The Ultimate Guide to Self-Tanning In Winter

Self-tanning tips and products you need to know to achieve a natural winter glow.

With the cold weather and lack of sun, it’s no surprise summer tans are fading and pale skin is peaking through. Self-tanning is key to achieving a glowing complexion and boosting your confidence this winter.

First thing’s first. Body prep and upkeep.

The biggest challenge about tanning in winter is dry skin. The skin becomes drier than usual due to the cold weather, lack of humidity and moisture in the air, and the use of heaters. This is why exfoliating is key.

A-list tanning expert James Harknett who has worked on major movie and TV sets along with companies such as L’Oreal and Garnier, recommends exfoliating all over the body the morning of or night before applying self-tan to remove any build-up of dead skin cells and to create a smooth, even base that’s ready for colour.

Moisturising is also important for a long-lasting tan. Once the self-tanner has been applied, remember to keep the skin hydrated with a gentle moisturiser on a daily basis to ensure fresh, glowing and plump skin.

In winter, it is best to avoid any moisturising and tanning formulas with alcohol in them as this can be very drying and strip moisture from the skin. Instead, invest in a gradual tanning product.

Gradual tanning products are ideal for winter because they often contain key ingredients that hydrate and nourish the skin while providing a natural tan that can be built up over time. For the face, try tanning drops.

These 3 self-tanning products are ideal for winter skin:

three warriors self tan gradual

Three Warriors Gradual Tan RRP $34.95

The gradual tan from Three Warriors is an Australian made organic natural tan. Perfect for the face and body, this formula is filled with nutrient rich ingredients such as vitamin A, D and E it leaves skin revitalised. A suitable formula for winter with added soothing aloe vera to lock in hydration.

bondi sands tanning milk

The Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk $17.95

This dual acting formula gives a golden long-lasting tan while moisturising the skin with added Vitamin E and aloe vera to give 24-hour hydration. The easy, fuss-free formula is quick drying and doesn’t come out streaky.

jergens natural glow self tan

Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturiser $14.99

Created in two shades, light to medium and medium to dark, this formula provides a natural looking glow. This moisturiser is infused with collagen and elastin to help firm the skin while hydrating.

Similarly, tanning oils and gels are quicker to apply than other self-tan products and work to nourish dry winter skin. They are often quick drying so clothes can be put back on almost immediately after application.

Consider Nu Skin’s Insta glow tinted self-tanning gel which provides a luxurious bronze finish that can be built gradually over time. Due to the gel consistency, it is a non-drip mess free formula that also works to moisturise the skin.

The tools and products you need to know about

Investing in the right tools is key to avoiding a patchy tan. Apply your self- tan in long sweeping motions using a tanning mitt to ensure the tan is streak free. Tanning mitts also work to protect the hands and keeps them stain free.

Try the St. Tropez tanning mitt as an affordable option. The double-sided velvet texture ensures a flawless streak free finish. It is also waterproof and lined to decrease the chance of staining your hands.

Using makeup brushes to apply fake tan is quickly becoming a new, popular application method amoung beauty influencers on Tik Tok. They are great to use on delicate and hard to reach areas. Perfect to properly buff and blend into the skin.

Alternatively, fake a full body winter glow by targeting only the areas showing. Most winter days are spent in jumpers and pants so consider tanning only the face, neck and hands. Adding warmth and colour into the face is easy with face tanning drops, water or mist. Adding a few tanning drops to your facial moisturiser is the quickest way to warm the complexion. Face tanning waters or mists are also ideal because they won’t stain the sheets.

Three Warriors face tan aqua mist is an ultra-fine mist specially formulated to give the face, neck and decolletage a natural looking tan. It is infused with pure Tasmanian water which is rich in minerals and electrolytes to hydrate, soothe and soften the skin. This is perfect for sensitive skin due to its vegan and organic formula.

Lastly, do some research. Like foundation shades, knowing your skin’s undertones is crucial to avoid a fake looking tan in winter. Many brands have different base shades for different skin tones so research and experiment and find out what works for you.

Click here for tips on keeping sheets clean whilst tanning in winter.

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