As the thermometer creeps up day by day, more and more of us are reaching into the depths of our bathroom cupboards to whip out our trusty fake tans that haven’t been used in months. And while there’s often nothing better than a faux glow to put a pep in your step, achieving the perfect fake tan finish can be fraught with difficulty.
That’s why we turned to celebrity spray tanner and MineTan ambassador, Jimmy Coco, whose clientele consists of Victoria’s Secret models, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Kylie Jenner. Here are the four top tips Coco swears by for a flawless fake tan every time:
#1 / Exfoliate immediately before application
According to Coco, the number one, non-negotiable step before fake tanning at home is to exfoliate. While most of us are already aware of the importance of removing any dead skin cells, dirt and impurities from the skin before we begin, Coco stresses that exfoliation needs to take place immediately before you apply any tanning product.
To do so, he suggests “shower[ing] with warm to hot water with either a loofah or a washcloth, before rinsing with cool water to close your pores.” Then, Coco recommends “using the towel when you dry yourself to exfoliate again,” by rubbing yourself dry rather than patting dry.
#2 / Apply lotion to problem areas
One of the obvious signs that you’ve had a fake tan is when product settles and develops into dry patches of skin, most often around the ankles, knees and elbows. To avoid this, Coco suggests applying body moisturiser to any problem areas “because lotion acts as a barrier, [so] it enables the self tanner to absorb more naturally on those dryer areas”.
#3 / Use a towel to diffuse any obvious lines
Perhaps the hardest area of the body to perfect fake tan is on and around the hands. While you don’t want to apply too much product in the fear that it will leave your hands looking decidedly orange and patchy, you also don’t want to apply none at all as this can create a very obvious line between where your tan starts and stops.
To avoid this conundrum altogether, Coco advises that once you’ve washed your hands after applying fake tan, carefully hold a towel over where your tan ends and press down and buff away to diffuse the line between your arms and hands. If you'd prefer to not use a towel, then a tanning mitt such as MineTan Bronze On Applicator Mitt will work just as well.
#4 / Use Windex to fix any fake tan emergencies
Even if you’re a seasoned fake tan user, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced a fake tan emergency at one point or another and know how difficult said mishaps can be to rectify.
Thankfully, Coco has a genius – albeit quirky – way to fix a tanning disaster: “Windex is the best thing for a spray tan emergency. I realised it by accident when I was cleaning the bathroom mirror and I had an itch and noticed it was taking all the tan off. Now I just take a makeup sponge or cotton ball and I soak it in Windex and then I just rub any area where I want to remove the tan,” he explains.
While this trick certainly isn’t the best for your skin, it is a quick and easy way to remove unwanted tan when you’re in a bind. However, if you’re prone to making tanning mistakes (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?) then there are a range of fake tan removers on the market that have been specifically formulated to rid your skin of fake tan without causing any skin damage or irritation. If you’re looking to pick one up for yourself, we recommend trying MineTan Cleanser Pre Tanning Eraser, which is available for pre-order now, ANTHEIA Fake Tan Remover Kit and Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser.
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.