Get Beach Ready With These 5 Easy Steps From The Tan Lab

Tanned model lying on the beach

Do you want to GET BEACH READY?

Whether you’re looking to get your tan on for summer, you’re off on an exotic holiday, or you just like to be tanned and fabulous, The Tan Lab has the solution for you.

Your tan is only as good as your application. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you prep, prime, protect, apply, and maintain. Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, with The Tan Lab, it’s easy.

Follow our easy 5-step guide, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a flawless tan that lasts longer and fades evenly.

Page Contents

Why Choose The Tan Lab?
Step One – Prep
Step Two – Prime
Step Three – Protect
Step Four – Apply
Step Five – Maintain
Self Tan FAQ

Why Choose The Tan Lab?

Did you know The Tan Lab is a Proudly South African brand self-tan brand? Our products were formulated from The Tan Lab HQ, out of Durban South Africa.

Some words from the founder and owner of The Tan Lab Shannon Mathie:

Shannon Mathie owner of The Tan Lab
Shannon Mathie

“Sunless tanning is very close to my heart. After a life-changing Melanoma scare and surgery, I decided I wanted to create a tanning product that’s safe, easy to use, lasted, and most importantly, never went that dreadful ORANGE colour! You know what I’m talking about ladies ;)”

“After many years of research and development, I came up with The Tan Lab range. I’m proud to say our products are Proudly South African, Vegan-Friendly and The Tan Lab is endorsed by Beauty without Cruelty. So, wear your tan proudly and with peace of mind knowing that your tan has not, and will never be tested on animals.”

Step One – Prep

12 to 24 hours before you apply your self-tan, you need to shave or wax and then exfoliate. Why do you ask?

1. When you remove hair, the pores of your skin are open and the skin can be quite sensitive. Give your skin adequate time to settle. The open pores can also absorb too much of the tan, this will leave you with a freckle effect wherever the tan has been absorbed into the pores!

2. Exfoliating prepares your skin by removing any dead skin cells. The self tan lotion absorbs better, giving you that flawless, even tan application.

The Tan Lab makes exfoliating REALLY easy with our MICRO-EXFOLIANT.


“Shake a small amount of MICRO-EXFOLIANT into wet palms and activate by rubbing your hands together to form a light foamy consistency. Massage onto dry skin using circular motions for a few minutes. Continue to dampen your hands or add more powder depending on the desired consistency and exfoliation required. Rinse thoroughly to reveal smoother skin.”

Step Two – Prime

Just before you apply your tan, you need to take a shower to make sure your skin is free of any product residue or sweat. A quick wash will ensure even application and avoid discolouration. Avoid a steaming hot shower, this could leave your pores open and it may make you sweat while applying your tan.

Step Three – Protect

Dry skin will absorb active tanning ingredients much faster and process darker if you don’t limit the skin’s absorption abilities.

To avoid this, apply a light layer of BARRIER CREAM to your elbows, knees, palms of hands and soles of feet. Backs of heels and over nails and toenails, and any other dry areas you may have.

My Top Tip

“Use a light layer of BARRIER CREAM on the inside of your wrists to blend your self-tan and avoid the dreaded orange wrists or a defined line where your tan meets your hand. Pat the BARRIER CREAM and SELF-TAN blend between wrists as you would when applying perfume.”

Step Four – Apply

Choose your shade of The Tan Lab SELF TAN – Gradual, Fair, Medium or Dark. Which one is right for you?

Gradual Tan

Ideal for first-time users, this product will deliver the most natural-looking tan, even for the fairest of fair skins.

Self Tan Fair

Gives a subtle natural colour to any skin tone. Great for skin type 1, freckles and skin types that burn easily.

Self Tan Medium

For a more olive-toned skin type.

Self Tan Dark

For the Mediterranean or Hispanic skin types.

How The Tan Lab’s Self Tan Works

The Tan Lab SELF TAN has a two-phase development. During the first phase, you can expect your tan to develop over the typical 8 to 12 hour period. This is your base colour.

The second phase your tan will continue to develop even after showering! The full development period of the Erythrulose is 24 hours, so expect a deeper tan to develop over the next day. This development process ensures a long-lasting natural tan that will fade evenly.

My Top Tip

“Wash your hands with soap after application, dry thoroughly. Then apply a light mixture of SELF TAN and BARRIER CREAM to the tops of your hands and fingers, rub together until absorbed.”

Step Five – Maintain

Sunless tanning products have been known to be dry your skin. To combat any drying, we have a specially formulated HYDRATION LOTION.

When used daily, The Tan Lab’s HYDRATION LOTION will leave your skin irresistibly smooth and moisturised, prolonging the life of your beautiful tan.

Apply The Tan Lab HYDRATION LOTION generously to the body for a luminous glow and allow the exotic fragrance to linger.

Important to Note

“Our products don’t contain any SPF. If you’re going out in the sun, apply an SPF 15 or up daily to avoid premature ageing and pigmentation caused by sun damage.”

Our Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions for Self Tan

How soon can I shower after I apply my tan?

Development time is 8 to 12 hours for the first phase. It’s recommended that you shower after those hours. Once you have showered, your tan will continue to develop as the second phase gets to work.

Will any of these products protect me from the sun?

You will not be protected from the UV rays and damaging effects of the sun. Please ensure you apply sunblock if you are exposed to the sun.

Can I exercise after a tan?

You should avoid any activity that will cause you to sweat because any moisture soon after applying the tan can cause streaking. You should also try to stay out of the rain!

Will my tan fade?

It will fade naturally, so remember to moisturise with The Tan Lab’s Hydration Lotion for an extended tan. Pool and seawater will fade the tan slightly, so it is suggested that you keep swimming to a minimum, especially in the first 24-hour stage of your tan.

How long will my tan last?

If you take care of your tan, it should last 7 to 10 days. Try not to scrub your skin too much as this will assist in removing your tan. Try topping up with The Tan Lab’s Gradual Tan to keep an ongoing glow and always pat yourself dry after a shower or bath.

For more frequently asked questions, check out our FAQ page here. You can also find more information about choosing the right Self Tan here.

Get Beach Ready Combo

Get Beach Ready Combo