Ultimate Self-Tan Guide & Tips for Mature Skin

If you want to get that sun kissed glow without all the risks of UV light exposure, a self-tanner is the answer that you’re looking for! I know what you’re thinking - self-tanner often brings to mind skin that looks orange and well, slightly off. 


With these best tips for fake tan, skin looking orange or uneven won’t be an issue! Getting an even, streakless tan can be tricky but it isn’t impossible - and we’ve got the best tips for self-tan to give yourself an “I’ve just been on holiday” glow without needing to hop on a plane and head anywhere. 

Self-Tan: How to Get a Tanned Glow

There’s no denying it - a fresh tan is a total confidence booster! It makes your skin look more even toned and adds a healthy glow. The thing is, laying out in the sun can do a little more harm than good to your skin - and that’s where fake tan comes in. 

However, using fake tan can be tricky to master without the right tips for self-tanning properly. Here’s our guide to the best tricks and tips that we think will come in handy for bringing that fresh from the tropics glow to your skin!

This fast-drying, ultra moisturising self-tan formula from VANI-T works hard to give you a sunkissed, bronzed glow.

1) Exfoliate & Shave 24 Hours Beforehand

When it comes to ensuring that your tan looks even, without any funny patches or dark spots, ensuring you’ve left enough time between hair removal/exfoliation and tanning is crucial. This is one of the most important tips for fake tan as it really makes or breaks how your tan will look!

Thorough exfoliation removes any lingering dead skin cells that could create darker patches of tan - making sure all these dead skin cells are gone creates a smooth surface for your self-tan to stick to for a non-patchy glow. If you’re exfoliating as prep for your fake tan, you may as well shave at the same time too - here’s why.

Shaving or waxing right before tanning can cause your tan to settle in any freshly waxed or shaved hair follicles, creating the appearance of lots of little dark brown dots on your skin instead of a naturally tanned finish. Not exactly the look you might be going for when it comes to self-tan!

Exfoliating before shaving isn’t just a good tip for self-tanning, either - it actually helps prevent ingrowns and means you get a smoother shave for bump-free skin.

Scrub away every lingering dead skin cell with this ultra-effective exfoliating mitt from VANI-T. Inspired by exfoliating gloves used in Turkish hammams, the  VANI-T exfoliating glove is perfect for prepping your skin to self-tan.

2) Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise!

One of the best ways to get an even tan is using moisturiser, and that goes for before and after fake tan. Making sure that your skin doesn’t have any dry patches will go a long way to getting an even-toned tan - when it comes to tips on self tanning, using a moisturiser is one of the must-dos. 

However, it’s got to be used the right way to make sure you get the tan of your dreams - don’t apply it too soon before you apply your fake tan, and don’t apply it too soon after using it either. 

When it comes to tips for fake tan prep, the goal is to make sure that you’ve banished any dry spots - if you need to, apply a bit of moisturiser to areas prone to dryness (such as elbows and knees) to avoid those areas looking unnaturally dark.

When it comes to prolonging your tan, a moisturiser will be your best friend. Make sure to moisturise your skin daily after your tan has fully developed to keep your glow intact for as long as possible!

VANI-T’s classic tanning mousse is perfect for bringing a bronzed radiance to your skin without the sun!

3) Always Use a Tanning Mitt

The secret to an even tan is a tanning mitt - seriously. When it comes to tips for fake tan, using a tanning mitt is one that you should definitely take to heart! A tanning mitt helps to evenly distribute self-tan all over your skin, preventing patchiness and making sure that you apply it everywhere you need to. 

Forget the ‘hacks’ about using a sock - the reason that mitts work so well is because of the unique material they’re made out of. Socks are linty and this can transfer to the skin, causing uneven patches and making your tan look a little, well, funny. A tanning mitt is the best way to make sure your tan looks as natural as possible!

Vani-T Bronzing Mitt
Get a streak-free, even-toned tan with this super-soft bronzing mitt. It applies your tan in a perfect layer for no uneven patches and dark bits!

4) Pick the Right Self Tan for You

The great thing about fake tanning is that there’s a type of fake tanner that suits everyone’s needs and tanning desires. One of the best tips for self-tan has to be picking the right depth of tan and even the right kind of product.

If you want to slowly build up your tan to an even glow, a gradual tanner might be the best option for you - applied like a moisturiser, they help develop a tan. Once you’re at your desired tan level, swap it out for a regular moisturiser to maintain your tan.

There’s also the speedier option of an express tanning mousse, which develops tan much faster than the standard tanning mousse for those who are in a bit of a hurry and need a tropical glow ASAP!

This moisturising formula helps to create a gradual, even tan - perfect for self-tanning newbies!

5) Don’t Forget Your Face

When it comes to fake tan for the face, facial tanning drops are the way to go. Fake tan mousse on your face can wield some pretty unnatural results - and using tanning drops is the best way to match your face to your body without accidentally ending up with an even more uneven skin tone.

Fake tan for the face is super easy to do with tanning drops, too - just make sure you’ve applied an even amount and let them work their magic!

Vani-T’s facial tanning drops make getting an even, all-over tan a breeze.

6) Always Remove Any Leftover Self Tan 

Another crucial tip for fake tan has to be to make sure you’ve removed any lingering old tan before starting fresh. Not many tips on self-tanning mention this, but you can actually use a specific tan-removal product to make sure that your skin is free of any old tan and is the perfect blank canvas to help you get a beachy, tanned glow. 

If you don’t, you could end up with some seriously patchy tan - so be sure to use a self-tan remover to ensure that your skin is perfectly cleansed of any old tan and start fresh!

This Tan Remover from Vani-T is perfect to sweep away any leftover tan so that your skin is a blank canvas for your next tanning sesh!

Tips on Self-Tanning: Key Points

When it comes to getting tropical, glowing skin, there are a few best tips for self-tan to take into consideration. Make sure that any dead skin has been buffed away and if necessary, shaved or waxed for an even application.

You’ll also want to make sure that before and after fake tan, your skin is well moisturised and hydrated to prevent pesky dry spots making your tan look uneven and patchy. And don’t forget the tanning mitt - it’ll be your best friend when it comes to getting an even-toned, rich tan on your skin.

Now that you’ve got all the best tips for fake tan, get your beauty affairs in order and give them a shot today!

If you’re still trying to create a skincare routine - with or without fake tan - try our skin analysis!

Beauty Affairs Skin Analysis Quiz

Products Mentioned:

  • Vani-T Illumin8 Dry Oil Express Self-Tan Mousse
  • Vani-T Exfoliating Mitt
  • Vani-T Velocity Express Self-Tan Mousse
  • Vani-T Bronzing Mitt
  • Vani-T Bronzing Custard
  • Vani-T Glow+ Self-Tan Drops
  • Vani-T Tan Eraser
  • Alexis Adrienne

    Alexis Adrienne

    Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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