the skin edit.

Face tanning. The do’s & don’ts.

There’s no greater pick-me-up than a glowing, sun-kissed face. Everyone’s top goal for face tanning is to achieve a natural look without drying the skin or ending up with a streaky, biscuit-tinged, overly-bronzed look.

Face tan formulas have improved hugely, with less DHA (dihydroxyacetone – not your skin’s friend) and added moisturising ingredients, but you still need to practise a few simple do’s and don’ts to get it just right.


Opt for a gradual tan for the face. Most people love using make up to enhance their natural appearance. But complicated makeup routines that take lots of time and multiple products simply don’t work for busy lifestyles. If your goal is a natural makeup look that looks good, feels great and doesn’t take half the morning to create, then gradual tanning is for you. Your skin gets a glowy tan so you need less layers to create your favourite look.

Gradual tans contain less tanning agent and you can use them daily to control how dark you go. Tanning drops are a great option for the face because they are supplemented with additional moisturising ingredients  and the tanning agent  is diluted in a nourishing base. It’s hard to go wrong with them – just mix with your regular moisturiser or serum and customise your colour to whatever you prefer.


Use too much face tan to start. The goal is to build up to a natural glow that gives a sun-kissed, healthy look. 


Use a different fake tan for your face than your body. The skin on your face is far more sensitive than the skin on your body and so it makes sense that it would need an entirely different formula. Facial skin doesn’t tan in the same way as the body – it tends to go a little bit darker because of its higher pH. Tanning products that are made specifically for the face are  lighter and formulated using humectants and moisturising ingredients like hyaluronic acid.


Apply face tan around the eye area if you struggle with dark circles as face tan will just make them look more obvious. 


Start with your best skin. You’ll get the most natural and glowing results if you start with your best skin. Skin that’s thoroughly cleansed, hydrated and healthy. Before tanning, facial skin should be properly prepped – cleansed and exfoliated – to avoid streaks or patchy results.


Apply too much face tan directly onto the brow area as brows are highly absorbent.

Shop mentioned products


Balm Cleanser - 100g



Gel Cleanser - 100ml


Glow Drops - 30ml

Glow Drops

Customisable tanning - 30ml


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