Just because the weather is cooler and winter is just around the corner doesn’t mean you need to forfeit your summer glow. And long gone are the days of dodgy, chemically orange-based products. Faux tan is the only safe way to tan and with these easy to follow steps, you’ll be self-tanning like a pro.
Step 1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. 24 hours before you fake tan, you want to remove all the dead skin cells. This will ensure there is a smooth base with no dead skin patches for it to cling onto. You can dry body brush before you shower, or use an exfoliating glove or scrub when your skin is damp. This is also the time to shave your legs if you want to.
Step 2. Moisturise. Once you have exfoliated, moisturise after your shower to further prep your skin for your tan. This will ensure it is smooth and not dry for when you tan the next day. Put extra moisturiser on knees and elbows if they are prone to dry skin.
Step 3. Tan day. 24 hours later. The best time to do this is in the evening, so you can let the tan develop overnight and wash it off in the morning. Shower off any moisturiser, deodorant and perfume. Get out of the shower, dry your skin well and wait for 15 to 30 minutes to ensure your skin is dry and that there is no steam in the bathroom. Apply a light moisturiser to your knees, elbows, backs of ankles and the palms of your hands.
Step 4. To apply the tan, use either a tanning mitt (available from most pharmacies) or latex gloves if you don’t have one. This will stop the tan from sticking to your hands. No one wants oompa-loompa hands!
Step 5. ALWAYS use circular motions when applying the tan. This will ensure you will get no nasty streaks. Also, use sparingly around ankles, knees, elbows etc. Aim to blend it out down your ankles and your wrists.
Step 6. Use one pump per area of the body, and work in sections. For example, start with your legs and use one pump for your lower half of one leg. Work it in in circular motions until it is blended in. Use another pump for the top half of your leg, and so on. If you are a bit nervous the first time, half this amount for an extra fool-proof result. For an extra dark tan, once you have completed your entire body, repeat with a second layer.
Step 7. For your face, mix half a pump with the same amount of moisturiser. Blend out to your hairline, and of course, down your neck.
Step 8. Do your hands last. Remove your mitt and give your hands a good wash in case any product has seeped through. Put half a pump on the back of one hand, and use the back of your other hand to rub this in.
Step 9. Wait ten minutes before getting changed. Paint your toenails, dry your hair – or even use your hairdryer on warm to speed up the drying process!
Step 10. Leave on for a minimum of 4 hours, ideally 8 or overnight. Rinse off gently (never rub the skin unless you want to remove the tan), and keep showers short and not too hot as hot water encourages exfoliation. Pat the skin dry with your towel and lather up on the moisturiser morning and night to keep your skin soft and to prolong your tan. Use a gradual tanner in the evening to make it last even longer.
Some of the best tanning products on the market clockwise from Left:
St Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse 240ml $74.95, Le Tan Instant Face 75ml $8.95, St Tropez Tan Application Mitt (reusable) $14.95, Bondi Sands Self Tan Foam Dark 200ml $24.95 and Bondi Sands Self Tan Foam Light/Medium 200ml $23.95, Loving Tan 2HR Express Dark Self Tanning Mousse 200ml $64.95, Loving Tan Easy To Reach Back Applicator for Self Tanning $34.95, Eco Tan Winter Skin Gradual Tanning Moisturiser 300ml $39.95.