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Is this common health issue the reason your fake tan doesn't last? A skin expert explains

Self-tan always patchy? This common health issue could be why

fake tan doesnt last© Photo: iStock
May 16, 2022

If you always painstakingly apply your self-tan, yet find it goes patchy and fades within a few days, there could be a very common health reason behind it.

MORE: 22 best tanning drops for your face to get your glow on

According to skincare specialist Dr. Lauren Evans, who works with skincare brand Arbonne, if you have dry skin, you'll find it difficult to stop your fake tan from fading. She explains that self-tan sits on the very surface of your skin, adhering to the dead skin cells.

© Photo: Instagram

Applying self-tan with a mitt helps it to last

These dead skin cells react to DHA in self-tan (DHAs are the chemicals that create that coveted bronze shade), resulting in a tan on the surface layer of your skin.

MORE: 33 fake tans to make you look like you've been on holiday even if you haven't

READ: Ruth Langsford's £29 secret for the ultimate summer glow is selling fast

"As soon as the top layer of skin sheds, your tan will begin to fade and look patchy," explains Lauren. Therefore, the dryer your skin is, the quicker your self-tan will fade.

Annoyingly, you might have noticed that wearing fake tan can actually make your skin dryer than normal. This is because the DHA itself dries out the skin, according to Lauren. How dry self-tan makes your skin depends on the concentration of DHA of the formula and whether or not there are any moisturisers also included in the product. Look for aloe vera to soften the skin. Dr. Lauren suggests Arbonne's FunSun Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion, £44.00

How to make self-tan last longer

1. Exfoliate beforehand

If you're a dedicated self-tanner, you'll know the holy grail advice for a long-lasting tan is to exfoliate before tanning.

"Exfoliating before tanning will ensure that you apply your tan to reasonably fresh skin, lengthening the time before your skin next sheds," explains Dr. Lauren.

For the best exfoliation, we recommend Sunday Riley's Charcoal Smoothie Jelly Body Scrub. Not only does it look jazzy in your shower, it makes light work of rough and dry skin, for a smooth self-tanning canvas.

Sunday Riley Charcoal Smoothie Jelly Body Scrub, £32/ $41.50, Space NK


2. Moisturise twice daily

The other step is to moisturise your body twice daily when you've got self-tan on. Once in the morning, and once before bed.

Avoid body oil though, as this breaks down tan, shortening the lifespan of your gorgeous glow.

Try Arbonne's FunSun Instantly Soothing Gelee With Aloe Vera Leaf Juice. It's intensely nourishing with a fun, instantly-absorbed wobbly gel texture. 

Arbonne FunSun Instantly Soothing Gelee With Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, £44/$55, Arbonne


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