Does Self Tanner Work For Mature Skin? 


By Emma McNab
January 28, 2023

While some skincare products are age-specific, using a good self-tanner is universal. At any age, you can enjoy a healthy bronzed glow, without having to expose your skin to harmful UV rays. That being said, there are a number of tips that can come in useful when tanning mature skin: in particular, when choosing a self tanner, prepping for your tan beforehand and maintaining it afterwards. Spoiler: formulas containing nasty dyes are not mature skin’s friend! 

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of our top tips for tanning mature skin: how to avoid it clinging to any dry patches or fine lines, how to avoid streaks, and how to choose a color that enhances your natural beauty. Let’s take a look!

How Do I Tan Mature Skin?

When it comes to applying self tanner to mature skin, you’re going to want to focus primarily on skin preparation and aftercare. Adequate preparation is going to minimize any unwanted streaks or smudges, and prevent any tan from settling in any fine lines. In short, the preparation process allows you to turn your body and complexion into the perfect self-tanner canvas. So, where to begin?


Mature skin tends to get drier quicker than younger skin, so thorough exfoliation is required in the days leading up to your self-tan application. You can use whatever exfoliation method suits you: a body scrub, a body polish, or an exfoliating brush will each get the job done. It’s important not to skip this step: if you apply self tanner to dry skin, it’s going to attach itself to any flaky patches and create an orange-hued, uneven finish. 


Moisturizing is another important step when it comes to self-tan prep. Unless you have extremely dry skin, you don’t need to moisturize all over your body – this can actually result in a streaky finish, as the moisturizer can create a barrier between your self-tanner and your skin. Instead, simply moisturize any areas of your body that are prone to dryness: this includes the elbows, hands, and knees.

Pick the Right Color and a Nourishing Formula

An orange-hued tan can be incredibly aging for both your skin and your complexion, so we’d always recommend avoiding any “extra dark” self tanners if you’re applying on mature skin. We’d also advise against certain formulas; as I previously mentioned, mature skin is more prone to dryness and flakiness, so it’s important to pick a self tanner that isn’t going to dry out your skin further. Certain self tanning mousses can dry out the skin if they’re not formulated with hydrating actives, which is why we’d recommend opting for a self tanning lotion or cream instead. Brands that contain a lot of dyes are prone to settling into the lines of mature skin as well. Where possible, opt for one with a nourishing and hydrating formula made with no artificial dyes.

So, what’s the best self tanner for mature skin? Our Naru Organics Self Tanner is a lotion-based formula, made with two hydrating natural oils: sweet almond oil and tsubaki oil, which both provide hydration and nourishing benefits for the skin. Our formula hydrates and nourishes while providing a natural, brown-hued bronze glow, making it the perfect choice for mature skin.


Tan the Face Minimally

When applying self tanner, it’s best to get an all-over glow. That being said, we can understand those who forego tanning their legs or stomach during the winter – save your tanner for bikini season, right? However, one part of your body that you can’t ignore is your face – it’s going to look a little strange if you have perfectly tanned arms and shoulders and a pale complexion.    

When it comes to tanning a mature complexion, we’d typically recommend mixing your self-tanner into your nighttime moisturizer – this minimizes your chances of waking up with an orange-hued color. However, if you’re using our Naru Organics Self-Tanner, you don’t need to mix it with anything else: the formula is already designed to develop a gradual tan while being hydrating and nourishing for the skin, so all you need to do is apply a small amount to well-prepared skin.

Prepping really is key here: the skin on your face must be adequately moisturized and exfoliated before you apply any self-tanner. Otherwise, any fine lines that you may have will become more visible, especially if your tanner is able to settle into them.  

Proper Maintenance 

The one thing that’s going to make a difference between a golden, bronze tan and a flaky, orange-hued tan is aftercare. Your tan is only as good as your maintenance, and this is especially important for those with mature skin. Proper maintenance means moisturizing your skin every day following your self tan application: this will prevent the tanner from clinging to any dry patches, which can end up aging the skin.


Will self tanner make my wrinkles look worse?

Not necessarily! Technically, any cosmetic product that we put on our face can make our wrinkles or fine lines look worse. I’m sure we’ve all once applied a heavy concealer to our under eyes and found that we look at least 5 years older. The key is in the formula and the aftercare: if you choose a nourishing, moisturizing formula, there’s no reason that a self tanner will exacerbate any lines or wrinkles.

Does self tanning age the skin?

No! While tanning via a sunbed or UV exposure will age the skin, a healthy bronze glow won’t – and it may even make you look younger. The association between a tan and aged skin doesn’t come from having a tan, but from the skin damage incurred through years of tanning and UV exposure.

The Bottom Line

At any age, having a golden tan will always be a wonderful boost for your self esteem. Who doesn’t feel great with that fresh-off-the-beach look? 

When it comes to tanning mature skin, simply ensure that you’re avoiding drying formulas and performing adequate maintenance. With a nourishing formula and plenty of exfoliating prep, you can enjoy that post-vacation glow all year round. 

Note: Want to give yourself an even, natural-looking sunless tan without exposing your skin to toxic chemicals, dyes or synthetic fragrances? Get Naru Organics self tanner and try the very first flawless self tan with no nasty ingredients. Learn more now!
naru organics self tanner

Emma McNab

Emma is a writer with a keen interest in all things skincare, wellness, and beauty.