Fake tan is an amazing product for those of us who love the look of bronzed skin, but don’t want to spend hours in the sun to achieve it. All the waiting around for it to develop, however, can be a tedious and time-consuming thing.
So, if you’re wondering how to make the fake tan process faster, you’re in the right place! There are a lot of sunless tanning products that are fast developing, so if you’re in a hurry, this is a great option for you.
Let’s take a look at why fake tan needs time to develop, and how to make fake tan develop faster, in more detail.
Why Does Fake Tan Take Time to Develop?
Before we look at how to make self-tanner develop faster, let’s take a quick look at how fake tan works and why does fake tan can take quite long to develop.
Self-tanners are made up of two-color components – a cosmetic bronzing layer of color, and a long-lasting layer of dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
The cosmetic layer is like make up and will give you instant color after applying the fake tan but will wash off when you take a shower.
The DHA layer will set in your skin through chemical reactions and leave you long-lasting color that will not come off in the water. Waiting for it to develop is waiting for these chemical reactions to occur, and you will not see much color from the DHA layer until the process is complete.
Showering before the recommended time will interrupt the DHA reaction process and could leave you with an uneven, streaky, or less intense tan. So, whilst it may seem tedious, it is well worth the wait. You’ll be grateful in the long run!
Whilst waiting for the DHA layer of color to develop fully is essential to an even, rich, long-lasting tan, there are some tips and tricks to speed up this process. Let’s explore these in more detail.
Choose a Fast-Developing Fake Tan
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic way to make the DHA react faster with your skin. There are, however, endless sunless tanning products available on the market and they all have slightly different levels of DHA.
Choosing a fast-developing fake tan like the b.Tan Self Tanner Mousse, which claims to develop in just nine minutes.
Generally, the fast-developing products don’t give you the same deep, rich color as other products, so you will have to apply the product more often to achieve a long-lasting glow.
However, if building a fast-developing tanning product into your daily routine feels more achievable than hanging around for eight hours waiting for the product to develop, this is a great option for you.
Choose a Darker Shade
Whilst this option doesn’t technically speed up the development process, you can achieve the color you want more quickly.
When choosing a fake tan product, you will have a choice of a variety of shades from light to deep, and the color will represent how it will look after allowing it to develop fully (usually around eight hours).
If you choose a darker shade than you want, and leave it for less time to develop, the color will not end up as dark as it shows on the bottle, meaning you can achieve your desired shade in a shorter time.
Be careful with this because showering too soon can interrupt the DHA and lead to streaks. Make sure the tan is at least fully dry and, in the shower, try to evenly apply water and soap all over the skin.
Apply Fake Tan Before Bed
Whilst this doesn’t actually speed up the development process, sleeping through the development time is much more time efficient!
Apply fake tan 30 minutes before you go to bed, wait for it to dry fully, and wear loose-fitting clothes to sleep in. If you sleep for about eight hours, you can wake up, have a shower, and you’ll be good to go with a fully developed tan. For more on sleeping with self tanner check our article – can you sleep in self tanner.
Apply Cosmetic Fake Tan
Whilst you will not get the long-lasting tan, DHA-free self-tanners give you immediate color. This is a great option if you want a fast tan for a specific event, like a night out or a wedding.
The tan will not withstand a shower, because no reactions will happen with your skin. DHA-free tanner is like applying bronzer to your face. It will, however, give you instant color.
Will Fake Tan Develop in 2 Hours?
There are fake tan products on the market that claim to fully develop in two hours. Generally, however, the longer you leave the product on your skin before showering off the cosmetic layer of bronzer, the deeper the color you will achieve.
How Can I Make My Fake Tan Darker Faster?
You can choose a fast-developing fake tan product if you want to achieve a darker shade in a shorter time. You can also opt for a darker shade of fake tan.
If the color is fully developed and you are not happy with the shade, you can top up your tan with bronzing gel or mousse. Remember the shade you used and next time, opt for a darker shade.
Will Fake Tan Continue to Develop After a Shower?
Yes, it can do, depending on how long you wait before taking a shower. Most spray tan salons recommend waiting for between six and eight hours before taking a shower to wash off the cosmetic bronzing layer of the tan. Showering too soon can interfere with the long-lasting DHA level and leave you with a streaky tan.
Salons recommend waiting for this period to allow the DHA layer of color to set onto your skin. It can continue to develop, however, for up to 15 hours after your spray tan.
Does Heat Make Fake Tan Develop Faster?
No. Whilst applying heat in the form of a hairdryer can help the product to dry faster, allowing you to get dressed sooner, it will not speed up the development process of the DHA layer of tan.