Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Self-tan Over Sun

It’s National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. With the UK surprisingly sunny and the countdown to holidays abroad underway, now is the perfect time to consider our skin and question self-tan over sun.

Cancer Research UK have stated that “it’s safer to use a fake tan product on your skin than to sunbathe or use a sunbed.” When contemplating between self-tan over sun, you have to factor that most self-tan contains skin benefits. Nasty chemicals have been replaced with natural ingredients.

This can be said for Norvell Tanning – paraben, gluten and sulphate-free. Their tanning is all vegan which means cruelty-free and contains a patented anti-orange formula. We spoke to Norvell Tanning ambassador Gemma Spinks on using fake tan in the summer and her tips for looking after your skin.

self-tan over sun

Is there still a stigma attached to using fake tan?

“I feel that over the past few years fake tan has been developed to such a high standard that most people who apply a product manage to keep it looking natural.  With celebrities in the media using tanning products, it has boosted the industry more for ‘faking it’ to be acceptable. Most people who use tanning products say that it makes them not only look better but feel better about themselves too.”


How do you make self-tan look natural?

“The most important thing when choosing a tanning product is to choose one that is suitable for your skin type. Don’t choose a tan that is too dark for you! To keep a tan looking as natural as possible only take your skin one to two shades darker than your natural tone.

If you already have a base colour to your skin try a tan that contains a violet base. Violet counteracts any orange brassy tones appearing. Norvell’s Venetian range is perfect for this!”

self-tan over sun

Is it worth having a spray tan?

“Spray tans and at home ‘fake tans’ both contain the same ingredients, so it’s down to personal preference.

I personally prefer a spray tan (always go to a fully qualified technician) as this will you ensure that every part of the body is covered, however if you have the time to do your own tan at home with the advanced products on the market you can still create a natural full over body tan.  I love to use the Norvell Mousses or Gradual Tan – like the new Norvell Ultra Vivid Boost – to enhance my natural colouring.”


Would you advise to self-tan during a holiday to cut down on sunbathing?

“Spray tans or at home tans generally do not contain an SPF, so when sunbathing you still need to make sure you apply a sun cream. A low oil content sun cream is the best thing to use as oil strips a tan.

To keep your tan looking flawless when away I recommend using Norvell Prolong, which is a really good skin moisturiser that contains a small amount of DHA (the main tanning ingredient) which will enhance your tan whilst keeping your skin hydrated.”

self-tan over sun
Photo by Malhar Garud on Unsplash

What are your tips for using fake tan abroad?

“Tanning product and the sun can both be quite dehydrating for the skin so make sure that you are drinking plenty of water and use the Prolong by Norvell as mentioned above to enhance your tan. Normal high street moisturisers can contain a lot of oil – and oil strips tan – so be very careful in the products that you choose.

I also lightly exfoliate my skin every 3 days when on holiday to remove any unwanted sun cream and keep on top of my skin shedding/peeling.”


Does it matter what SPF you use with tanning products?

“All SPF’s contain oil, so I choose to use products such as Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit SPF when on holiday as Hemp Seed oil is the nearest oil to the skins natural oil so I find my tan lasts longer. Alternatively, you could use an SPF with a low oil content in – some allergy lotions don’t contain as much oil so will help with the maintenance of your colour.”

self-tan over sun


What are your top tips to looking after your skin in summer?

“My top tips are simple…

  1. Exfoliate once a week (every 3 days if on holiday – lightly)
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Moisturise every day
  4. Use a gradual tan (Norvell prolong) to maintain your skins colour
  5. Don’t overdo it with the fake tan always stay 1-2 shades darker than your natural colour.”


Self-tan over sun is the healthiest choice for your skin. To find out more about Norvell Tanning and see their new Ultra Vivid collection, click here.

Keep up the self-tan over sun debate with our beauty review on popular fake tan. 

Post Author: Laura Jane Bradbury

Laura Jane Bradbury
I am a trained makeup artist turned writer. When I am not editing articles, I will be glued to my lifestyle blog:, or copywriting for various brands. My passions include poetry, cooking and proving to my friends that a plant-based diet is delicious. Catch me on Instagram @thestyleoflaurajane

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