There’s a scene in Sex and the City that really struck a chord with me. The four BFFs are holidaying at the Hamptons. Charlotte is pretending to be 27 while the others manically douse their bodies in sunscreen. Their shoulders are covered and they wear ginormous hats and sunnies. Then Samantha says something along the lines of, “When you get to your thirties, you wear sunscreen.” This is so true of me. I loved to tan in my twenties but when I developed a massive sunspot on the side of my face it was time to embrace the fake tan.
But if only applying fake tan was as easy as applying nail polish or fake lashes. I mean if so many celebs get it so wrong what hope do we normal folk have? Never fear, practice makes perfect. And also knowing all the best tips and tricks. So we are running a two-part series on how to self tan.
First up is our six-point guide on how to create a glowing, streak-free tan.
Tips for Applying Self-Tanner
1) Shave or wax your legs the day before.
2) Make sure your skin is nourished by moisturising every day in the lead up to your tan application. Dry skin can cause patchiness. If possible avoid oil-based moisturisers by checking the first ingredient on your body lotion says aqua or water. Currently I am using Sukin’s Hydrating Body Lotion.
3) Avoid tan patches by moisturising elbows, knees, ankles, hands and wrists before you add the tan and after you’ve exfoliated. Which brings me to my next point …
4) Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. I have been using brown sugar mixed with honey in circular movements all over my body. Brown sugar is not as harsh as salt-based scrubs and the honey is still moisturising. Also, a face washer or exfoliating gloves will work better than loofahs or those mesh shower balls.
5) If possible use latex gloves when applying to stop patchy hands. You can use cotton pads to apply a small amount of tan to the back of each hand. To make the tan look natural on your hands or face you can mix part tanner, part moisturiser.
6) Self-tanners can be very dehydrating to your skin so remember to moisturise daily. It also helps to maintain the glow.
Note: If you suffer a tanning fail, take a bath in epsom salts for 20 minutes. Then scrub with exfoliating gloves. Once dry you could also try adding a body tint such as Lush’s Silk Stockings or Black Stockings to even out any patches.
Stay tuned for Part Two where we review a range of self-tanners and body tints.