lady with tanned arms held in front of her

4 Tips On How To Apply Fake Tan & 2 Ways To Fake Tan Prep

Discover the best way to apply fake tan with our fake tan tips so you can enjoy a streak-free and long-lasting tan without having to set foot in the sun.

How To Apply Fake Tan & Gradual Tan

Applying fake tan correctly can feel difficult and time consuming if you're not sure what the best way to apply fake tan is. Both fake and gradual tan require different application methods, so whether you want to know how to fake tan your back or how to fake tan hands, we've got the tips you need to achieve an effortless, sun-free tan.

NIVEA Fake Tan Tips

1. Fake Tan Prep Is Key

  • Exfoliate - your skin is constantly shedding skin cells, making way for new skin cells on the surface of your skin. By exfoliating using a gentle exfoliator or exfoliating glove in the shower you'll be able to remove dead and dull skin cells. This helps to speed up your skin's natural process to produce soft, supple and refreshed feeling skin. Exfoliating also reduces the number of skin cells that get trapped on your skin's surface. Therefore exfoliating should always be the first step when applying any fake tan or gradual tan. If you don't exfoliate the dead skin cells away, the product can collect around rough patches of skin, producing an uneven application. Think of it as a blank canvas to paint on - you want it to be as clear of dead skin cells as possible.
  • Shower - exfoliating is gentler on the skin if done while in the bath or shower as skin is soft and supple from the hot water. Showering before applying fake tan means you can lock in moisture to your skin when you apply the product, helping you to achieve an even and streak-free tan as your skin is not dry. If you're using a gradual tan like the NIVEA Gradual Tan, applying it straight after you get out of the shower locks in the moisture and gives you a beautiful summery glow.

brunette lady showring in preparation for applying fake tan

lady rubbing fake tan into her legs

NIVEA Fake Tan Tips

2. Use a mitt if you're using fake tan & your hands if you're using gradual tan

When using fake tan: a mitt will help you to achieve an even tan because fake tan is highly concentrated and appears instantly on the skin. By not using a mitt you risk over tanning the palms of your hands too. The best way to apply fake tan with a mitt is in long, sweeping motions to distribute the product evenly, as circular motions will lead to a buildup of fake tan in some areas.

When using gradual tan: you must always use your hands when using gradual tan, because it works in the same way as your everyday body moisturiser and is designed to build up naturally and gradually. If you use a mitt for gradual tan, it will absorb too much of the product and you could risk an uneven application leading to streaks. The beauty of NIVEA gradual tan is that it contains small drops of gradual tanner, so that it can be used in place of your usual everyday moisturiser. It requires little effort, unlike its fake tan counterpart which requires more work to achieve the perfect streak-free fake tan. NIVEA gradual tan instantly moisturises the skin, noticeably firming and improving skin elasticity, thanks to the powerful Q10 ingredient. It will leave your skin with a streak free glow, and feeling beautiful.

NIVEA Fake Tan Tips

3. How To Fake Tan Your Back

The hardest part about using fake tan is learning how to fake tan your back. It's a hard to reach area of your body, but it's also one of the largest so it's important to get it as streak-free as possible. The easiest option is to find a friend or family member willing to help satisfy your fake tan needs and do it for you. Often that isn't an option, so these fake tan tips are guaranteed to make it as easy as possible:

  • Start at the top - it's best to work your way down when tanning your body to ensure you're getting an even coverage and don't miss areas, and your back is no exception. Work your way down your back methodically using your hands if you're using a gradual tan or the mitt if you're using fake tan.
  • Use more product - it's unlikely that you'll be able to be as thorough when applying fake tan to your back as when tanning the rest of your body so using more product will give you a more even application and you can be sure you've applied the product to all areas. This is a particularly good method if you're using gradual tan because it will be absorbed easily by your skin.
  • For fake tan only: Use something with a long handle and put the mitt on the end of it, much like using a loofah to wash your back in the shower. If you don't have a lot of flexibility in your shoulders the best way to apply fake tan to your back is by using something that can reach. This could be as simple as a wooden spoon and will give you a better range of movement to ensure you cover all those hard to reach spots.

lady massaging fake tan into her shoulder with one hand

fake tanned hands in a heart shape

NIVEA Fake Tan Tips

4. How To Fake Tan Hands

Applying fake tan or gradual tan to your hands should be the last step you take when applying any tanning product, because you'll be using your hands either in a mitt or directly onto your skin for the rest of your body. You don't want to start with your hands and have to redo them or risk them becoming streaky. After all, your hands are on show more than any other area of the body, so you want to strive for a radiant and even tan here:

  1. Put your hand in a claw-like position and work your way from your wrist all the way down to your fingernails in a sweeping motion - this will ensure the tanning product won't gather around your knuckles.
  2. If you're using gradual tan, give the palms of your hands a quick wash with gentle soap afterwards as your palms absorb product more easily than other areas of the body.

NIVEA Gradual Tan - It's easy to apply

NIVEA Gradual Tan combines the power of skin identical Q10, a powerful anti-ageing ingredient, with gradual tanning moisturiser for tighter, firmer skin and a natural-looking, radiant glow. It instantly moisturises the skin and provides maximum plumping and firming power for firmer skin in just 10 days of use. Learning how to apply fake tan when you're using a gradual tanner is easy, because it can be used in place of your everyday moisturiser, it's that easy. The formula is suited to fair to medium skin and includes small drops of gradual tanner, to ensure even and streak-free application for a lasting natural tan. It also has a fresh summery scent featuring scents of rose, jasmine, peach and plum mixed with notes of bergamot, green notes and violet leaves, and won't leave you with the dreaded biscuity smell that other fake tans have.

NIVEA gradual tan product