Grooming Editor

Fake Tanning Tips for Men

When the sun starts to shine and it becomes too warm for your beloved jeans,  it’s time to dig out the shorts from the back of your wardrobe. However, walking around looking like an extra from Twilight, akin to a Vampire in paleness, isn’t ideal; especially if you don’t tan easily. Luckily a quick, easy and safe solution to gain a golden tan is available in a bottle.  But without the correct application, you can easily end up looking  like a streaky oompa loompa instead of a flawless bronzed God. Don’t worry though, our fake tanning tips for men will make you a tanning expert in no time!

Why Self Tan?

Not only does a tan often give you that extra boost of confidence during the summer months, it can also enhance your muscle definition, even if you have been lacking at the gym. Self-tanning is the risk-free way to gain some colour without the added health risks of natural tanning in the sun, or cheating on a sunbed. Nearly a third of men aged between 16 and 25 have experimented with self-tanning products, and once you perfect the art, you’ll find it hard to step away from the bottle. Many fake tans also contain a range of skin loving ingredients that not only give you a boost of bronze, but also hydrate your skin and can help to prevent the signs of ageing – So pretty much the opposite effect of lying in the sun! Not only that, but you will also find that having a bronzed shade to your skin can also make your teeth appear whiter and eyes seem brighter in contrast to your new sunkissed look.

“If you can’t tone it, tan it!” – James Read, celebrity tanner.

Fake Tan Application Tips

Choosing the Right Product

Spray, liquid and mousse based fake tanning products can often be a better option for men in particular, as they don’t tend to stick to body hair. Whilst you may still prefer to use a cream formula, you may find that without the correct application you will end up with random blobs of orange here and there, whereas the aforementioned formula’s are much easier to blend. We recommend a spray such as the Fake Bake Luxurious Golden Bronze Airbrush Instant Self-Tan for a quick colour which will show straight away (perfect before a night out). For a more gradual tan which builds slowly, try the Decleor Aroma Confort Gradual Glow Hydrating Body Milk and use this each morning or evening as part of your regular grooming routine. For a classic tan which lasts a little longer, invest in the St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse. The ultra-light formula delivers a natural looking result in the most effortless way possible.

Despite each tanning product claiming to be ‘streak-free’ you will still need to invest in a tanning mitt. Using a tanning mitt not also makes the process of applying your tan that little bit quicker, but you can also ensure that you create a full and flawless coverage. Remember to apply in light, circular motions to ensure the most even finish possible.

Patch Tests are a Must

Just like using any new product on your skin, a patch test should be done before using something all over your body! This is even more important if you have sensitive skin or are worried about ending up the wrong tan shade. Simply apply a small patch of tan in a spot which won’t be seen to get an idea of the result you will achieve as well as whether you’re allergic to any ingredients within the fake tan. At the end of the day, nobody wants to walk around covered in a rash due to an allergic reaction, right? If you find the formula develops too deep and fear your wasted your money – fear not! Simply combine with an oil-free moisturiser to help lift the shade to a colour level you feel confident with.

Exfoliation is Key

One of the main mistakes many people make when using a self-tanner is forgetting to exfoliate beforehand. If you miss out this crucial step, you’ll be left with a patchy and uneven tan which is much to be desired. Instead, just spend the extra few minutes to lift off the dead skin cells from your elbows and knees before tanning. This will help to achieve smoother results post-tanning and also leave your skin feeling soft and supple to the touch. Perfect. Check out our skincare range to find everything you need.

Moisturise Those Pesky Areas!

If you find that exfoliating doesn’t stop the colour from sticking on to your knees and elbows, then try dabbing on some moisturiser before you apply the tan. When you come to apply your chosen tan over these areas, do so in a patting, rather than rubbing, motion. You will find that the colour develops much more evenly. If this still doesn’t work, don’t worry. Our top tip for disguising any fake-tan faux-pas is to grab a concealer and lightly apply it over the areas of build up. Blend it in and you’re good to go.

Tanning the Face

As your face should always be slightly lighter than the rest of your body, it’s a good idea to apply a little bit of moisturiser before fake tan application.  If you have facial hair then applying some petroleum jelly to both your beard and eyebrows should protect them from the dreaded giveaway orange tint. We recommend the Clinique for Men Face Bronzer or the Garnier Ambre Solaire No Streaks Bronzer Face Mist Spray, both of these products will give you a natural, flawless look – Perfecting that summer style!

Finally, Don’t Overdo It….

We’ve all seen the memes online, where some people are just gone that step too far with their fake tan. Remember, you’re aiming for a natural look, not an over-ripe orange. The secret to a natural, healthy looking tan is building up the glow gradually and not diving in full force the first time you get your hands on a bottle of tanner. Not all fake tans suit every one, so you may find you need to try a few before you settle on your perfect summer shade. With that in mind, it’s important not to be put off if your first ventures in to fake tan aren’t quite what you expected!



Writer and expert

Creative storyteller. Believer in the power of natural ingredients and cruelty-free formulas. Always puts skincare first for a no-makeup look.