Self Tanning Questions

How to Make Fake Tan Darker? (Self-Tanning)

Written by: Anastasija

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Did you ever apply a fake tan and you weren’t really satisfied with the way it came out on your skin? I’m not talking about streaks. Sometimes tan just doesn’t develop enough and the color doesn’t get deep and dark enough so I decided to talk to you about how to make fake tan darker.

The first thing when you are trying out self-tanner is picking up the right self-tanner and most important, the right shade for you. This is where most people get a little bit scared since they don’t want to look like an orange.

Different brands sell a variety of shades; my personal favorite is Bondi Sands brand, which has all sorts of products, even gradual self-tanning foams and lotions. However, when I started using self-tanner I started with shade DARK and then upgraded to ultra-dark and I never looked back.

Bondi_Sands_Ultra_Dark_ Mousse
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 6.76 oz/200 mL
13,047 Reviews
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 6.76 oz/200 mL
  • Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is a lightweight, tanner that’s simple to apply and gives a flawless finish, every time; Simply smooth on the weightless self tanning foam for an even, streak-free, bronzed tan
  • Our unique, salon quality formula is enriched with aloe vera and coconut, for the ultimate natural, bronzed glow

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Different self-tanning shades

Light/Medium shade

If you’re afraid to start using self-tan, just start using Light/medium shade which is not going to give you that dark and deep tan, but you’re probably going to get a healthy-looking tan, but trust me you’ll probably going to upgrade sooner or later. If you would like to deepen that color, apply it twice, but why not just buy a shade that’s darker instead?

On Sale - $1.07Bestseller No. 1
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse, Self Tanner for Light Bronze Tan, Sunless Tanning Body Bronzer, Fake Tan for Fair to Medium Skin, 6 Ounce
14,807 Reviews
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Body Mousse, Self Tanner for Light Bronze Tan, Sunless Tanning Body Bronzer, Fake Tan for Fair to Medium Skin, 6 Ounce
  • FLAWLESS SELF TANNER - Create a flawless, quick tan with gradual, natural-looking color for gorgeous skin and blended color for fair to medium skin.
  • INSTANT SUNLESS TANNING - Lightweight, airy tanning mousse enhances your natural skin tone to mimic results from the sun.
On Sale - $8.80Bestseller No. 2
St.Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzer Mousse Foam, Original Fake Tan, Streak-Free Finish, Develops in 4-8 hours, Vegan, Natural & Cruelty Free, 8 fl oz
13,013 Reviews
St.Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzer Mousse Foam, Original Fake Tan, Streak-Free Finish, Develops in 4-8 hours, Vegan, Natural & Cruelty Free, 8 fl oz
  • SELF TANNER: Our most iconic & foolproof self tan - lightweight & quick-drying formula for a beautiful streak-free natural-looking tan
  • BEAUTY PRODUCTS: This trusted fake tan develops into a natural golden glow that lasts up to 10 day wear
On Sale - $4.45Bestseller No. 3
Tanologist Express Self Tan Mousse, Light - Hydrating Sunless Tanning Foam, Vegan and Cruelty Free - 6.76 Fl Oz
  • FAST | Our tanning foam is express - leave tan on for 2 hours for a sunkissed glow or overnight for a deep bronze; glow will last up to 1 week and fades evenly. Choose shade based on desired end result.
  • MESS-FREE | Express Self Tan Mousse dries fast and is transparent - this means no more blocked pores, dry skin, or tan transfer to clothes or sheets.

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Also read:
What Is The Best Self-Tanner For Fair Skin? (5 Favorite Ones)

Dark shade

As I said, I started by using a dark shade, and it was perfect for me for my first experience with self-tanner. I still remember being so excited to start and see myself being tanned for the first time, I’m not really overreacting, I’m a redhead, and I don’t even want to start on how we never really get any tan.

We’re just red and then go back to being pale. I remember being a little bit scared, but that fear vanished as soon as I saw how healthy and bronzed my skin looked the next morning.

I used shade dark for a year, but then quickly decided to upgrade. It’s funny how quickly you want to see more or you just expect more from a self-tanner. I was just curious of how different the dark shade actually was from ultra-dark so I decided to give it a try.

