5 Winter Fake Tan Hacks

Posted by in Body

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If you’re one of these people who can’t bear being pale and loves a constant tan, the chances are you’ve committed a few tanning faux pas along the way. I’m not judging, we’ve all been there and you learn from your mistakes. So with that in mind, here are my top tips on how to achieve a natural looking tan during the winter without stepping foot in a tanning salon.

Swop creams for oils

I would recommend using oils over creams as they’re a lot lighter and easier to apply. Oils are also great for giving your dry winter skin nourishment and a wonderful glow! Facial tanning oils also come into their own during the colder months. Packed with hydration they’re a perfect way to achieve a natural glow without making you look muddy or dirty.

enter image description here NUXE Sun, Face and Body Tanning Oil, £18.50

Less is more

This may seem obvious, but try not to go overboard. The whole point of winter tanning is to ‘take the edge off’ your pale complexion and give your skin a subtle boost, not to look like you’ve just come back from two weeks in Santorini. Always wait for your first layer to fully develop before going back in with more. Like most things, it’s easy to add more but a lot harder to take away.


This isn’t exclusively a winter tanning hack, but nevertheless it’s still important. Invest in a good body scrub and facial exfoliator to ensure you achieve a smooth, natural finish without dry patches and streaks. I personally prefer showering and exfoliating the evening before I self tan so I’m able to moisturise my knees, ankles and elbows without it interfering with the tan itself. Also make sure you do all your other beauty tasks (shaving, waxing, manicures, etc) BEFORE you self tan as they will undo all your hard work and leave you looking patchy.

enter image description here St Tropez, Tan Enhancing Body Polish, £6.99

Wash your tan off

Warning: major stereotype alert! Being from Essex I’ve seen lots of fake tan fails over the years. But one that I keep seeing time and time again is the ‘melting tan’. This is when girls (and guys) fake tan before a night out but won’t shower it off so that the tan continues to develop and gets darker and darker throughout the evening. So when they’re in hot, cramped clubs and they start to sweat the tan runs and leaves them covered in streaks. Not a good look if you’re on the pull. It also means that if it rains (which it frequently does during the winter in the UK) the same thing will happen. So please, please, please! Wash your fake tan off before going out clubbing to spare yourself and your tan stained clothes the embarrassment.

Make it last

A great way to ensure you extend the life of your tan is to use a gradual tanning moisturiser. Unlike normal fake tan, you can put it on before bed without the worry of it turning your white bed sheets brown. It’s perfect to use as a subtle top up and will keep your skin hydrated and streak free.

enter image description here First Aid Beauty, Slow Glow Self Tanning Moisturiser, £20.50

Still looking for the perfect fake tan? Try taking our free beauty quiz which will take out all the guess work and provide you with impartial beauty recommendations just for you.