How To Extend Your Self Tanner

Extend Self TannerThere’s nothing better than sporting a fresh tan that has even  you doing double takes in the mirror.

A great tan makes you more confident, more defined, and just gives you an overall beautiful, sun kissed glow.

It’s also hard to complain when you’re walking around with a bronzed body that even an avid beach-goer would be jealous of.

Regarding that tanned look though, I don’t know about you, but I want to keep mine for as long as possible.

In general, self tanners usually start to fade naturally between days 3 and 7 depending on which brand you use.

If you’re noticing that your self tan seems to fade too quickly or you just want to prolong it, listen up J

Here are the best ways to extend your self tanner as long as possible:

Shave or Wax Beforehand

Be sure to be silky smooth in all the right places before you apply your self tanner.

If you wait to wax or shave after application, you will lose more of your tan faster.


It’s very important to exfoliate your body with a scrub or loofah before application.

This ensures your tanner will be applied to fresh, smooth skin and will adhere nicely.

Don’t go too crazy with the exfoliation though, you don’t want to irritate your skin.

Rubbing your skin raw will overly dry it out and interfere with the self tanner.


Make sure you wait at least 7 to 8 hours before showering or working out.

If you shower or sweat too soon this will fade your tan much faster.

Also, hot showers are very drying for your skin.

Try to keep your showers warm, cool, or short afterwards to keep your skin from getting too dried out.

It would also be beneficial to avoid saunas, chlorine, and salt water for the week after you’ve applied your tanner.

Hydrate and Moisturize

Once you’ve applied your self tanner, it is crucial that you keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.

This will prolong the tan and keep you from drying out.

Lotion, moisturizing body wash, and dry oil are all great ways to keep your skin quenched.

Drinking lots of water will keep you and your skin hydrated as well.

Avoid Harsh Products

Some products are more harsh than others and can end up taking away some of your gorgeous tan.

Try to avoid maximum strength acne products, facial masks, facial toners (especially with witch hazel), waxing strips, and anything with alcohol.


You may need to reapply your self tanner, especially if certain areas are fading faster than others.

Lightly exfoliate any splotchy areas and reapply a thin coat of self tanner.

You don’t want to overdo it and slather on too much and doubling up on splotchy areas will make it look worse.

Now we’ve established what we need to avoid (harsh products, hot showers, saunas and chlorine) and what we need to do (shave and exfoliate beforehand, moisturize, and reapply) in order to prolong our tans.

Final and Most Important Note…

The final tip is to make sure you extend a self tanner that’s worth using.

Some self tanners just aren’t meant to be.

Whether they’re too orange, messy, streaky or anywhere in between, we don’t want to keep those around.

It’s important to begin with a quality self tanner that will leave you aching to keep it for as long as possible.

So, if you need some ideas on a great self tanner to get started with, be sure to check out our list of the 10 best self tanners and find one that’s perfect for you!

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Category: Facts About Self Tanning, Self Tan, Self Tanning Tips

About the Author

Emily Andrews is the Editor-In-Chief of As you can imagine, Emily loves anything and everything having to do with self tanning! She's also a big fan of shopping (duh), tiny Yorkies and football.