Professional Tips & Advice

5 reasons why your tan has faded too quickly

5 Min Read Friday 14th July 2023

Uh, oh… you’ve just woken up, stepped in front of your bedroom mirror and realised that your tan has started to fade away already! Where did it all go wrong? It can be heartbreaking when you see that golden glowing tan start to fade. After you’ve treated yourself to your favourite sunless tan, whether it be self-tan or a professional spray tan, you want to make sure that it stays long past its lifespan!

There are a few things that you may not realise or simply forgot to do to help maintain your tan. Well luckily, our professional tanning experts here at Sienna X have seen it all over the years, so we know exactly what it takes to keep your tan lasting longer.

Take a look at our list of five potential reasons why your tan has faded too quickly to make sure it doesn’t happen again.


Forgetting to moisturise daily is one of the key reasons that your sunless tan has faded faster than you’d hoped. While many of us moisturise daily already as part of your normal skincare routine, moisturising when you have a tan is important to help maintain that glow for longer.

When your skin becomes too dry, the skin cells on the surface begin to flake off, taking your golden colour that sits within them away! This is where you may see your tan fade or become patchy over time.

It’s really important to keep hydrating the skin daily with a rich moisturiser. This will help to slow down the skin’s natural regeneration process, resulting in less flaking skin cells and helping your tan to last longer, while also providing you with beautiful silky smooth skin! Our Day Cream with SPF30 is a great option for a daily moisturiser to help maintain your tan.


We know, sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to enjoy a spa day where you can really relax in the steam room or sauna. While we love a trip to the spa as much as the next person, when it comes to a fresh new tan, visiting a steam room or sauna can actually work against you.

Although steaming your face and body is excellent for cleansing your skin, opening up your pores and removing blackheads, it can also make your tan fade a little quicker. This is because treating yourself to a steam actually encourages your older skin layers to flake away to reveal fresh, smooth skin. As with forgetting to moisturise, when those dry skin cells flake away, as does your beautiful tan.

Whether you’ve recently applied a luxury self tan or have had a professional spray tan, we recommend that you avoid steam rooms and saunas to help maintain your golden tan for longer.


We’re totally with you; there are some days where nothing can beat taking a long, hot bath or shower, sometimes even with a glass of wine for extra luxury… We’ve all had those tough days at work and need that time to decompress. But did you know that doing so will actually dehydrate your skin, which again, will cause your skin layers to flake away faster!

The hot water will actually soften the look of your tan, making it appear lighter and sometimes even patchy! Not ideal…

The solution is to bypass the bath for a few days, take quick showers and avoid using strong cleansers that can strip the skin of its new colour. Stick to shorter showers, make sure the water is slightly cooler than perhaps you usual heat and use a medium strength soap, shower gel or cleanser to wash your skin whilst also protecting your tan.


There is a good chance that regularly exfoliating is a part of your usual skincare routine. While exfoliating your skin is always a good habit to adopt, exfoliating and tanning sometimes don’t mix! If you want your tan to stick around for a week and more, take our advice and step away from the exfoliator!

Exfoliating your skin too often will encourage the removal of the top layer of cells from the skin’s surface. This is especially the case if you are using quite a harsh exfoliator, as this can remove slightly deeper layers of skin cells as well. To help promote your colour, opt for a rich and creamy moisturiser every day like in tip 1. This will help to keep your skin feeling and looking fresh without exfoliating, all helping to keep the colour and sheen of your new tan.

However, there are instances where exfoliating can help. If you want to promote a quick fade-off for a naturally sunkissed look, then exfoliator is your best friend.


Did you know that prolonged contact, with chlorine and water, can encourage the breakdown of your tan? We’ve gone over how swimming can affect your tan in a separate guide, but it is important to understand how swimming can ruin your brand new tan.

Chlorine found in swimming pools can encourage a faster ‘fade-off’ for your tan, something that we want to avoid. If you’re swimming in the sea, you may see less of an impact on your tan, but be cautious as the salt water can sometimes cause your tan to become patchy and uneven if you’re in the water for a longer period of time.

To keep your beautiful colour, we recommend that you avoid long swimming sessions whilst you have your tan. Take the time to moisturise after a quick dip in the pool to lock in your sunkissed hue instead.

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