How to avoid a fake tan disaster

Most of us have or know someone who has had a fake tan mishap.

Streaks or patches or just looking like an oompah loompah.

Baking in the sun is bad. We all know that because of the cancer risk and it also causes wrinkles to appear quicker, so we fake tan instead.

As Summer comes closer, we're more likely to crave that instant bronzed look.

There's certainly no shortage of products on the market but which colour is right for you?

It starts with knowing your skin undertone so you pick the right base colour - don't worry, it's not that science-y.

If you have warm undertones, the veins on your wrist will look more green and you should pick a violet based tan

Those with cooler undertones have blue looking veins and green based is the one for you.

Violet based

This is best for people with medium to dark skin and will counteract any yellow or orange tones in your skin to give you the most natural looking, darker tan.

Green based

These are suitable for most skin types. They’re pink correcting and work for those with fair skin too. Just be careful you don’t pick something too dark.

Types of tans

From mousse to sprays and creams, there are plenty of types of tans to choose from.


These work for most people, especially anyone with sensitive skin. They’re easy to apply - do it in circular motions for an even looking tan. I suggest investing in a tanning mitt so you don't end up with orange stained hands.


A mitt also comes in handy when applying a mousse. They’re not as hydrating as a cream or lotion but achieves the same result, so it comes down to personal preference. Sometimes a mousse offers a more instant injection of colour.


If you’re more experienced go for this but you’re more likely to miss a spot and it could end up a little patchy.

Gradual tan

If you’re a fake tan novice and have a little more time to develop the colour you’re after, you can always go for a gradual tan. You build it up over several days, usually needing multiple applications. Be prepared to invest your time here.

These can also extend the life of a tan.

Tanning preparation

For the best and longest lasting results, you need to do a bit of prep work before applying a tan.

Before you commit to the full body and are using a new product, you can always do a patch test a day out to make sure you're on the right colour path.

Always keep your skin moisturised and hydrated because the pigment is attracted to areas of dry skin and can settle in there, again making it look patchy.

On the day of your tan, exfoliate but do not moisturise or put on any perfume. Apply your tan to clean skin.

You should then keep up the moisturising so the tan naturally fades.

I always go for green based tans and here are my favourites that I recommend.