Can You Tan With Self-Tanner On?

Self-tanners are so underappreciated! Using it, you can acquire a fast tan and also do not need to risk getting sunburned or developing skin cancer to achieve healthy-looking skin.

But what happens if you want to get a natural tan? Can you tan with self-tanner on?
This article will provide you with answers to this question and other helpful information. Check it out!

Can You Tan With Self-Tanner On?

Definitely, you can go in the sun after self-tanning. It is because sunbathing and self-tanners darken your skin in distinct ways.
Most good sunless tanners use dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which combines with amino acids in dead cells on the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. This reaction darkens your skin and gives it a tan-like appearance.
Besides, the stratum basale, the innermost layer and is influenced by natural tanning. Fake tanner products impact the stratum corneum, the outer layer. They are the two epidermis layers.

You can tan with self-tanner on if you want. 
You can tan with self-tanner on if you want.

Briefly, only the top layer of the skin is affected when you use a self-tanner. Nevertheless, if you walk out in the sun with a self-tanner on, it may darken the skin color and harm the skin’s innermost layer.
Because the DHA in the self-tanners makes your skin darker, you will be less aware of when it burns. Consequently, it might lead to you being out in the sun for a longer time without protection; thus, taking care of your skin should be prioritized. 
Also, note that when you tan naturally while using fake tan, you might not clearly see your deeper base color until it has faded.

Does Self-Tanner Help You Tan Outside?

As previously mentioned, outdoor tanning and self-tanner help you achieve your dark appearance differently by affecting different layers. Thus,

sunless tanning products will not help you tan outside.
Natural light helps darken your skin considerably longer than self-tanners, which only offer you a short and unnatural tan.
If you are outside to tan, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays will interact with your skin cells, causing a deeper pigment to emerge. Then, you can get a deep tan regardless of whether you get a base tan from self-tanning products or not.

Does A Self-Tanner Stop You From Getting A Natural Tan?

The answer is no. A spray tan will not prevent you from gaining a real tan because it provides no protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Instead, it will merely serve as an additional layer of protection between the sun and your skin. As a result, the sun’s rays may have less impact.
In this manner, you may gradually acclimate your skin to sunbathing, and when your spray tan fades, you will already get a great base tan.

A fake tan does not affect your natural tan. 
A fake tan does not affect your natural tan.

What Should You Do When Changing From Self-Tanning To A Natural Tan?

It is typical for individuals to use self-tanner soon in the year to get a great skin color before summer arrives.
Nonetheless, once you start to expose yourself to the direct sun and a healthy tan develops, how can you avoid streaky or patchy skin during this transition?
To begin, keep the skin hydrated because dry skin will shed your skin cells uniformly, leading to a patchy tan, which is difficult to reverse.
Besides, apply a good suntan accelerator, which will help you create a gorgeous natural tan faster and avoid any awkward transition between a sunless tanning and a natural tan.

If exposing the skin to the sun, you should also consider using a mineral-based/oil-free SPF, which helps protect the skin while also developing a natural tan.                   
Applying SPF will eliminate your natural coloring patterns. Although the bronze can take a bit longer to appear, the health of your skin is still maintained.

Is Tanning With Self-Tanner Safe?

Basically, using self-tanners is highly advisable. 
However, if you mix this product with other methods such as natural or bed tanning, make sure to use sunscreen to defend against UV rays because these products do not give sun protection.

For the best results, take these precautions carefully:

  • If possible, stay out of the sun, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, since the sun is at its highest level during this period.
  • When you must be outside, try to stay in the shade.
  • Put on protective clothes such as sunglasses, a hat with a wide brim, and clothing that protects your legs and arms.
  • Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 on a minimum, and remember to reapply every 2 hours.

Will A Self-Tanner Affect Tanning Beds?

Of course, no. 
Although it is not the same as going out in the sun, sunbed tanning uses the same principles, which is making use of excessive UV rays to modify the skin color. Therefore, using a self-tanner may not impact your performance to tanning on a sunbed.
Keep in mind that the main reason individuals choose self-tanners is that they are considerably safer for the skin. Indoor tanning, like lying out in the sun without sunscreen, is likely to promote premature aging and raise your risk of skin cancer due to UV exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you go to the beach after a self-tanner?

Although self-tanners do not protect you from the sunlight, using them before going to the beach is still a brilliant idea. 
If you acquire a self-tanner before coming on vacation, you will not feel obligated to go out during the sun to get beautiful and glowing skin.  Also, doing so will keep you from spending too much time in the sun, enabling you to avoid the dangers of overexposure.
Once you decide to perform some fake tanning before going out, use protective clothing and sunscreen, and stay in the shadow as much as feasible. Also, remember to keep hydrated and moisturize your skin!

You can go to the beach after a spray tan. 
You can go to the beach after a spray tan.

Is sun protection provided by a self-tanner?

Self-tanners are often misunderstood as protecting skin from the sun. However, they are merely cosmetic, and you should not use them instead of sun­screen or other sun-safety methods. 
Although several products claim to have an SPF, this can be deceiving because the SPF usually goes off within a few hours of use.
Therefore, it is critical to use an SPF30+ broad-spectrum sun­screen to fully protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays, especially in the summer. Moreover, wait until the self-tanner has dried completely before applying sunscreen.

Is it possible to combine self-tanning and sunbed tanning?

Yes, and cocktail tanning is what it is called.
You begin by using a UV sunbed. This stage increases melanin production in your skin, which blackens your skin naturally. 

This stage increases melanin production in your skin, which blackens your skin naturally. Cocktail tanning goes one step farther to achieve an even more striking appearance.
A fake tan application is made immediately as you exit the sunbed. The precise timing is significant because the self-tanner can penetrate the skin more thoroughly, whereas the pores are open from the sunbed’s heat.
Fake tanning into open pores, combined with natural melanin production from the sunbed, results in a rich, dark tan. 
When the two processes are combined, incredible results are achieved in one session – far more than each method can achieve in the same amount of time. Furthermore, the effects are proven to remain for a more extended time than fake tanning or a sunbed session separately.
If you want to improve your results, this strategy is ideal. Furthermore, assume you need to attend a special upcoming event and want to have a certain level of brown before going.
Cocktail tanning is a terrific technique to achieve that desired skin tone without going through many sessions.

Is it possible to use self-tanner products for the face?

Yes, however, there are several basic principles to obey.
First, the safest approach is to acquire a face-specific spray tan and patch trial it behind the ear to make sure you will not have an allergic response to it.
Second, if you are still afraid of artificial tan­ning your face, you can combine a pea-sized quantity of tan­ning lotion and your moisturizer. Then, apply it to the face as normal, which will assist in building your tan gradually and make it look a lot better.
Next, use your regular mois­tur­izer to the skin beforehand to plump any wrin­kles or lines for a perfect finish. However, allow half an hour at a minimum for it to absorb before using your suntan product. 
Also, do not forget to moisturize your brows to keep them from turning orange!
If this is the first time you have tried a self-tanner product, you may find this video helpful:

Bottom Line

Finally, we have gone through the necessary information to “Can you tan with self-tanner on?” Once again, natural tanning and self-tanning provide you with dark skin tones in different ways, so they will not affect each other. In other words, they will not help or block each other.


Think of Well-Kept Beauty as your personal beauty professional – advising you on whether to switch up your beauty routine, re-up on a must-have product you are running low on, and even pinging you the best deals on the market. Now, let's take your beauty routine to the next level and keep your products doing what they promised!

Recent Posts