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How To Get A Salon Quality Tan At Home

How to Self-Tan and Achieve Professional-Looking Results, According to the Sunless Tanning Experts

Elevate your self-tanning routine with our best application tips and product recommendations from our tanning experts. 

Made by tan lovers for tan lovers, Loving Tan is perfect for anyone who wants a natural, flawless tan within minutes. Whether you are new to self-tanning or just looking for some expert application tips, we have the most expert advice for you to achieve flawless, salon-quality sunless tanning results anywhere, anytime. 

Our self-tan formulations contain salon-inspired formulas, which means that you can have the same professional, natural results without even leaving your house. Elevate your tanning routine and achieve your most natural-looking, professional-strength results with these simple steps. 

Step 1: Preparation is key

The secret to a perfect tan is preparation. We highly recommend reading our How to Prepare Your Skin For Self-Tan article. Our tanning experts detail how to exfoliate, moisturise and prepare your skin before tanning. We recommend exfoliating, shaving and any other beauty treatments are completed 24 hours before your self-tan application to allow your pores enough time to cool and close. 

Step 2: Face Application

Using your fingertips, apply your Loving Tan Deluxe Face Tan or Loving Tan Purest Face Tanning Serum to your face blending down your neck and lightly into your hairline. Ensure to wash your hands immediately with warm soapy water to prevent any unwanted staining.  Rinse off your Deluxe Face Tan after 2 hours or 6 hours if you’re using your Purest Face Tanning Serum. 

Take a look at our guide on how to (properly) self-tan your face.

Step 3: Body Application

Once you've fully prepped your skin, it's time for the fun stuff! If you're not sure what Loving Tan product or shade is right for you, we recommend using our Shade Finder to find your perfect match. You'll also need to have your Loving Tan Deluxe Applicator Mitt handy as well as your Loving Tan Easy To Reach Back Applicator if you need a bit of extra help with tanning your back. 

We highly recommend tanning in front of a full-length mirror, as this will help you see where you have applied the product and ensure that every part of your body is bronzed and beautiful! 

Here is the breakdown of what each of our Loving Tan self-tanners do and who they are best suited for.

Loving Tan Product

Application Time

Shade Variety 

Best suited for

Deluxe Bronzing Mousse

6 - 8 hours

Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark

Tanning beginners or if you prefer sleeping in your tan

2 HR Express Mousse

2 hours

Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark

Last-minute tanners or if you prefer to not sleep in your tan

Platinum Mousse

6 - 8 hours


Experts tanners looking for the deepest, darkest results. 

Deluxe Gradual Tan

6+ hours

Medium and Dark

If you prefer to build your custom shade of tan gradually

Purest Tanning Mousse

6+ hours

Medium and Dark

If you prefer a  97% certified organic and naturally-derived mousse formula.

Purest Tanning Lotion

6 - 8 hours

Medium and Dark

If you prefer a  97% certified organic and naturally derived lotion formula.

  • Immediately before tanning, apply an oil and fragrance-free moisturiser to any dry skin areas, including your hands, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and feet, to prevent the tan from overdeveloping. 
  • Working upwards from your legs, apply three to four pumps of your chosen mousse onto your Deluxe Applicator Mitt. Apply the mousse to each section of your body in small, circular motions. Don’t worry too much if your application doesn’t look perfect, the colour you are seeing at this point is just the fool-proof tinted colour guide to help show where you have applied your product. 
  • For applying the tan to your hands and feet, we recommend reading our Guide to Self-Tanning Your Hands and Feet. 

Now, it’s time to relax and let the magic happen! If you are using a Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse, we recommend leaving this on your skin for six to eight hours for the best results. If you're using a Loving Tan 2 HR Express Mousse, you can rinse this off after two hours. Make sure to avoid water and excessive sweating while the tan is on. 

As Loving Tan products contain high concentrations of active darkening ingredients, you will achieve a dark tan in just one application. But, if you want a darker result, you can apply a second layer of mousse ten minutes after the first application and pat any extra product remaining on your mitt into your skin. Alternatively, use your Loving Tan Platinum Mousse or 2 HR Express Mousse, and leave it on overnight for deeper, darker results. 

Step 4: Rinse

After letting your tan set, rinse off the tinted colour guide in warm water in the shower. Once the water runs clear and you're out of the shower, we recommend pat-drying yourself with a towel. Your tan will continue to develop and darken for up to 24 hours and reveal your dark, natural-looking tan. It is super important during this time to refrain from using any soaps, moisturisers and oils, as this can prevent your tan from reaching its full potential. 

Step 5: Maintenance

It is super easy to maintain your tan after tanning. Typically, your Loving Tan mousse will last on your skin for a week with correct maintenance. After waiting 24 hours after rinsing off the product, we recommend staying hydrated and keeping your skin moisturised to prolong the life of your tan. 

For even more prolonged and enhanced results, you can apply your Deluxe Gradual Tan over the top of your mousse tan every two or three days. The Deluxe Gradual Tan has a professional-strength formula with a nourishing shea butter base which will leave you with soft, silky skin and extend your tan for up to two weeks. 

Have a question or want to share the secret to your flawless tan? Please leave us a comment below. We would love to hear from you. 

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