Earlier in the year we were relieved at the news that laws governing tanning salons were changing, preventing under-18s from using them.
While celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and almost the entire cast of ‘Twilight’ demonstrate that you don’t need a tan to look gorgeous, many people still opt for the tanned look, particularly during the summer months.
For those who make this choice, safe tanning should be the priority – and it’s easy to achieve with the wealth of fake tanning products now available.
Fake tans can be bought in many forms including sprays, creams, mousses and even wipes! It is up to you to decide which product will suit you best. We would recommend a tinted product as this will help you to see how even the finish is before your tan develops. When you have decided on the best product for you, try following these guidelines:
Preparation and exfoliation
Maintaining a good skincare routine will pay off when you come to apply fake tan, so try to remember to moisturise every day. This way you will have a smoother base to work from when it comes to applying fake tan.
To ensure an even coverage you should exfoliate your entire body from the feet up, paying particular attention to the elbows and knees. We love exfoliating gloves, which are perfect for this job and available from most chemists – though an exfoliating sponge is a good alternative. We would also recommend using a body brush for difficult to reach places. The great news is that this process alone will greatly improve the appearance of your skin, with or without the tan, when done regularly!
Moisturiser and Vaseline
If you feel you still have any rough, dry patches of skin after this process then apply a little oil-free moisturiser to them – check elbows and knees. It is also worth applying a thin layer to your hands, wrists, feet and ankles to avoid patches. Allow 5-10 minutes for the moisturiser to sink in before applying fake tan. Another top tip is to carefully use a little Vaseline along your hairline and over eyebrows to avoid a build-up of fake tan in these areas.
Apply your chosen product, preferably wearing latex gloves or with an applicator mitt. You can even get products to reach your back with these days, so inquire about one at your chemist or ask a friend or partner to help with your back. Another handy product is fake tan remover. Consider buying some if you intend to maintain your tan throughout the summer; it will last well and is worth the investment. If any fake tan gets onto your, or your helper’s, hands, wash with this immediately to avoid orange fingers. Apply a little of the product to the back of your hands with a cotton wool pad.
When you have finished applying your product to your body use a dry flannel to remove any excess from the knee, ankle and elbow areas, or any other places where you feel it is required. When you are happy that your tan is even, let it sink into your skin for as long as possible before getting into some loose, dark coloured clothing. Leave your tan to develop for at least 4 hours before bathing or showering. It is best to have quick showers for the next few days, rather than long baths, to prolong the length of your tan, and apply moisturiser regularly to keep it locked in. Now you can either top up regularly with a more gradual ‘everyday’ tanning moisturiser, or after about a week you can remove following a good soak in the bath, using your exfoliating glove or sponge.
Fake tanning products do not contain sunblocks so do not forget yours!