How Long Does a Self Tan Last?

How Long Does a Self Tan Last?

Thanks to self-tanner, it’s easier than ever to get a sun-kissed glow any time of the year, and without the harmful ultraviolet light from the sun or tanning beds. With sunless tanning drops, lotions, sprays and more all readily available, you can get a tan any time, anywhere. But how long does a self tan last?


How does self-tanner work?

How does self-tanner give you that gorgeous glow in the first place? Self-tanners include a variety of ingredients that work hard to give you the appearance of a tan. Different ingredients affect the color of the tan as well as how long the tan lasts and the scent that’s left on your skin.

Dihydroxyacetone, or DHA, is the main active ingredient in most self-tanning products. DHA is a color additive[i] and a form of sugar that reacts with the protein keratin on the surface of your skin. This produces pigments called melanoidins, which temporarily darkens the appearance of your skin to give you an artificial tan.[ii]

CLEANTAN uses ecocert DHA, a cosmeceutical-grade natural beet sugar that serves as a plant-based tanning agent. CLEANTAN provides a gorgeous glow using other plant-based pigments as well. Our formula includes premium natural colorants from cocoa powder, caramel, beetroot and blue green algae. This combination results in a natural-looking golden shade rather than a notorious fake tan shade of orange. We also include squalane, an olive oil derivative that helps moisturize your skin. Getting your ideal tan with vegan, clean ingredients is possible! However, be aware that many other brands use synthetic dyes in their sunless tanning products, so be sure to do your research before you make a purchase.

How long does a self tan last?

So, how long does a sunless tan last? Results may vary depending on the brand and the type of sunless tanner you use, but typically, your tan will last for a few days, then begin to fade away. To keep your golden color going strong, you’ll need to reapply the self-tanner on a regular basis. The way in which you apply the self-tanner can also affect how long the color stays put.

How to apply self tanner

The key to a long-lasting tan is proper application. Following these steps will help you keep your glow looking great for as long as possible.

Prep your skin

Before you apply your self-tanner, it’s important to get your skin ready. Start by exfoliating your skin to slough away dead skin cells. Give extra attention to areas that tend to be dryer than the rest of your skin, such as knees, elbows and ankles. Exfoliating will help the product go on evenly, giving you an even tan as well as extending the life of your tan. Need something to help you exfoliate? We’re partial to the Infinity Body Polisher!

Apply the self-tanner

The exact application method for your self-tanner will depend on the type of product you’re using, so be sure to read the label for instructions. However, most sunless tanning products follow this general approach. Start by putting some of the product in your hands. If you’re using a self-tanning lotion, the tanning agent will already be in the product. If you’re using concentrated drops like SUNTAN, you’ll simply add a few drops to the lotion or cream of your choice and mix them together. Using more drops will give you a darker shade of tan, and using fewer drops will give you a lighter shade. The amount of drops you use is totally up to you!

Next, evenly apply the self-tanner to your skin. Be careful not to apply too much to your elbows, knees and ankles, as these dryer areas can absorb excess product. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done!

Give the color time to develop

How long does self-tanner take to dry? How long does a fake tan take to develop? The product will quickly absorb into your skin, however you’ll want to give the color some time to develop. We recommend letting CLEANTAN do its thing for at least 8 hours before taking a shower. Be sure to also avoid activities that may cause you to sweat. What happens if you wash a fake tan off too early? Showering or getting sweaty before the 8-hour mark is up may wash off some of the self-tanner, causing streaks and splotches, and no one wants that! For a great-looking, long-lasting tan, be sure to give your self-tanner time to develop. As the hours go on, your tan will become darker until it reaches the chosen shade, depending on how much product you used.

Repeat as needed

How often to apply self-tanner? This may vary slightly for each person. Typically, self-tanner will begin to fade after a few days. When this happens, feel free to apply more self-tanner to keep that sun-kissed glow! If you’re using CLEANTAN, we recommend adding a few drops to your moisturizer on a regular basis for a gradual tan, or applying to moisturized skin every 4 to 7 days for a dark tan. 


CLEANTAN is a tan with benefits! In other words, it’s a plant-based tanning formula that’s non-toxic and rich in antioxidants. In addition to using plant-based pigments to provide natural-looking color, our formula includes our TEATAN Complex, a combination of green, black, white, rooibos and matcha green teas to help give your skin a youthful appearance. This complex also provides a light herbal scent of chai tea before dissipating, so you don’t have to deal with the harsh odors found in many other self-tanning products.

CLEANTAN is made without synthetic fragrances or perfumes, making it a great option for sensitive skin. It’s also free from alcohol, parabens, silicone, mineral oil, gluten, dyes and penetration enhancers. What you do get is a plant-based, 100% vegan, cruelty-free self-tanner made with clean ingredients you can feel good about. For a long-lasting tan you’ll love showing off, pick up a bottle of CLEANTAN today.




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