A real tan is dangerous to our health and ageing to our skin. Having said that I still struggle to get out in my bathers or bare my legs in their natural lily white state. Anyone who has had a spray tan will back me here when I say you look instantly healthier, thinner, more toned and your teeth even look whiter when you have a golden glow.
I have no shame in admitting that I dabble in fake tan during summer. Many a time I have rubbed some on my arms and legs before going to bed, only to wake up with a nasty brown stain somewhere it shouldn’t be! But even with the fake tan disasters I have had, I still continue on my quest to find the perfect fake tan that looks natural and healthy.
My daughter Laura is a fake tan addict. Seriously if there was a support group called “Fake Tanners Anonymous” she would be a member. Don’t get me started on the stained white tiles in the bathroom, or the wrecked bed linen – but for the sake of this post I did interview Laura the “expert on fake tan” to get her advice on how to get the best result:
Invest a little of your time pre, during and post your tan routine and you’ll come up golden and glowing even in the depths of winter. Here Laura shares the four steps you cannot skip.
1. Prep and Exfoliate
It’s essential to prep the skin correctly before you begin to apply any type of self-tan. A head to toe exfoliation is the first step in ensuring the perfect application. Patchy, dry skin will not respond well to self-tan and will most likely to leave you wanting to cover up your tan than show it off!
2. Rinse and dry
The best time to apply tan is within the first thirty minutes of showering. Skin is super clean and absorbent, making skin the perfect canvas to absorb the self-tan formula however, make sure the skin is completely dry and free of moisture before application.
3. Weapon of choice
We’ve all got our favourite product, but differing occasions can call for different self-tan formulations or some people just prefer one style tan over another. Here is a guide to help you select your tan.
MOUSSE: Mousse is generally regarded as the easiest tan to apply. Tinted and an easily blendable, buildable formula, a tan mousse is perfect for these who like full control over their desired colour and want to tan their entire body from top to toe at home. Opt for a medium formula if you have fair skin, and a dark formula for medium-olive tones.
SPRAY: Spray formulas are great for these hard to reach places and are great for topping up an existing salon or self-tan. Delivering a mist of instant glow that develops further over a few hours, we love a spray tan for adding a little extra colour on your décolletage or legs before going out.
LOTION: Lotions are generally regarded as the most moisturising option of all tans. It is easy to apply and when tinted you can see if you have accidentally put it somewhere it shouldn’t be, or if you have applied it too heavy in a spot.
GRADUAL: Perfect for first time tanners or these wanting a daily top up to an existing self-tan base. Remember that it can take two to four applications to reach the right shade, so this isn’t the best option for these wanting a colour transformation overnight.
4. Buff, Buff, Buff
To avoid orange palms and a streaky, uneven application, get in the habit of only ever applying self-tan with a mitt. Start with the largest areas of your body first, the limbs, stomach and back and then use the residue product on the mitt to glide across the knees, elbows, ankles and wrists to ensure a natural, un-patchy finish.
Now that we have covered the basics in apply and maintaining your faux tan, here are some of Laura’s recommended products:
PURE TAN – PURE BRONZE INSTANT TANNING LOTION
This is the favourite. It goes on well and looks very natural. Be warned this one is very dark in colour so if you are looking for a lighter tan go for a lighter shade. (It retails for $29.95)
Pure Bronze Instant Tanning Lotion was developed for busy people who demand a golden rich tan now!
- Instant, non-streaky transfer resistant formulation.
- Self-tan smell reduction technology- apply and wear with confidence.
- Moisturiser base formulation- conditions your skin as you tan.
- Super smooth, easy glide on formulation-no self-tan mishaps.
BONDI SANDS SELF TANNING FOAM
Laura loves this one because it is reasonably priced ($13.95) and it has a green undertone. If you have pink or red tones in your skin naturally you will be needing a fake tan that has a green base to make sure you don’t turn out orange.
Bondi Sands Self Tanning Foam is: “A lightweight, Self-Tanning Foam that’s simple to apply and gives a flawless finish, every time. Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut, this is a salon quality formula. Simply smooth on for an even, streak-free tan. We recommend the Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Dark Foam for those with an olive complexion or those who prefer a darker glow. ”
MODEL CO SELF TAN INSTANT BRONZER
Model Co Instant Tan Self-Tan Lotion “guarantees an instant hydrating and nourishing glow. Infused with antioxidants including Argan Oil, Aloe Vera and Coconut Oil promising to keep your skin hydrated while delivering unrivalled colour, this non-greasy, lightweight formula glides onto skin evenly, providing instant colour, while the self-tan develops deeper over 4-6 hours. The coconut scented, creamy lotion absorbs into the skin quickly and effortlessly, spreading evenly for a streak-free result every time.
Perfect for dry, sensitive or mature skin.”
LeTAN INSTANT FAST TAN
I personally like this one – however because it is a spray formula it can be messy. I tend to go stand in the backyard (sorry neighbours!) and spray myself there to avoid the dark brown mist that settles on everything.
Le Tan in Le Can is “Vitamin E enriched, it moisturizes and hydrates as it goes providing a natural looking, streak free salon glow. The Dark Bronze colour variant is a Green Based Formula designed to give you a rich, dark, ‘Greek Island’ style tan. ”
I hope this guide to faux tan is useful for you – and thank you Laura for your input! Please feel free to ask questions to our resident fake tan expert…