How To Stop A Fake Tan Going Patchy

November 28, 2017

Tako Phanoraj

How To Stop A Fake Tan Going Patchy – The question we all want to know. Even a great artist needs a great canvas to work on, so like any fake tan lover or tan novice out there, we must have the smoothest and hydrated body to work with for our fake tan to stick and last as long as we’ll allow it. If you’re sick and tired of getting patchy and gross, or your fake tan is only lasting you a day, follow these steps below and I ensure you, your tan – whether it be your gradual tan, instant tan in a can or spray tan – will last you for weeks.

How To Stop A Fake Tan Going Patchy

1. Timing is everything. Fake tan usually looks the best after the second day of the application. For example, if your big event is on a Saturday you would prep your body for exfoliating and shaving on Wednesday and apply fake tan on Thursday.

2. When I am specifically prepping my body up for tanning, I switch to using Dove Soap Bar as it does the job of a soap bar and moisturises my skin, too. Other soap bars smell great but are extremely drying to the skin, so we want to lock in as much moisture as we can in our prep.

3.  Lather up and exfoliate your body. I do this in three ways.

  • First off, I use an exfoliating “Leefe” that you can get in most Middle Eastern grocer or convenient stores where they usually come in oblong shapes. What comes to mind when I see them is that they look like rough sea sponges. Something similar you can get is the ECOPURE BATH Sustainable Loofah Sponge. I like using these things as I find that it gives a deeper and more thorough clean when I exfoliate larger areas of my body.
  • The second step to exfoliate is by using exfoliating gloves as they get into the tricky and more sensitive spots like the Plica interdigitalis or the “webbing” in between your fingers and toes, your underarms, neck, chest and underboob area. With the gloves, I can feel around, grab and control certain curvy areas of my skin to get right in there to ensure there is a smooth surface area to work with.
  • Third step of exfoliating is to scrub the face by using an exfoliating face scrub like RedOne’s Face and Body Scrub in Cucumber. Either use that on its own or I like to personally use Model’s Prefer Professional Facial Cleansing Brush as well to double exfoliate and scrub the dead skin cells away.

 4.  Then go in with defuzzing your body hairs by either waxing or shaving. Shaving or waxing 24 hours before a fake tan application is vital as you need your pores to close.  If you don’t, you will have visible dots of fake tan that have seeped into your pores. I used the Gillette Venus Shaving Razor Spa Breeze at the time as it was on sale but I think for future shaving I will go back to my trusty men’s razor of the Gillette Fusion as those blades in that range last longer.

5. After showering, get a fresh dry towel and vigorously rub your body all over.

 6. Moisturising time. Get yourself a moisturiser that is extremely hydrating but one that is free from any tan stripping ingredients. I like using Eco Tan’s by Sonya Driver Coconut Body Milk. It is completely organic, vegan and cruelty-free.

Tan stripping ingredients you should be on the lookout for are…

  • Mineral Oil – Mineral oil is a petroleum-based skin softener that not only strips your tan but clogs your pores, too. This ingredient is found in most lotions.
  • Petrolatum – Petroleum is also a skin based softener and strips away tan but is mostly used in richer and creamier types of body butter or body crème washes. It does not lock in moisture but it does make your skin feel soft.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate- also known as SLS and is a common ingredient in body washes. Look for products that contain a lesser percentage of this and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate.

Please ensure that you read the labelling on your moisturiser as there is a difference between hydrating skin and soft skin. These will help you on your quest in how to stop a fake tan going patchy.

 7. The next day or night of the tan application is here. So, before you fake tan you must focus and moisturise your dry areas like your ankles, wrists, elbows and knees. Soak up your problem areas with the moisturiser as the fake tan will cling to these dry patches for dear life. And we don’t want that.

How To Stop A Fake Tan Going Patchy – Application

 8. Ok, this part is what we have all been waiting for. It is best to work in front of a mirror. Focus, work quickly, have a strategy and technique. It is imperative to work in unison with your body parts and I shall tell you why. With freshly squeezed or pumped out fake tan on your mitt, work with a larger part of your body first to spread out most of the fake tan lotion quickly and evenly and then apply it to a smaller part of your body. For example, with your torso (stomach, chest, back) work it in quick rubbing circular motions all over. When you can tell that the lotion on your mitt is “drying out”, apply the barely there fake tan formula onto your dry areas; in this instance, it will be your face and neck. This tip will give an even and blended colour. Try and follow this strategy through with your whole body: big area arms, small dry area hands, wrists and elbows; and big area legs, small dry area knees, ankles and feet. Rubbing in circular movements ensure that you are buffing the fake tan formula in smoothly. Up and down motions cause for uneven lines and streaks on the body.

9. When working on the creases in your hands, ankles and toes, here are some tips. For your hands, turn your hand into a claw-like position to rub the fake tan into your knuckles. For the back of your ankles, flex your foot so that you can rub the tanning lotion in the creases there. This is a helpful tip on how to stop a fake tan going patchy.


10. While you wait for your tan to develop, slip on a black loose dress like the ones that we have in the Little Tanning Dress range. While you wait don’t do anything vigorous or come into contact with water. Water and perspiration will drip off your sweat and discolour your application.

 11. After your tan has developed in the allocated time frame, wash your tan away gently. Do not be alarmed if you see tan coloured water go down your drain, this is only the “residue”. Do not wash with soap or anything, just the warm water and rub gently with your hands if need be in back and forth motions. This is a crucial step in how to stop a fake tan going patchy.

12. With a towel you want to pat your body dry, do not rub. Just gently pat down.

 13. Now moisturise your face and body with a moisturiser with the non-tan stripping ingredients again.

Top Tip: For upkeep, you must shower with a moisturising soap that has non-tan stripping ingredients also with gentle rubbing of the hands, pat yourself dry and moisturise, moisturise and moisturise.

So there you have it you tanaholics, tips on how to stop a fake tan going patchy and stay around longer for weeks and weeks. Please let us know down in the comments below what you think and if you have your own tips to add. Alternatively, you can read our experts guide to tanning or learn how to get the perfect summer skin!

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