You’re unique, your products should be too

Hair + Beauty

Fake Tan Tips: A Redhead’s Guide On How To Apply Sunless Tan

Achieve a Streak Free Glow Every Single Time

Redheads sometimes want a nice golden glow but can’t get it naturally. Self-tanning is the safest way for redheads to get the color they want, but the application can be quite a learning curve. Don’t let the fear of a streaky tan stop you from being a bronzed ginger goddess this summer. Try these tested tan application techniques for your redhead skin: 

1. Exfoliate & moisturize

For the best tan, you need to exfoliate and moisturize regularly days before applying the tan. This will ensure you don’t have any dry spots and your tan applies more evenly. If you’re going to shave, do it 12 – 24 hours before you tan. 

2. Get clean

You always want to apply your tan to clean skin, so make sure to take a shower about 30 mins before you start tanning. One thing to watch out for is deodorant. Make sure you fully wash off any deodorant before you start tanning as it can cause your tan to turn green in your armpits (oh no!). Don’t apply any product once you get out of the shower.

3. Use a barrier cream

The one product you want to apply before you start is barrier cream. Apply this to your elbows, knees, feet, and hands, and any other dry patches you have. This will help the tan to keep from clinging and creating dark patches. 

4. Apply in circles with a mitt

The best way to apply self-tanner is with a clean self-tanner mitt. Work in sections and apply the solution in circular motions. Save dryer areas and your face for last so the tan doesn’t sit too long. 

sunless tanning

Shop: GAIYAH Self Tanning Mitt, $6

5. Try using a makeup brush

A large makeup brush can be used to apply the tan in places you need more control over like your hands, feet, and face. Be sure to use a clean brush and use a separate brush for your face than you do for your hands/feet.

6. Add some baby powder

If you’re prone to sweating, try applying a little baby powder with a fluffy brush to areas you perspire (underarms, backs of the knees, and between the breasts) before applying the tanning solution. This will help keep the area from getting too moist and will prevent the tan from being ruined. 

7. Wear dark, loose clothing

Once you’re done applying your tan, it’s time to let it sit. Be sure to avoid water and wear loose clothing while your tan is activating. Once you shower you’re good to go but until then be careful, this is the easiest time to mess it up. 

8. Choose the right product 

This is essential for the perfect tan. Head to these articles to find out our top favorites for redheads:

Best Sunless Tanners for Redheads (2021 Edition) 

5 Sunless Tanning Mousses We Love For Redheads 

8 Makeup Tips from Redhead Bachelor Contestant, Elyse Dehlbom (and her favorite instant tanning product) 



READ: Self Tanner Application Tips for Redheads

READ: How to Keep Your Summer Glow Through Fall – Even If It’s Just More Freckles!