Even been curious if layering fake tan is ok? In this article, I’ll talk about the do’s and don’t of stacking self-tanner, and the best way to do it without ending up streaky or blotchy!
So there are a few things we want to be considerate of when we’re considering layering fake tan. Usually, the reason that people are considering this is that they want to get a darker tan without having to purchase a different product. However, you should know that there are probably better ways to achieve this, so I’d encourage you to check out my article on achieving a darker fake tan.
Ok, now let’s talk about some of the basics of self-tanners just briefly so we can better understand how layering it works.
Layering Self-Tanner – The Basics
Most quality sunless tanners (like my absolute favorite) work through a chemical called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. DHA is actually a type of sugar that can be derived naturally from sources like sugar beets and sugar cane, or it can be synthetically produced.
When DHA comes in contact with the amino acids in the dead skin cells on the outer layer of your skin, it has a chemical reaction. This reaction creates a pigment called melanoidin which ultimately darkens forming the tan we’re familiar with from self-tanners.
This is why we have to reapply fake tanner fairly often is because as new skin cells form, the old ones fall off taking the tan with it.
So, what happens when we layer fake tan, is we’re continuing to apply DHA to the newly formed skin cells, stacking tan and reapplying it as it begins to fade. So, although it isn’t often recommended that you layer self-tanner, it’s perfectly possible to do it.
The best way to layer fake tan is to do it each day until you’ve achieved the color you’re looking for. This will give the DHA in the self-tanner enough time to fully develop on your skin before you apply more. So, go ahead and go through your normal pre-tan routine (shower, cleanse, exfoliate, shave, moisturize, etc.), apply the fake tanner as recommended, and then go to sleep.
In the morning or the next evening, go ahead and apply the self-tanner again. You probably don’t want to exfoliate before this layer, as you’ll likely end up removing much of the previous layer. You’ll want to do a careful job applying the second layer of self-tanner and make sure you look at your skin closely, as some people have reported that layering self-tanner left it looking a bit patchy.
Another approach to layering self-tanner was laid out by tanning expert James Read for the Huffington Post:
“Here’s an inside secret: The best way to get a natural-looking glow with self-tanning products is to layer. “I’ll plan ahead and layer my tanning over a few hours,” Read says. “I’ll put one layer on then wait 30 to 40 minutes, then put on a second layer and wait another 30 minutes, then I’ll apply the third layer. After four to five hours, I’ll wash it all off—it gives me a really nice base and really natural color.”
He also says that using this method prevents buildup, so your tan is smooth, even, and doesn’t fade or build up in random spots.”
Layering Gradual Fake Tan
Some people recommend that you should only layer a gradual self-tanner on top of an existing fake tan. Cosmopolitan magazine actually said that layering self-tanning products can ultimately highlight the breaking up of the previous layer. They suggest using a gradual self-tan moisturizer if you’re looking to slowly build a darker color.
Layering Instant Tan
Layering instant tan is something you’ll often find in the modeling world. Jules Heptonstall, tanning Guru from St. Tropez said the following about layering instant tan:
“Using instant tan you can build layers to create a better depth of color – when I was working on London Fashion Week we were applying up to five layers of instant tan to the models. Just start from the legs and work your way up, by the time you’ve finished the first layer you’re ready to start on another! Otherwise, you can use a dark instant tan, if you don’t have time for all the layer”
If you want to see a rather ridiculous example of what layering sunless tanner looks like, take a look at the video below, where a girl stacks 100 layers to show just how dark it can get.
Ultimately, there are quite a few different ways to layer self-tanner. You can try layering it by applying once a day, or as James Read suggests, layering each time it dries, or even stacking layers right away like the video above. However, it’s important to remember that in general layering self-tanner isn’t recommended if you have better alternatives to achieve a darker color.
It’s important to remember, that layering self-tanner will not work well at all if you aren’t using a quality product! After trying hundreds of self-tanning products, I fell in love with this one, but any high-quality product should work.
I hope you enjoyed my article, if you did, please consider sharing!