Thursday, June 25, 2015

Does Self Tanner Stop You From Tanning Naturally?

Does Self Tanner Stop You From Tanning Naturally

I'm willing to bet that at some point or other we have all pondered if self tanning can prevent the skin from tanning naturally? Applying a light layer of self tan before jetting off to somewhere sunny has becomes somewhat of a ritual for many (myself included), if you have ever worried that by doing so you have minimised your chances of achieving a natural tan let me put your mind at ease.

Self tanner typically does not contain SPF of any type therefore it does not protect the skin full stop, the sun rays can still penetrate and damage the skin regardless to how many coats you apply. All self tanning does is artificially tint the skin, when the tanner washes or fades off your natural skin tone will be revealed once more. Think of it like this, you apply a SPF free foundation on a sunny day, does your skin still tan or burn as normal? Yes - well self tanning is the exact same, it will not shield you from the sun full stop. If you burn or tan the process will be identical and this is why you should always apply SPF over self tanner to protect the skin.

While we are on the topic of the sun and self tanning I do want to mention that the chlorine in the pool and the salt in the sea will strip and fade any tanning product (the same applies with darker hair colours too), so you may want to pack a gradual tanner or an instant tanning product. I personally recommend packing an instant tanner as you can also even up any tan lines or in my case match the bottom of my legs to the rest of my body. There has to be a scientific reason as to why my the bottom of my legs never tan?

So to answer the question, once and for all - yes you can still achieve a natural tan when wearing self tanner.

Products and items that are featured on The Sunday Girl may have been sent for consideration of feature, or may be items that I have purchased myself. Regardless all opinions expressed on this site are of my own and honest. Any sponsored content will be clearly marked, you can read my full disclaimer here at any time.


  1. I actually used to think that applying fake tan would stop me from tanning naturally in the sun! It makes me laugh, because that really makes no sense!

  2. Lovely post and very interesting too! I actually researched fake tan and it actually heightens the chances of sun burn... This is because they don't contain SPF to protect the skin from damage and UV Ray's this could also trigger skin cancer if you don't apply sun lotion over the tan. I love Xen-Tan but might look to trying more natural formulas x

  3. Glad you answered this. I've booked a spray tan before my holiday as I can't bare to get my pale legs out.
    Hoping to tan naturally underneath.

    Kathryn /Cherries in the Snow

  4. I've always wondered this so am glad I read this post! :)


  5. I really love self tanner but like you said with the chlorine and salt that it strips it away I get nervous that I'll end up streaky or it'll be on my sheets! Haha. I've heard great things about the product you have posted up top though and I love Fake Bake :) Great post. It's a tint!

  6. This is such a helpful post, been wondering this for ages!

    Lauren x |

  7. I used to think when the tan washed off the natural one would too :) x
    Glossy Boutique


Thank you for your comment, I read each and every one!

However if you need a more direct answer or have a question, do feel free to contact me via Twitter @TheSundayGirlUK or drop me an email at thesundaygirlblog(at)

Thank you!