Published On: Thu, May 20th, 2021

How to fake tan properly: The 7 dos and don’ts of fake tanning

Fake tan disasters can be humiliating and difficult to remove in a hurry. If your tan always turns out orange, streaky and patchy, you’re doing something wrong. Fake tan can be a way to fake a healthy-looking glow and there are ways to make it look as if you’ve just stepped off a plane. chatted to the experts at Cocoa Brown to find out the seven dos and don’ts of fake tanning.

Exfoliate and moisturise

Exfoliating your skin will remove dead skill cells and create a smooth canvas for the tan.

This will help you to achieve “the most even golden colour” and make sure your tan lasts as long as possible.

The experts at Cocoa Brown instructed: “Pop on your exfoliating gloves, add a dollop of Tough Stuff body scrub and rub in long sweeping strokes backwards and forwards.

“The faster you sweep, the deeper the exfoliation. Pay close attention to dry areas including hands, feet, ankles and elbows.”

Moisturise after you’ve exfoliated to hydrate your buffed skin unless you’re exfoliating before a shower and shave.

Don’t exfoliate or moisturise any less than 24 hours before you tan.

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Mitt or kabuki brush

When it’s time to fake tan, use a tool like a mitt or kabuki brush and apply the tan in a bright room in front of a mirror.

The Cocoa Brown experts said: “Use Cocoa Brown’s new Kabuki brush that will deliver a superior tanning application as the soft bristles of the brush allows you to perfect problem areas, like the neck, knuckles, knees and between fingers.

“It carves and sculpts over your body seamlessly with its uniquely shaped brush head.”

Alternatively, use a good old tanning mitt to apply the tan.

The experts said: “Or, apply your chosen tan formula with a tanning mitt, in circular motions onto the skin.

“A mitt will protect the hand from absorbing all the tan and will also help to evenly distribute the product.”

No matter which you use, carefully wash palms of hands after application without getting too splash happy!

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Don’t work in circular motions or up and down, there’s a method that works.

The Cocoa Brown team said: “ Apply the tan methodically from legs, working upwards, rather than darting from limb to limb!

“This way, you know what’s been tanned and what’s left to do – it will become an efficient routine in no time.”


Don’t let the tan on the tool go to waste, you can use it.

The experts explained: “Make sure there isn’t much tan left on the mitt and apply whatever is left sparingly to your hands, feet, ankles and elbows.

“Alternatively, you can use a tan-touring brush (or any clean foundation/buffer brush) on these areas to blend tan around knuckles etc.

“The Miracle Mist is a great lightweight product to use in such areas.”

Loose clothing

You shouldn’t tan before working out or going out, it’s better to tan before bed.

Once you’ve finished tanning and are ready to get into bed, slip into something loose.

The experts said: “Do not wear tight clothes immediately after tanning, loose clothes will allow the tan to breathe and develop without leaving marks on your skin.”

On top of that, you should avoid wearing deodorant or perfume the day you are tanning as this can jeopardise tanning results.


Don’t wash your tan off too soon, you’ll need to allow it to develop according to the instructions.

Don’t wear your best white clothes as there may be some transfer, especially if you are sleeping in the tan.

Once you’ve washed it off, moisturise daily to maintain your tan.

If you want to remove the tan use a tan remover such as Cocoa Brown’s Fresh Start to start again and repeat the process.

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