Tanning for Winter: How to Protect your Clothes and Sheets from Self-Tan

Sick of orange streaks and marks staining your fabrics? Use these tips to keep the fake tan on your skin, not on your clothes or sheets.

With winter fast approaching, tanning mitts and spray bottles are about to be more in use than ever for people still after that sun-kissed glow.

But there’s nothing more annoying than applying a fresh tan only to find orange streaks and marks on clothing, bed sheets, towels and everything in between. 

Self tan usually transfers due to sweat, which causes the bronzer to lift off the skin and onto whatever it is closest to – which is usually clothing or sheets.

Click here for a step by step guide on how to apply self-tan.

Here are some ways to limit those unwanted tanning streaks and maintain that perfect bronzed glow.

Wear a Tanning Dress

Clothing options to wear after a spray tan usually includes old pyjamas or clothes, where it won’t matter if the tan stains the fabric. 

Clothing options to wear after a spray tan usually includes old pyjamas or clothes, where it won’t matter if the tan stains the fabric. 

But now, a number of companies are creating clothing options that are designed specifically to wear after tanning.

Using fabrics such as nylon or spandex, these don’t absorb tanning products like cotton or polyester usually do.

little tanning dress how to stop fake tan from spreading to fabrics
Little Tanning Dress offers tanning dresses to wear after applying a tan, removing the worry of fake tan spreading

The Little Tanning Dress is one such company that offers a range of dresses, tanks and jumpsuits that can be worn after tanning, without the risk of the tan staining or transferring onto the fabric. 

The options are available are also breathable and flowy in a one size fits all style. This is important as clothing that is too tight can create a patchy tan or leave unwanted lines.

Use the right amount of tanning product

While some think that applying more tan will result in a darker and longer lasting colour, this is not the case.

Too much tanning product will simply sit on top of the skin. This more often than not then transfers onto clothing or bed sheets, leaving those dreaded orange streaks, as it can’t be absorbed by the skin.

Avoid this by only using a small amount of tan at a time, applied using a tanning mitt in even, gentle strokes. To darken the tan, use a darker shade, not more product. 

Use baby powder

Sweating is something is hard to avoid. Unfortunately, it’s not a fake tans best friend, as this causes the colour to transfer onto other fabrics.

To combat this, using a large makeup brush, apply a light dusting of baby powder onto areas that are beginning to feel sweaty, such as under the arms or underneath a bra.

The baby powder helps to soak up sweat without removing the colour of the tan.

Sheet Protectors

Tan is most likely to transfer at night-time, because body temperature rises most at night-time, which causes people to sweat.

To protect bed sheets from being stained orange, use a sheet protector, such as the After Tan Co Bamboo Sheet Protector (RRP$69.95)

after tan co bed sheets protect from tan
After Tan Co protective sheets to stop fake tan ruining your bedding

Made out of a silky, bamboo cotton fabric, this protector goes directly over the bottom sheet and then folds over the body, providing a barrier between tanned skin and bedding materials.

It’s almost like a tanning sleeping bag – with press stud buttons that can seal the fabric over the top of the body, while still leaving room to move around.

The black material also ensures no lasting stains. The morning after the tan has developed, simply throw the protector into the washing machine.

Gradual tan over instant tan

If a bronzed glow isn’t required instantly, opt for a gradual tan, such as an everyday tanning moisturizer.

Gradual tanners don’t spread onto fabrics, because they aren’t an intense burst of colour, and the colour gradually develops. When in the form of a moisturizer, they’re also beneficial as they can be much more easily absorbed.  

Dove gradual tanning moisturizer
Using gradual tanners is one way to reduce the spread of fake tan

The Dove Summer Glow Gradual Self Tan Body Lotion (RRP$10.52) is a great option for hydrating the skin while giving it a burst of colour.

Smelling like coconuts and summer, this product helps to build up a gradual colour while keeping skin soft and moisturized with natural nutrients and rich essential oils.

For a quicker burst of colour, use the shade up from the normal skin tone.

Zoe Bradbury

Zoe is a self-confessed health and fitness fanatic. She loves working out and being active, almost as much as she loves going out for brunch and eating avo toast. If she’s not in the gym, you’ll usually find her online shopping, buying something she definitely does not need, or updating her Pinterest board with travel and adventure ideas for the future. Her other loves include dark chocolate, coffee and cats, all enjoyed while watching bad (or really good?) reality TV

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