. However, shaving at least 24 hours before applying the tanner is advisable to avoid irritation.

Should I Exfoliate Before Tanning?

Just as crucial is the step of exfoliation. Exfoliating your face before applying fake tan helps to remove dead skin cells, again providing a smooth base for the tanner. This step also ensures that the tan does not accumulate in drier areas, leading to dark patches. So, yes, it is recommended to exfoliate before you apply fake tan to your face to ensure an even, natural-looking tan.

Can I Tan With Perfume Or Deodorant On?

As you prepare to apply fake tan to your face, you may question whether a white tan with perfume or dodo is safer.

The answer is No. Like makeup and other skincare products, perfume and deodorant can create a barrier on your skin that prevents the tanning solution from fully penetrating and interacting with your skin. This can result in an uneven, patchy tan or even prevent the tan from developing altogether.

For the best results, ensure your skin is clean, exfoliated, and free of any products, including perfume and deodorant, before you apply fake tan to your face. This will help you achieve a smooth, even, and natural-looking tan.

When Is The Best Time To Fake Tan Before An Event?

Timing your fake tan application correctly can be the key to flaunting a radiant, sun-kissed glow for an upcoming event. Ideally, the best time to apply fake tan to your face before an event is 1-2 days prior. This allows the tan to develop fully and any potential mishaps to be corrected. It also allows your skin to ‘settle’, resulting in a more natural, flawless finish.

Remember to moisturize regularly after the application to maintain your tan’s longevity and quality. Following this timeline, you can ensure your fake tan looks its best, enhancing your overall look for the special occasion.

What’s A Great Fake Tan Tip For Beginners?

If you’re new to fake tanning and anxious about the results, starting with a test patch is a good idea. Choose a small, inconspicuous area on your face, apply the tanner, and wait for it to develop fully. This can give you a sense of how the colour will look and how well your skin reacts to the product before you apply fake tan to your entire face.


In conclusion, applying fake tan to your face can be easily mastered with the proper technique and care. Following the steps outlined, including exfoliating, moisturizing, applying in stages, avoiding sensitive areas, allowing sufficient time to develop, and continual moisturizing post-application, you can achieve a stunning, sun-kissed glow without the harmful effects of sun exposure.

Remember that it’s critical to select a product that works for both your desired level of tan and skin type. Additionally, timing your application 1-2 days before an event can help you look your radiant best. With practice and patience, you can confidently apply fake tan to your face, achieving a natural, flawless result anytime.