How to Maintain Fake Tan on Holiday

Making Your Fake Tan Last Longer Whilst on Holiday

A while ago now I did a post on My Fake Tan Routine,  where I highlighted the products I use/ how often I fake tan and when – all of that shit.

Sunbathing is my favourite spectator sport. I suppose you could call me a professional bench warmer for the millions of people that go on holiday to sunbathe and get a tan. From within the depths of the shade, you will find me drenched in sun cream hidden under a head scarf.

As a pale person there is nothing worse than strolling onto a beach full of tanned people in their skimpy bikinis, whilst rocking up looking like an energy saving light bulb where the sun reflects off of your pale skin.

To avoid light bulb moments like this we must divide and conquer. Preparation is key for pale skinned holiday goers. A tan must be secured before departure, therefore we either get a spray tan or we apply numerous layers of fake tan ourselves. Whatever way we look at it, as long as we aren’t pale then the on-beach experience will be more bearable.

But what happens once you are there? You’re on holiday for 7 days and 3 days in your fake tan has started to wear off… you’ve been in the sea for too long and now your true colours are starting to show through… as the fake tan begins to crumble off you realise that you need to take action, before it’s too late.

Over the years I have almost perfected the process to maintain your fake tan whilst on holiday, and I’m happy to share it with you!


I used to always get a spray tan the night before flying, however I’ve discovered that no matter how dark I tell them to do the tan, my skin just does not take to it. Therefore I’ve started gradually tanning myself which is far more effective.

I exfoliate 2/3 days before leaving for holiday and apply tan in the evenings leading up to the holiday. For example, I’m I just got back from Greece and my flight was on Friday Morning. I exfoliated on Tuesday evening and applied a fresh layer of fake tan (product details are in my previous post), I applied another layer on Wednesday and Thursday night, so that on Friday I was adequately bronzed/ orange.

That’s the easy part.


It’s important to moisturise in those areas that fake tan comes off the fastest… i.e. elbows, feet, hands, armpits. I tend to use baby oil as opposed to cream moisturiser as its thinner, but it doesn’t matter too much.

Apply moisturiser after showering/ in the evening and morning – this will help keep the Tan from going ‘crumbly’ (the picture below shows exactly what I mean by crumbly fake tan on my hand, shocking)

In my post the ‘5 best and worst products for redheads’ I recommended using a clear spray sun scream… this is one of the key parts to maintaining your tan. Apply the spray to your whole body (I use factor 50 and drench myself in it), you don’t need to worry about rubbing it in because it’s clear anyway.

Top Up/ Saving Your Tan

There comes a time in the holiday, typically towards the end of it, where your tan inevitably starts to come off/ go patchy.

If you like to swim a lot, or have done water sports, then this tragic event may happen sooner than anticipated. It’s a sad time. Sad because you know you cannot fully restore your tan back to its prime on day 1… you will have to make do and mend.

I always plan my swimwear choices in advance for this. I tend to wear my more revealing bikinis at the beginning of a holiday when my tan is fresh, then towards the end of the holiday I wear stuff that covers up my skin more.

At the point where my tan starts going bad, I either apply a fresh layer of developing tan and leave it on overnight, or if I need a quick fix I use the Sally Hanson tan which provides an instant tan that doesn’t wash off straight away with water.

SOS – if your tan has gone awfully crumbly then you may have to exfoliate some of it off and put a fresh layer on – because there’s nothing worse than apply tan over crumbling old tan, it will only make it worse!

I always return from a holiday more pale than I was when I departed, which is ironic considering most people go on holiday to get a tan. But when a real tan is not an option, faking it is the only way to survive.

After all, I’d rather wear fake tan and sit in the shade then end up looking like a fried lobster!

Any questions, please get in contact!

Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch.

2 thoughts on “How to Maintain Fake Tan on Holiday

  1. I just don’t get one thing why not get a real tan?cause u can see when a person wears fake tan,cause it looks so so unnatural id rather see a pale person then a person who looks like a carrot(no offence) 😀

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