There’s no doubt about it but the safest tan is a fake tan and if you’re determined to be bronzed and gorgeous this summer, we’ve put together the ultimate checklist to ensure that you can get expertly golden at home:
The night before applying fake tan, prepare by shaving or waxing legs and bikini line and then exfoliate all over the body with a non-oily exfoliator. Pay particular attention to elbows, backs of arms, knees, ankles, feet and heels, underarms, neck and hairline. Finally, after exfoliation, moisturise with a good moisturiser that’s quickly and easily absorbed. Avoid using oils or products containing silicone as they will leave a thin film on the skin.
The next day, before applying the fake tan, smooth on a light lotion prior to tan application for better 'blendability' and a more even finish. Also apply baby oil to knuckles, toes, nails, palms of hands, elbows, ankles, heels and knees. These areas are typically rough and therefore prone to soaking up DHA, the active bronzing ingredient, which will lead to dark splotches and uneven colour.
Hot tip No. 1:
Never apply tan after waxing or laser treatments as pores are open and it will result in blotchy patches at best or could cause rashes, break-outs or other skin reactions.
Hot tip No. 2:
Never spray on perfume or deodorant before sunless tanning – both can affect the development of your colour.
Always use a mitt and work upwards. Start with your feet, then legs, torso, chest, arms, shoulders, neck and face. This way you won’t get creases on your stomach from bending over. Get a friend to do your back. Finish by applying product on back of one hand, rubbing it against the other and then removing the excess by dabbing with a small cosmetic sponge or cotton wool pad. Clean up cuticles and nails with a cotton bud dipped in baby oil.
Buff the body gently to minimise streaks and ensure product is well distributed. To avoid sticky-to-the touch feeling, dust talc-free baby powder all over your body before dressing – it won’t interfere with the colour and helps reduce friction from clothing which can cause streaks. For best results, apply tan at night, slip into loose fitting pyjamas and wake up to a golden glow! Either way, give your tan time to dry before dressing and dress in loose clothes, avoiding bra straps, flip flop lines etc. if at all possible.
Hot tip No. 3:
If your tan is taking too long to dry, get a hairdryer, put it on the cool setting and give your body a blast of cool air to speed up the process.
Wait 8 hours before showering to ensure colour fully develops. To prolong your tan, do not use oil based products which can strip colour. After showering, smooth on a gradual tanner daily to boost your bronze!
Orange Alert! – Quick fixes for bronzing blunders:
Dark Spots: Tone down areas like knees and ankles that have absorbed excess colour by rubbing them with a thin layer of whitening toothpaste and rinsing.
Orange Hands: Rub a lemon on your palms, leave to dry for 2 minutes and then rinse.
Streaks: Buff lightly with a damp washcloth or disguise them by spreading shimmery body make-up over the area to instantly even things out.