On Sale - $5.12Bestseller No. 1
b.tan Ultra Dark Self Tanner | I Want The Darkest Tan Possible - Fast, 1 Hour Sunless Tanner Mousse, No Fake Tan Smell, No Added Nasties, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 6.7 Fl Oz
891 Reviews
b.tan Ultra Dark Self Tanner | I Want The Darkest Tan Possible - Fast, 1 Hour Sunless Tanner Mousse, No Fake Tan Smell, No Added Nasties, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 6.7 Fl Oz
  • DARKEST POSSIBLE RESULTS. i'm perfect for when dark just isn't dark enough
  • EASY TANNING. no gimmicks, no fake tan smell just the most awesome, dark tan on the planet
Bestseller No. 2
Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 6.76 oz/200 mL
12,957 Reviews
Bondi Sands Dark Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 6.76 oz/200 mL
  • Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is a lightweight, tanner that’s simple to apply and gives a flawless finish, every time; Simply smooth on the weightless self tanning foam for an even, streak-free, bronzed tan
  • Our unique, salon quality formula is enriched with aloe vera and coconut, for the ultimate natural, bronzed glow
Bestseller No. 3
St Moriz Self Tan Range Instant Self Tanning Mousse Dark 6.76oz (200ml)
3,063 Reviews
St Moriz Self Tan Range Instant Self Tanning Mousse Dark 6.76oz (200ml)
  • If you want a beautiful bronzed complexion that looks natural, then St. Moriz Tanning Mouse is perfect for you
  • The Tanning Mousse is soft and light and therefore easy to apply.

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Ultra-dark shade

I have to say ultra-dark was on a completely new level. When I started, I was worried about how it will look on me since I am pale but it leaves your skin with the healthiest deep sun-kissed tan! It’s absolutely amazing and I am using it for two years now.

Whenever I tan, people keep asking me if I have sunbathed somewhere, and that’s the effect you want to give. I’ve used a lot of self-tanning products but Bondi Sands just gives the ultimate natural sun-kissed tan.

Bestseller No. 1
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 6.76 oz/200 mL
13,047 Reviews
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam | Lightweight, Self-Tanner Foam Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Provides an Even, Streak-Free Tan | 6.76 oz/200 mL
  • Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is a lightweight, tanner that’s simple to apply and gives a flawless finish, every time; Simply smooth on the weightless self tanning foam for an even, streak-free, bronzed tan
  • Our unique, salon quality formula is enriched with aloe vera and coconut, for the ultimate natural, bronzed glow
On Sale - $5.02Bestseller No. 2
b.tan Dark Self Tanner | Get Tanned - Fast, 1 Hour Sunless Tanner Mousse, No Fake Tan Smell, No Added Nasties, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 6.7 Fl Oz
2,917 Reviews
b.tan Dark Self Tanner | Get Tanned - Fast, 1 Hour Sunless Tanner Mousse, No Fake Tan Smell, No Added Nasties, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 6.7 Fl Oz
  • DARKEST RESULTS. i'm perfect for anyone looking for the darkest, darkest tan possible
  • EASY TANNING. no gimmicks, no fake tan smell just the most awesome, darkest tan on the planet
Bestseller No. 3
Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse, Ultra Dark-Streak Free, Natural looking, Professional Strength Sunless Tanner- Up to 5 Self Tan Applications per Bottle, Cruelty Free, Naturally Derived DHA- 4 FL Oz
  • Made By Tan Lovers For Tan Lovers – The Deluxe Bronzing Mousse gives you a natural looking tan with immediate colour. The quick drying foam dries after just 60 seconds and leaves no sticky residue. Rinse the colour guide off after eight hours. Your tan will continue to develop into a deeper, darker tan over the next 24 hours.
  • Colour Guide Technology – The built-in colour guide contains an instant bronzer making the application foolproof. The colour guide technology ensures an easy, streak-free application every time. Our sunless tanner not only nourishes and hydrates your skin but is deliciously fragrant. Experience a healthy, glowing complexion with every application.

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How to make fake tan darker?

Gradual tanning lotions and mousses

If you would like to deepen the tan you already have you have many choices, one of them is using the right products. I would recommend using a gradual tanning lotion or even better, mousse to deepen and maintain a healthy-looking tan, streak-free.

I work out (almost) every single day, I would not say I have the hardest workouts, but I do sweat during them, so that means the tan will fade away quicker than usual. What I do is hop in the shower and when I dry my skin up with a towel I wat for about an hour just to give my skin time to recover a little bit and then put on either the gradual tanning mousse, or the gradual dry oil, both from Bondi Sands.

