Revealed: The 5 Secret Truths Of The Irish Self Tanner

STELLAR PROMOTION: *How* do you avoid streaks?

Self tan is a beauty staple here in Ireland.

No matter the time of year, no matter the function in question, Irish gals (and guys, too!) are pulling out their mitts, doing an exfoliate, and getting ready to pump.

One of the country’s most iconic self tan brands, Cocoa Brown, is one of our favourites. Light-weight, gentle on skin, and sure to give you a gorgeous, natural bronzed look every time.

In order to get more of an insight into our readers’ tanning habits (and to confirm that they love being golden as much as we do), we took to Instagram Stories to ask them all about their shades, their schedules, and of course, their severe mishaps.

65 percent of STELLAR readers admitted to only tanning certain parts of their bodies (like their arms, legs, necks, etc) rather than tanning their whole body every time.

Almost 85 percent of people said that they tan on Thursday in preparation for the weekend, compared to 15% who tan on Sunday for the week – that’s a lot of Thursday tanners!

Over half of readers said they use a mitt when tanning their face, compared to 46 percent who prefer to use a brush, while half of people said that they self tan completely nude, rather than being in their underwear.

But despite this love of tan, it turns out that we’re not all that confident about applying it, taking it off, or even buying it!

After all, you might have been using tan for years, but that doesn’t mean that you’re an expert. Luckily, we have a couple of tan gurus on hand to solve all of your self tanning woes – and give you some handy tips and hero products while you’re at all.

1. My tan is always patchy after day 3 – help!

When it comes to maintaining your tan as the week goes on, it’s important to keep yourself moisturised.

If your skin is dehydrated, tan will start sticking to the dry, flaky parts and begin to look patchy.

Keep your tan even until it’s scrub time by using a hydrating, bronzing moisturiser, like the Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze, to extend and boost your glow!

2. What even is ‘tanning mist’?

Tanning mist comes in a water form that’s ideal for using on your face, hands, or topping up your body!

It’s lightweight, quick drying and easy to use, so it won’t look too heavy on the skin.

We love to use the Cocoa Brown Miracle Mist on days when we’re going make-up free, or to top up our tan throughout the week.

Just hold the mist at half arms length from your body and spray it evenly over your face, neck and chest.

Tanning mist is also great for tanning your hands if they’re dry or tend to come out too dark – simply mist your hands and then buff in with a brush!

3. How can I avoid streaks on my legs?

The key to an even, non streaky tan is prep, prep, prep!

Make sure to exfoliate and shave 24 hours before applying your tan.

Gently scrub your skin in circular motions with an exfoliating mitt like this one from Cocoa Brown, and a good exfoliating scrub to match!

Make sure that knees and ankles in particular are smooth and soft!

After exfoliating, you can shave if that’s your preference, and then apply moisturiser.

It’s important to give yourself enough time for the moisturiser to dry in, and for any irritation from shaving to calm down, before tanning the next day.

Don’t forget to go lightly over the ankles and knees – the tan will stick to them more easily than your shins and calves!

4. How do you remove tan properly? I can never seem to!

When removing tan, you should never aggressively scrub at your skin. All you need is the right product and a bit of patience to eliminate all those stubborn bits!

Cocoa Brown Tan Eraser is key to start the process. Pump it into your hands and then rub it over your body, paying attention to places that tan sticks (elbows, knees, armpits).


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Wait a few minutes, then gently buff it off with your exfoliating mitt or gloves.

Et voila! You’re soft, smooth and ready to self tan again whenever you like!

5. I’ve never worn self tan before – where should I start?

If you’ve never worn self tan before, don’t worry – it’s easier than it seems!

We’d recommend starting with a tan that’s not too much darker than your skin tone so you can get used to application before moving on to a heavier looking tan. It’s a good idea to do tan before bedtime so it has enough time to develop fully – beware white sheets and wear dark pyjamas!

Find a well lit space like your bathroom, get your Cocoa Brown mitt and mousse, and work slowly. Buff the tan in circular movements over your entire body, being careful to check that you’ve evenly rubbed everything in.

It’s best to do your tan in front of a mirror so you don’t miss any obvious spots! Go easy on elbows, ankles and knees, and use a tanning mist for your face and hands.

Then let it dry a little, head to bed, and shower it off in the morning with warm (but not too hot) water.

You’ll be glowing and gorgeous in no time!