Professional Tips & Advice

Why does fake tan wear off?

2 Min Read Tuesday 18th April 2017

Want to know why fake tan wears off? Here’s the science:

Sunless tanners contain a substance called DHA, which reacts with the amino acids on the top layer of the skin causing it to gradually darken. This natural chemical reaction is very similar to what happens when an apple is exposed to the air and turns brown. The result is a safe, golden glow that adds radiance and shine to the skin.

The cells that sit on the top layer of our skin, the very ones that the fake tan has darkened, will naturally begin to flake away over the course of a week as our bodies generate new ones to replace them. As this continuous process takes its course, our tan will begin to tone down¬†too. So, it’s not actually the colour itself that fades away; rather the darkened¬†skin cells flake off, taking your glow along with them.


What are the two things you need to remember?

  1. Anything that dries out the skin, such as swimming for long periods of time, taking hot baths, visiting the steam room/sauna or using an exfoliator, will speed up this process and dampen down your glow.

  2. Anything that hydrates the skin, like daily moisturising, will slow this process down and boost the lifespan of your tan.

The temporary nature of a fake tan is the very thing that makes it so appealing. You get to control, customise and create the perfect colour balance for our skin as the seasons change. Why not add a subtle depth to your skin by layering up applications of gradual tanner or go for a full-on honey-glow with a darker spray tan? Play around and go for something completely different the following week until you find a colour choice that perfectly complements your unique complexion.


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