Choosing the right Tan according to Depth and Tone Importance.

Since we launched in April, 2021, we have been so incredibly grateful at the response that we have received from our customers, towards our instant, self-tanning products. We are grateful to you for your support in choosing Sundance.

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

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 users natural tones. This is why formulating our natural-looking fake tans took so long to perfect.


Understand Depth and Tone. Which is more important – depth or tone?


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.

Sundance has represented ‘Depth’ in our tanning in levels or bars at the bottom of our labels on our tanning products.

Depth refers to how light or dark the tan will be. Sundance The Designer Tan indicates that 1 bar refers to a lighter tan depth and 5 bars indicates a darker tan depth. 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?

I’ve asked my friends to show you an example of what comparative descriptions of light, medium and dark skin depths.

There’s so many skin types, so why are fake tan products listed as light, medium or dark?

Understandably a light tan, a medium tan or a dark tan may confuse users because it is an antiquated way of not clearly indicating what the consumer is purchasing. As well as, Light tans, medium tans and dark tans do not consider the suitability to the consumer’s skin tones.

Before my formulation journey with self-tanning, I was one of those consumers that had always chosen the darkest tan possible. When I look back, the results were not flattering and far too dramatic because of my fair hair and pale skin. As the consumer, all I really needed was the darkest possible tan for my own skin tone.  

If I was to give anyone advice in choosing the best fake tan depth level, I would always recommend a maximum of 1 – 2 shades darker than your own natural skin depth.  Of course, you are the right person to choose the perfect shade or the best self-tan level for your own skin. It’s important for you to feel confident and comfortable wearing your fake at the right level. 

To add, if you are one of those blessed people on earth to have an abundance of melanin,  you would benefit from using fake tanning products as it evens out your natural colour from head to toe, giving the skin overall balance.


Tone refers to the colourants 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 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 consumers natural tones.  If the user is to use a green base fake tan, the colourants will appear unnaturally green for the following 3 – 4 days. More on this can be found in my other blogs.

If you are new to fake tanning and can relate to my pale skin, I would recommend that you go to “TAN SELECTOR” and TAKE THE QUIZ. Be mindful to select a tan depth that will compliment you;  1 -3 shades darker than your natural skin tone. 

Before I go, here are a few tips on finding the right tan for you:

  1. TAKE THE QUIZ. Go to Tan Selector, take the guess work out and design the perfect tan for you.
  2. Choose what best self-tan depth suits you the most.
  3. Knows what tone of self-tan suits you the most. 
  4. What suits your friends or family, doesn’t always suit you.
  5. Remember that a fake tan needs to compliment you.
  6. Choose a tan that looks natural, not fake!
  7. Use the hashtag #sundancedesginertan in all your social media posts. We would love to share your journey.
  8. Both depth and tone are equally as important as each other.
  9. Even if you have chosen a way darker shade than I have recommended, be confident. Your skin, your choice!

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