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry Oil | Hydrating, Quick Drying, Tanning Dry-Oil for a Natural, Golden Look | 5.07 oz/150 mL
750 Reviews
Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry Oil | Hydrating, Quick Drying, Tanning Dry-Oil for a Natural, Golden Look | 5.07 oz/150 mL
  • With Bondi Sands Liquid Gold your skin will be left with a golden glow that is touch dry in seconds; The dual action formula hydrates skin while developing into a natural, flawless tan
  • This oil is enriched with argan oil to leave skin moisturized & features a spray nozzle for mess-free application

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It works miracles but I personally use them the first three or four days of my tan, just because I get rid of my tan on the fifth day.

Apply it twice

When you wake up the next day and see your tan has not developed as it should, I would recommend either to wait for a day, just to see if it’s going to develop more or not, and if it doesn’t, do another coat of tan in the evening.

You don’t have to exfoliate, just apply lotion on dry parts of your skin (ankles, knees, elbows, around and under armpits) and start applying another coat. Then put on your pajamas and go to sleep and I bet tan will get deeper and darker the next day.

Just remember, when you go into a shower the next morning, don’t scrub or shower for too long. You also don’t need to use any lotion, just use water and rinse it through your body. You don’t need to have a whole spa day. And the same goes when you come out of the shower, use a towel to absorb the moisture, you don’t need to go all crazy with it, and then apply a bunch of moisturizer.

Also read:
How To Self-Tan Your Back? (With or Without a Friend)
Why Does Self-Tanner Smell? Can I Make It Less Smelly?

Maintain it properly

When it comes to maintaining your tan, I would recommend using body lotion 2-3 times per day. The lotion will nourish your skin and help your tan develop even more. I really recommend using the Bondi Sands body lotion. It’s the most amazing lotion I’ve ever tried and it’s not only maintaining your tan, but it also leaves your skin as soft as a butter!

Why Does Self-Tanner Smell featured

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I recommend using it for maintenance, but not when it comes to applying lotion on dry parts before you start tanning just because is a little bit more buttery and heavy. You should use a light moisturizer whenever you’re applying it on dry parts before starting the tanning process.

Give it time to develop

I know it’s kind of weird reading to give your tan time to develop, but it’s true. First of all, I never used a tan that says 2-hour express and got the deepest tan after the usage before. Even when it says 2-hour express I still put on my pajamas and sleep with it just because it will develop more. I understand if you’re in a hurry, but I would suggest you tanning a night or two nights before an event.

making self tan darker thirsty for tan

Also read:
How Long Does Self-Tanner Take To Dry? (Express vs Normal)
How Do You Get Self-Tanner Off Clothes & Sheets? (Explained)

I noticed my tan looks amazing the second day after I tanned. It’s really true when they say that tan is developing every single day more and more before it gets patchy. But
Talking about time, I personally take off my tan 2 days before I apply a new one. Some people are in shock if I really stay pale for 2 days and the answer is absolutely yes! That’s still my natural skin color and I’m not ashamed of it.

What I’ve noticed when waiting two days before a new application is that the tan develops amazingly and that’s just because I gave my skin additional time to rest from all that scrubbing. I give this advice to all women or men when they first start applying self-tan. If you’re going to apply it the same day that you scrubbed off the old tan, your skin will be far more irritated and sensitive and the tan won’t develop, trust me, I’ve tried it all and learned my lesson. So just give it time and you’ll get the most amazing bronzed looking tan.

However, if you’re in a hurry and you still need to apply self-tan the same day as you did exfoliation, I would recommend doing a quick cold shower in the end, before you self-tan. That way your pores will close faster and the skin will be prepared for a coat of your favorite self-tanner.

Also read:
When To Use Self-Tanner Before An Event? (If in a Hurry)
What is Tanning Lotion with Bronzer? (3 Best Ones)

Conclusion

If you see your tan did not develop enough I hope you now know what to do. If you see it didn’t develop, wait just for a day because tan usually develops even more over night, as I said the most amazing tan day is the second one. Use gradual tanning mousse or lotions to nourish and give your tan a little boost. Preparation is the key to the most amazing tan you could ever imagine. To maintain your tan, use moisturizer 2-3 times per day and that’s it!

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

Anastasija thirsty for tan about me

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