The Ultimate Guide to Using Gradual Tanning Lotion
There’s nothing quite like sunkissed skin — that bronzed, glowing look that just screams, ‘I’ve just been on an amazing tropical holiday.’
But sunbathing is certainly out of the question. No tan is worth exposure to harmful and dangerous UV rays. So, how can you achieve that glow without putting yourself at risk?
Fake tan is your glow-in-a-bottle. It’ll deliver that beautiful bronzed look without harming your skin or body in any way.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about all things gradual tanning lotion. This wondrous product allows you to achieve a natural tan with minimal fuss.
The best part? You can control your depth of colour!
But how often can you self-tan with gradual tanning lotion? Is it safe to apply self-tanner twice in one day?
We answer all your questions below.
What is Gradual Tanning Lotion?
Gradual tanning lotion is a self-tanner that allows you to build up a tan gradually over time.
Unlike traditional self-tanners that produce an instant colour change — think spray tans and tanning mousses — gradual tanners contain a lower concentration of DHA (dihydroxyacetone), the active ingredient that causes the skin to darken.
This means that the tan develops at a slower rate and lasts longer than traditional self-tanners.
Gradual tanning lotion is a great option if you’re new to self-tanning or looking for a more subtle, natural-looking tan.
It can also be used to maintain and prolong the life of a spray tan or other self-tanning treatments.
Our Three Warriors Gradual Tan is essentially a moisturiser with a built-in glow. Our formula is infused with olive, coconut, and avocado oils, as well as vitamins A, D and E, camomile extract, and aloe vera.
These ingredients work together to nourish, hydrate and reduce inflammation, leaving you with skin that is bronzed and smooth as butter.
Understanding How Gradual Tanners Work
Gradual tanning lotion works by reacting with the amino acids in the top layer of your skin, which causes it to darken.
The colour change is gradual, as the DHA takes time to develop. This means that you can control the depth of your tan by applying the product once or twice a day until you reach your desired shade.
It's important to note that gradual tanners do not provide any sun protection, so you should always wear sunscreen if you plan on spending time outdoors.
How Often Can You Apply Self-Tanning Lotion?
One of the benefits of gradual tanning lotion is that it allows you to customise your tan to your desired depth by applying the product once a day.
However, keep in mind that it's important to give your skin time to fully absorb the product before you apply another layer.
For best results, we recommend waiting at least 24 hours between applications. This will give the product enough time to fully develop and prevent any streaking or unevenness.
Can You Apply Self-Tanner Twice in One Day?
Tempted to apply your gradual tan twice a day for a deeper colour?
Unfortunately, all tanning experts agree that this isn’t an effective strategy. Applying too much product too quickly can result in streaking, patchiness, or an unnatural orange colour.
Instead, stick to one application per day and build up your tan gradually over time. This will give you a more natural-looking result and reduce the risk of any mishaps.
What’s the Best Time to Apply Self-Tanning Lotion?
You can apply your gradual tan at any time of the day.
If you have an evening event, we recommend applying your gradual tan in the morning so that it can develop during the day. Alternatively, you can apply it before you go to bed to wake up with bronzed, glowing skin.
Remember, gradual tan is a buildable product, so if you’re looking to achieve a medium to dark tan, you’ll need to add a layer every day for a few days.
So, if you have an event on Saturday, pop on your first layer on Wednesday and work up to your desired colour.
How to Apply Gradual Tanning Lotion for Best Results
To achieve the best results with gradual tanning lotion, you’ll need to properly prepare your skin beforehand.
This involves exfoliating and showering beforehand to ensure a smooth application.
When applying the product, start with a small amount and blend it in well, paying extra attention to areas that are prone to streaking, such as the neck, knees, elbows, and ankles.
Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after applying the product to avoid the dreaded "orange palms."
Tips for Preparing Your Skin for Gradual Tanner
When it comes to fake tanning preparation, exfoliating is non-negotiable. Exfoliating helps to remove any dead skin cells and create a blank canvas for the tan to glide onto.
Start by jumping in the shower and setting the water at a warm temperature (if the water’s too hot, it may irritate the skin).
After showering, go right ahead and apply your gradual tan. Be sure not to put any products (including deodorants, skin care, oils or moisturisers) on your body before using the gradual tan. You want to start with a clean, dry base.
Apply a generous amount of gradual tan to the skin and apply it in circular motions. Remember to cover all bases — we don’t want any white patches!
If you have any cuts or scrapes, wait until they've fully healed before applying self-tanner to avoid any irritation or discoloration.
How Long Does Gradual Tan Last?
A gradual tan typically lasts up to a week, but frequent applications will prolong your tan. If you notice your tan is becoming patchy or starting to fade, we recommend exfoliating and starting over with a fresh new layer.
How to Maintain Your Gradual Tan
To maintain your gradual tan, it's important to keep your skin hydrated and moisturised. This will help prevent the colour from fading too quickly and will keep your skin looking healthy and glowing.
Avoid exfoliating too frequently or using harsh products that can strip the colour and cause it to fade unevenly.
If you notice any streaking or unevenness, use a gentle exfoliator to even out the colour and start fresh with a new application.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Gradual Tanners
To achieve a long-lasting, natural-looking tan, try to avoid falling into these fake tanning traps:
- Applying too much product too quickly — This won’t speed up the process of building towards your desired colour. Instead, it will result in streaking and patchiness. Stick with one layer a day for best results.
- Inadequate skin prep — Another mistake is failing to properly prepare your skin beforehand. Exfoliating and moisturising are key steps to ensuring a flawless, even application.
- Applying before the previous coat has developed — Make sure you give the gradual tanning lotion enough time to fully develop before applying another layer. Rushing the process can result in unevenness and an unnatural colour. Leave 24 hours between each application.
Gradual Tanning Lotion - A Safe and Easy Way to Achieve a Natural-Looking Tan
Gradual tanning lotion is a safe and failsafe way to achieve a beautiful bronzed glow.
Remember to prep the skin properly and apply one coat a day until you reach your desired colour. The result of that effort? A flawless, even tan that lasts!
Shop our Gradual Tanning Lotion and get glowing!