Fake Tan has become a staple in many people’s routines now for a while, I know I was desperate to try it as a teenager, but my mom only let me use the gradual tanners. Now-a-days, I have gone full circle and come back to the gradual tanners, as I find they give my skin the most natural looking colour, whilst being easy to apply and prep for. However, for a special occasion, I always grab my trusty bottle of tan.
Obviously with any kind of self-tanning, you will need to prep beforehand. With gradual tan it is easier. I usually just pop my gradual tanner on after I’ve got out of the shower. Always make sure, even with a gradual tan, that you pick the right colour for your skin tone. If you go too dark too fast, it is easy to see where you many have missed bits (I always somehow manage to miss the underside of my forearms!) but if the tan is more natural, and you build it up over time, you will always be able to see where you may have missed, before it’s too obvious.
With a “normal” tanner, (one you need to apply, leave, then wash off) prepping is, arguably, the most important step. I would advise to ensure you have shaved at least one day beforehand (as you can irritate the skin with a razor, and if you’re waxing, then leave it at least 24-48hrs) and then shower, so you can exfoliate your body, as tan is known to cling to any dry skin. Then, moisturise with a normal, everyday moisturiser to hydrate your skin. Once that has sunken in, you can apply your tan. One of my personal favourite is the St.Tropez Self Tan Watermelon Infusion Bronzing Mousse. It is a lightweight mousse that tailors to your individual skin-tone, ensuring even coverage. I also love the smell of any watermelon based products. I suggest applying with a tanning mitt, as these give the best coverage, and protect your hands from becoming too dark, from handling the product. As a tip, when tanning your hands, use an old, clean, fluffy make-up brush to buff a little onto the back of your hands, in-between the fingers and your wrists. It looks a lot more natural this way.
You then leave this on for between 4-8 hours (depending on how dark you would like to go) then gently wash off in the shower. So, you could apply before bed (as long as you don’t mind, potentially, getting a little on your sheets) then wash off in the morning. With any tan, ensure when you’re washing off not to use any soaps, scrubs or shower mitts, as these will scrub away your new lovely tan. Gently pat dry, then you’re all done!
For the facial area, you do need to be careful. I would advise that if you want to tan your face, not to use the same product as you use for your body. These can break you out, as they’re not designed to be used on the delicate facial skin. Instead, opt for something like the St.Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Face Mist. It is fused with 100% natural tanning additive, Hyaluronic Acid, and does not have that classic tan smell. This is much more gentle on the face, gives great results, and is very refreshing during the summer months.
If it is a “real” tan you’re wanting to achieve (i.e, from sun exposure) than as a Beauty Therapist, I would suggest to always wear an SPF whilst exposed to the sun. SPF50 would be ideal, especially for your face. If you’ve gone away to a hot country, then make sure to sit underneath a parasol during the hottest hours of the day, or pop inside for a drink and a lie down. When you’ve got a lovely tan from your holidays, and you just want it to last that little bit longer, than the South Seas Tahitian Tan Extender is an amazing product. You can apply daily, or every other day. Apply it 20 minutes prior to UV exposure, but be warned, this product does not contain any SPF, so you will need to apply this separately. This can be used to extend a traditional tan, or any fake tans you have applied also.
So, whatever tanning process you’re about to delve into, ensure you prep yourself before hand. Whether that is by using SPF, or making sure you have prepped your skin well for fake tan application.