When I was formulating for the darkest fake tan, I wanted to stretch the boundaries and test these formulations by finding out the question “How dark can I go”? The image above of our son, can show you clearly how dark fake tans can be. Oh my gosh, I was crying laughing when applying his tan!  And, to give you peace of mind, this particular fake tan, is not one of our tanning ranges, phew!

Initially when we first started down the road in formulating and manufacturing, we were aware that the fake tanning market was already flooded with entrepreneurs chasing a quick dollar and celebrities branding the darkest fake tan. We knew that if we were to produce the same cookie-cutter self-tanning lotion, we would have drowned in this flooded industry. What we ultimately wanted to aim for, was to use & offer my knowledge in colour and formulating and create a customisable tan colour, both in depth and tone.

Marketing strategist of cosmetics and beauty products refer to words such as ‘ultra, deepest, dark, darkest or darker’, are referred as ‘depth’ in tanning lotions. Throughout the year, it’s only your depth that changes and not your tone. Your depth changes because of the pigments fading from lack of UV lighting reflecting off the basal layer. However, your undertone or tone, being either cool or warm, will be the same all year round. Depth refers to how light or dark the tan will be.   Sundance The Designer Tan Natural Tanning Mousse indicates depth through a horizontal 1 -5 in our tanning in depth levels or bars at the bottom of our labels on our tanning products. Other tanning companies indicate their tanning range by descriptions such as light tans, medium tans or dark tans. Who is light? Who is medium? Who is dark? Light, medium and dark are comparative words. So, when tanning companies formulate light tans, medium tans and dark tans, who did they use to compare these tans to?

When it comes to manufacturing fake tanning lotions ‘depth’ within the tan is determined by how much of the main active ingredient (dihydroxyacetone) DHA is present. The greater the amount of DHA the darker the tan.

Undertones or tones are known as the ‘hues’ that being either cool (Rosey pink tones) or warm (golden, peachy, ivory tones).  In some rare cases there are some people who are associated with being neutral in tone. That is neither cool or warm tones and can wear both cool and warm tone fake tanning lotions.

When it comes to manufacturing fake tanning lotions ‘tone’ refers to the colourants used within the tanning product. Tone, gives fake tans those colours that we all know best as, Matt (green), Ash/Grey (blue/green), Violet (purple). Cool tones are generally blue, green and violet. Warm tones are generally red, orange and yellow. Because majority of people are either cool or warm tones, Sundance’s colourants were formulated to suit Cool and Warm tones.

Some users of fake tanning products are of the mindset that because tanning products can become ‘orange’, then consumers sometimes sway towards purchasing cooler counteractive tones ie; green. The issue with this theory is that colourants last up to 3-4 days and the cool tone may not be a suitable colour match to the end-users’ natural tones.  If the end-user is to use a green base fake tan, the colourants will appear un-naturally green for the following 3 – 4 days.

When choosing the darkest fake tan, consider the information above. Firstly, What’s your tone? Then, what’s the season that you are preparing to fake tanning in e.g., Summer, Autumn, Winter or Spring. As stated before, we all naturally lose pigments from the lack of UV lighting and throughout the cooler months, what suited your skin in Summer will unlikely suit your skin in Winter.

Here are a few tips for the best fake tan for you, not necessarily the darkest fake tan!

  • Recognise what season you’re in. Apologies for it sounding very simplistic but as I mentioned before, going super dark aka the darkest fake tan in winter may appear un-natural looking. Always remain natural in appearance for your fake tan. You want to be noticed for all the right reasons!
  • When it comes to depth, I always recommend fake tanning lotions to be used, 1 to 2 shades darker than your natural skin colour. TAKE THE QUIZ. Go to Tan Selector, take the guess work out and design the perfect tan for you. Here the link: https://sundancedesignertan.com.au/design-your-tan/
  • When considering your own tone, know that your undertone doesn’t change from birth regardless of the season that you’re in. Tones can either be warm based or cool based. Warm based skin tones are golden, peachy, ivory tones. Cool based tones have Rosey pink tones.
  • What suits your friends or family, doesn’t always suit you. I recently met a new business acquaintance who had never tried fake tanning products. She had warm based undertones and was extremely hesitant to try tanning lotions because she was concerned that she was going to look orange. I reassured her that our tanning products were not orange and so, I went to my car and grabbed her a tanning Mousse for her first time. She wrote to me a few days later with an amazing letter of gratitude and excitement, sending me images of her (fake) tanned legs. The tan looked incredibly natural looking. So natural, no one would believe it was fake! I wish the story ended here….She did also comment that she allowed her super fair skinned daughter in-law to use the same tanning lotion and she was surprised that the fake tan was not as suitable for her daughter in-law as much, as the tan suited her.


When it comes to self-tanning, Sundance is all about formulating and producing a tan that looks so natural-looking, you won’t believe it’s fake. First and foremost, the tan needs to suit the end-users’ natural tones. This is why formulating our natural-looking fake tans took so long to perfect.







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Sundance is The Designer Tan.
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Sundance is inspired to create personalised beauty products that radiates confidence and vitality. Our professionally formulated products are designed to protect and nourish your skin, to give you a more youthful appearance. All Sundance Collections PTY LTD products are manufactured in-house to the highest levels of quality. We guarantee it!

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Sundance is about Clean Beauty:  Ensuring that all ingredients are composed of ethic and environmental considerations, which are not harmful to the human body or environment. Sundance has an obligation to create sustainable products for our future.  

Sundance is about Microbiome: The hero ingredient within our tanning products is Erythrulose, which improves the skin. Erythrulose provides a “beautiful natural-looking, homogenous and glowing skin tone colour that enriches the appearance of the skin.”


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