Fake tan has come a long way in getting that sun-kissed look at home– and without the ageing effects and skin damage of UV – but the faux glow is not always as easy as it seems! Fear not, those tell-tale streaks, patches and orangey limbs are totally avoidable with our Guide to Fake Tan Success.
Preparation is Key
Prepping the skin is vital for a long-lasting tan. In the morning and evening prior to application, gently exfoliate with a body brush or scrub to remove any dead skin cells that will cause your colour to fade quickly.
On stepping out the shower, give oils and moisturisers a miss except for very dry areas: elbows, knees, knuckles, wrists and between fingers and toes.
Choosing Your Product
There’s a plethora of products on the market nowadays, so what’s best for you?
Generally, tanning sprays and mists are tricky when trying to achieve an even finish, so should be reserved for the more experienced home-tanners.
Foams and mousses are fast-drying and immediately tint the skin so it’s obvious where it’s already been applied, which helps avoid unwanted patchy areas. They’re great for beginners, but work best for those with oily skin types.
A speedy option for those with dry skin is a tanning oil, which are wonderfully hydrating and much quicker to absorb than heavy lotions, butters or creams.
Apply Like a Pro
With a foam or mousse, always use a mitt for a streak-free finish without those tangerine-stained palms. For extra protection, pop on a pair of latex gloves underneath the mitt.
Start with all the major body areas – legs, arms, back and stomach – and be sure to take your time. You’ll want to leave smaller areas like hands and feet until last so you can just use the residual product on the mitt.
Skin cell turnover is much more rapid on our faces so it’s advisable to incorporate tanning into your skincare routine. Tanning waters or drops like Tan Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops can be easily mixed into moisturisers or serums on a bi-weekly basis. Alternatively, brands like Coco&Eve offer face brushes to apply smaller amounts of product to these areas.
Make It Last
To avoid any mishaps while the tan develops, wear loose (dark) clothes and avoid any sweaty workouts immediately after application. Wait times vary between products, but if you’re on the clock perhaps try St Tropez Gradual Tan 1 Minute Everyday Pre-Shower Tanning Mousse.
Hydration is essential to overcome that dreaded patchiness as your tan fades. After showering, gently dry your skin before slathering on moisturiser. Steer clear of fragrances and mineral oils, instead opting for something with shea butter, aloe vera or coconut oil. Your skin will thank you for it!
By Rebecca Taylor