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How To Self-Tan Your Face

Tanning Tips

How To Self-Tan Your Face

How To Self-Tan Your Face

Ok beauties, if you’re a culprit of simply fake-tanning the rest of your body and then leaving the most important part bare… this one’s for you. No more second-guessing and googling questions like ‘Can you fake tan your face?’. Because here’s the thing… yes, you absolutely can, but there are a few things you’re going to want to consider to ensure the most stunning, flawless result. To totally simplify the topic, below is your step-by-step guide to tanning your face, including tips for choosing the right products, prepping your skin, all the latest trends on how to apply fake tan to the face, and so much more. No more having to apply makeup in order to step out into the daylight. Our elaborate guide on how to tan your face (with a face fake tanner that won’t leave you looking like an oompa loompa) is exactly what you need.

Choosing the right product for your face

When it comes to fake tan for your face, ensuring you select the right product of course, is key.

No matter the type of coverage or skin type, at Sontse, we always suggest using a lighter spray, serum or mist that is specifically formulated to tone and hydrate the face without clogging the pores. Our Sun Lit Face & Body Tan Mist is the perfect example of a good fake tan for your face. A fast-drying formula made with natural ingredients, including organic Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Kiwi Seed Oil and Kakadu Plum, each ingredient has been mindfully selected to help hydrate and nourish your skin. Plus, with coverage that is buildable, you can totally control the tone.

So that’s our take on choosing a spray vs mousse…. But what about ingredients? Do ingredients really matter? We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again, your skin is the greatest organ in your body (National Geographic & Leen, 2017). It absorbs everything you lather onto it. For this reason we believe what you feed your skin through your beauty products and skincare is vitally important.

At Sontse, in the process of formulating a scientifically-based false tan for the face, we worked stringently with our scientists to research every single ingredient. As a woman and mum who takes health seriously, I personally made the commitment to ensure my formula would not only be authentically deemed non-toxic but so skin-loving and nourishing you’d almost mistake it for a skincare product.

So with that said, here is our absolutely not, naughty list of ingredients that we vowed to avoid:

  • Parabens - hormone-disrupting ingredients
  • Sulfate - dries out the skin and can irritate acne
  • Mineral Oils - considered carcinogenic (National Library of Medicine, n.d.), and according to the National Cancer Institute (2022), ‘Exposure to mineral oils is strongly associated with an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer.’
  • Artificial Fragrances

And here was the yes list of hero ingredients that we said, fill it to the brim, please:

  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice- perfect for hydrating and clarifying the skin
  • Kakadu Plum Fruit Extract an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient
  • Pepperberry Fruit Extract - is rich in antioxidants and helps protect skin from cell damage
  • Riberry Fruit Extract - good for skin repair and UV damage
  • Muntries Fruit Extract - again more antioxidants
  • Vitamin E - helpful against free radicals
  • Vanilla Fruit Extract - helps fight premature aging and fine lines
  • Orange Peel Oil -  antibacterial and antifungal ingredient
  • Caffeine - depuffing and anti-inflammatory ingredient
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract - calms irritation, depuffs, and diminishes the appearance of cellulite
  • Kiwi Seed Oil - reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin B5 - enhances skin barrier and healing, a hydrating and moisturising ingredient.

So there you have it, call us pedantic, but when comes to false tan for your face, we’re firm believers that there should be no taking shortcuts or making budget-focused decisions. You only have one body, and it’s our privilege to provide the most quality beauty products to support it.

Prepping your skin for a flawless face tan

Ok, so you’ve selected your face self-tanner and now you’re ready to dive right in and apply… right? Well, not quite. If you’re wondering how to get your face to tan without dark parches appearing from crease lines, build-up and congested pores… you need to learn how to properly prep your face for fake tan. It’s often a skipped-over step… but trust us when we say… the difference is noticeable!

So first things first…

A light exfoliation the day before is highly recommended. Preferably, no chemical peels or exfoliators, just a light sweep of our Crystal Clear Face & Body Scrub or another fine-particle, gentle face scrub should do the trick.

A splash of water onto a face towel and dabbed onto the face to add that layer of moisture is then your go-to. Of course, then adding on your usual moisturiser to lock in all that moisture is the final step for prep. Be mindful that less is more at this stage. Avoid unnecessary applications of serums that may interfere with the tan, especially any oil-based skincare that may cause your coverage to spoil.

Now that your face is looking fresh, smooth and hydrated… and your moisturiser has set, we move on to application.

