There is only one way to get a tan, and that's the safe way.
Modern self-tanners are easy to use, give great colour, and come in a huge range of formulas and textures. The active ingredient in self-tan sits in the top layers of the skin, and has a temporary effect that will gradually fade.
UVA rays from the sun cause can cause skin cancer and age the skin prematurely, even through small amounts of exposure. Any level of natural tanning indicates skin damage; a "base tan" will not prevent further damage over summer.
Do your skin a favour and avoid the sun, and always wear a high protection sunscreen on your face and body. You will thank yourself in years to come when you have beautiful, healthy skin.
Self-Tan Preparation Tips
- Do a full body exfoliation with a body scrub, or with exfoliating gloves or a mitt. Try the Eco Tan Mitt in the shower for silky smooth skin.
- Lightly moisturise areas prone to dryness like feet, knees and elbows (self tan can grab on dry areas).
- To avoid streaking, ensure your bathroom isn't steamy and that you're totally dry before you begin applying your tan.
- If you're using a lotion, cream or gel, start with a small amount of product and apply it to small areas (lower leg, then upper leg etc.). Avoid applying tan to large areas all at once as the product may dry before you have a chance to blend it in properly.
- Apply with large, circular strokes as opposed to rubbing the product in an up and down motion. This will give you a lovely finish without streaking.
- When applying tan to the face, make sure your face and neck are clean and moisturised well. Apply with hands, or with a fluffy foundation brush. Take care around the eyebrows and the hairline, and be sure to blend over the jawline and down the neck.
- Aerosol self-tanners are fantastic. Many will spray upside down to allow you to tan the back of your body with ease. Pop a towel on your bathroom floor to catch any mist during application.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly after application with soap and warm water, and don't forget to wash in between fingers, and down the sides of your hands. If you do get stuck with tanned hands, or have a self tanning disaster, St Tropez make a self tan remover which is excellent.
- After application, allow your tan to dry for 10 to 15 minutes, before dressing in loose fitting clothing. Avoid showering for at least three or four hours while your tan develops.
For special occasions, consider a professional spray tan. Salon spray tan solution is a concentrated formula that will help you achieve a deep tan in one application.
Prior to your spray tan, prepare your skin in the same way as you would for at home self tanning. The process is quick and easy, and requires you to stand in a series of poses while your technician applies tanning solution with a spray gun. Disposable g-strings are provided by all good salons. Usually the solution is tinted so you get an instant colour, while the active ingredients in the tan develop over the next 8 hours on your skin.
With the right care, spray tans can last between four and seven days.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR TAN LAST LONGER
- Avoid soaps and body washes which can fade your tan. Use a p.h balanced, soap free wash.
- Pat your skin dry carefully with your towel. Don't exfoliate your body until you are ready to start removing your tan.
- Moisturise religiously; use a rich body cream every day after showering. Using a gradual tanning moisturiser is an excellent way to boost and prolong your tan colour.
- Hot baths, showers, and chlorinated pools can all fade your tan, so make sure you slather on plenty of moisturiser on as soon as you hop out of the shower or pool. Using a gradual tanner after swimming is a great idea to top up your colour.
BEAUTY GURU PRODUCT PICKS
- Eco Tan Winter Skin and Invisable Tan (organic)
- L'Oreal Airbrush Tan
- Sugar Baby Gradual Tan Lotion
- ModelCo Spray on Tan