5 Tips For Mastering The Art Of Fake Tanning Your Feet And Hands

5 Tips For Mastering The Art Of Fake Tanning Your Feet And Hands

Nothing can expose the errors in your self tan job quite like your hands and feet. It doesn’t matter how well-matched your shade is or how sophisticated your tanning foam or water formula may be, without the correct preparation and application, you’ll be left with patchy, streaky hands and feet.

So unless you’d like to continue wearing gloves and socks every time you attempt a full body tan, we asked Michael Brown, St. Tropez’s resident expert,  and Sara Sidari, the founder of ORRO & Co for their top tips on achieving a flawless tan on your feet and hands, every time. 


When it comes to pre-tan prep, a little effort goes a long way. Much like the rest of your body, it is a non-negotiable to scrub your hands and feet free of old tan and dead skin in order to create a smooth, clean canvas.

For a thorough exfoliation, we recommend The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub ($29, The Body Shop).


Although we’re told to avoid moisturiser up to 24 hours before we tan, the opposite applies to our hands and feet. In fact, according to Michael, “adding a rich moisturiser to the hands [and feet] pre-tan is vital so that tan doesn’t oxidise and go darker on drier skin.”

The goal of this process is to create a barrier between your dry skin and the actual tan, to ensure a natural and even finish.

bh recommends: Kiehl’s Crème de Corps ($55, Kiehls)

Make use of tools…

This includes a glove like the Ella Baché Great Tanning Mitt ($9.90, Adore Beauty) or even a dense brush. Similarly to how we smooth out our makeup, we can buff out patches of our tan that are too dark or not evenly distributed. We recommend the: Bondi Sands Body Brush ($24.99, Priceline).

Want to go one better? Sarah recommends ORRO’s Mini Mitt ($9, ORRO and Co.) which sits across three fingers, allowing for precise application into harder to reach areas. 

Don’t apply products directly to your hands or feet…

Simply blend the tan down from your legs or arms, using the residue on the glove once you reach your feet and hands. By doing so, you’re controlling the amount of product being applied. And remember, less is more. 

However, if you do apply too much product, don’t be afraid to grab a dark coloured towel and wipe your feet clean before starting over again. Just make sure you’re moving quickly.

In case of emergency…

Despite your best efforts, sometimes mistakes are still made. In which case, we recommend enlisting the help of a tan remover like the St. Tropez Tan Remover Mousse ($17.95, Amazon). Another godsend for eliminating patchy palms and orange ankles? Glycolic acid. This AHA (which is usually found in skin care products) will help to actively break down your tan and instantly dull any unwanted dark patches. And while we can understand not wanting to use your precious skin care on a full body scrub, a few drops of glycolic acid across your hands and feet is far more acceptable.

Main image credit: @rosiehw

Do you fake tan your hands and feet? What tips have you discovered for a streak-free finish?

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Comments 23

  1. Sometimes, I use a light fake tan, but only on my legs & feet through summer. If you’ve never used a tanning mitt, it’s worth all the hype: it’s much quicker & gives a streak-free finish.

    If I get any darker patches, I scrub them with the plastic pot scourer I keep in the shower for exfoliation. My skin is uncommonly tough due to thyroid disease.

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