Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Self Tanning Do's and Don'ts

From our guest blogger, Emma from
Self Tannning dos and don’ts

Even though it is summer by name, the changeable weather means it's not always summer by nature. This doesn’t mean that you have to forgo your customary summer glow, however – cheat your way to bronzed skin with our guide to fake tanning...


Shed the old

Before you even think of tanning, you need to prep the skin properly at least a day before. This means getting rid of all the dead skin cells and rough patches of skin on the body, and ensuring a really even surface before adding your colour. Not only will your skin feel really smooth and supple, but your tan will look more natural and will apply with greater ease.

Choose a formulation that will gently buff the body rather than intensively scrub it, unless it is winter or you suffer from excessively dry skin. Products with natural scrubbing agents such as jojoba beads or sugar are ideal, and are also kinder to the environment than those with plastic microbeads.

Restore the balance

Buffing your skin in this way will take away some of its natural oils, so it is important to restore the balance. Envelop your body in the moisture of a body lotion, cream, milk or butter: the choice is yours depending upon the condition of your skin. A body lotion or milk is ideal as they have a finer texture and sink into skin without a trace, although elbows and knees will probably need the more intensive hydration and protection of a cream or butter. Like your exfoliating routine, you need to do this at least a day before so that you don’t inhibit and dilute the development of your tan when it is applied.


Cut corners when applying

The biggest problems with self tanning are the various streaks and patches of dark colour that occur with rushed application. Reserve a good chunk of time for getting your false tan routine right; that added effort results in a longer-lasting, more natural looking colour.

Avoid streaks by applying your tan in methodical, wide, sweeping motions that overlap each other. This will cover a large area while working to buff any lines in. When you’re done, buff any residual lines with a dry tanning mitt (an old sock works just as well!). Another worry when applying false tan is patchiness. Dehydrated skin absorbs fake tan more readily than skin that is properly moisturised, so if you have scaly patches of rough and dry skin these can appear darker than the rest of your body. Avoid this by properly exfoliating and moisturising the body as outlined above.

Fail to prepare your environment

Stains inevitably occur when tanning, especially on the hands. Avoid this by wearing gloves or a tanning mitt, and then washing hands immediately after application. If you have left it too long and your hands are truly stained with product, use a hand scrub to tone down the colour.

Staining clothes and furniture is another worry, and this can happen both during and after the tanning process as your colour is drying. Avoid this by properly covering all surfaces before you start tanning, and by using dark towels. Ensure skin is properly dry before putting your clothes back on or climbing into bed.

Emma loves the sun, but living in Britain means taking a practical approach to tanning. She writes for, a skincare retailer stocking all the best brands from Givenchy to Guerlain.


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