The quick, non-sticky way I self-tan when it’s hot.

Because it is SO FOUL laying in bed on a hot night wearing a shiny layer of thick fake tan. Not to mention (except for the fact I am mentioning it) sleep is impossible and the stench is unfair on bedmates. Also, being a pregbot, I am approximately 67% hotter than usual, and cannot handle a sheet, let alone a doona’s worth of heavy tanning cream.

But sometimes we desire some colour on our skin, no?

One option is to shower in the morning then apply your tan, but in my house (and this city of ongoing oppressive heat) sashaying around in thick creams or even lightweight tanning micro-mist sprays isn’t as delightful as one might imagine. Plus: Stinky. Gradual tanners are okay, (I favour the Ecotan and Garnier versions, although to be fair I pretty much love all of them) but can still start to feel a bit sweaty and ‘fragrant’ within a few hours, especially if you’re busy chasing alpacas around the ranch like I am.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing. It works. It not smell. It fast. I get a lovely deep tan.

1. I exfoliate skin gently in the shower, but without the shower being on. Then turn taps on and rinse off. (Exfoliators work on dry, not wet, skin.)

2. I dry off thoroughly  (water makes tanner not work) and then – often just on the areas I need to be tanned, so, legs chest and arms, say – spray Santorini Sun Sunless Tanning Lotion onto those bits. It’s free of nasties, which is nice, and it’s a spray, which makes it far less cloying than a cream. I like it because it’s a gorgeous green-based colour (read: not orange), dries super quick, and gives a REAL nice deep tan in just one application. (You can easily get a spray effect/depth look in two applications.)


3. This product has very little spread, though, so I put some light body lotion in my hands (too hot for thick ones), and then swipe and swoosh the tanning lotion over my skin. I don’t massage it IN to the skin – you don’t need to, it will work perfectly just being spread evenly over the top of the skin – I just swipe it over my body making sure there are no dark patches or splodges anywhere.

4. I massage some extra body lotion onto the wrists/knees/elbows etc to avoid build up.

5. I wash my hands real thoroughly with Aesop’s Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash, because it has little bits of pumice in it to exfoliate the hands, making it EXCELLENT for fake tan hand prevention. This is the only hand wash I keep in my bathroom, due to its excellent ability to remove all remnants of tanner and makeup.





6. I pop on something black and get on with things, feeling quite impressed with A) my instantly bronzed skin, B) the fact that I can sleep soundly and not feel sticky despite said bronzed skin, C) the knowledge that I will not have orange hands in the morning and D) the speed at which I have carried out my tanning session. (NB: It’s actually fine to do this ritual in the mornings too… I never feel that sticky or stinky.)

7. I have a Paddle Pop. Probably banana flavoured.


Responses to this drivel: 8 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 8 )
  • Angie

    Zoe I love this – you are a genuis! The paddlepop completion technique is also genius.
    I really hope this works as I hate the whole ‘sleep in your sticky,stinky fake tan’ palava.
    Hooray! Buying it now

  • Lucy

    Hey Zoe,

    L.O.V.E this blog!

    May I ask how long this tan usually lasts? and if you can recommend any good body exfoliator products?

    Thanks a bunch!

  • etal

    thankyou soooo much for this..
    oh yes sticky humid hot evenings are no fun at all, even just useing a body moisturizer is bad enough and my Palmers self tan makes me feel clammy all over again, plus the smell seems to double in strength!!…will give this a go for sure

  • Sian

    Zoe does this work for the face as well? Or do you recommend something else?

  • Nadine

    Have never tanned, fake tanned or gradual fake tanned.

    After reading your description I know why I have never attempted the latter two.

    Is lily white, will stay lily white (although I do have a few freckles!)

  • Coco

    Just wanted to say, I LOVE Santorini Sun. As a no-perfume kinda gal, I have had to steer clear of 99.9% of fake tans due to their migraine-inducing factor. For too long I was suffering with pale envy and flirting with UV rays – until I discovered this brand. It gives me a beautiful natural looking bronze, minus the pong 🙂

  • Prue

    Snap! The Aesop hand wash is my go-to for post tanny-hands too! Love these tips-I’ve been topping my spray tans up with palmers gradual moisturiser which gives a great non orangey colour but I think the smell might be getting a bit much for the innocent bystanders in close proximity to me-my boyfriend who never comments on things like this is continuously mentioning how I smell like a chocolate cake-never mind that it has been my life long dream to smell like a chocolate cake but I think the fact that he’s brought it up at least three times today and he made a face as I left his office that looked like he was trying not to inhale petrol fumes means that I should consider a ‘lighter’ alternative!! This sounds like a winner!

  • Ems

    I have a tanning question. I am pale, pale and I bought the Santorini Sun gradual tanner at your recommendation, which I love. But here’s the thing: what do you do about tanning the face? I have quite problematic/acne-prone skin so I use a crapload of products like Retinol and AHAs, etc. Should I just try and match my face with bronzer and put up with having pale face and tanned bod? Or should I be putting gradual tanner on my face as some part of my ritual? It’s all so confusing that I just don’t tan. And I want to tan! I WANT TO TAN! Thanks Zo.

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