Applying the self-tan

So, how do you fake tan your face in a way that appears natural, seamless, and totally streak-free?

At Sontse, we’ve mastered the art of face tanning and tan-touring (more on that later), so here’s our simple three-step go-to:

  1. Spray the self-tan mist 10cm or so away from your face and let the mist settle
  2. For best results, use a blending brush like our Absolutely Flawless’ Kabuki Blending Brush to even out the coverage in circular motions.
  3. Leave the tan on for a minimum of an hour before washing off for a subtle glow or up to four hours for a deeper bronzed tan.

Feeling bold and want to go darker? No problems… repeat the process until you’ve reached your desired tone.

There you have it, how to tan the face in three simple steps. But don’t stop reading now.

You’ve already done all the hard work, so below are some practical tips to make sure your glow lasts its full duration… for those who really want to take their tan to expert level, a few in-house tips we have all our ambassadors playing with and loving the results.

Aftercare to keep your face and confidence glowing

Now keeping that tan looking as polished and dewy as it was on day one is the goal, right? This is where self-tanning aftercare comes in.

Our number one recommendation: moisturise! And only moisturise.

We have packed our formulas with so many skin-loving ingredients, so avoid the temptation to add in extra serums (especially retinol) and toners. Just use your non-oil-based moisturiser day and night to keep your skin hydrated.

Step two, use your SPF sunscreen daily. So many people think that having a fake tan means they don’t need to apply sunscreen, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. You still need to apply your daily dose… trust us on that one!

If removing makeup after each day,

‘Go for makeup that’s light and easy on the chemicals, like oil-free, water-based, or mineral options.’ (Elegance Shape & Sehrish, 2024)

If you find you need to top up your tan inbetween, simply follow the above process and reapply as many spritzes as you desire.

Then, when you’re ready to go back to a clean slate, you can begin the process of removing your tan with our Top 4 Ways To Remove Fake Tan Subtly.

Other face tanning tips

Customising your face fake tan

We often get asked, will our tanning products suit a range of skin types and tones. And the answer is yes!

The beautiful thing about our mist is that it’s a violet-based formula. Violet-based formulas are known to typically cancel out any orange or yellow undertones (Williams, 2023), but the real kicker is that because ours is so lightweight, even our fairer-skinned friends will get a beautiful European-looking glow. It really is so versatile.

With that said, our mist is totally buildable. So you can customise your tan to your preference of darkness based on the amount of layers you apply, but also the time you allow it to set before washing it off (as explained in detail above).

Contouring with fake tan AKA tan-touring

Recently, we asked one of our ambassadors to share, ‘How do you tan your face?’ and what she responded with was genius.

You may have heard the term tan-touring popping up quite a bit lately…and we may be a little responsible for that. Thanks to the uniqueness of our face-tanning mist and our extra handy beauty tools like our Absolutely Flawless’ Kabuki Blending Brush, our customers and ambassadors have been tapping into the art of contouring your face with self-tan… instead of makeup!

We know. Brilliant. One application and you’re good for days. Plus this more natural look blends beautifully with the rest of your new tone… no feeling like your makeup is “too light” for your fake tan days.

So what’s the verdict? Do you fake tan your face? Will you start? We hope this super informative blog on how to self-tan the face has helped you settle any questions and given you the confidence to start self-tanning your face.

Written By Liana Pantalone – Beauty & Skincare Copywriter at Climbing Vine Co.




Elegance Shape & sehrish. (2024, January 12). How to remove Makeup without removing Fake Tan? Wikipedia. Retrieved March 27, 2024, from

National Cancer Institute. (2022, December 5). Mineral Oils: Untreated and Mildly Treated - Cancer-Causing Substances. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved April 9, 2024, from

National Geographic & Leen, S. (2017, January 17). Skin Information and Facts. National Geographic. Retrieved March 27, 2024, from

National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). MINERAL OILS, UNTREATED OR MILDLY TREATED - Chemical Agents and Related Occupations. NCBI. Retrieved April 9, 2024, from

Williams, I. (2023, January 30). How To Find Your Fake Tan Shade. Adore Beauty. Retrieved March 27, 2024, from


Written by Sontse.

Your natural-looking tan, sans the sun damage. For all our fellow sun-conscious Australians, we’ve created the safer alternative to sun-kissed skin: a vegan-friendly sunless tanning solution made with the most enriching natural ingredients, coupled with our best pearls of sun safety wisdom to help you keep your skin looking tighter, brighter and UV-damage free.

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