I love to tan. Unfortunately, my skin does not!
No matter how long I stay in the sun, a tan will just not happen. I will get red, very red, then peel and it will all fade away back to white! As this is extremely unhealthy and dangerous, I choose to self-tan instead. I live on an island where it is summer for practically 6 months of the year so having a tan feels a bit like a ‘must’ to me!
That being said, self-tanning can be quite tricky if you’re not used to it. So after so many years of doing this myself, today I’ll just be letting you know a couple of tips and hints to help you out.
#1: Prepare your skin: Exfoliate!: By far, one of the most crucial steps in the tanning process! It’s crucial to get rid of any dead skin cells on your body before tanning. If this isn’t done, you risk your tan looking patchy, uneven and looking flaky. You can use any body scrub for this, as well as a loofah, however I just tend to use plain sugar. It’s cheap, super effective and very convenient as it’s usually always handy.
As a side note, never exfoliate just after you have shaved or waxed as the skin will be very sensitive and could cause an irritation. So exfoliate first and hair removal second, unless of course you leave a day or a couple of hours in between the two.
#2: Careful of ‘Hot Spots’ & Dry Areas: Self-tanners seem to be drawn to dry areas and ‘hot spots’ and will stick to them. What are ‘hot spots’ you say? Areas that really absorb tons of tanning product: Feet, Ankles, Knees, Hands, Wrists & Hair Line. To avoid these areas, or any other dry parts catching on too much product, just dab on some moisturiser so the colour absorption will be lessened. That being said, if you want a darker tan, avoid moisturising your entire body. Keep it just for these areas.
#3: Best Time to Apply: Generally, the best time of day to self-tan is just before going to bed, after having a shower as you are less likely to sweat and take off the tan which could happen if you are running around all day or wearing tight clothing. Once the product is applied, let it dry and wear loose clothing. Leaving it on for 6-8 hrs sleep will ensure a good deep tan. Just wash it off and you’re good to go!
As a side note, when washing and drying yourself try to avoid using scrubbing your skin. So, apply soap with the palms of your hand and pat yourself dry gently. Adding a moisturiser at this stage will help prolong your tan and encourage even fading as it will keep the skin hydrated. If the skin gets very dry, the tan might come off in patches and get flaky.
#4: Application: This all depends on the type of tanner you are using, as well as personal preference. For beginners, I highly recommend mousses (such as St. Tropez or St. Moriz) as these are coloured so you can see what you are doing and where the product has been applied. They are also the most forgiving when it comes to making a mistake as these generally blend in very well. These are best applied using a tanning mitt.
For more experienced users, there are also sprays, gels or creams. Some can either have a colour guard, which is helpful to see where you have applied product or not. After so many years of tanning, I have to say, using a product with a tanning guard is so much easier and faster. These are best applied wearing latex gloves to avoid staining your hands. Product is extremely difficult to wash off from this area, so do cover them!
#5: Other Tricks: Applying tan on the hands and feet can be quite tricky due to the fingers and toes, as a log of product can accumulate there making them look extremely dark. Start by moisturising, then lightly dab on a pea-sized amount of product and spread outwards. For the hands, I especially like to put a small drop of product on the top of one hand (not the palm) and distribute it onto the other by running the top of the hands together (let me know if that was not clear!).
Also, if applying any fake tan, do try to avoid using any deodorant, body sprays and perfumes until you have had your shower as this might not react well to the tan and cause a rash.
How deep you like your tan depends on you, however personally, I always find the need to reapply a second layer the day after to get it to how I want it. That being said, I am very pale naturally. Again, how often you reapply, depends on your colour preference and the strength of the product you are using.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and learnt something new! Let me know if you are aware of any other tips and tricks.
Thanks for reading xxx